Reading:
Reviewing 2020’s Best Secular Homeschool Curriculum

Reviewing 2020’s Best Secular Homeschool Curriculum

July 10, 2020

To learn more about Mastery Genius and our adaptive academic software, visit our home page.

secular curriculum

 

There is a huge variety of homeschool curricula available on the market, and finding a great secular homeschool curriculum isn’t an easy job, but we’re here to make it easier! Keep reading to see our top picks for the Best Secular Homeschool Curricula.

We have chosen to review secular homeschool curricula for this post. While there are many religion-based homeschool curricula, we wanted to look at those that are not affiliated with any religion or beliefs. We wanted to see what was out there for those of us who are leaving public schools (or choosing not to start them) and want a homeschool curriculum that is focused on a quality education in traditional academic subjects.

What Is a Secular Curriculum?  

First, let’s talk about what a secular curriculum is. The word “secular” is used to describe anything that doesn’t have any religious or spiritual foundations.

A secular curriculum is focused just on the academic subjects. It has no religious influences. While religion can be found in secular curricula, it’s informational, not influential. It discusses different religions’ roles in shaping history and doesn’t favor one religion over the other.

Why Choose a Secular Curriculum? 

There are several reasons why people are seeking secular curricula.

Different Religious Beliefs

Choosing a secular curriculum is the answer if you have differing religious views than other religious homeschool curricula available. It is also a great option if you family is made of up members of different religions.

Personal Religious Freedom

More and more parents are trying to give their children freedom when it comes to their beliefs.

Some people don’t wish to push their kids down a certain path and believe that their children should grow to find their own paths. Secular homeschool curriculum is the perfect way of doing that.

They can grow to adopt their own religious beliefs or none at all. It would be something they arrive at by themselves.

Separating Religion from Academics

Many people believe that academics and religion should be kept separate. They believe academic subjects shoud be presented objectively to learners. By keeping them separate, subjective opinions can be formed by indiviuals on their own.

Secular Homeschool Curriculum Review

Let’s get to it! Here is our guide to the best homeschool curricula out there. We’ve reviewed them so that all you have to do is pick your favorite!

Mastery Genius – Adaptive Learning

Mastery Genius is an online software program that offers adaptive learning to all students. They don’t actually have a programmed curriculum. Instead, they offer an adaptive learning program that provides each student with a customized curriculum according to his/her level and needs.

Students start by taking a placement test of sorts. NWEA’s MAP growth assessment is an adaptive test for students. That means that the test changes to fit each student’s level based on his/her answers.

The more correct answers student gets, the harder the questions become. If students keep getting incorrect answers, the questions get easier. The test ends once the student’s level is determined.

MAP results aren’t “grades.” The score, known as the RIT score, identifies the student’s level.

Once the score is calculated, a software called Pathblazer provides the learning material for students. This adaptive learning software generates assignments that are customized based on these RIT scores.

These assignments don’t have to fall under a certain grade level. As a result, students can be studying materials from two different grades simultaneously if it’s what they need.

The materials provided by Pathblazer for each topic include a lesson, guided practice, independent practice, and a quiz. Students only move on to the next topic once they perform well on the quiz. Consequently, there’s no rushing to the next lesson if a student still hasn’t mastered a certain topic.

After finishing the lessons, students take the MAP test again. Taking off from where they left the previous time, the test is used to gauge their growth. Once again, Pathblazer generates a more advanced curriculum based on the new RIT score.

What We Like

  • Tailored to student’s exact level
  • Achievements in one subject won’t be held back by the lack thereof in another  
  • Differentiated instruction benefits all students equally
  • No negative effects of grading systems, such as exam stress and depression caused by low grades
  • Students won’t feel “less smart” than their peers
  • Very affordable prices
  • Can be used as homeschooling or as an addition to school

What We Don’t

  •  Reading and math only

Discovery K12 – Fully Online Curriculum

Discovery K12 offers a fully online curriculum for grades K – 12. You can use it for free, but there are some limitations.

You can get over a hundred courses at Discovery K12. It covers many different subjects; from language arts, reading, social studies, history, and science, all the way to visual and performing arts, and even physical education.

Students can use the curriculum for free. They have access to nearly 17,000 assignments, and almost 800 quizzes and tests. They also have access to a library filled with academic and literary ebooks. And they get 36 weeks of STEM activities!

While the free plan includes all curricula, only the premium upgrade can make the student’s education official. The premium plan is required to issue transcripts, certificates of completion, and a diploma.

The parent/teacher account also provides the Scope and Sequence of Curriculum, which is necessary to keep the education aligned with that of schools. In that same vein, it also includes answer keys to tests and a grade book with quiz and test results. 

What We Like

  • Frequent testing keeps students sharp
  • Extra curricula for HTML coding, Spanish, healthy living, personal finance, and Business 101
  • Affordable annual price
  • All-inclusive
  • Free option available

What We Don’t

  • Conventional, grade-based academic system

Oak Meadow – Print-Based Curriculum

Oak Meadow is an accredited distance learning school. You can use it independently if you purchase the curriculum, or you can enroll your kids in the school for distance learning.

Independent homeschool requires you to register with the Department of Education. You can buy books and curricula online and parents can pay extra money to get guidance or evaluations. However, if you decide to enroll in Oak Meadow, students earn official school credit and have access to guidance from experienced teachers, evaluations, class discussions, student collaboration, and live teacher feedback.

What We Like

  • Full curricula in English language arts, math, science, and social studies
  • Hands-on and creative learning approaches
  • Available internationally
  • Organized
  • Easy to use and understand

What We Don’t

  • Textbooks are inevitable with no online alternatives
  • Distant learning is pricey

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Online Hybrid Curriculum

HMH is one of the top education publishing companies. Its books are practically a must in almost all curricula out there. Good news homeschoolers, you can use them at home too!

HMH offers hybrid-learning homeschooling programs; a mixture of e-learning and their reputable textbooks.

HMH programs incorporate interactive graphs, simulations, animations, videos, and hands-on activities to better reach students. Real-time assessment tools are used to precisely assess their levels.

The available subject curricula are math, reading and language arts, science, social studies, and world languages.

What We Like

  • Trusted source used by schools
  • Differentiated instruction methods incorporated
  • Informative, well-developed textbooks

What We Don’t

  • Prices per program can add up quickly

Khan Academy – Online Courses

Khan Academy offers ample online resources that can be used as courses for homeschooling.

The best part about Khan Academy is that it’s a free non-profit organization. It provides a world-class education for anyone who needs it, free of charge.

Khan Academy also considers how most parents have already forgotten what they’ve learned in school. They give parent-teachers the chance to dust off their skills to be best equipped to help their kids.

Available courses include math, science, health and medicine, electrical engineering, computing, arts and humanities, grammar, history, and economics and finance. Each one features instructional videos and practice for learners to excel.

What We Like

What We Don’t

  • No certificates or diplomas provided

Conclusion  

A great secular homeschool curriculum isn’t a fantasy anymore, it’s just a few clicks away!

There are a lot of great options out there for quality secular homeschool curricula. We hope that our review has been helpful to you while you’re looking for a secular homeschool curriculum for your child. While we think all of the above options are terrific, our favorite has to be Mastery Genius. Mastery Genius’s adaptive learning offers flexibility that’s hard to find anywhere else, even in-person schools! It prioritizes the students’ learning and ensures that they master what they are learning at a convenient pace.

December 14, 2020

Mathnasium vs Kumon

December 7, 2020

Sylvan vs Kumon

December 4, 2020

Online Tutoring vs. In Person Tutoring

December 2, 2020

Homeschooling Made Easy

October 16, 2020

Straight A’s Vs. Mastery in Learning

Related Stories

Arrow-up