Is There Such A Thing As A “Progressive Christian Homeschool Curriculum”?

 

That’s the question a friend of mine posed to me recently, and I didn’t have an immediately good answer for him. So I took to my social networks (OK just Facebook) to find out if anyone knew of such a thing as “a progressive Christian homeschool curriculum.” Here’s what I found out:

The Center for Progressive Christianity has produced something called “A Joyful Path,” but it seems more geared toward churches than homeschool families. (We’re actually going to start using “A Joyful Path” with the kids in Open Hearts Gathering.)

Joyful PathChris Smith pointed me to Peter Enns’ book Telling God’s Story (with teaching and student guides) and, from the same publisher, The Story of the World series. Chris uploaded his review of Enns’ book to the Englewood website.

Eliacin Rosario-Cruz, from Seattle, replied: “When we homeschooled, we brewed our own. Godly Play + Howard Zinn + Paulo Freire + Gloria Anzáldua + bell hooks + unschooling. Our daughter has been in public school for six months now, after four years of homeschooling. She had some struggle with some of the way the school did the academics. However, her teachers and fellow classmates know her as a compassionate, cooperative, justice-seeking student. She could speak with pride and authority about her Puerto Rican/Latino heritage, and, better yet, out of a group of 50+ kids (3rd, 4th and 5th graders) she was the only one who knew and could speak about Bob Marley and reggae music.”

One person suggested Waldorf Schools homeschool material.

Chris Hill, from Albuquerque, replied: “I use a standardized form of academic curriculum, and the progressive Christian part is when I have real discussions about spirituality, religion and Christianity (including the philosophical, theological, and historical) with my kids. Believe it or not, we have several discussions a day that pretty much naturally occur. I do most of the initiating, and my oldest brings things up from time to time. I offer my input, others’ input in terms of possibilities, and encourage my kids to think deeply, but not to fret. Life is more about growing into a fuller sense of Self than it is ‘getting it right.'”

Does any of this help you? Do you know of other resources that you’d suggest adding to this list? Please post in the comments!

 

 

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Posted on 02-03-2012

Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    February 3rd, 2012 at 10:30 am

    OK, I don’t know the answer for progressive Christian home-school curriculum, but your post reminded me about an article I read several years ago in Sojourners: http://sojo.net/magazine/2005/09/when-them-us . The author is a more progressive home-schooling parent who lives in Kentucky. The article is not about home-schooling, but it talks about interacting with the more conservative home-schooling community.

  2. Christy says:

    February 20th, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    We have found Sonlight curriculum to be very good for us. It is compatible with mainstream Evangelicalism,and does not directly present a “progressive” slant on things, but the writers and compilers believe it is up to the parent to infuse their personal theological emphases and worldviews, so it is much less socially conservative and theologically dogmatic (at least from what I’ve seen so far and heard from others) than other programs. Many of the resources and books they use are not “Christian” resources, so you don’t get the obvious biases that come when publishers create all their own texts. It is also much more “world” oriented than “American” oriented, which was important to me. The page from their website “27 reasons NOT to buy Sonlight” is what sold us on the curriculum. It is definitely not trying to cater to very conservative homeschoolers. http://www.sonlight.com/not-to-buy.html

  3. sonja says:

    February 20th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I used the Well-Trained Mind (by Susan Wise Bauer) as a spine. My daughter is about to graduate and my son is in 9th grade (both at home). The real struggle is to find a highschool level science program that is not overtly creationist.

  4. Steve K. says:

    February 20th, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Thanks, Christy and Sonja, for your great comments and additions to this discussion!

  5. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel says:

    March 1st, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Steve,
    We’ve been researching homeschooling as well, and Sonlight keeps coming up as about the only viable option other than purely secular curriculums.

  6. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel says:

    March 1st, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I should have also said that Sonlight IS Evangelical and does teach creationism, so for progressives, it would be best to pick and choose subjects, not just buy the whole package. However, as a former children’s libarian, I have say that their literature choices are outstanding.

  7. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel says:

    March 9th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    One other thing to try.Google Unitarian Universalist Homeschool. There are all sorts of groups, etc. Not specifically just progressive Christian, but close.

  8. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel says:

    March 9th, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Also, we are looking very closely at Global Village School curriculum, which is Earth Charter based – so very progressive even if not religious.

  9. Kim says:

    August 14th, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    Memoria Press is great.

  10. Cindy says:

    February 23rd, 2014 at 1:14 am

    We have struggled to find curriculum as well. I really dislike much of the traditional public school texts, but I can NOT use the overwhelming majority of Christian homeschool curriculum…my kids, who are strongly progressive and open minded…would look at me like I was nuts!

    I found a secular, but religion friendly curriculum called Connect the Thoughts (www.connectthethoughts.net) which we have used for history, in particular. It is very well done, does not ignore religion’s role in history, and yet does not discard religion either. Early on in the younger years it presents a World Religions overview which was well done.

    Other than that, we have just muddled our way through, using pieces and parts of a variety of curricula, bypassing that which is too fundamental for us, and infusing our understanding of God as we go along. How I wish someone would create curriculum for families like ours…I am sure there are moderates out there who would appreciate it!

  11. Megan says:

    September 18th, 2015 at 1:25 am

    I realize this is an older post but wanted to add that Waldorf schools are the opposite of progressive and Christian; I know by first hand experience. More information can be found at waldorfwatch.com

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