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Homeschool secular curriculum materials can be a challenge to find, but I did the work for you. Check out my top five options! This list includes accredited curriculum, as well as homeschool curriculum for gifted learners and more. A lot of parents who homeschool want to keep religion and education as two separate things. I can totally relate to that idea because even though we have always homeschooled AND we are Orthodox Christians, I keep the two separate. All of my lessons meet the Florida state standards and are secular.
I teach 1st grade Sunday school at our church and during COVID19 and social distancing, I’ve created the lesson plans for our elementary Sunday schoolers. My kids get those lessons on the weekend, typically before Sunday school. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve seen a huge need for a secular curriculum and there are a lot of choices out there. You can seriously go on for days and it can really be overwhelming. I did some personal research in my homeschool groups and combined it with personal experience teaching my own children. Now I’ve put together a list of the best options out there.
What is Secular Curriculum?
Secular curriculum is non-religious curriculum, meaning it is not written from a religious worldview. Many parents find this especially important when it comes to science and history. If you are homeschooling and it is not for religious reasons, or you are like me and want to keep the two separate, then finding the best homeschool secular curriculum is probably pretty important to you. We choose to take a neutral approach to education while still remaining devoted to a personal system of faith. Homeschool doesn’t necessarily mean religion. In fact, in our very large homeschool group, I would say there are more secular-based homeschool families than those who school at home for religious reasons. That is the beauty of homeschool, you decide what and how to teach!
I have found that what works best is doing research on each type. It’s important to consider your child’s learning style and interests, then pick and choose from each to create a custom set of lessons. It can take some time, but this is an investment in your child’s education. You will end up with an incredibly enriching curriculum that works best for your student! Money isn’t everything when it comes to lesson plan materials. We have used very expensive programs, some free stuff and some in between! In the end, you are the best thing for them. Your knowledge and care for your child is what’s best and their education will flourish because of you! You will find that especially for gifted kids, an all in one approach doesn’t work well.
Accredited Secular Homeschool Curriculum
Let’s start with Oak Meadow. If you are new to homeschool or possibly turning to it due to COVID19, then an accredited secular homeschool curriculum is probably what you are looking for. I know several families who wanted to homeschool and started here. A few stuck with it and a few transitioned to traditional parent-taught homeschool. Again, the beauty of our lifestyle is CHOICE. Oak Meadow is a great example, and gets really good reviews in the homeschool community. They offer Distance learning that is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). A lot of the work is done online, though they also incorporate book based lessons. Your child will have teachers, and the parent’s responsibility is basically to maintain contact with the instructor to ensure student work is submitted in a timely manner. Oak Meadow has a strong Waldorf influence, but they do not strictly adhere to Waldorf methodology, practices, or content areas. They do not incorporate standardized testing. Their prices are on their website, and they do offer financial aid. Whatever books you purchase, you can easily sell after your child is done. There is a huge market for resale and Oak meadow books go pretty quickly.
Homeschool Curriculum for Gifted Learners
Moving Beyond the Page, also known as MBtP in the homeschool community, was written with gifted learners in mind, and is a complete curriculum. It is an “open and go” product, which is a great and easy option for almost anyone. They offer digital or hard copies of the books, and one of the great benefits is that it allows for differentiation in most lessons. This option is a bit pricey, but they offer payment plans, which is really a plus. Though I do create a lot of my own lessons for my kids, we school year round and I like to give myself a break! We will be using MBtP next semester! Like Oak Meadow, there is a huge demand for used curriculum and you can sell it pretty quickly. Moving Beyond the Page is by far the most recommended choice for gifted learners.
There are a few options when it comes to an affordable homeschool curriculum that is also secular. Now everyone’s idea of affordable is different, so I tend to lean towards the idea of spending no more than what you would typically spend if your child was in public school. Calvart Online is a great option. We used it for a semester and my son was into it. It is an affordable option at just $39.99 a month or $399.99 for the entire year. They also have family plans for multiple children. It is a great choice, especially if you are just getting started. Calvert is also a fully accredited.
Taking the best parts of several secular curriculum choices may be a good option if you really want to customize your child’s education.
Language Arts secular homeschool curriculum – Bravewriter, Outschool, and Gifted Conference Planner.
Math secular homeschool curriculum – Mammoth Math, Beast Academy, Saxon and Singapore Math. We have used Beast academy and it worked well for my older son, but it was not a good fit for his brother.
History Secular homeschool curriculum – Blossom + Root River of Voices, curiosity chronicles, Build Your Library and History Quest.
Science Secular homeschool curriculum – this one is tough for me to write because I love Science and I feel science NEEDS to be hands on. I get that’s not for everyone though! I have never used a science curriculum and have always based lessons on standards (more about that later) and done experiments and hands on activities. Science is also not a subject we do every day. For this I have really enjoyed Leap Pens and the solar adventure – it was a favorite for all three of my kids in the primary years. Usborne books, experiment kits (magic school bus has some fantastic experiments), Mel Chemistry kits, YouTube videos, field trips, Khan Academy, a microscope, nature walks, Netflix, TV shows, NASA website activities (we also went to NASA in Orlando)–all of these are hands-on activities that have really brought science to life for my kids.
Standard Based FREE Curriculum
So this one levels up a bit. You will spend a lot more time and research creating your lesson plans, but it is going to be free–or close to free. Every student needs supplies of some type. As I mentioned before, we school year round, and most of the time I create the lessons for my kids based upon the Florida Standards. At the beginning of each new school year, I create a portfolio. In that portfolio I have the Florida Standards. I plan my lessons based on the state standards and put the date next to each one to show completion. I base my student reviews on the standards to ensure my kids have a solid foundation before we level up. To plan based on standards you can simply type in the standard, or go to the Florida Department of Education website and search. Later, you can modify the lessons to fit your needs. You will need to actually plan ahead to acquire materials or books from the public library. I have done this for several years on a very tight budget. As my kids have grown and we switched to year round (the BEST decision ever), I have implemented other curricula. But you can absolutely plan on a tight budget based simply on Florida Standards.
Additional popular choices that you can use for your secular curriculum;
All- or most-in-ones: Blossom and Root, Build Your Library, Core Knowledge Foundation, Match Fishtank, Torchlight, William and Mary.
Language Arts: All About Reading, All About Spelling, Explode the Code, Grammar Galaxy, Logic of English, Michael Clay Thompson, Reading Eggs, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Math: Happy Numbers, Math with Confidence, Mathseeds, Miquon, Right Start, Schiller, Wild Math
Music: Hoffman Academy, Legends of the Staff of Musique, Squilt
Science: Be Naturally Curious, Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, MEL Science, REAL Science Odyssey
Social Studies: Curiosity Chronicles, History Odyssey, Passport to Adventures
I know that when you are new to homeschooling or looking to find something new it can be really overwhelming. There is a lot of information out there! I hope this Homeschool secular curriculum list helps make those decisions easier for you. Please see two additional posts I’ve created called How to Homeschool and How To Homeschool in Florida. Both articles have free resources! If you find yourself struggling, I also offer consulting services. Simply fill out the contact from and we will get you set up!