Long Summer

March 11, 2010

I home school and I believe in evolution

Filed under: Curriculum,Evolution — by dbmamaz @ 11:05 am
Tags: , ,

The other day, a news article was published discussing the fact that the largest publishers of home school textbooks do not support evolution in their science books.   Of course, many home schoolers find this article to be a good excuse to get mad and argue about something.  But that’s not what I took away from the article.

Instead, it left me wanting to make sure that all secular home schoolers can find support and curriculum resources, and it especially left me wanting to find curriculum about evolution!  Which turned out to be harder than I thought.  It is really hard to find secular science curriculum, especially for the upper grades.  Many curriculum which appear to be secular are still created by creationists!

So what can we do, as home schoolers who believe in evolution?

Lets gather for support:  Here are some places I’ve found

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/secular_homeschoolers/ is a national (or really international) group for secular home schoolers.  It’s a great place to ask questions about curriculum and connect with people locally, as well.
  • http://www.secularhomeschool.com/ is an on-line community for secular home schoolers.  The site has been rather quiet recently, but the blog roll on the bottom of the page is a neat source
  • Support groups!  Ok, I havent really found what I think a ‘support group’ is supposed to be, but I have found support at local park days and through local electronic groups, and I describe them in my Park Day post

Curriculum Resources:

  • http://www.hsfreethinkers.com/curricula I havent seen anything else like this.  They have clear charts, by subject, of the bigger names in curriculum, and whether or not they are secular.  In order to keep this as valuable as possible, I wrote them notes about some of my favorites which they don’t include, such as Time4Learning and the Joy Hakim books
  • http://www.squidoo.com/chronologicalhistorystudies  This was a very exciting beginning, but the author hasn’t updated it in a long time.  She starts with the birth of the universe and ends around the death of the dinosaurs.  She lists some resources for teaching evolution, including these two:
    •  PBS’s evolution subject hub
    • Berkeley has a great evolution site – THIS links to the lessons index, but at the top of the page you can navigate around the site.
  •  http://www.intellegounitstudies.com/index.php/products.html  Their unit studies are secular, but I wrote them this week, asking about evolution specifically.  I was told that currently, the K-2 World History one discusses the evolution of humanoids, but from a history perspective.  They will be coming out with a K-2 unit including dinosaurs and evolution, and as they add grade levels to their core series, each level will have a unit which specifically addresses evolution
  • http://www.charliesplayhouse.com/childrens-books.php  At first, Charlie’s Playhouse, which advertises itself as a website of evolution toys, seemed mostly like a time line and some t-shirts.  I finally discovered their book list!  They have nearly 100 book,  targeted to ages fifteen or under and squarely focused on evolution or Darwin, and have a dozen starred as their top picks.

What else can we do to help home schoolers find great curriculum, especially about science and evolution?  Join my new Facebook group, I home school and I believe in evolution, and lets brainstorm!  And please leave any additional suggestions below, or on the face book page.

Note, I am not interested in controversy.  Any posts which I feel are controversial or insulting to anyone will be deleted.  Anyone making which I feel are derogatory towards me, my posts, my blog, or my group will be banned from making further posts.

EDITED 3/14/2010:  I have changed the name of the facebook group to “I home school and I teach the science of Evolution.”  Its still not perfect, but many people were uncomfortable with equating evolution with a belief system.

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14 Comments »

  1. Well, any high school or comm. college biology course will teach evolution theory. I know that’s how I learned it. You don’t need an “evolution” course, per se. Just a secular biology course.

    alison

    Comment by Alison Lewis — March 11, 2010 @ 9:41 pm |Reply

  2. The Secular Charlotte Mason and Well Trained Mind Secular Yahoo groups are great for support, as well as wonderful info sources about secular resources.

    Comment by Chele — March 11, 2010 @ 9:42 pm |Reply

  3. oops, I realized I didn’t really answer the main problem, though. I have found entire secular biology courses(text, workbook,teacher’s notes, etc) on amazon.com. The same books/publishers that public schools use (MacMillan, etc). I have also found these kinds of things on ebay.

    Comment by Alison Lewis — March 11, 2010 @ 9:44 pm |Reply

    • My son and I are going through an older biology text book, and we will probably soon be skipping the rest of the molecular stuff and go on to the evolution parts. I found using a college textbook to be dry for him and a lot of work for me (I also 6 yo, my kids are rather challenging, and we have other things going on as well)

      but the real issue is that there is NOT a whole lot of homeschool-specific curriculum which is designed to teach evolution.

      Comment by dbmamaz — March 11, 2010 @ 10:10 pm |Reply

  4. Thanks for this!

    Comment by YogaMom — March 12, 2010 @ 9:23 am |Reply

  5. Great post, and thanks for all the resource links. I’m so tired of homeschoolers being stereotyped as Christian fundamentalists. We are a diverse group, getting more diverse every year. Religious or not, there are plenty of homeschooling families who want curricula based on scientific fact, without a religious bias. We need to stand up and be counted!

    Comment by Sparklee — March 12, 2010 @ 2:28 pm |Reply

  6. great post! I really feel it is wrong that whenever I mention that we homeschool to a stranger, they just assume we are some religion fanatic family, most likely born again christians. If the conversation keeps going, I usually explain to them that we are not like that! There are other families out there that homeschool for reasons other than religion, but sometimes they are hard to find. I really appreciate you making this post with the great resources and the facebook group. Thank you.

    Comment by alex — March 15, 2010 @ 8:29 am |Reply

  7. Good post. The other day I got a children’s book called “Charles Darwin” by Alan Gibbons. It is a story book about a fictional boy on the Beagle and he keeps a journal about traveling with Charles Darwin. The info is all real and accurate. In the back of the book it lists other leading scientists of the 1800’s and 1900’s and a bit about them which creates a great starting point for other scientists to learn about and what area they broke ground in. It also includes some extinct animals to learn more about. I plan on using the book to get them interested and as an introduction and starting points for future topics. I would say the book is geared to 7 – 12 yr olds depending on reading level.

    Comment by Ina — March 20, 2010 @ 10:17 am |Reply

    • Thanks – that book is on the book list at Charlie’s Playhouse, but they hadnt reviewed it yet. I’ll let her know you commented about it here!

      Comment by dbmamaz — March 20, 2010 @ 12:13 pm |Reply

  8. Recently on FB someone asked me “Why on Earth would a secularist homeschool?” Uh… because I can? 😉

    Nice post. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    Comment by suchlovelyfreckles — March 27, 2010 @ 4:01 pm |Reply

    • I’ve heard of that question . . it does rather boggle the mind. There are SO MANY different reasons

      Comment by dbmamaz — March 27, 2010 @ 4:08 pm |Reply

  9. I gave my high schooler Evolution: the triumph of an idea by Carl Zimmer. It’s a companion to the PBS series book. He enjoyed it and learned alot.

    Comment by gardeningmom — May 1, 2010 @ 6:41 pm |Reply

    • Hey, my library has this! I just got ‘why evolution is true’ out of the library, but i’m struggling to get through it before i give it to my son!

      Comment by dbmamaz — May 1, 2010 @ 7:15 pm |Reply

  10. Just stumbled on to your blog, thanks for the great list of links here. 🙂

    Comment by Kylie — June 10, 2010 @ 7:35 am |Reply


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