Are there secular homeschoolers?
Short answer: Yes! Also, hi! If you’re secular and interested in homeschooling, awesome! I’m Lisa, and I’m a secular homeschooler. There are more of us than people think!
What is a secular homeschooler?
We’re not a religious family, and we homeschool. There, that was easy.
But wait! Don’t people pull their kids from public school because of evolution? Or school prayer, or something?
Yes, that happens. People who disagree with what’s taught in public school do opt out. Those disagreements can be religious in nature – for example, evolution vs. creationism. And when there isn’t a religious school that passes muster, the parents homeschool.
But there are so many other reasons why a family might choose to homeschool.
Oh yeah? Like what?
That’s what this whole site is about! So for the sake of brevity, let’s go with “artistic differences”.
So you’re not a Bible thumper?
I generally make a habit of not thumping things.
You don’t do any religion at all?
It’s like John Lennon says in Imagine. No hell below us, above us only sky. Here, I’ll make a list.
RELIGIOUS THINGS WE DON’T DO IN OUR FAMILY
- Praying to anything or anyone supernatural
- Santa Claus
- Easter Bunny
- Tooth Fairy
- Elf on the Shelf
- Jupiter (the deity, not the planet)
- Thor (the deity, not the Avenger)
- Flying Spaghetti Monster
- Crystal Skulls*
- Elves (that don’t live in Middle Earth)
- Trolls (see: Elves)
- Tarot cards
- Lucky charms**
*Especially not crystal skulls. I hate that movie almost as much as I hate Attack of the Clones.
**I wish I were kidding. But I’m gluten free, so boo.
Really? No Tooth Fairy?
The whole idea of teaching your child that there’s a stranger sneaking into your house at night to leave you gifts or money is frankly weird to me. It raises all sorts of questions, like: “What is she doing with all those teeth?” and “Where’s she getting all that money to give out? Is she stealing it, or just really good at picking stocks, or what?”
Oh, and “Why did my parents lie to me?”
You’re a killjoy.
I’m really not. I love religions, actually. I love learning about them. I visited the Vatican and lit candles in churches all across Europe and South America on my various travels. I give holiday cards and gifts. I say “bless you” when people sneeze. I’ve happily attended religious weddings, baptisms, Bat Mitzvahs, and all manner of observances and celebrations, and I have never once spoiled Santa Claus for a child who believes.
Also, my son has already informed me I’m gonna be wearing a tutu and wings when he loses his firth tooth. And he still expects a shiny coin.
I’m not ever gonna tell someone not to do the Tooth Fairy with their kids because I’m not a fan of it. Every parent gets to do what seems right to them, right up until it infringes on someone else’s rights. I’m all about freedom to do what works for YOUR family. That’s what being a secular homeschooler is all about.
Your kid is going to grow up with no sense of wonder.
Do we both live on planet Earth? There’s wonder to be had everywhere. There’s volcanoes, meteor showers, rainbows, sea turtles, microscopes, new babies, the Grand Canyon, rocket launches – seriously. More wonder than you can shake a stick at.
Unless you encounter a black monolith in the desert, in which case, go on and shake a stick at it. Human evolution might depend on it. I learned that from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Didn’t they fake the Moon landing on the set of that movie?
So you don’t believe in religion. Or conspiracy theories. What do you believe in?
Oh, let’s see: freedom, human dignity, love, science, and the One Ring.
OK, not the last one. Though I did visit Mt. Doom. It’s in New Zealand. If you’re ever in the North Island, and you do the Tongariro Crossing hike which is three volcanoes and —
You’re a geek.
You freaking bet I am. May the Force be with you.
So…. what’s life like as a secular homeschooler?
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What’s your deal with religion? Are you pro-Tooth Fairy? Have you ever been to New Zealand? Leave a comment below!