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View Full Version : Are you religious (just secular in your homeschooling...) OR secular all the way,baby



pandahoneybee
08-31-2011, 08:48 AM
Yes this is a secular site, but as you all know that doesn’t mean that everyone here is secular in everything in their lives. So are you religious just not using religion based programs to teach everything? OR are you totally secular in all parts of your life including homeschooling?

For me, it is that I grew up going to church with my mom, attending youth groups, camps, and even went to Christian school for my middle school years. After I got married, my husband and I struggled thinking that we just needed to find a church that was more us. But after a couple of years of trying to “fit” in we decided that it wasn’t as important to our lives as we were brought up to think it was. That's when we started our journey without religion governing how and why we did things.

Fast forward to two wonderful boys later and starting to homeschool them, trying to find secular programs was like trying to find a needle in a haystack until I came across this site! So I am most definitely a secular homeschooler all the way baby:)

But what about you?

SueEllen Grieves-Curl
08-31-2011, 09:12 AM
we are religious and go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and any other time that they have programs that interest us. However I feel that most Christian based HS programs leave out way too much detail on how and why. They end back with God made it and that is all you really need to know. Well that is not all you need to know in my opinion.

Hampchick
08-31-2011, 09:19 AM
I am very much atheist here, was raised Catholic. Husband is apathetic, came from a Buddhist home. My 8yo says he doesn't believe in god, my 5 yo has no opinion that I'm aware of.

mommykicksbutt
08-31-2011, 09:22 AM
I'm a freethinker (but I wasn't always, I used to be a RC but I'm better now), hubby is a militant RC.

I do 99.9% of our son's schooling, it is 100% secular. I believe in inoculation rather than indoctrination. I believe that sonny should know about all religions, the good, the bad, and also how divisive they are. Hubby insists that he gets a religious education so he hauls him off to "faith formation" every Sunday at church and sonny attends mass with his dad. Sonny is 14 and doesn't believe in the supernatural. He is a grounded realist believing instead in the natural world. He tells me he only attends to "keep dad off my ass." On Mondays we always discuss what occurred in "faith formation." I use the Socratic method and let sonny analyze it and pull it apart trying to find the logic in what was taught. The conclusion is usually "FAIL" and the twisted dogmatic christian logic gives us cause to laugh. He has grown up with two opposing views and has been allowed and encouraged to seek other views and to investigate other religions and philosophies (mostly by me). He has confessed to me and his sister that he doesn't believe in any god, they are just wishful thinking by those who are rational about every other aspect of their lives but not about their religious views. He lumps his father in that category. Hubby made church optional for our daughter upon her 18th birthday and she said, "not only no but hell no! I don't believe and never have." Sonny said he will follow suit behind his older sister and inform his dad once he is 18 so he can finally stop wasting his time in church. For this he can not wait but has four more years to go.

So secular homeschooling just isn't my choice, it is my son's choice as well.

rumbledolly
08-31-2011, 09:47 AM
Hmm I think I should have answered "Other" and not "Totally". I do use a completely secular programs but I am Catholic and we occasionally go to church. I also believe in learning about other religions - right now it's Buddhism which fascinates me. I also have a bible in my classroom area but I see the bible as being a book of fiction and I'd like my DD to use it as a piece of literature not the gospel truth.

My DH is non everything. He was brought up Christian though his mom hopped from one belief to another - she's now Pentecostal I believe. He hated Christian school and finally got her to let him to go PS (he still hated it but at least he didn't get spanked by teachers). My DD is Catholic but does occasionally go to church with her grandmother. Her assessment on the church is they are all crazy people but the kids are generally ok and they feed them sugary juice and cookies and they get prizes for being "good for God" so she thinks it's a pretty sweet deal!

It's all about the cookies!

Greenmother
08-31-2011, 09:55 AM
I think we defy explanations. I would take it so far as to say, politically, I am an atheist, but when it comes to homeschooling and raising my kids, secular. If we look at religion, then it's the philosophy and politics of various religions, if we look at the other aspects of it, we consider that paranormal. I am not sure you can classify that as purely scientific, but it sure isn't based on dogmatic belief either. And since most the paranormal stuff people "believe in" is historical in nature, that tends to circle round back to politics and crowd control. Perhaps someone taking advantage of large numbers of people not understanding basic natural processes, use of hallucinogens, or [fill in the blank]. --Its more complicated than this, but my lack of coffee precludes me from making any sense this early in the morning.

Lots O' Boys
08-31-2011, 10:09 AM
Completely secular. I was raised a Protestant, so when we started out, I thought I'd add an occasional bible lesson since we didn't attend church (never found one that fit with our more liberal leanings). That didn't last long. Too many things have turned me off of religion, and I've gone from believing to being comfortable as an atheist-leaning agnostic (hey, it takes me a while to make up my mind sometimes!). We've toyed with the idea of going to a Unitarian church so that the kids can be exposed to different religions and can make up their own minds, but haven't made that step yet. In the meantime, we have several books around here comparing different religions if they ever show any interest. So far, none of them have.

farrarwilliams
08-31-2011, 10:15 AM
I was raised religious left - in a very liberal, gay wedding blessing, social justice seeking, Baptist church. :) We go to a Unitarian church now. It's also a liberal, "we're trying to create the beloved community right here!" kind of place. The UU's aren't exactly where I am in my belief system, but our community is great. I really like our church and so do the kids.

My reasons for choosing homeschooling have very, very little to do with religion. I will say I don't like the way religion is dealt with in schools - either with disrespect and dismissal or with diversity-blind fundamentalists championing it. I can't imagine using any religious curriculum - it's all from a religious perspective I don't agree with.

JinxieFox
08-31-2011, 10:23 AM
We religious and spiritual, but our homeschooling is completely secular. I do use "Circle Round" with my son, but that's only 8 times a year for holidays. As far as teaching him about Paganism, it's just not part of our home education. :)

Shoe
08-31-2011, 10:25 AM
I'm a Christian, raised in a mainstream Protestant church (United Church of Canada), switched to an Anglican/Episcopal church many years ago, but haven't been a church goer at all for the last 8 years. I still hold my beliefs fairly strongly, though, but I don't feel the need to try and impose them on anyone else. My wife is a non-church going Roman Catholic. The first year I homeschooled, I used a Christian boxed curriculum-I knew others who used and liked it, and I needed something ready made quickly-and last year, we used a combination of secular and Christian materials. This year, we're pretty much completely secular in our curriculum, except for one religion course that we're kind of doing. Last year, I tried to cover the basics of the major religions with the kids, as religion is a big part of human history (both the good and the bad) and a large part of many peoples' lives throughout the world.

I'm not offended by Christian materials and I have no objection to including them in our curriculum by any means, but I don't want my kids short changed, especially in the area of science, by including only such material. Nor would I object/have I objected to including information about other religions in my curriculum.

But we are not homeschooling for religious reasons-our decision to educate at home was based on the public school not meeting the academic needs of my son, and its inability to prevent my daughter from constant bullying. We probably follow fairly closely to the public school curriculum in content.

StartingOver
08-31-2011, 10:32 AM
I am Pagan, but I teach about many religions as my children are entitled to walk their own path. I keep it secular in all other subjects. ;-) As a result I have a son who is Buddhist, a daughter who is undecided, and a son who is Baptist ( at least for now ). Two more to go. Whatever they decided is fine with me ! And if they change their minds, that is fine with me too.

hockeymom
08-31-2011, 10:57 AM
Totally secular, baby.

I wasn't raised with religion (we did attend a hippy liberal Methodist church for awhile when I was a kid, but all I remember are the camping trips and potlucks and lots of macrame; my parents stopped going when the church got a new minister and he actually talked about religion) and as far as I can recall it, like politics, was never ever discussed at home. It has simply never played a part in my life. My husband grew up Protestant (maybe?) but they were unsuccessful in indoctrinating him. Our son is a scientist at heart, and therefore an atheist.

We occasionally talk about religion while studying history; I don't think it can or should be ignored in order to really understand the world's struggles. We approach it all as mythology, there is no separation for us whether we're discussing the Aztec gods or more modern ones. But we also respect the beliefs of others, and make it clear that everyone is entitled to their personal beliefs. Most of our good friends are religious, some much more than others, but that doesn't prevent us from having amazing connections.

eta: right now my son is showing some interest in learning more about Paganism in modern society--so some of you might get a pm from me if he has specific questions! :)

CatInTheSun
08-31-2011, 12:01 PM
Our son is a scientist at heart, and therefore an atheist.

eta: right now my son is showing some interest in learning more about Paganism in modern society--so some of you might get a pm from me if he has specific questions! :)

Being an atheist does not follow from being a scientist. There are plenty of scientists, even prominent evolutionary biologists, who are active in their religion. Science and religion are neither mutually exclusive nor the mortal enemies people seem to believe. They are different paths in search of different truths. Science has NOTHING to say about God, for or against. Religion gets in trouble when it tries to apply itself to truths of the natural world.

Crabby Lioness
08-31-2011, 12:03 PM
Pagan UU here. In the immortal words of Joseph Campbell, I know too much to be an atheist. I've been lucky enough to have some personal encounters with the Divine, but that's not something you can force. Having had those though, I'm not going to settle for a religion that commands me to simply follow their interpretation of someone else's encounter with the Divine thousands of years ago without tolerating any input from me.

We're going with an all secular approach to homeschooling. I figure logic and reason are gifts given to us by the Gods in order to understand the world around us. It would be wrong not to use those gifts.

ETA: We're reading A Canticle For Leibowitz right now, and we'll probably read the King James Bible this fall. There's too many literary and cultural references they need to understand. But Ancient History is my passion, and I tend to point out the pre-Christian origins of things and ideas as I read them. :D

Joshin
08-31-2011, 12:15 PM
My husband and I are practicing Buddhists, my oldest has some interest in Buddhism but not enough to do more than read about it occasionally, and I think my youngest believes he is the creator of the universe! Since belief in deity isn't a part of our sect, I'd consider it more a life philosophy than a religion, though. The hubs was raised by a fundamentalist grandmother and a pagan mother, which led him to become a loud and proud Atheist. I'm an agnostic that leans closer to Atheism. I wasn't raised around religion and never even thought about it until my late teens, so I guess I didn't experience the poisoning against it that hubs did. I'm more live and let live than the hubs, who thinks all deist religions need to go. I introduce the boys to religions as they pertain to our history or literature studies, but we have a 100% secular bent to all of our lessons. Even religion as mythology lessons upset hubs, so I send him out of the room when they occur.

inmom
08-31-2011, 12:22 PM
I was raised Catholic, now agnostic. DH was raised UU, now athiest. Since we homeschool for academic and social reaons, religion has never factored into the equation at all.

We have stayed away from co-ops or groups that REQUIRE a statement of faith, as I refuse to lie to just be part of the group.

We look at religion as a history or culture subject. The kids learn about all sorts of religion; what they decide to do as adults is completely up to them.

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
08-31-2011, 12:49 PM
Totally, totally secular as far as our homeschooling curricula go. I'm an atheist, though the kids don't know that because my husband is trying to raise Christians. He takes them to a very liberal, UCC church (which I'm completely comfortable with) and reads them Bible stories. I'm going to try to incorporate some religion studies into our history units this year--Confucianism with ancient China and Islam with the Middle Ages--and I'd like to do more in depth comparative religion when they're older.

hockeymom
08-31-2011, 12:57 PM
Being an atheist does not follow from being a scientist. There are plenty of scientists, even prominent evolutionary biologists, who are active in their religion. Science and religion are neither mutually exclusive nor the mortal enemies people seem to believe. They are different paths in search of different truths. Science has NOTHING to say about God, for or against. Religion gets in trouble when it tries to apply itself to truths of the natural world.

Oh yikes, I should have known better than to write that. I guess what I meant was that TO HIM the two certainly are mutually exclusive, and he views himself as both. No offense meant.

Jilly
08-31-2011, 01:01 PM
I am Episcopalian, and the kids are being raised in the Episcopal church. We don't go every Sunday, but enough that they are comfortable and familiar with the church. I was a secular homschooler from the beginning, and I feel very strongly about using curriculum that does not have a christian world-view.

PBB
08-31-2011, 01:27 PM
I am a Christian but dh is agnostic. Kids and I go to church and dh does some church activity (Wed dinner). Kids were in a Christian school purely for academic reasons but we pulled them out because it was becoming too much like a seminary! We do moral/Bible time each am but is not a big focus.

CatInTheSun
08-31-2011, 01:32 PM
Oh yikes, I should have known better than to write that. I guess what I meant was that TO HIM the two certainly are mutually exclusive, and he views himself as both. No offense meant.

Ha! No offense taken. :D I just think our society would be healthier if people (esp fundies) had a clearer idea about what religion and science are, so I can't help responding. :) A. It's a pet peeve of mine, second only to protestations about how America's founding fathers were somehow fundie Christians trying to form a Christian Nation (I mean, it's not like Jefferson had much to do with the constitution, of B Franklin...or Thomas Paine...oh, wait.....). :lol:

Eileen
08-31-2011, 01:49 PM
I'm an atheist, raised Catholic. My 8 year old is an atheist, my 5 year old hasn't been too curious yet. My husband is agnostic, raised Jewish. We're skeptics.

PetVet
08-31-2011, 02:01 PM
I voted 'Other'.

I'm atheist, but the best french program I could find that met our provincial standards is a Francophone Catholic curriculum. I do plan on teaching DS the basics of world religions, but I'm going to leave out the biblical copywork while we are studying french!

Mum
08-31-2011, 02:13 PM
I had to chose OTHER. I'm Buddhist which means we are atheist and believe in scientific explanations for science. I teach the children's dharma class at our Buddhist Center. My husband is atheist without the buddhism, though he is very supportive of my practice, likes to meditate and appreciates a lot about the Buddhist path.

Our kids are very philosophical and find people's religious beliefs fascinating. For that reason, we use Christian resources to teach them about Christianity, Jewish resources to teach them about Judaism, Hindu resources to teach them about Hinduism, etc. I have a friend who practices the ancient religion of her Norse ancestry and she's coming to teach them about it.

We wouldn't use a religious resources to teach them about anything other than religion or philosophy.

PetVet
08-31-2011, 02:31 PM
Being an atheist does not follow from being a scientist.

True. However studies have shown that being a scientist often does follow from being atheist.

Approximately 35% of scientists are atheist, compared to approximately 10% of the American population. The best predictor of scientists' religious practice is the scientists’ childhood religious practice. Several studies have concluded that freethinkers or doubters to some extent self-select when they become scientists. This is especially true of elite/eminent scientists compared to journeyman scientists. Science may not lead to disbelief; rather, disbelievers or skeptics are led to science.


Oh yikes, I should have known better than to write that. I guess what I meant was that TO HIM the two certainly are mutually exclusive, and he views himself as both.

If what your son believes is that being a scientist and being a theist are incompatible, then I like your son! :)

Brittaya
08-31-2011, 02:56 PM
We're a Pagan family that goes to a UU church (we don't make it very often unfortunately, the people are wonderful though) and we don't school secularly entirely. I feel that everything is connected and nature studies are a big part of our homeschool and our beliefs so I guess that means we're not secular. However I do want my kids to learn about all religions and they absolutely have the right to choose their own religion. I just think that they definitely need to learn how important the earth is and that respecting nature is not optional no matter what they believe in. Without the earth we wouldn't exist, and too many people think we can just use up all the resources and trash everything for our own "benefit".

We are teaching them science though, no creationism stories. I mean we'll study mythology and all that but I don't expect them to believe in like a sun god or anything, it will be for the sake of learning about all the cool stories that some people believe or used to believe. And I personally group the bible along with mythology because it's basically the same thing, a story that some people believe. (Just my opinion, not trying to offend people. To each their own.)

CatInTheSun
08-31-2011, 03:06 PM
True. However studies have shown that being a scientist often does follow from being atheist.

Approximately 35% of scientists are atheist, compared to approximately 10% of the American population. The best predictor of scientists' religious practice is the scientists’ childhood religious practice. Several studies have concluded that freethinkers or doubters to some extent self-select when they become scientists. This is especially true of elite/eminent scientists compared to journeyman scientists. Science may not lead to disbelief; rather, disbelievers or skeptics are led to science.



If what your son believes is that being a scientist and being a theist are incompatible, then I like your son! :)

Wh the need to be condescending? And by "studies" do you mean the ONE study from 1969 you quote (where the 35% and 10% stats comes from)? And I'm glad REAL scientists aren't as elitist as you -- eminent vas journeyman scientists indeed. Geesh. If you were to believe your stats, wouldn't it be MORE amazing to think that even among scientists 65% believe in a god?

I find this type of talk just as offensive as fundies who say a scientist can't be a Christian. Militant atheism is just as bad IMO as militant fundamentalism: both confuse personal opinion and faith for "truth". Dawkins may not agree with Bishop of Oxford about God, but he still respects his ability to reason.

Crabby Lioness
08-31-2011, 03:16 PM
There are also British studies that show a great number of Pagans are scientists. The element of experimentation, as well as the fact that a failure to reach the Divine is seen as a problem of ritual that needs adjusting rather than a crisis of faith, appeals to many of them. My dh is one of these. He's both a PhD level molecular biologist and a shaman. He approaches both practices with the same spirit of inquiry.

Cafdog
08-31-2011, 04:21 PM
I'm an atheist, hubby's an apathetic Buddhist. Although we are full-on secular homeschoolers, I am very passionate about teaching the study of comparative religion. I don't think anyone can truly understand the motives and minds of other people/governments/social systems without a basic understanding of the beliefs/dogmas/history of world religions. So many of the world's political, social, and economic decisions are faith-based, one must understand the motives to understand the whole.

JennyD
08-31-2011, 05:00 PM
Wh the need to be condescending? And by "studies" do you mean the ONE study from 1969 you quote (where the 35% and 10% stats comes from)? And I'm glad REAL scientists aren't as elitist as you -- eminent vas journeyman scientists indeed. Geesh. If you were to believe your stats, wouldn't it be MORE amazing to think that even among scientists 65% believe in a god?

I find this type of talk just as offensive as fundies who say a scientist can't be a Christian. Militant atheism is just as bad IMO as militant fundamentalism: both confuse personal opinion and faith for "truth". Dawkins may not agree with Bishop of Oxford about God, but he still respects his ability to reason.

Coincidentally, I happen to have the results from one of these studies immediately to hand. The book is Edward Larson, The Creation-Evolution Debate: Historical Perspectives (UGA Press, 2007). Larson (history and law prof at Georgia, has written a ton on these debates) and his coauthor tried to update studies done by psychologist James Leuba, who surveyed biological and physical scientists in 1914 and again in 1933. Leuba found that 4 in 10 scientists believed in God (defined as a God influenced by worship) and 50 percent believed in an afterlife. Larson and Witham found the 4 in 10 number unchanged in the late 1990s, although faith in an afterlife had declined to about 40 percent. To study more 'elite' scientists, Leuba surveyed a random sample of scientists with stars next to their names in the American Men and Women of Science; in 1933, more than 80 percent of these scientists rejected both a belief in God and in an afterlife. Since American Men and Women of Science no longer puts stars by scientists' names, Larson and Witham surveyed members of the National Academy of Sciences. They found that more than 90% believed neither in God nor an afterlife. Interestingly, NAS biologists are the most skeptical (95% atheist/agnostic), while mathematicians are the least (83%).

As for the poll, I put religious but teach secularly. However, even though I'm Jewish, raising the kids Jewish, we belong to a synagogue and celebrate Shabbat and holidays, etc. -- I don't think of myself as a religious person. And I do teach Judaic studies as part of our homeschool, but it's in a rather secular way, if that makes any sense.

PetVet
08-31-2011, 05:47 PM
And by "studies" do you mean the ONE study from 1969 you quote (where the 35% and 10% stats comes from)?

References:

1.Leuba, J. 1916. The Belief in God and Immortality: A Psychological, Anthropological, and Statistical Study. Boston: Sherman, French, and Company. Leuba, J. 1934. Religious Beliefs of American Scientists. Harper's Magazine 169:291–300.

2.Trow, Martin and Associates. 1969. Carnegie Commission National Survey of Higher Education: Faculty Study [computer file]. Berkeley: University of California at Berkeley, Survey Research Center [producer]. Ann Arbor, MI: University Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].

3.Gallup, G. Jr. and D. M. Lindsay. 1999. Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Religious Beliefs. Harrisburg, PA, Morehouse Publishing. Hadaway, C. K., P. L. Marler, and M. Chaves. 1993. What the Polls Don't Show: A Closer Look at U.S. Church Attendance. American Sociological Review 58: 741-52

4.Ecklund, E. H. and C. P. Scheitle. 2007. Religion among Academic Scientists: Distinctions, Disciplines, and Demographics. Social Problems 54: 289-307

5.Fosse, E. 2010. Why professors are liberal.


Regardless of whether you think the studies and conclusions I have referenced and/or quoted are condescending, elitist and/or offensive, I have supplied the references above. Please provide your references to refute.

I am a veterinarian, not a scientist. However the data and conclusions in my post(s) are taken from studies that have been done by people I would consider to be REAL (your term) scientists. I would however be most interested in any published data and/or references that explain what differentiates a REAL (again, your term) scientist from the other kind. Am I to assume the other kind is an "imaginary" scientist? Is that like an "imaginary" friend?

And here is the link to a Richard Dawkins TED talk on militant atheism: Richard Dawkins on Militant Atheism (http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_militant_atheism.html) wherein he says: "...what I want to urge upon you is militant atheism... In my view, not only is science corrosive to religion, but religion is corrosive to science. It teaches people to be satisfied with trivial, supernatural non-explanations and blinds them to the wonderful real explanations that we have within our grasp. It teaches them to accept authority, revelation and faith instead of always insisting on evidence."

If you choose to reply without references I will not respond; like Mr Dawkins I always insist upon evidence.

PetVet
08-31-2011, 05:51 PM
Coincidentally, I happen to have the results from one of these studies immediately to hand. The book is Edward Larson, The Creation-Evolution Debate: Historical Perspectives (UGA Press, 2007). Larson (history and law prof at Georgia, has written a ton on these debates) and his coauthor tried to update studies done by psychologist James Leuba, who surveyed biological and physical scientists in 1914 and again in 1933. Leuba found that 4 in 10 scientists believed in God (defined as a God influenced by worship) and 50 percent believed in an afterlife. Larson and Witham found the 4 in 10 number unchanged in the late 1990s, although faith in an afterlife had declined to about 40 percent. To study more 'elite' scientists, Leuba surveyed a random sample of scientists with stars next to their names in the American Men and Women of Science; in 1933, more than 80 percent of these scientists rejected both a belief in God and in an afterlife. Since American Men and Women of Science no longer puts stars by scientists' names, Larson and Witham surveyed members of the National Academy of Sciences. They found that more than 90% believed neither in God nor an afterlife. Interestingly, NAS biologists are the most skeptical (95% atheist/agnostic), while mathematicians are the least (83%).

Lovely references! Fancy a debate of any sort? ;)

momofgrlz
08-31-2011, 06:34 PM
Totally secular!

Stella M
08-31-2011, 06:53 PM
Raised Catholic, flirted with Paganism and evangelical Christianity, now atheist. Too lazy to be militant but the issue is one of considerable angst in my head. Short of a miracle, I can't see that changing. In the immortal words of...um...me, I know too much not to be an atheist! ( sorry Joseph Campbell who I usually love.)

I've used religious bits and pieces in the past and just secularised them; I always feel bad about it though, 'cos who knows what and who the Christian companies are supporting with their money ? Sort of like continuing to eat meat when you know vegetarianism is the more ethical option...

No religious instruction in our home school but children are welcome to follow their own paths and attend church , stupid youth group at conservative Baptist church, pray, whatever.

Accidental Homeschooler
08-31-2011, 08:24 PM
I was raised Catholic, now agnostic.

This is me also. Dh identifies as Catholic (this means for him, mass on Christmas and Easter). I like the holidays and explain their origins but don't say that I believe or don't. My older dd does not believe and told me this after a couple years of Methodist sunday school, "Mom, what they tell us in sunday school, it's just not logical." My younger dd has never had any religious instruction. I am thinking I will look at a unit study approach to world religions. I have been wanting to try one anyway.

inmom
08-31-2011, 08:42 PM
"Mom, what they tell us in sunday school, it's just not logical."

What really upset me as a kid was being in Sunday School (called CCD for the Catholics) around age 7 or 8 and being told that if you weren't Catholic, you were going to hell. That really bothered me, as my mother was a non-practicing Lutheran. I cried for days after that Sunday.......

That was the beginning of the end of Catholicism for me!

SarahRushly
08-31-2011, 09:43 PM
My dh and I were both raised in uber-conservative Baptist churches, and are now your pretty stereotypical dyed in the wool Liberal Episcopalians. I'm deeply committed to my faith, have a degree in Religion Studies (read ALL religions, not a degree from a "Bible College") and actually plan on pursuing a career in vocational ministry when the time is right.

HOWEVER... Our school is entirely secular. Our faith has it's place, and it is a prominent one, but it is not to be mixed and intermingled with science, math, literature, etc. We aren't homeschooling for religious reasons, but rather because I think our public schools do a serious disservice to their students, especially GT kids like my dd. For my senior thesis project at my university, I wrote a non-faith based religion curriculum that I intend to use at some point. While I try not to mix my faith and my science, one would be foolish to conclude that we we have no need to understand religion in order to understand the roots of much literary and historical knowledge.

Victoria van der Laan
08-31-2011, 10:31 PM
My husband and I are agnostic/atheist with a strong distrust of organized religion. Being raised Roman Catholic did it for me, I think. I encourage my kids to learn about a variety of religions objectively and in the context of culture.

Jeni
08-31-2011, 11:03 PM
We're officially Methodists and attend church off and on. I don't know what I believe in anymore, but my kids are both religious (believe in God and all that). That's fine with me. It would be very difficult to not let religion influence our lives. Every homeschooler and our public school friends here are religious. It's part of our lives in this part of the country and I accept it and keep going. We have zero religion in our lessons. We are not opposed to learning about religions though, it just hasn't come up yet.

coloradoalice
09-01-2011, 12:12 AM
I school from an entirely secular viewpoint. I am agnostic personally. My husband is christian but non-practicing. I was raised very fundamental baptist christian, graduated from a fundie bible college (and as a result I have a useless degree from an unaccredited college), and even taught school at fundamental baptist schools for 3 years. I have come far far far from that life and wouldn't even dream of putting any of that on my kids. I want them to think and to question and to feel that they honestly can do whatever it is that they want to do and be who ever it is they want to be. The constraints of any organized religion are just too much for me at the moment. It's amazing the brainwashing I endured and how it still effects me even though I've been out of those circles for 10 years. I'm fairly PTSD about it at times, churches in general make me panicky. So, yeah, all that makes me definitely secular. :)

Accidental Homeschooler
09-01-2011, 12:38 AM
What really upset me as a kid was being in Sunday School (called CCD for the Catholics) around age 7 or 8 and being told that if you weren't Catholic, you were going to hell. That really bothered me, as my mother was a non-practicing Lutheran. I cried for days after that Sunday.......

That was the beginning of the end of Catholicism for me!

I remember in 7th grade at Easter asking how it could be the Jews' fault that Jesus was crucified when God intended to sacrifice him (you know, for all our sins...) and Jesus went willingly (again, for all our sins...). How can we be grateful to them for this great sacrifice and still say the Jews did it. Sister Rosemary took great pains to assure me that the Jews were guilty of killing Christ AND that he was sacrificed by God for our sins. Basically, I didn't get an answer and that was the beginning of the end for me.

Greenmother
09-01-2011, 01:20 AM
Is it a coincidence that CCD also stands for Colony Collapse Disorder? :P

Just had to point that out.

And Bushwa! Circumstantial Evidence. Jesus was a political dissident making waves for those Jews who had found something of an existence within the Roman Empire. So of course that made him unpopular with those who had survived the sacking of the 2nd Temple. Hello Great Jewish Revolt? Cheese and Crackers! It's like they don't know their own history!

They miss that whole part about Jesus being the First Born sacrificed to the Angel of Death to end the practice of Passover--Lifting the Curse? Hence calling him the lamb--do I need Glenn Beck's Chalkboard? Get that nun in here forthwith! [tongue in cheek].

He went willingly or so his own scripture says, so really can anyone be held responsible accept maybe Pontius Pilate?

Jeni
09-01-2011, 11:56 AM
I remember in 7th grade at Easter asking how it could be the Jews' fault that Jesus was crucified when God intended to sacrifice him (you know, for all our sins...) and Jesus went willingly (again, for all our sins...). How can we be grateful to them for this great sacrifice and still say the Jews did it. Sister Rosemary took great pains to assure me that the Jews were guilty of killing Christ AND that he was sacrificed by God for our sins. Basically, I didn't get an answer and that was the beginning of the end for me.

I was always so confused by this aspect of Christianity as well. I could not understand the historical hate for Jewish people when in my mind they didn't do anything wrong. I remember asking how the Jewish folks could be so bad if Jesus was Jewish. I spent years thinking that people just didn't know that fact. Obviously if they knew he was Jewish, they would change their minds since you can't possibly love Jesus but hate the very thing that made him who he was.

skrink
09-01-2011, 12:59 PM
I'm a recovering Catholic. I grew up without religion, but I've always been fascinated by the concept and have done a lot of searching. My dh grew up in a staunchly Catholic household; because it was so important to him and not so much to me, I went through the RCIA conversion process before we got married. We've had lots of issues with the Church, some big and global, some local and highly annoying. The last straw was the scolding I got from the religious ed director for exposing my dd to such wild ideas as evolution and the big bang. My dh has a hard time with abandoning Catholicism, more I think from habit and family culture than from any strong feelings of faith. I've actually been looking into the tiny UU church we have here in town, but I don't know how interested the rest of the family will be.

Our schooling has always been purely secular. We're total science and math geeks here, and we're way more comfortable with material that hasn't passed through the Christian filter.

jess
09-01-2011, 01:48 PM
We are vaguely religious (attended a UU church before we moved, with DH and I having various spiritual beliefs). We use some curriculum that is not totally secular, but our reasons for choosing it have nothing whatsoever to do with our own religious beliefs or lack thereof - it's simply because some really good homeschooling material is not secular.

Mum
09-01-2011, 02:36 PM
The last straw was the scolding I got from the religious ed director for exposing my dd to such wild ideas as evolution and the big bang.

That's crazy. I think it's another example of extremists making the rest look bad. I actually first learned about evolution from Sr. Mary Jo in my High School biology class. It was taught from the text as fact with no qualifiers.

mommykicksbutt
09-01-2011, 03:18 PM
I'm fairly PTSD about it at times, churches in general make me panicky.

I know what you mean. I refuse to step foot in any current place of myth and superstition for social, homeschool meetings, or religious functions. For one, I don't want to be seen in such a place for fear of observers getting the wrong idea about me. And two, I don't condone the activities that occur in such a place. For example: my hubby is making our son go through confirmation, I will not be condoning the activity with my presence (I'm sending a message of lack of importance). Also, our local military homeschool group was hijacked by an American missionary's wife and insists that all meetings be held at their facility out in town. I don't attend those either now. I won't vote at a polling place if it is located at a church facility, church and state don't mix. However, with all of that being said, for art, architecture, and historical reasons I will enter cathedrals and the like but for strictly educational purposes only, such as the Vatican Museum and the Seville Cathedral (Christopher Columbus's' tomb is inside this cathedral).

Crabby Lioness
09-01-2011, 03:58 PM
I know what you mean. I refuse to step foot in any current place of myth and superstition for social, homeschool meetings, or religious functions. For one, I don't want to be seen in such a place for fear of observers getting the wrong idea about me. And two, I don't condone the activities that occur in such a place. For example: my hubby is making our son go through confirmation, I will not be condoning the activity with my presence (I'm sending a message of lack of importance). Also, our local military homeschool group was hijacked by an American missionary's wife and insists that all meetings be held at their facility out in town. I don't attend those either now. I won't vote at a polling place if it is located at a church facility, church and state don't mix. However, with all of that being said, for art, architecture, and historical reasons I will enter cathedrals and the like but for strictly educational purposes only, such as the Vatican Museum and the Seville Cathedral (Christopher Columbus's' tomb is inside this cathedral).

I was like that once. Then my first child died. The Grieving Parent's Group met in the Fellowship Hall of the big Baptist Church.

I still wouldn't go anywhere near the Sanctuary, but it did provide a bit of perspective.

skrink
09-01-2011, 04:08 PM
That's crazy. I think it's another example of extremists making the rest look bad. I actually first learned about evolution from Sr. Mary Jo in my High School biology class. It was taught from the text as fact with no qualifiers.

Yep, agreed. However, the director is not the lone example of this way of thinking in the local parish/diocese. The pastor is a real piece of work. He gets lots of backing and was recently promoted to monsignor. I take it as a sign of the times, and of the location. I live in an extremely conservative and mostly fundie area, so I guess it doesn't surprise me that this type of attitude prevails. Makes me sad and a little nauseous, but not surprised.

Jasmine Goff Sturgill
09-01-2011, 04:14 PM
My family belongs to the Unitarian Universalist church and we're semi practicing pagans. :)
This is our first year hs and so far we are strictly secular in all the standard subjects but we are also doing a family study of herbs and oils right now that is religious in nature. But its mostly just for fun. :)

Jasmine Goff Sturgill
09-01-2011, 04:22 PM
Okay this is my first reply on here so cut me some slack! :)
my family belongs to the UU church and we're semi practicing pagans. We do some lessons with herbs and oils and such but the basis of our homeschool is totally secular. :) I think if k was in public school, we'd still do some herb lessons at home. :)

MoonSprite
09-01-2011, 05:15 PM
But what about you?


We are spiritual, I guess - I am a Pagan inside and a Catholic outside for window dressing when necessary, DH is pretty much agnostic (with a Catholic window dressing, too, but I was a cradle catholic and he is a convert...).

Not too many years ago we were VERY Catholic (tho not "traditional Latin Mass kind") and sometimes I miss the simplicity of it, but even then, curriculum was mostly secular.

Now, homeschool material is 100% secular.

Kids are being raised sorta catholic/sorta pagan, our neighborhood situation makes things difficult. :( We are still working things out. It hasn't been easy.

But, yeah, homeschool is 100% secular. But we teach *about* religions. (we both have anthropology degrees :rolleyes: we couldn't skip teaching about them from a cultural perspective, KWIM? :o)

MissyinSLC
09-01-2011, 05:28 PM
DH and I were both raised LDS. Both of us left the church in our early 20's and both of us eventually decided we are atheists. Although, we have followed the same pattern, our rhythms of progression were very different - my beliefs evolved earlier than DH's but I was originally a much more devote Mormon that DH ever was.

We live in Utah, where the LDS church has a hand in everything from politics to schools. However, the fact that 50% of the kids at our local ps are LDS wasn't really a factor in why we decided to homeschool. That percentage is actually much lower than the rest of the state (we live in a liberal pocket of transplants and academics). It's important to me that my children have religious literacy, including knowing about the LDS church. Much of our families are still LDS and it is also very prominent in our state's history.

I really hope my children don't become religious, especially LDS, for many personal reasons. However, aside from teaching them my values and morals (Good without God and Parenting Beyond Belief sort of things), it's very important to me that they develop their own life philosophy, whether it includes religion or not. I would not want to indoctrinate them in any direction, but let them decide for themselves.

I’m actually surprised there aren’t any other LDS people (or exmormon people) on here! There are a lot of homeschoolers in this community!

5amigos
09-01-2011, 05:54 PM
we are religious, and that is an important aspect of our lives and the way we raise our children. it is a very large part of our lives. however, when i was looking for curricula to use in homeschooling the boys, i was totally turned off by the religious slants when it came to core subjects. i was not educated like that and it just felt weird. I really wanted a totally secular curriculum and insert our own religious teachings and principles where I see fit. just because i am religious doesn't mean i want the core of their education to be so. plus, my decision to homeschool has absolutely nothing to do with religion. it only has to do with my two boys who needed something different than ps at this point in time.

anyway, i was so thrilled to find this site. i love how people are so level-headed, realistic, and passionate about educating their children. i love the advice given here, and how accepting everyone is of everybody's styles of hs.

Greenmother
09-01-2011, 07:44 PM
5amigos--When a church or person is overt about their goal to indoctrinate others into their faith, it is more honest that way. But weaving it into core subjects {regardless} is just too icky like a nasty subtle form of propaganda.

5amigos
09-01-2011, 08:03 PM
i agree--plus, i wasn't too sure that if religious school lessons came into my home that i was even going to agree with them. i have no problem with my children being exposed to all religions and beliefs but i'd like to do that on our own and as a part of our daily, everyday life (conversations, meetings people and respecting those of all faiths, etc) but i don't want it weaved into our hs setting.

3BtreeBS
09-01-2011, 08:50 PM
We are Humanists, and Atheists. We do however want our children to learn about world religions as we believe they should decide for themselves what they believe. If they do choose religion we will support them. As for now we are totally secular, while respecting those who have other opinions regarding the matter.

pnctink
09-01-2011, 09:38 PM
I voted religious or spiritual, but all secular schooling. I grew up Roman Catholic (both sides were RC too) and went to Catholic school for 11 years. I really did enjoy it. I do enjoy going to church, but I'm not sure if it's so much that I believe in what's being said or just that I feel comfortable there because of spending so much time in there as a child. As an adult, I'm struggling to break free from the indoctrination that happened (our family refers to it as the Catholic guilt), but I'm wanting my DC to know about all religions. I don't want them to struggle as I do. DH grew up Church of England, but only attended for his baptism, other baptisms, and funerals. Religion was not part of his life at all. He is spiritual though, and does believe there is some higher power. Our DD was baptized in an Episcopal church (back to the Catholic guilt), but DS has never been inside of a church. As far as schooling goes, we will be totally secular.

ginnyjf
09-01-2011, 10:04 PM
Hey skrink, you basically wrote my reply! I'm married to a cradle Catholic and he's frustrated with the church in general, doesn't attend mass, but it's bred into him and he can't give it up. I went through RCIA in 1992 and became completely disillusioned by the time our son started Catholic preschool in 2006. I'm a little agnostic, but I'd also like to believe in something bigger than myself...what that is, I'm not sure yet.

Our son was schooled in Catholicism to the point where he was having nightmares and worried constantly about what aspect of his behavior was sinful and would send him to hell. He started having horrible panic attacks in mass and finally had to be excused from attending. Now, two years out from Catholic school, he's not sure what he believes. He wants to believe in God, he says, but he also wonders if perhaps God isn't another lie that grownups tell, much like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Last year I used the same "faith formation" book that is used at my son's former school. I kept in close touch with the DRE. I participated in a Catholic homeschooling group. Then time came for his first communion and after wrangling with the church, trying to set up a private first communion to avoid any trauma, we all finally just said to heck with it.

We're not teaching any specific religion this year. My son has expressed interest in attending meditation at a local Buddhist monastery and also attending Lutheran services. We're going to let him explore. I don't want to decide his future beliefs for him. This is his journey.

floridamom
09-02-2011, 12:21 AM
Atheist here, so totally secular. I was raised in a liberal Roman Catholic family. Dh was raised liberal Methodist. Ds and I are openly atheist. Dh hasn't really taken time to think about it, but would probably come out on the atheist end if he did.

We are in the minority I think, in that I do not teach about different religions. We talk about them sometimes when ds asks, and teach it as it comes up in history or in the news, but that's all. He knows that some people believe in a deity (or deities) and that for some of those believers it affects their actions.

naura
09-02-2011, 12:48 AM
we'll be teaching our kids about religion (the good and the bad) so they can decide for themselves who to be. my sister and brother both decided to become christians in high school and they are very happy. I've also seen people who've been indoctrinated since birth and are very bitter!

husband is christian although never baptized (maybe in a sense they wanted him to choose whether or not to be baptized), he went to baptist church because that's what his family did. when he was in high school something happened within the church, (not his faith) that shook him and he stopped going to church altogether. he has looked for another church but he decided that he doesn't need any person's 'acceptance' to be accepted by jesus and in to heaven so that's where he stands.

I on the other hand wasn't raised in any sort of religion. I love to learn about other religions in general but I am against organized religion for myself. I've debated going to a UU gathering though. I went to a seventh day adventist japanese school, where I had bible study, prayed, sang in the choir, etc but not for any religious motivation. I just couldn't be who they wanted me to be. I don't actually exactly know why. My mom and grandma all seemed to be Christian to me like letting JW's come visit us and such, but they never pushed anything on to me except their tiger mom parenting :grin:

there are also a lot of things culturally that is Buddhist/shinto since we are Japanese that we do (like obon). I think that kind forces us to build an acceptance of other religions in general. even our friend's methodist church kind of caters to that belief, where there are many interpretation of heaven and that Jesus was sent as a 'short cut' and you will be able to meet your Buddhist ancestors in heaven/nirvana also.

I can't imagine anyone saying that one way is the only way.

squiremouse
09-02-2011, 01:49 AM
I am a non-praticing reconstructionist Jew, my husband is a Nazerite, my children have not really ever been to Jewish services and my daughter use to go to church with the neighbor last year. Most of thier religious ed has come from Veggie Tales. But we are not religious, only spiritual. I answered some secular programs since most of our stuff is secular but the English we use is Christian Light (mennonite!). I believe that my children should know the stories and quotes from the Christian bible but do not need to believe it. CLE give me an opening to discuss the stories in the Bible as he learns how to use a thesaurus and find references in the Bible.

FantasticWilliamsFour
09-02-2011, 09:35 AM
I was raised in an Episcopal church and went every Sunday from the time I was 2 weeks old, starting Jan 20th, 1980. I severed on the alter from the time I was 6yo until I graduated high school. Both of my children were baptized there & my husband & I were married by my priest in 2002. And then I had an epiphany: I did not have to do everything my family thought was right; I did not have to believe in something just because they did.
The thought originated in high school, the realization that what I was taught to take as truth may actual be fiction. I became curious, but my mom had no answers for me. She never talks religion, or politics for that matter, mainly because she followed what she thought was right, from what she parents talk her, which was not to be questioned, but just to believe & have faith & all will work out in the end. It was like the blind leading the blind.
So anyway, I broke of from the church in my early 20's, started doing my own reach and learned to love the idea of faith. I passionately read everything I could about all religions, and questioned people about their beliefs. Not to mock or ridicule, but to listen and try to make sence in my head of how anyone could believe in something you couldn't see. People generally gave that kind of mentality up by puberty, when some kid on the bus blurted out that Santa, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy weren't real.
So after 2 baptisms & a wedding, I no longer believed in blind faith. As my kids get older, we've talked about religion, they've gone to mass at numerous churches, temples and even spoke with monks, but neither one believe that their is a, or numerous, God(s). This has been very hard on my husband's 88yo strict Methodist grandmother, who lives with us.
My kids and I made a realization one afternoon, that any war that we have read about has been fought because of some religious reason. My daughter asked me that day "Was that their Gods' way of creating population control, by confusing them with different ways S/He/They has shown themselves to the people on this planet, making different ways to believe, knowing that humans would fight over who is right, battling and killing to prove it? That God, what a sly dog."
That's were my family stands on the religion aspect, knowing that history wouldn't be quite as interesting if there wasn't some mysterious force calling forth so many followers.

Eileen
09-02-2011, 09:40 AM
It's so weird to me to hear stories about Catholics denying evolution and talking about the Jews killing Christ. I grew up Catholic and never, ever encountered any of those attitudes. Maybe it's being on the east coast, or maybe we just went to a liberal church - I don't know, but we learned about evolution in science at my diocesan Catholic high school, and I never heard anything about the Jews at all, really. Certainly no negative attitudes. Maybe they've regressed since the 70s and 80s, which would be very disturbing. My parents always dismissed those kind of ideas as only being for the fundamentalists and having nothing to do with Catholics, or at least mainstream Catholics.

pnctink
09-02-2011, 09:55 AM
It's so weird to me to hear stories about Catholics denying evolution and talking about the Jews killing Christ. I grew up Catholic and never, ever encountered any of those attitudes. Maybe it's being on the east coast, or maybe we just went to a liberal church - I don't know, but we learned about evolution in science at my diocesan Catholic high school, and I never heard anything about the Jews at all, really. Certainly no negative attitudes. Maybe they've regressed since the 70s and 80s, which would be very disturbing. My parents always dismissed those kind of ideas as only being for the fundamentalists and having nothing to do with Catholics, or at least mainstream Catholics.

We learned about evolution in science as well, but we did also learn about what the Jewish people did to Jesus. I guess I was lucky because we had a kid in our class whose father was a Methodist (Or Lutheran?) minister and he used to question EVERYTHING we were taught in religion. It made me think quite a bit and begin questioning myself. Specifically in 8th grade I remember him asking how our teacher could consider herself a Christian with such a hatred for others. :) We weren't taught by nuns in the 90's either.

amdspenc
09-02-2011, 12:45 PM
DH and I are both deists. We believe in god and that's about as far as it goes. I view it from sort of a clockwork approach. In nature, I see evidence of a creator/creative force of some sort, but I don't believe that the creator interferes in our affairs. The universe is what it is, and we can use logic and reason (including science) to learn more about it. I see it more as a philosophy than a religion.

I voted "TOTALLY Secular," because that's how we live our lives. We don't attend church, pray, talk about god at home, or anything like that. We are mostly building our own curriculum loosely based on Well Trained Mind; we make sure that any curricula we purchase are not religious. We do use Math-U-See, which comes from a Christian company, but I appreciate that they do not include that perspective in the materials. They offer optional Christian elements that you can use if you like, but they are extracurricular, and we don't use them.

As for religious education, I am not opposed to my kids hearing religious stories and whatnot. I love mythology, and present them all as that. We will also discuss world religions in the context of history. At this point, we do allow them to attend church or church activities without us. I had fairly spiritually abusive experiences growing up in a pentecostal church, and I do not want my children being bullied. Our oldest is only 5, so of course as they grow and develop the reasoning skills to resist coercion, I will allow them more freedom. We intend to take a entire year when they are older and visit a different congregation (various Christian denominations as well as other religions) each week so we can learn about them firsthand.

ESNQueen
09-02-2011, 01:19 PM
This is exactly us. We go to church most Sundays, and my kids even go to AWANA (scripture memory club). However, other than practicing their AWANA verses, we do not do any religious school work. Well... we're using Sonlight, but I don't use the missionary books and we don't really use the questions they provide, either. Mostly I just follow the reading list and add in lots of stuff. I will never ever use that silly Apologia "science" and I don't see the need to put God into our math lessons, either.


we are religious and go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and any other time that they have programs that interest us. However I feel that most Christian based HS programs leave out way too much detail on how and why. They end back with God made it and that is all you really need to know. Well that is not all you need to know in my opinion.

Lak001
09-03-2011, 07:02 PM
We are very secular in the curriculum we use. We are spiritual and not very religious, although I do want my daughter to have some faith that she can fall back on when she is old enough to understand its implications. We don't have any religious texts at home. My child doesn't even know what religion it is that we follow :)(We are hindus) She just has an understanding that there is a higher power somewhere out there who's responsible for creating the universe. That's about it. And that's all she'll be getting to know until she's old enough to understand the heavy stuff :)

Stacey B
09-03-2011, 11:48 PM
I was raised as a cultural but not religious Jew (who went to Quaker School), my husband was raised Lutheran and considers himself a Taoist now. We're more spiritual than anything though we identify as Jews and look to the Jewish principles and holidays for inspiration. Our homeschooling is completely secular and child-led, though I am a third generation progressive liberal so that influences how I discuss things with him. Somehow these ideas mix together in my mind.

MoonSprite
09-05-2011, 02:47 AM
It's so weird to me to hear stories about Catholics denying evolution and talking about the Jews killing Christ. I grew up Catholic and never, ever encountered any of those attitudes. Maybe it's being on the east coast, or maybe we just went to a liberal church - I don't know, but we learned about evolution in science at my diocesan Catholic high school, and I never heard anything about the Jews at all, really. Certainly no negative attitudes. Maybe they've regressed since the 70s and 80s, which would be very disturbing. My parents always dismissed those kind of ideas as only being for the fundamentalists and having nothing to do with Catholics, or at least mainstream Catholics.

Same here. I grew up going to Catholic schools in NJ and never heard any of that at all! And I am pretty sure my priest - especially in elementary school - was NOT liberal.

Mare
09-05-2011, 09:23 AM
I am Christian but I don't think I should be teaching God's word to my children, nor should I try to apply it to everything I teach them. I treat religious studies like public schools treat art, music, p.e., and computer - once a week instruction and not by the primary teacher. My reason for homeschooling is not religious - it's because I feel that middle school is a negative place to be during the years when children need the most love and encouragement so that they can figure life out without being bullied by other students or teachers who want my kids to grow up too fast. I do try to follow the public school curriculum pretty closely because I only homeschool throughout middle school and I want them to be on track when they go back in high school.

SolsticeDreamer
09-05-2011, 10:59 PM
I was raised Catholic, Catholic schools and still attend Mass with my family (although when reading some posts from others that were raised Catholic, I think it was a totally different Catholic Church). Anyway, I'm not too sure what I believe most days. I took one of those faith quiz thingies, and according to it I was 98% neo-Pagan and something like 96% liberal Quaker. My children attend Mass, and my oldest is choosing to be confirmed - totally her choice. Our curriculum is totally secular, however, we study all religions including Catholicism. I want to make sure my children actually know what the Catholic church teaches so they know what they are choosing or rejecting. My oldest considers herself Catholic but doesn't attend church very often, my next has totally rejected religion (very bad experience with ultra conservative Christian homeschoolers), and the other three - well, we'll see. My dh doesn't spend much time thinking about religion, he's happy attending Mass, but he doesn't believe all of it either.

Anyway, spiritual but using totally secular curriculum.

FairyMom
10-09-2011, 12:04 AM
We use our church's religious education (Unitarian Universalist's RE) as our spiritual education. We have traditional Waldorf festivals with a local homeschool group, but other than that our school is completely secular now.

Vashti
10-13-2011, 11:59 PM
I am pagan, hubby is agnostic. While I'm using mostly secular curriculum, I'm also teaching paganism studies regularly. Our copy work is spiritual in nature, with writings from the Native American Code of Ethics, Buddhist and Pagan sources. We read a lot of pagan books and materials, and have regular circle at home. We also travel to as many pagan festivals as we can, because we live very rural and do not have access to a UU church or coven. I teach extracurricular classes similar to what you might see at Hogwarts, in addition to a Classical curriculum, Latin and French. :) We recite the Pledge of Allegiance, pre-1954 version daily.

koalaborg
10-14-2011, 01:48 AM
DH and I are Christians though we don't attend church right now. We would like to find something that fits our family. I use secular material for our homeschool. We are both scientists and are hs because we want a rigorous education for our kids, not for any religious reasons. We are also NOT creationists and so tend to avoid religious curricula for that reason. I haven't incorporated any religious teaching into school yet, though I am on occasion reading a kids devotional book to dd as an introduction. I'd rather find a church we like and have all that covered in sunday school and not homeschool.

OrganicFrmGrl
10-14-2011, 02:44 PM
I was raised Catholic, currenlty recovering, don't really know what I am now but not Christian. I am reading quite a bit on Earth Centered religions. DH is atheist. No church for us.

leanderthal
11-16-2011, 08:33 AM
We don't practice religion-but it is a part of our curriculum from a historical point of view.

Kokopelli
11-17-2011, 05:51 PM
I was raised religious left - in a very liberal, gay wedding blessing, social justice seeking, Baptist church. :) We go to a Unitarian church now. It's also a liberal, "we're trying to create the beloved community right here!" kind of place. The UU's aren't exactly where I am in my belief system, but our community is great. I really like our church and so do the kids.


My family attends a church very much like the ones described here. I consider myself a Christian because I use Christ as a role model for how to live my life, but I don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christ story, and I'm not sure I believe in God. I do believe whole-heartedly in my church community, though. :)

Our homeschooling is secular. I actively avoid curricula with any sort of religious connection unless I absolutely have no other option (one subject in particular, the ONLY curriculum that 'clicked' with my son is produced by a religious company but the content itself is not religious in nature or proselytizing). Science curricula in our homeschool is and always will be secular/evolution-based, non-negotiable.

laundrycrisis
11-17-2011, 09:22 PM
I really don't know how to vote in this. If the definition of totally secular has to mean atheist, then no. I'm more of a Taoist with an interest in Buddhist teachings and pagan traditions. Our family does not practice religion or teach religious beliefs, but I respect their big questions enough to leave them open for their own discovery. I do consider myself spiritual because it is my belief that we are all spiritual beings. But I teach them that this is my belief, not that it should also be theirs. I do not use any religious materials...unless it counts that I read them John J Muth's or Jennifer Morgan's books in a serious way.

Shona8377
01-17-2012, 05:36 PM
We're not religious one bit. DH was former Episcopalian, and I am spiritual. I do enjoy Buddhist meditations and writings. We don't attend any organized services either one. Completely secular in our curriculum choices here. We want them to decide for themselves what they believe and have their own religious and spiritual choices. Otherwise, feel like it's indoctrination. We have exposed them, talked to them about various world religions by finding books at the library on those subjects.

AggyBella
01-25-2012, 11:06 PM
DH was raised Jewish, and wiggles between atheist and agnostic depending on his mood. I was raised Christian, in the super-liberal UCC. I considered myself a Christian because I thought of Jesus as a good example, though never saw the bible as a history book. Then I moved further south and there's a different definition of "Christian" than there was in New England. We attend a UU church because it fits our values and we can be Jewish, athiest, agnostic, pagan, or either form of Christian there. Plus I'm interested in Buddism, and I'm learning a lot about it there. We're raising the kids as Jew-Us.
We avoid highly religious curriculum, but then we don't really use much curriculum anyway. For now we're leaving the teaching of various religions to Sunday school classes.

lilypoo
01-25-2012, 11:24 PM
I was raised with a Jewish identity from my Jewish father. My mother was a gentile of no particular persuasion and did not attend church. I consider myself to mostly be agnostic, though I am a practicing Jew (reform) these days. My dh was raised Catholic but hasn't practiced since his teens and went through a long period of atheism; now he considers himself agnostic. We are secular in our home schooling and currently are using all secular materials. I've used Christian publishers in the past (BJUP, AOP, etc.) but I did grow tired of skipping/modifying/explaining when I found things I just flat out did not agree with and did not want to teach. I just feel that education and religion don't need to be linked. We do some religious education with our kids but it doesn't need to be integrated into every. single. subject.

onyxravnos
02-03-2012, 02:21 PM
Okay so I picked using all secular programs but i guess that's not true. I do have a bunch of stuff i got for free or cheap that is very christan based but I'm not counting it since I ignore the christian bits as that's not my particular religion.

Rachel2717
02-03-2012, 02:41 PM
We are Christian, but not 'religious'. I feel that in today's society, there is now a HUGE difference between religion and spiritual beliefs. I believe in Jesus, I've read bits of the Bible, and my son goes to a weekly evening Bible club for kids where they learn a Bible verse, hear a Bible story, do a craft, and spend the rest of the time jumping around singing and dancing and playing dodgeball.
Other than that, I DON'T go to church (I'd rather sleep in on Sunday mornings, and I haven't found a church that hasn't either bored me to tears or scared the crap out of me). I have often felt judged by other Christians because I look young for my age, I'm a single mother, I had my son at a young age (I was 19), and I like to wear Sinful Brand shirts and put colored streaks in my hair sometimes. Haha. So I guess I don't fit the prototype of a Christian.
Which is why I DON'T like organized religion. Christianity is supposed to be about kindness and acceptance. Yet organized religion has turned into a completely different monster where it's a competition to be the most pious. I feel that Christians should be setting an example, not making each other look bad.
Anyhoo, that's my 2 cents. I in NO way intend to offend anyone who does go to church. It has just been my experience that the churches and Christian co-ops I have attended were not very welcoming and did not fit my needs.

crkirby
02-27-2012, 12:12 AM
We're very much secular. My husband for the first several years of our marriage claimed to be agnostic, but was raised Catholic. He recently decided he was Atheist. For myself, I'm Atheist, although I was raised by my very Christian family (Southern Baptists) and it took me a bit of time to feel "ok" enough to finally admit it to myself and not feel pressured by family to "fake" believe something.

I'm not opposed to using a Christian based cirriculum book, but I wouldn't address any of the religious aspects in it if I could help it.

ElizabethB
02-27-2012, 11:59 AM
I would consider myself agnostic, Andre (psuedo DH) is athiest, and Carter, 7, says he believes in God and Jesus. I believe in letting him find out for himself what he believes. We do not attend church or pray at meals unless my mother is present for holiday meals or something. When she wants to pray over these meals, we respect her and her beliefs. It's more about exposure to all faiths than ridiculing or disclaiming what I cannot disprove/prove.


Our homeschooling friends are Messianic Jews and Christians. I would love to introduce him to other homeschoolers of different faiths. I would guess we will actively teach all types of religions when he approaches middle school age. As for now, when he asks me why I don't believe in God, I tell him it's a personal choice, and one he can make on his own, as well.

I also love Bill Maher :)

Shaunessy McKay
02-28-2012, 03:03 PM
We're Mi'kmaq, which is to say, we're not theists at all, and not really religious or spiritual in any sense that's understood in that kind of worldview.