It Shouldn’t Be This Hard for Atheist Homeschooling Parents to Find Material

A few months ago, I wrote about a project that KellyAnne Kitchin and Jenn Gauthier were working on. They were concerned that a lot of the material made for homeschooling parents like them was written from a Young Earth Creationist, the-Bible-must-be-true perspective. They wanted more secular resources for their kids, so they began a campaign to compile and spread materials with actual educational value.

Now, Kimberly Winston of the Religion News Service has written about their plight:

While two-thirds of home schooling families are Christian evangelicals, the number of secular home-schoolers is significant — 25 percent, according to the Home School Legal Defense Association.

… finding curricula and materials has sometimes been a challenge, Kitchin said. Most American publishers… tailor their materials accordingly. In their science books, evolution is a bad word.

Kitchin has purchased texts from as far away as Germany, England and France. With three sons, ages 5, 8 and 12, with different interests and different levels of learning, all those textbooks can be pricey.

“That is the biggest challenge — finding something that is affordable, current and not religious,” Kitchin said.

The article also includes discussions of workarounds that some secular parents have found.

It’s really incredible that finding quality educational material that isn’t religious in nature is so damn hard. In order to convince publishers to create homeschooling-specific materials that are secular, enough people need to band together and request it. Christians know that — and entire companies have been created to cater to their demands.

Let me put that another way: Christians have created a huge market for “educational” material that is anti-science, full of revisionist history, and tailored to fit within their religious framework instead of the facts. Meanwhile, material that is just accurate and without religious bias is hard to come by.

There’s something very wrong and deeply disturbing about that.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.