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2020 Secular Homeschool Curriculum Guide

Good news, homeschoolers, the options for secular homeschool curriculum are growing in leaps and bounds! In the following article, we break down your curriculum and resource choices by style, age, and subject.

50 fantastic online options for secular homeschool curriculum. Updated 2020 guide with parent-directed and online courses! #homeschool #secularhomeschool

Before you scroll, bookmark this page! Curriculum will be updated annually, and your bookmark will direct you to the most current guide. Updated 7/7/2020


In the past few years, we have seen huge growth in the homeschool community. With that, the demand for more versatile and comprehensive secular curriculum has grown.

Now, we homeschoolers know a little about supply and demand. And I’m thrilled to share that as demand has grown, curriculum companies and a few very savvy homeschoolers have risen to the occasion.

But why are secular resources still so hard to find?!?


Searching for the Best Secular Homeschool Curriculum

I’m sure you’ve noticed that it take extra time to search out homeschool resources that are *actually* secular.

Finding these resources can be somewhat of a challenge. In an attempt to relieve some of the pressure, I’ve reviewed, researched, and created the updated guide below for your reference.

I hope this list of 50 of the top secular resources serves as a jumping-off point to make your search easier!


Secular Homeschool Curriculum

The following list was developed with a great deal of research and care. My hope is that this list will help you find more secular options with less frustration. You will find resources from homeschoolers, curriculum companies that offer homeschool packages, and independent curriculum publishers.

What does secular mean in this post?

It means that the resources you find are free of religious references and scripture quotes.

Science is science, including evolution. Not faith-neutral, either – actually secular science.

Texts including language arts and history are secular, not created from a religious world-view.

It means anyone can use these resources. Whether you’re religious, agnostic, atheist, spiritual but not religious, or just don’t really think about it that much.

Feel free to browse the categories below or scroll down to find the subject(s) you’re looking for. The curriculum and courses are presented in alphabetical order, and you can find links to our personal reviews and experiences where applicable.


You’ll find our top 50 secular recommendations in this post!

Our top 5 are listed in each category:

  • All-in-One Secular Homeschool Curriculum Programs
  • Virtual Schools & Online Courses
  • Reading & Phonics Programs
  • Language Arts, Writing, & Grammar Programs
  • Math Curricula
  • Secular Science Programs
  • Secular Social Studies & History Resources
  • Foreign Language Options
  • Secular Programs for At-Home Preschool
  • Music & Art Recommendations

Note: The following pages include 50 completely secular resources and programs I’ve had the opportunity to use and review. But these are only our top picks.

You have options.

There are so many more amazing choices for secular homeschoolers!

Full, comprehensive guide to secular homeschooling is coming July 10th!

Secular Homeschool Curriculum Guide

all-in-one secular homeschool curriculum

5 Secular Curriculum Publishers with All-Subject Homeschool Packages

The following publishers offer a range of curriculum from preschool to twelfth grade in a variety of subjects and all-in-one packages. It’s likely you’ve come across these large publishers and mid-level curriculum companies in your research.

Build Your Library
K-12, Charlotte Mason inspired
Literature-based program that includes language arts, history, and science. Add your own math curriculum. They also offer stand-alone book-based, history, and science units including an evolution unit. Note: this program uses Story of the World and Elemental science. BYL states that their program leaves out the religious components of these books, essentially secularizing the neutral material for you.

Moving Beyond the Page
age 4-high school, literature based

Offers nine full coursework packages for ages 4 through 14 which include all subjects: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, and Math. You can also find stand-alone unit studies, and single-subject packages available.

MBtP was created with gifted child in mind, however your child does not have to be gifted to benefit from this program. The focus on creative and critical thinking, hands-on activities, and projects makes this curriculum both engaging and and enriching.

You’ll find that MBtP is both hands-on and open-and-go. How can that be? Full packages supply all the materials you need for the core subjects, including teacher’s guide, books, readers, manipulatives, access to online materials, and consumables (even down to the construction paper and popsicle sticks). You’ll have everything you need on-hand when you need it.

If the full package is out of your price range, you can also choose from a variety of more economical options such as online curriculum and printables, using your library rather than buying books, and purchasing only some or none of the consumable packages.

Another huge benefit is the flexibility of this program. You will be able to work at your child’s pace by choosing from a 9 month or year-round schedule and use placement tests to determine your child(ren)’s level in both language arts and math. If your child doesn’t fit into one level, that’s okay! Mix and match subjects to fit your child’s needs. With each level covering a range of ages, you may also be able to use one level for 2 or more children in one year.

Oak Meadow
K-12, Waldorf-based independent curriculum or distance learning
Accredited, Waldorf based school which offers all-in-one individual use curriculum, individual subject packages, and distance learning enrollment options.

Shiller
math: preschool – prealgebra and test prep, hands-on
language arts: ages 3-9

Hands-on Montessori math and language arts curriculum that promises open-and-go, hands-on instruction for preschool through high school levels.

Torchlight
pre-k through level 4, eclectic
Offers 36 week curriculum for that include language arts, social study, and art. Also provides recommendation for learn-to-read and math programs (must be purchased separately).


secular homeschool classes online

5 Secular Virtual Schools & Online Courses

Online curriculum is a popular and convenient choice for many homeschool families. The following companies offer online homeschooling packages, virtual classroom, and face-to-face tutoring in a variety of subjects.

American High School
K-12 virtual academy

Accredited online K-12 classes, honors, AP, virtual reality courses, and summer school options. AHS offers over 500 courses with 50+ certified teachers and financial aid available to families.

AHS has been in business for over 15 years, making it one of the first fully virtual academies online. They hold the highest accreditation possible with AdvanceEd and SACS/CASI. Completed courses are fully transferable to any middle or high school your child attends.

Connections Academy
K-12
Accredited online public school platform that offers tuition-free education and materials through your state public school system.

Forest Trail Academy
K-12
Accredited online school and courses which offers core curriculum packages for grades K-12 as well as AP and adaptive programs. From my understanding, online courses are secular and homeschool has secular and Christian options, so make sure you’re clicking “secular” as you explore and shop.

Outschool
ages 3-18, virtual

You’ll find a huge variety of over 15,000 classes, small group courses, and online camps offered on Outschool. This platform is unique as teachers create their own courses.

This creates the opportunity for a very customizable curriculum with core subjects and creative options based on interest, classes in the arts, coding, more than 11 languages and ASL.

Varsity Tutors
all ages
With over 3,000 subjects to choose from, Varsity Tutors offers virtual camps, one-on-one tutoring, live online classes, test prep tutoring, and a full virtual school day for students of all ages.


secular reading curriculum for homeschool

5 Secular Reading and Phonics Programs

Although there is some cross over between reading instruction and Language Arts, I pulled these programs out because of their targeted reading instruction.

Barton Reading and Spelling System
any age, targeted direct instruction
A a targeted, direct instruction tutoring system for children, teenagers, or adults who struggle with spelling, reading, and writing due to dyslexia or a learning disability.

Explode the Code
K-4, online and workbooks
Phonics through online courses or parent guided workbooks for direct phonics instruction and literacy skills.

Hooked on Phonics
pre-K-2, eclectic
Integrated learn-to-read kits featuring video instruction, app, readers, and workbook practice. *Note: We used this program in our homeschool and really enjoyed it. They have added videos and apps recently that make this solid program very engaging for young children.

Logic of English
ages 4-7, hands-on

LoE offers reading, phonics, spelling, and handwriting instruction with scripted parent guide and open-and-go style. LoE is one of the few homeschool programs that caters specifically to children with dyslexia.

Foundations: with four levels for children 4-7, this program allows parents to adjust instruction and move at your child’s pace. This program covers phonics, reading, spelling, handwriting, composition, and grammar.

Essentials: is a wonderful program designed for children 8+ who are struggling with reading. If you have a struggling reader at 8, 9, or 10++ years old, you understand that materials created for little kids is not going to cut it. Essentials is a reading and language arts program that will allow you to differentiate the materials to meet your older child’s needs. This program covers handwriting, phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, fluency, grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and composition.

Rhythm of Handwriting: available in cursive and manuscript writing, this program includes multi-sensory learning, gross motor practice, and specific, concise instructions for practicing letter formation. This is invaluable approach for kids struggling with fine and gross motor skills.

As a side note, if you do not have a teaching background, or have a child who is struggling, or just want a structured program that does most of the work for you, I would highly recommend LOE.

Progressive Phonics
pre-K-2, worksheet based
Free program for primary grades with readers and worksheets.


secular language arts curriculum

5 Secular Language Arts, Writing, and Grammar Programs

All About Learning Press
pre-K-7, eclectic
Offers courses in reading and spelling for preschool through grade 7.

Brave Writer
ages 5-18, based on the Brave Writer Lifestyle
Offers curriculum and online courses for language arts, writing, and grammar with full year and book study units available. Five years old to high school.

Grammar Galaxy
grades 1-6

Your child completes missions as a Grammar Guardian when they enter the amazing world of Grammar Galaxy where learning, humor, and mystery meet!

An engaging curriculum created to motivate the most reluctant readers and writers. Beginning readers and intermediate students will both enjoy the short stories and fun activities included in this curriculum.

This curriculum works particularly well for families homeschooling multiple-aged children. You can use the placement test or start at the beginning to cover grammar content with all your kids at once.

*Note: you will see a dedication to God in these books, but rest assured the material and educational content is secular.

Literary Adventures for Kids
preschool – 12, unit studies
Homeschool mom, Dachelle McVey, has put together excellent, engaging novel studies for children from preschool to high school. With dozens of novel studies to choose from, as well as poetry courses and online book clubs, these resources give you the flexibility to follow your child’s interests with the convenience of a curriculum at your fingertips.

WriteShop Primary and Junior
k-6, eclectic

An inspiring approach to writing curriculum that offers a placement quiz to pick the perfect fit for your child. On all seven levels, the focus is fun. WriteShop includes more than just writing and editing drills. They approach writing in a unique, hands-on, and engaging way. As this curriculum was written specifically for homeschoolers, you’ll find a flexible schedule and easy-to-implement lesson plans.

WriteShop Primary: parent guided curriculum for the primary grades k-3. You’ll introduce the writing and editing process gently and incrementally with daily activities that encourage your child to have fun and work at their own pace.

WriteShop Junior: this curriculum for older elementary students, grades 3-6, will guide you to teaching writing without tears. Confidence boosting lessons, games, and hands-on projects guide your child through the entire writing process.

*Note: Per the website & our WriteShop contact WriteShop Primary and WriteShop Junior are secular and free of religious references. WriteShop I and II contain occasional religious references.” So make sure you’re clicking the “write” one for you!


secular math curriculum

5 Secular Curriculum Choices for Homeschool Math

CTC Math
K-12, online
Online math program for K-12. This is great for kids that need to learn at their own pace as you have access to all grade levels which are organized by topic. We have used this and enjoyed it! Find our full review here.

Right Start Math
grades 1-8 with placement test, hands-on

Right Start has developed a research-based math program that focuses on kinesthetic and visual learning with manipulatives including the AL Abacus. This hands-on program is great for both students who struggle and those who excel.

Using manipulatives and games make math more engaging than struggling through repetitive memorization exercises, and while enjoying their math lessons, your child will develop more solid number sense and a deeper understanding of each concept.

Right Start offers 8 levels for elementary and middle school students, high school algebra and geometry DVD programs, and live online courses for levels G and H (check the website for current course schedule).

Right Start offers printed, spiral bound or eWorkbooks and manipulative packs for each level. Please note: you only need to purchase one manipulative set for the first six levels (A to F) and a separate, smaller set for levels G and H. You do not need to repurchase each year. These manipulatives are reusable from child to child and year to year.

Singapore Math
pre-K-8, based on the Singapore Method
Singapore is a structured, effective system of understanding math concepts taking children from hands-on through visual and mental math to develop a deeper understanding of each concept.

Smartick
ages 4-14, online

Independent online math, programming, and problem solving skills that kids can complete independently right from the beginning. Smartick focuses on keeping lessons short (under 15 minutes) to keep the student’s attention.

The interactive program personalizes instruction with AI technology, so your child’s learning experience is determined by their unique ability and pace. This keeps kids at the “just right” level, which prevents them from feeling frustrated because it’s too hard – or bored because it’s way too easy.

Smartick can be used as your base math curriculum, however the short lessons and personalized instruction make it the perfect supplement. This program has the look and feel of a game even when your child is actively learning.

We have used this program and were very impressed. Read about our experience with Smartick here.

Teaching Textbooks
grades 2-high school, online
Complete online math courses for roughly grades 2 and up. Placement test is given to set the initial level. *Note: My son has used this and really enjoyed it. Find our review on this post.


secular science homeschool curriculum

5 Secular Science Programs

Also check out our all-subject and online lists for individual science courses.

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding
grades K-8, hands-on and experiential
Integrated science curriculum focused on observation and hands-on experience. This curriculum focuses on developing scientific thinking, logic, and developing understanding with real world experiences.
Volume I, Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
Volume II, Grades 3-5
Volume III, Grades 6-8

MEL Science – subscription based curriculum
ages 5-16, hands-on

A fantastic subscription option for families or co-op parents/teachers who are looking for a convenient way to deliver engaging, hands-on science instruction. These are fully comprehensive lessons that include step-by-step directions, material kits, and virtual reality lessons.

(1) Mel Science, ages 10-16, a hands-on chemistry curriculum featuring 3 experiments per month (materials delivered to you) and includes a virtual reality headset and VR lessons through their app.

(2) MEL Kids science kits, ages 5-10, can be used as a chemistry curriculum or a hands-on science supplement with access to virtual reality lessons.

(3) MEL Lite is an ongoing “lite” version that features a unique monthly chemistry experiment and includes virtual reality lessons through the app.

Mystery Science
K-5, hands-on & interactive
Developed by teachers and aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Mystery Science offers a low-prep, hands-on science option perfect for co-op classes, charters, and homeschoolers.
If you are using this for your own homeschool family exclusively, Mystery Science offers free units to get you started.

Real Science Odyssey, Pandia Press
grades 1-6, text based

RSO offers two levels with a variety of courses, fully covering your secular science curriculum needs. RSO is a great choice for parents looking for an affordable option that combines text-based learning with hands-on activities in the early level, and more independent learning in the upper grades.

The courses are somewhat flexible, often covering 3 grade levels or more, which makes it easy to teach multiple children who are close in age together.

Level 1: Elementary courses focus on Life, Earth & Space, and Earth and Environment for grades 1-4. While grades 2-6 feature Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy.

Level 2: Middle to High School courses biology and astronomy target 5th and 6th grades but can be used to combine lessons through grade 10.

THiNK OUTSiDE BOXES
ages 7 and up, hands-on and experiential

Monthly nature-based lessons for every season, appropriate for ages 7 and up.However after reviewing these kits, I feel younger children would be thrilled to follow along with an older sibling or additional parent guidance. View the homeschool curriculum map here.

These boxes offer a variety of activities and include materials that can be used over and over again. Homeschool curriculum includes STEM, creativity, critical and strategic thinking, lessons in empathy, outdoor life skills, and a huge variety of hands-on activities. *We were very impressed with this science subscription, read our full review.


secular homeschool history curriculum

5 Secular History & Social Studies Resources

Also check out our all-subject and online lists for individual social studies programs and history based language arts.

Curiosity Chronicles
grades 1-6
Book based secular history program for elementary students with a global perspective including culture, art, scientific, and political history.

Giant American History Timeline
Sunflower Education is a publisher of a unique text-workbook hybrid that incorporates a ton of engaging, hands-on learning. We really enjoyed the hands-on American history timeline curriculum, read our review here.

History Odyssey by Pandia Press
grades 1-12, text & hands-on

Pandia is a favorite of secular homeschoolers. They offer engaging, academically focused materials that can be used with multiple children across similar grade levels.

Level 1, grades 1-6 (History Odyssey and NEW History Quest) engages students with hands-on activities including timelines, maps, crafts, art, and cooking projects. These levels include a full text of narrative-based history curriculum that provide a full year of instruction each: Early Times, Middle Ages, Early Modern, and Modern Times.

Level 2, grades 5-9 will transition students to learning more independently with a focus on logical thinking and investigating different view points. The four year curriculum includes Ancients, Middle Ages, Early Modern, and Modern Times which build on the foundation created with level 1.

Level 3, grades 9-12 is still in development, however the first two years, Ancients and Middle Ages is available now. In the high school years, this curriculum takes on developing a thesis, analyzing events in history and forming a persuasive argument, classic literature, and research projects.

Secular Timeline & Geologic Timescale
Build your own time scale and secular book of centuries with this printable timeline package. Featuring exact, measurable time scales on each page, CE and BCE notations, and full history from 4,500Ma to the present! This timeline can be used alongside any history encyclopedia or curriculum.

WorldView Software
grades 9-12
Digital textbook series covering high school history, geography, government, civics, and economics.


secular foreign language curriculum for homeschool

5 Secular Foreign Language Choices for Homeschoolers

Foreign Languages for Kids by Kids
Video and hands-on Spanish instruction that can be taught by any parent – even if you don’t speak the language. This is a fun and interactive program, read our full review.

I Speak Latin by Quidnam Press
Text based course for conversational Latin for beginners.

Introducing Chinese at Home by Po Tim King, homeschooler!
Introductory lessons to support your foreign language instruction. You can also find a three week Chinese New Year Lesson Plan, Dragon Boat Festival Lessons, and Chinese Theme Packs to supplement and enrich your instruction with seasonal themes, traditional holidays, the body, and colors on Fortune Cookie Mom.

Learn and Master Sign Language – ASL

Learn and Master have put together a comprehensive course to American Sign Language. The 25 DVD course contains 49 hours of instruction which can translate directly into credit hours, depending on your state requirements.

Topics include the basics, grammar, fingerspelling, deaf culture, and more. Instructors, Dr. Bryon Bridges and Stacey Web, teach step-by-step receptive and expressive components of the language.

Rosetta Stone
Packages include complete courses in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, and more. Choose from 6 month, 12 month, and lifetime access.


secular music and art curriculum

5 Secular Art & Music Programs

In this section, you’ll find art, music, and dance resources that can be viewed or used at home. Classes and lessons in the arts can be very flexible, making it easy to teach multiple ages at the same time.

Atelier Art Class
Eight levels of video based art instruction with downloadable lesson plans and printables.

Learn & Master Courses by Legacy Learning Systems

Learn & Master features DVD-based courses in multiple arts disciplines that include hours of instruction from the basics to more advanced concepts.

Music courses include:
Homeschool Piano
Drums
Homeschool Guitar
Advance guitar selections such as Blues Guitar, Rock Hits, and Fingerstyle

Additional DVD curriculum include:
Home School Painting
Photography
Ballroom Dance

These courses are a more affordable alternative to in-person lessons, and it allows students to complete, repeat, and practice lessons at their own pace.

Meet the Great Composers Series
Two book and CD sets that includes 20 minute units on each composer in the series with the story of the composer, listening activity, and worksheet.

Meet the Masters
Timed, scripted, standards-based lessons exploring 35 master (visual) artists. Lessons include a slide show, technique pages, and directions to create a piece of art inspired by the lesson.

SQUILT – Music Appreciation
(Super Quiet Uninterrupted Music Time)

Open-and-go PDF based music appreciation courses that include introduction to instruments and composers and more in-depth studies of individual composers and musical eras.

These courses can be used for any age and for multiple ages in one family. Courses include 10 lessons, notebooking sheets, background information on the piece, and links to watch and listen to the music as performed by youth or professional orchestras.

SQUILT’s goal is to develop wonderful listeners. As you guide your children through the pieces, they will be able to identify dynamic, rhythm and tempo, instrumentation, and mood.


homeschool preschool curriculum secular

5 Fun Secular Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Options

I had a few requests for secular products specifically created for preschoolers and tot schoolers, so I decided to create a special section for those of you searching for an early education curriculum.

Hands-on Homeschool Activities
Preschool program by Homeschool Mastery Academy. Full year of hands-on preschool activities based on learning through play. The monthly guide includes printables, daily hands-on activities, and reading recommendations that coordinate with each monthly theme.

Home Preschool Made Easy

Find a hands-on , multi-sensory approach to early education with a 30 week preschool curriculum by Teaching Mama. This curriculum makes it simple to guide your child through preschool in preparation for kindergarten with printable games, activities, and read alouds. Parent guide features daily plans with material lists and key skills to focus on.

We have been following Teaching Mama for years and love her hands-on ideas and projects! You can find supplemental printables and activities on the TeachingMama website.

Montessori Services
Find teaching guides, supplies, and lessons to prepare your child’s environment and create a home-based Montessori classroom.

Starfall
In addition to engaging online resources, Starfall offers homeschool curriculum packages including books, music, games, and classroom decor.

The Play School Club
A theme-based curriculum for young learners, ages 2-6.

50 totally secular homeschool curriculum resources for language arts, math, science, social studies, and more! #secularhomeschool

5 Bonus Resources for Your Homeschool

Big Fat Notebooks
These middle school study guides can easily be flipped into a curriculum and include subjects such as English Language Arts, World History, American History, Math, and Computer Science & Coding.

Handwriting Without Tears
An excellent program for handwriting suitable for preschool through elementary grades. Covers pre-writing, printing, and cursive.

Homeschool Portfolio
The simple, no fuss solution to homeschool record keeping. An efficient tracking system that will keep you organized and on track all year. 

Princeton Review
A long-time trusted publisher of test-prep materials, The Princeton Review now offers online live 6-12 tutoring and homework help by subject, college admission test prep, subject-specific tutoring for SAT prep, and many other online courses to prepare for high-stakes testing through their website.

What Your [Preschool to 6th] Grader Needs to Know
An excellent series of texts that range from preschool to 6th grade. These books will both give you, the parent, and idea about what your child is expected to know for his/her grade level.

These text books includes teacher guides and tips, as well as grade-level-appropriate lessons, projects, and reading selections. Each book includes core subjects such as language arts, science, social studies, math, and the arts.