A secular homeschool curriculum?! In most homeschool circles that sounds like an oxymoron. Most families who have been interested in homeschooling through the years have been compelled by religious convictions that they did not feel were supported by available schools. Today, however, more and more families are considering homeschooling without any religious motivations. As one who was introduced to classical studies in a secular context, I know there are many benefits of studying them in such a context. I strongly recommend the classical liberal arts to any family interested in an elite secular homeschool curriculum.
Goal of a Secular Homeschool Curriculum
We often forget that many of wisest men in world history were not “religious” men. They were driven by a desire for happiness and pursued wisdom by the use of observations, experiences and reasoning. They were philosophers, not theologians. This intellectual culture is what’s missing in schools–learning not driven by business or political ideologies or religious sects, but the human pursuit of wisdom and happiness.
One of the benefits of secular education is that discussions can be limited to knowledge accessible to all human beings, allowing all to participate freely. The curriculum doesn’t first assume a “faith” that may or not be present in the students. The curriculum focuses on subjects which are of interest to all men: happiness, the common good, virtue, etc.
At the same time, families preferring a secular education for their children should not avoid classic religious questions: where did we come from? why are we here? what happens after we die? These questions are important for every human being and should never be consider “off limits”. The question in secular education is not what is to be studied, but how it is to be studied.
Philosophy and the Classical Liberal Arts
Modern schools have attempted to pursue a secular education by removing religion and philosophy (!) from the curriculum, which is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Philosophy is the key to any secular curriculum.
Philosophy, however, demands that students be trained in a certain way, through a certain set of studies that are known as the “classical liberal arts”. These seven arts are the arts of wisdom and are perfectly comfortable in a secular homeschool curriculum.
Modern mathematics and the natural sciences are important, but only if they are studied in the light of Philosophy and the classical liberal arts. It is this combination that allows students to surpass the standards of modern secular education.
How the CLAA Can Help
Once we understand the importance of Philosophy and the classical liberal arts, it becomes evident that the place where the best secular homeschool curriculum can be found is here in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. We are the only source available today for the study of the classical liberal arts and classical Philosophy. However, we also provide students with access to modern mathematics and the natural sciences.
Best of all, we make all of this available to students for free.
If you are interested in the quality of secular homeschool curriculum I have described above, I invite you to join us in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy.
God bless your studies,
William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy