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View Full Version : Need advice whether to sign up for Spanish class and learn "Jesus Loves Me"



49cats
04-13-2011, 10:59 PM
We're a secular family---pretty much athiest. I've homeschooled 3 boys now 9, 11, 11 since the start. We've been in and out of homeschool activities and always pretty quietly dealt with the fact they assume we're Christian because we homeschool. Recently my mother also ditched the Catholic religion she was raised in (not because of any influence from me---her own thing). Though recently I dropped out of an LDS coop I went to a few times because they were calling all the moms "Sister Smith" and "Sister Brown" and starting the coop with a prayer. Anyway, I have felt like others have expressed, somewhat guilty and uncomfortable about not making my non-religiousness known, but yet how do you do it tactfully without sending the message that you are criticizing the believer that you're talking to?

So my question is this. I answered a notice on our local homeschool information list about a Spanish class being offered in my town. In addition to asking about the price, I also asked "I noticed these classes are held in a church. Is this a secular study?" The lady replied politely and included, "Is it important to you that it be secular? The only religious thin is that I sometimes teach Jesus Loves Me in Spanish." So, I'm torn between being my quiet self and knowing my boys are uncomfortable standing around when people say prayers, and not wanting them to have to feel awkward when they either learn or opt out of learning "Jesus Loves Me". Can anyone shed a new perspective on this for me and give me some stuff to chew on? Any suggestions about how to reply, assuming I decide to sign our family up for the class? Or even if I opt out?

Thanks.

Teri
04-13-2011, 11:38 PM
If that was the ONLY thing, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I would tell her that , "yes, it IS important that there not be any religious slant to the class."

I don't think, personally, that your personal beliefs have to be brought into it, just that you prefer to keep your religious education in your own home. Or something like that.

I tend to tell people that are interested in our curriculum choice that a "secular curriculum is important to us" and leave it at that. I haven't been pushed.

dbmamaz
04-13-2011, 11:50 PM
By 'jesus loves me' i assume she means the little song? I remember learning it in summer camp and only being mildly annoyed - and I was jewish. I dont think that would be too traumatic.

But the other question is - how important is it to your boys to be in a coop? Do they really crave the socail interaction? Do you really need the break from teaching? My son is using Tell Me More French, a foriegn language computer program which includes voice recognition software to correct your pronunciation. I bought it at a really good price when it was on sale at the home school buyers coop, on line. So if its just about the language, there are other options.

I admit, i've avoided coops because my boys dont seem interested. We participate in a home school martail arts class, but hadnt made it to park day much at all this year, and our best home-schooling buddy moved out of state. We went to park day today and my 7 yo had a miserable time .. . and part of me wonders if i've been isolating him too much?

but thats the lot of (most) homeschool moms .. continually second-guess yourself.

amygrimis
04-14-2011, 01:51 AM
I suppose the first thing is, do you mind/want your kids to learn about other belief systems? If you don't mind, you can just encourage it is a cultural activity (this is a song sung by Christians about their beliefs ... or even myths as I've heard some people say). If you mind, then I'd look for socialization in another arena and use a language program like dbmamaz suggested.

As for sharing your beliefs or not, I'm on the fence. We're pretty open about ours (we're Pagan), though my family (devout Christian) just sort of doesn't talk about it lol I think they pretend I'm still Christian! :p I guess if it's important to you that those you meet with at least know that you don't share their beliefs, I'd probably mention it when you initially get information ("we're not a religious family, but we'd like more information, etc etc").

Good luck with your choice!

49cats
04-14-2011, 02:09 PM
Thanks to all three of you for your replies! I just needed a sounding board. I took your suggestion, Teri, and replied to her that yes, it is important to me that it be secular, then said I would like to try it out, if that was agreeable to her. So, that said, if she decides to "let" us come---at least I feel a little better about being open with her from the get-go. These are skills that I'm trying to hone. Trying to find the right balance between being accepting of their beliefs, and at the same time standing for my own and negotiating my boys' feelings when they're petrified they'll be the next kid asked to lead the prayer.

dbmamaz, I totally waffle between too much social and not enough. This isn't a coop, just what sounds like a fun little introduction to Spanish, and I think with a native speaker. I have actually looked at length into Rosetta Stone and I think I've looked at Tell Me More as well, but at this point, instead of an academic goal, I guess I just want a low-key fun introduction.

amygrimis, I do believe in having the kids learn about the world's religions. In fact we did a pretty extensive study last fall of many of the major religions, and even included reading the bible stories all the way through. That was actually my first real exposure to them, more in depth than just being vaguely familiar with the characters and such. Being in the society we're in, though, the boys get plenty of education about the Christian religion, somehow picturing them learning "Jesus Loves Me" in a church doesn't seem fair to them, they knowing what they do. I so get what you're saying about people pretending you're Christian. I've had that happen to me---I had the guts to tell them we're not right off the bat, then they conveniently "forgot". One particular person was pretty strong in her beliefs, and my guess was that because she liked me (and I her) she just had a hard time reconciling that a family about whom she had lots of good things to say, could be something other than Christian.

amygrimis
04-14-2011, 08:36 PM
Not funny ... but sort of is and I can totally picture a few people I'v'e known throughout my life who would react the same way. "You aren't a Christian?? But, you're such a nice family!" lol

One of my cousin's kids (she was 6 and they are Pagan) said to her aunt (Christian), "I'm so not all about Jesus" and I thought cousin 2 was going to fall over her own feet trying to buy up every Veggie Tale dvd she could get her hands on LOL I just try to remember that at least most people are just oblivious lol

49cats
04-14-2011, 09:34 PM
Out of the mouths of babes! That made me chuckle out loud!

amygrimis
04-14-2011, 11:02 PM
=) Glad I could share a laugh!