In the last post, I chronicled how my deconversion affected our homeschool on a more personal level, requiring an apology from me to my girls. That, in turn, deepened our relationship, allowing for an openness that we had never had before. However, there were a lot of Christian materials in our homeschool that had to be removed from our daily studies. To be honest, I felt a certain urgency and responsibility to replace these items with secular information that encouraged critical thinking skills, something that was sorely lacking in our school. What follows are some highly recommended books that I utilized in an attempt to undo some of the indoctrinating damage that I inflicted upon my girls.
1. Is God Real or Pretend by Jennifer Horsman: This short, yet highly informative book examines the five major world religions through the eyes of a young boy. All are effectively represented in a non-biased manner, and the illustrations are beautiful. No spoilers here, but we loved this book!
2. The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins: I'm not going to lie. I think I learned as much from this amazing book as my girls did. It is a great science read-aloud. He begins each chapter with the mythical explanation for a natural phenomena, then follows it with the actual science behind the event. Eloquently written, yet easily readable, I'm so glad we found this gem.
3. Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi: Not sure how to recognize a bad argument? Each chapter in this book not only covers a logical fallacy but does so in a way that is easy to understand, with humorous illustrations to further the explanations. This is a critical thinking must-read.
4. Evolution by Daniel Loxton: Another beautifully illustrated book, Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be explains how the theory of evolution developed and how modern science continues to confirm it. Again, this is an excellent science read-aloud that should be in everyone's library.
5. Christian Mythology for Kids by Chrystine Trooien: I certainly never thought I'd see the day that I would have this book lined up right next to our D'Aulaires' Greek Myths and Norse Myths. With mesmerizing illustrations, each Biblical story is followed up with commentary from a secular perspective. I long for the day that a book like this requires no introductory or concluding explanations. One day, my friends, one day...
6. One Small Square by Donald Silver: Incorporating nature study into your homeschool? Each of these short books is overflowing with information about our natural world without attributing it all to a god; and once again, the illustrations are lovely.
If you're needing to quickly and inexpensively fill the gap of certain subjects, I highly recommend both Kumon and Evan Moor workbooks. I have found myself pleasantly surprised by the expanse of material in these workbooks and the broad subject coverage. These are great for a quick fix.
Please let me know if you have any further suggestions. I'd love to hear them!