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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Where does one find secular homeschool groups?   I came across one online for my state/city, but you need to already be hs'ing full time to join the group online.  We haven't taken the leap from ps to hs yet, but if I can find a group to connect with, I could feel more comfortable with the idea.  We attend church, but we're not too religious, so I was hoping to find something less religion-based.  Maybe this isn't really a question anyone can answer, but if you have ideas for how to network hs groups, that would be helpful!   TIA</p>
 

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<p>check your local libary</p>
 

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<p>You didn't say whether you wanted one in person or online, but the yahoo secular homeschool groups is an awesome resource.  they're open to all sorts of discussion, and I often see people hooking up who may live close to one another. Many have moved and so know a lot of different cities as far as what's available. </p>
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<p>HTH.</p>
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<p>Mandy</p>
 

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<p><a href="http://www.secularhomeschool.com" target="_blank">Secular Homeschool</a>'s website can also be a good resource.  Somewhere on the site they have a listing by state.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>atreyyena</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285724/secular-homeschool-groups#post_16119254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>You didn't say whether you wanted one in person or online, but the yahoo secular homeschool groups is an awesome resource.  they're open to all sorts of discussion, and I often see people hooking up who may live close to one another. Many have moved and so know a lot of different cities as far as what's available. </p>
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<p>HTH.</p>
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<p>Mandy</p>
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Either would be great.  Mostly, though, I'd like to get to know a group of peers ds could hook up with if I take him out of public.  He really loves the kids there.  There are just other issues, at the moment.<br>
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<p>Secular Homeschool is good.</p>
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<p>You can also check with your state homeschooling association.</p>
 

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<p>I would check the SecularHomeschool.com community.   There is a listing of secular/inclusive groups by state there.  You might also search for Meetup.com groups in your area. </p>
 

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<p>The other thing to keep in mind is, it MIGHT be worth it to find a religious one.  Now, I am completely HSing for reasons other than religion and do not consider myself to be a member of any organized religion.  I have avoided all religious groups so far, but now I am thinking of joining one.  Why?  Well, first of all, the majority of homeschoolers ARE doing it for religious reasons.  There is no getting around that.  There are secular groups here, but they are all a drive and I am not one to want to spend a lot of time in the car.  For the one I am looking at, there is no statement of faith to join (otherwise we could not).  I am guessing the parents want the best for their children just like anyone else . . .so it won't hurt to meet some new people that are close by, organized, and meet regularly. </p>
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<p>I'll see how it goes and report back!</p>
 

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<p>The downside to that is that things can get a bit awkward.  For some in the group they probably wouldn't be an issue.  For others they may not want their family or children to interact with yours.  It depends upon how conservative the members might be....I'm assuming if they don't have a doctrinal statement they're probably a bit less conservative.  It can also be a bit tiring that everyone assumes you believe just as they do.  Do you correct them?  Do you try to fly under the radar?  Curriculum recommendations or similar help is typically a non-starter which is a bummer because it would be nice to see someone else's copy before you buy one of your own. That and the constant prayer request lingo and answers to questions (for any number of things) something along the lines of needing to pray and seek God's will for x or y.</p>
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<p>These are all my frustrations - but they come from our local inclusive group that is in all reality a defacto Christian homsechool group....and we consider ourselves Christian (just not their flavor)!  If you were non-religious or of a different faith I can imagine it could be worse.  Then again, it's always worth giving it a try.  You could be pleasantly surprised.</p>
 

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<p>YMMV, but our secular group--which also limits online membership to current, active homeschoolers--welcomes visitors to park days. We attended for a while when we were on the fence about homeschooling, and those days really helped my son to connect with other hsed kids. I am glad to be on the list now, but that is for my benefit, not so much my kids'.</p>
 

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<p>Yes-- if they don't want their children to mix with mine, that would indeed be problematic!  I am hoping the lack of statement of faith will take care of that.</p>
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<p>Most people believe I believe what they believe (ha, ha, that was a mouthful!).  Don't you think?  Most people in the US assume everyone else is a Christian.</p>
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<p>I don't even mind the praying, because while I am not religious, I do consider myself spiritual . . .I think group meditation can be a good thing.  What I do not agree with is all of the anti-gay discussions (a BAC mom started discussing this with me, and I said, "I am not here to change your mind, but I just want to let you know I am not anti-gay and don't want to discuss that with you" so that ended that).  I already talked to my DD about this . . .she is extremely well-read and strong in her views, so I do not think she will be swayed.  Or abortion.  I do not think that is a topic that should be discussed with children AT ALL, so I am hoping they do not bring it up.  Other than those two big topics, I am not worried about much.  (Well, the same BAC mom told me she does not believe in "marrying outside one's race" but I think that is an ignorance thing, not a BAC thing . . .esp. considering my DH and I have obviously different ethnic backgrounds.)</p>
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<p>So, I'll just have to wait and see.  It's taken me 2 years to even try this.</p>
 

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<p>I would not attempt to participate in a specifically Christian home school group, even with no SOF required, unless I had confirmed that they do not mind if people of other faiths participate and that we would be welcomed.  My reasoning is this:  I would not want to put myself and our kids into a situation in which we are "undercover", with people just assuming we share their beliefs, and where I have to fear that if we are "outed", we might be officially "un-welcomed", regarded as impostors, etc.  That could be a really negative experience for us.  I would want to know beforehand if the group would not welcome us knowing our true status regarding religion.  I would also want to check it out beforehand out of respect; it's their group and if they want to make it only for Christians, that's their business, and I wouldn't want to violate that.</p>
 

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<p>DD is being raised as a Christian, so she won't be undercover. </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>laundrycrisis</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285724/secular-homeschool-groups#post_16125567"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would not attempt to participate in a specifically Christian home school group, even with no SOF required, unless I had confirmed that they do not mind if people of other faiths participate and that we would be welcomed.  My reasoning is this:  I would not want to put myself and our kids into a situation in which we are "undercover", with people just assuming we share their beliefs, and where I have to fear that if we are "outed", we might be officially "un-welcomed", regarded as impostors, etc.  That could be a really negative experience for us.  I would want to know beforehand if the group would not welcome us knowing our true status regarding religion.  I would also want to check it out beforehand out of respect; it's their group and if they want to make it only for Christians, that's their business, and I wouldn't want to violate that.</p>
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<p>I recently moved to a town where the only active homeschooling group is Christian. I don't know if they require a statement of faith or anything like that, but reading over their website and knowing the general political climate of the area, I didn't feel comfortable joining "undercover".</p>
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<p>DH (who has more social contact than me in general) has discussed it with other people he knows, and apparently most people he talks to know someone or other who is secularly homeschooling - they just don't do anything homeschooling-specific for socialization because the only group in town in Christian. Go figure.</p>
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<p>I have managed to find a few others semi-locally who are interested in a secular/inclusive group, and I think we're just going to go out and start putting up flyers at the library and any other likely locations and see if anything happens. I'm sure "start your own" isn't really the option you're looking for if you haven't started homeschooling yet yourself, but it might be one way of going about it.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><br><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>laundrycrisis</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285724/secular-homeschool-groups#post_16125567"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would not attempt to participate in a specifically Christian home school group, even with no SOF required, unless I had confirmed that they do not mind if people of other faiths participate and that we would be welcomed.  My reasoning is this:  I would not want to put myself and our kids into a situation in which we are "undercover", with people just assuming we share their beliefs, and where I have to fear that if we are "outed", we might be officially "un-welcomed", regarded as impostors, etc.  That could be a really negative experience for us.  I would want to know beforehand if the group would not welcome us knowing our true status regarding religion.  I would also want to check it out beforehand out of respect; it's their group and if they want to make it only for Christians, that's their business, and I wouldn't want to violate that.</p>
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Oh, I would agree here.  Ours is an "inclusive" group that just happens to be a defacto Christian group given that we're probably the only secular homeschoolers in the lot.  We choose to remain undercover as it were just because we can't be uninvited or un-welcomed.  I suspect depending upon what was said or what I suggested (a secular science group for instanced) we could be avoided by a portion of the families.  All that to say, I guess, that some investigation into the group (whether it be specifically inclusive or not) is warranted because as others have mentioned YMMV.  Mizelenius - have you tried contacting the leader of the group to see what they're like and how inclusive they may be?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<p>Geez - I was just gauging my own comfort level in a highly religious group.  I didn't even consider the fact that ds and I might be avoided or un-welcomed because of our more liberal beliefs!  I'll see what I can find in the SecularHomeschool site.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rose-Roget</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285724/secular-homeschool-groups#post_16127933"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Geez - I was just gauging my own comfort level in a highly religious group.  I didn't even consider the fact that ds and I might be avoided or un-welcomed because of our more liberal beliefs!  I'll see what I can find in the SecularHomeschool site.</p>
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<p>You mentioned in your original post that you attend church - this would probably be enough for you to not have to worry about being un-welcomed for more liberal beliefs except in a very conservative group.  What I posted was a response to a later post about fitting in to religious groups as a non-religious person.  It is probably more of a concern for a family that is completely non-religious, or that practices another faith besides Christianity.  If you can honestly say that Christianity is your chosen faith and that you participate in a church, I doubt you would have a problem with being welcome.</p>
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<p>Many times I've had the experience of someone suggesting I join a Christian co-op, assuming we are, and when I explain that I do not think we would fit in because we are a family without a chosen religion and do not attend church at all, the persons' eyes go wide with shock, they may stammer a bit, etc.  I have had people avoid me once they find this out.  It appears that some folks are really rattled by meeting someone who doesn't have any religious orientation.  I don't mean to alarm people and I never bring it up first, but when it comes up it is the only honest answer I can give.  I also don't feel comfortable letting people keep their assumptions once they have spoken them out loud to me - that feels misleading.  This is why I would not want to go into any group unless they are specifically welcoming to non-Christians.   If we attended any sort of Christian church or even taught our kids that we believe in the major parts of that faith, I would not feel so uncomfortable about it. </p>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><br><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>laundrycrisis</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285724/secular-homeschool-groups#post_16128346"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><p> </p>
<p>You mentioned in your original post that you attend church - this would probably be enough for you to not have to worry about being un-welcomed for more liberal beliefs except in a very conservative group.  What I posted was a response to a later post about fitting in to religious groups as a non-religious person.  It is probably more of a concern for a family that is completely non-religious, or that practices another faith besides Christianity.  If you can honestly say that Christianity is your chosen faith and that you participate in a church, I doubt you would have a problem with being welcome.</p>
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<p>Many times I've had the experience of someone suggesting I join a Christian co-op, assuming we are, and when I explain that I do not think we would fit in because we are a family without a chosen religion and do not attend church at all, the persons' eyes go wide with shock, they may stammer a bit, etc.  I have had people avoid me once they find this out.  It appears that some folks are really rattled by meeting someone who doesn't have any religious orientation.  I don't mean to alarm people and I never bring it up first, but when it comes up it is the only honest answer I can give.  I also don't feel comfortable letting people keep their assumptions once they have spoken them out loud to me - that feels misleading.  This is why I would not want to go into any group unless they are specifically welcoming to non-Christians.   If we attended any sort of Christian church or even taught our kids that we believe in the major parts of that faith, I would not feel so uncomfortable about it. </p>
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Yeah...you'd think.  There aren't what seems like 1000 different Protestant denominations for no reason.  :0)  We're definitely on the liberal spectrum of Christianity and I get the same types of responses when it's suggested that we join the two co-ops in town.  One has Christian in the name and the other does not, but they both have doctrinal statements.  When I respond that we would not fit in as we're not comfortable with the doctrinal statements it usually brings about the shock and stammer as well.</p>
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<p>Rose-Roget - every group is going to be different.  Some groups will be more welcoming than others - totally YMMV and worth asking about ahead of time.  I wouldn't go in without specifically asking questions to gauge their degree of inclusiveness first.</p>
 

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<p>Well, not that this thread was about me <span><img alt="thumb.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif"> but I do not know if I will pursue the Christian group.  It would be SO NICE.  It has everything-- it is regular, structured, very affordable, so close (this is a big one), and could accommodate all of my children.  I have never come across anything that is almost so perfect.</span></p>
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<p><span>But, I just got the course descriptions and most of their classes somehow relate back to Christianity. </span> I do not know if that will work.  It might not be a big deal, but it may . . .DD asked if they believe in evolution (she does) which may, for example, affect the science classes.  DD is one to speak up, so . . .</p>
 

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<p>Meetup.com has a lot of Secular groups listed by area too!   Good luck finding a great group.  Oh ----Have you heard of Mary Jane's Farm? Her magazine is awesome but she also has a forum on her mag and people talk about homeschool and what not there too.</p>
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