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8th grade History and Science help needed...secular?


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Quick summary....dd13 wants new curriculum that isn't Christian/religion based.  This is proving to be harder than I thought.  While I respect that she doesn't want a religious bent in her school materials, I would appreciate it if the material isn't disrespectful or untruthful about it either.  Does that make sense?

So far I've found:

History Odyssey - not feeling real sure about this one based a few reviews

Human Odyssey - I guess just use the books as a spine and fill in with other reading books?

Discovery k12/Time4Learning/other online options - she doesn't want to do online

Story of the World - may still have a Christian/religious undertone that she'd balk at

Singapore Science - our only science under consideration right now

Any other suggestions that are secular or neutral that (big condition here) don't cost an arm and a leg?  Thanks for any help!

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Centripetal Press - secular version of Novare Science.

History....I'm not sure.  We are planning to move away from a textbook style in middle school to Investigating World History (Ancients - Middle Ages) and Reading Like A Historian (mostly using for Early Modern/Modern).  I'm also considering the two year middle school program from TRISMS, History's Masterminds, but it's a lot to shell out at once for a program ($250)

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My oldest decided in 5th or 6th grade that she didn't want any overtly Christian curriculum as well. So here's some ideas that I've researched and/or used. 


Some others to look at:

Oak Meadow - waldorf-inspired. I use some of their high school curriculum, namely health, but I don't know about their middle school. $, but fairly easy to find used.

Build Your Library - history living book/Charlotte Mason style - levels 7 & 8 are very well done. This does have science added, but I've always done different science. Fairly budget friendly if you borrow or buy used literature.

Moving Beyond the Page - history and science based on living books. Can get pretty $ if you use the entire program. Not too bad for one or two units. 

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding goes to grade 8 no idea on pricing.

Real Science Odyssey - same publisher as History Odyssey no idea on pricing.

Guest Hollow - some Christian books included, but they are mentioned in the guide so you can delete or pre-read or whatever you need to do to work around them. If you can get the books used or borrow from library, really budget friendly.

Bookshark is the faith neutral version of Sonlight.  Can be fairly $, but can find used.


As for the ones you've listed above:

History Odyssey - dd didn't like it at all (5thish grade?) - we chucked it after about a semester

Human Odyssey - 2 thumbs up for the texts although I much prefer having everything planned for me, so we've moved to Build Your Library

Time4Learning - fit for a short season in 8th grade during some medical problems; kid found it a little babyish, and I'm wary of full-time online anyway.

Story of the World - we used this when kids were younger; levels 3 & 4 could probably be used for 8th grade, but levels 1 & 2 are a little on the young side. Level 1 is usually the volume that gets classified as not secular. 

I've never used Singapore Science, so no review there.


If you're up to working up your own schedule, you can always purchase public school texts and build around them. I did that with Hewitt's Conceptual Physics text, and I used a blog documenting a class called Quarks and Quirks (or Quirks and Quarks) for 8th grade biology. 

Edited by beckyjo
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We loved Human Odyssey for middle school! We are Christian but I appreciated their respectful perspective on how all faiths have impacted history. We just read the texts and wrote chapter summaries and read historical fiction as part of their literature assignments and called that good.

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We have been using Big History Project as a spine. It combines science and history. There are creation stories in the first unit as a way of investigating how views change over time. We love it. There's an online option that is high school level and includes all of the lesson plans and videos. It's free. There are also plenty of book options if you don't want the online option. You can sign up as a teacher and at the bottom of the school list is homeschooler. 


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I got Pearsons My World history this year.  Its s great intro to textbooks and so far we like it (9th and 6th graders, it's written for middle school so high schooler is getting extra work).  I've got the K12 textbooks, too, and will be using them here and there.

Other options I considered were BYL and Oak Meadow.  In the end, I picked the textbook approach in order to gain independence and textbook skills (these kids have not used them before).  We are 3 weeks in, no regrets.

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