The New Face of Secular Homeschooling

The New Face of Secular Homeschooling

Most experts estimate the growth in the homeschool population in the United States at a rate between 7% and 15% per year. Experts also agree that the growth rate will climb higher in the next few years as parents become more disillusioned with traditional brick and mortar schools. A recent poll showed that 74% of homeschoolers cited “a disatisfation with academic instruction in public schools” as their primary motivation to homeschool. Regardless of the reasons, whether social, safety related, or the quality of education, more families are choosing to homeschool. The largest growing segment can be seen in the secular homeschool community.

So what is secular homeschooling and where can resources be found to support this growing population?

For most, the idea of secular homeschooling means a lack of religious influence; a more scientific view of the world rather than a biblical view. Those who consider themselves secular homeschoolers are an incredibly diverse group. This group includes many progressive Christians whose views differ from fundamentalist Christians. There are however, many non-Christian homeschoolers who consider themselves to be secular even if they ascribe to an organized religion that is not Christianity. You may find Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Pagan homeschoolers who label themselves as secular. The reason for this is because it is extremely difficult to find and utilize educational materials that are not Christian based. Sounds like a simple task, but it’s actually quite difficult.

Locating secular co-ops and support groups is an even greater challenge than finding secular materials. Most co-ops are not secular or inclusive. At best, this means that families who are “different” will feel uncomfortable and out of place. At worst, these families may be turned away on the basis of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender, religious view, or minority status.

Enter Mari Beth Buckroth, the creative genius and Executive Director behind N.A.S.H. (The National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers). N.A.S.H. grew out of Mari Beth’s personal experiences within the secular community and a desire to support other secular homeschoolers.

“The vision of the National Alliance of Secular Homeschoolers is to advance the  recognition of secular education in the homeschooling  community and to support academically secular homeschoolers.  Through the activities and involvement of N.A.S.H. at the national, state, and local levels, secular homeschoolers will have a stronger, significantly  influential voice in the world of homeschooling.”  –Mari Beth Buckroth

MBB

Next month, N.A.S.H. is sponsoring their first secular homeschool conference in Atlanta from September 4th – 7th. The conference will include a shopping expo, workshops for teens and adults, activities for children, and social networking for adults. Workshop topics will include not only educational sessions, but will also cover topics such as health and the ability to homeschool successfully while working.

This is a very exciting time for the homeschool world. Dedicated people like Mari Beth and her vision for N.A.S.H. will enrich the landscape of homeschool and provide resources many have only dreamed about. For more information about N.A.S.H. or the 2014 Inaugural Conference, please visit the N.A.S.H. website.

 

 

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