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View Full Version : What is your general impression of faith-based homeschoolers?



Topsy
03-03-2010, 03:49 PM
Since the current statistics show that the percentage of homeschoolers who are faith based is in the high double-digits, we have probably all rubbed shoulders with at least a few of them. So weigh in on the poll below and let us know your overall feeling about those in the homeschool majority, then feel free to discuss your vote below!

Work_of_Childhood
03-10-2010, 02:02 PM
Most of my encounters have been positive. I almost voted that they were a mixture, but when I really looked at the maybe 1 or 2 times that the negative occurred, the positives have FAR outweighed those. I think those were special circumstances, so I just didn't count them :) I am in NC, and I think with the diversity of the area, and the fairly large homeschool base here in the area, there is enough of a mix that the negatives just aren't there :D

Snoopy
03-10-2010, 02:40 PM
I lead a very small homeschooling group where everyone is welcome as long as they agree to not discuss religion or politics. As a result, we are pretty diverse when it comes to the religious aspect (not sure about the other!) but we all seem to get along just fine. I have found, however, that outside of those parameters, faith-based homeschoolers will want nothing to do with me or my kid once they find out that I'm atheist, or will be obnoxious about it, even though I'm really not the militant type. It makes me leary to approach any of the local homeschoolers around here because I don't like drama so I'd rather stay by myself or with the people I already know.

CroppinMom
03-10-2010, 04:01 PM
I've found that my interaction with faith-based homeschoolers has been pretty even - I've had some experiences that have been very positive and some that have been extremely negative. Coming from a fairly small town that has 3 church based homeschool co-ops and little in the way of secular or all-inclusive support it is easy to feel left out. For the most part I would say they tend to ignore our existence.

~Kim~

MissKitty
03-10-2010, 04:50 PM
Where I live it is very "bible-belt-ish"...So I get a lot of how my child will grow to be a horrid person devoid of morals. I never got that one, personally...you have to be Christen to be moral? I must have missed that class...:) It's very hard to find a secular group here in my town, and the only one I knew of was 45 minutes away. So I started one and we are a very diverse group. Religion actually rarely comes up and so far--everyone has been very open-minded. Like Snoopy, I find the faith based groups want nothing to do with us or my group, even tho we open our field trips up many time to other groups. HEY! We are all home schoolers, the more the merrier!

Some faith based home schoolers and i have gotten along just fine. I just bite my tongue on certain things, but nothing that would hurt my kids...:) Sadly, in this town, you find a church on every corner and everyone assumes you are Christen... (I'm eclectic...i take from various beliefs and have our own...works well for us)

I find it sad that most faith based home schoolers I encounter are very closed minded that there is any other way of life than thier own...They could be right about what they believe, so could I, or Snoopy, or Topsy, or CroppinMom or anyone else! No-one really knows until you die--and then, it's a bit too late...:)

dbmamaz
03-10-2010, 05:27 PM
I avoid anything which is clearly faith-based, so the faith-based homeschoolers I run in to are all at inclusive venues. We keep the conversations away from religion most of the time. In fact, I have so many unschooler freinds, we cant really talk about curriculum, either, which leaves me not feeling very supported in person . . .which i why I do more socailizing on line. People who dont agree, can just delete.

Riceball_Mommy
03-10-2010, 10:28 PM
Other than online, I don't have much contact with other homeschoolers since we just started homeschooling not too long ago. We are part of a homeschool group, and a preschool co-op within that. The group itself is all secular/all inclusive, and so far at co-op no one has even mentioned religion. And online I can avoid religious conversations for the most part, and the only semi religious comments I've gotten on my blog have been from a few rather sweet women.

tokeli
03-10-2010, 11:05 PM
I live in southern California but a rather conservative town. It's actually kind of surprising to me how many religious types there are out here. You'd think we were all granola eating, Birkenstock wearing, lefty red, vegetarian "spiritualists," but we're not. There are a few homeschoolers here in this little town and I'm the only one I know of that is a straight up atheist. Yes, I'm an atheist and I'm pretty proud of it. Actually, I'd consider myself an anti-theist, since I thnk most of the world's social and educational problems boiling down to religious convictions clouding the issues. Frankly, I can't believe the matter of whether or not there are supernatural forces at work guiding the world is a ridiculous conversation to STILL be having at this late hour of the ... hello! 21st Century, but call me crazy. ("Crazy lady!") At any rate, the one local small all inclusive group I know of here that I've been to a few times is okay; it has both atheists, right wing fundamentalists, a Mormon, and agnostic spiritual types (I always think of these ones as noncommital). We all get along okay. We don't talk religion, that's for sure, though we do hear about the Classical Connections folks studying a "Christian perspective of history" (ie. Yikes, it's revisionist!). I sometimes go to park day, that's about it. One thing I think is a bit interesting: I've found that many of the more strident Christian types tend to be more persnickety about curriculum. They fear unschooling as the mainstream public schoolers do. They need to have curriculum purchased in a box, preferably Christian that details out their own beliefs, preaching to the proverbial choir, and they are more stringent with their children learning the "standards." They want their children to perform well on standardized tests. I'm new to this whole thing but it seems like there are more "free thinkers" who are "unschooling." Has anyone else noticed this?? The other interesting point I've noticed is that in some ways, I can see how I actually have more in common with SOME of the fundamentalist types than the mainstream types, in that we both reject consumerism. They like to think they are not following the mainstream herd; I'd say that they rather have their own smaller religious herd to cling to, but who's to say I'm right about that? They could be more free thinkers than I know. My conversations with them are very friendly on the whole as long as I don't talk about how ridiculous their beliefs are.

Jamisina
03-11-2010, 08:52 AM
Ciao all! I started homeschooling my four boy a few years ago when we moved overseas, sent my kids back to public school, and will go back to homeschooling at least 2 of them in the fall! My initial intro to homeschooling was through a Christian Homeschool Association on our base. That being said, I am a Christian Catholic, but my faith is something that I prefer to keep separate from my kids schooling (they get enough religious education at CCD, church, etc.). I've gotten very annoyed with the lack of non-Christian based curriculum, and some of the holier than thou attitudes of said curriculums.

That being said, because of my situation-mainly where I live and being overseas with the military/government-my interaction with faith based homeschoolers has been so-so! I have more issues with their faith and their preaching it when it comes to politics. It may have absolutely NOTHING to do with them being homeschoolers, but I had a few discussions before the last election that weren't exactly nice-especially considering these people are supposed to be 'Christians.' Suffice to say, a few of these fellow Christians and I are no longer friends!

Looking forward to any help in finding a NON faith based curriculum that will work for me and my boys! Ciao e grazie! Jamie

inmom
03-11-2010, 09:30 AM
I replied that our interactions have been mostly positive. Here's what usually happens: the interactions we have in person locally have always been positive. We all recognize that we all have our own ways of going about homeschooling and our lives. However, several virtual interactions through message boards and forums have been negative. I believe that when people can "hide" behind their computer, they are more likely to rant and rave about how others are doing things incorrectly (in their view) than when they are face-to-face. Unfortunate.....

aimeejoe
03-11-2010, 07:56 PM
It is ironic that this should come up at this time, because I have been trying to convince these folks that creationism is not a science ( silly me ). I have to say that out of about a half a dozen folks who weighed in on the debate were put off by my suggestion. This being an issue of great controversy I would expect nothing more than to have them all be resistant which they were. However there was one nice lady who reached out and while she did not agree she was kind and showed a great deal of heart. I think most people wish to avoid this issue and I don't blame them. However if we never talk about it then it will never be resolved.

Snoopy
03-11-2010, 08:37 PM
It is ironic that this should come up at this time, because I have been trying to convince these folks that creationism is not a science ( silly me ). I have to say that out of about a half a dozen folks who weighed in on the debate were put off by my suggestion. This being an issue of great controversy I would expect nothing more than to have them all be resistant which they were. However there was one nice lady who reached out and while she did not agree she was kind and showed a great deal of heart. I think most people wish to avoid this issue and I don't blame them. However if we never talk about it then it will never be resolved.

Hi Aimeejoe, I'm not sure that this issue will EVER be resolved whether we discuss it or not... in my own experience, people's opinions are rarely changed by being challenged. I think it takes a personal experience - maybe a negative experience with members of their own religion or realization that they can't really know if there is a god or not, or inversely, witnessing something that suddenly changes one's mind about there being a god after all. Atheists will never be able to prove that there is NO god and believers ask you to trust that you will find out for sure when you die. Personally, I feel uncomfortable with the act of trying to "convince" anyone. To me this is what missionaries, evangelists, and other proselytizers do, and I don't really want to be lumped with them. Live and let live, that's my motto when it comes to that. I choose not to believe and to teach evolution and I try to get along with folks of other persuasions as long as they don't preach to me and don't infringe on my rights to be an unbeliever :) Plus, some folks get really scary when you challenge their belief system. In the end, it's not worth it, at least not to me.

chinnymom
03-17-2010, 10:46 AM
My experiences with faith-based homeschoolers usually start out positive. They want to get to know us, find out if we are the "same". We do a few activities together, but genuine friendships do not develop. I have no faith-based homeschool friends. It can be very lonely at times. I am sticking with my decision to homeschool not only because I know it is the right thing for our kids, but because the schools in our area are simply an extension of the dominant area religion.

momof1gr8girl
03-20-2010, 09:10 PM
It is ironic that this should come up at this time, because I have been trying to convince these folks that creationism is not a science ( silly me ). I have to say that out of about a half a dozen folks who weighed in on the debate were put off by my suggestion. This being an issue of great controversy I would expect nothing more than to have them all be resistant which they were. However there was one nice lady who reached out and while she did not agree she was kind and showed a great deal of heart. I think most people wish to avoid this issue and I don't blame them. However if we never talk about it then it will never be resolved.

We are Catholic but do not choose to home school for that reason nor is religion combined with schooling. I'm pretty open minded about most everything so Christian home school groups do not seem like the right place for us.

The interesting thing is that our Catholic church in fall had an evening study group about how believing in evolution does not exclude the idea of creation or vice versa. The short version is that when they say "on the first day . . . " it doesn't literally mean a day. It might have been 1,000 years. I won't go on and on but I find that most groups that make a declaration of their Christianity are not as open minded. I think they take the Bible as more literal than others might. JMHO

Shoe
04-02-2010, 12:18 PM
"but my faith is something that I prefer to keep separate from my kids schooling (they get enough religious education at CCD, church, etc.). I've gotten very annoyed with the lack of non-Christian based curriculum, and some of the holier than thou attitudes of said curriculums."

Jamisina,

Hear! Hear! Those are my feelings exactly. I used a Christian curriculum in a box this year, because it was convenient (and I had to come up with something fast since I pulled my son out of public school in the middle of the year) but the holier than thou attitude and the constant preaching that infused every single lesson in every single subject is a real turn-off.

Still, my experience with faith-based home schoolers has only been positive so far, but perhaps because most of the home schoolers I know are people I work with and know outside of home schooling issues.

Museling
04-02-2010, 01:43 PM
My experience so far has been a little of both. Around here, the reason that most of the people homeschool is for religious purposes and the idea of wanting to homeschool for other reasons is met with, "Then why not just send them to public school?" Since we haven't officially begun homeschooling, it'll be interesting to see what sort of interactions we have since our reasonings aren't religiously based.

Firefly_Mom
04-02-2010, 04:36 PM
Our first 5 years of homeschooling was in a conservative Christian area, and it was very hard for us to find people to connect with. In fact, NONE of my son's friends were homeschoolers! I've seen everything from little kids tell each other that the other is going to roast in hell because they don't belong to the same church to a parent proclaim while we were at a restaurant that she couldn't read her fortune cookie because she's a Christian, and fortune telling is witchcraft! Having grown up in a family where I was told from a very young age that I was going to hell, or - my personal favorite - that I was a heathen, but my grandma loved me anyway - this kind of thing always makes me bristle. To be fair though, I've known some obnoxious athiest homeschoolers, too, so I really think it has less to do with the belief system and more to do with the ill behaviour of the actual people involved.

Nikkigirl2002
04-06-2010, 12:18 PM
Hi, I voted that my interactions were mixed..but mostly for the good? I think.(I'm very tired right now, I might have trouble thinking clearly) Our interactions, on paper, would be considered ok. However I have chosen to back off from contact with the 'Christian bunch.' The word Christian, got such a bad rap around our house, that my daughter, one day had to ask me, "mommy, are we Christian?" We're Catholic,( raised) and have been somewhat practicing. I had to explain what Christian meant. It is my opinion that the "christians" I meet give Christianity a very bad name. God gets alot of credit for things He would prefer not to have credit: in my humble opinion. People behave very badly in the name of Christianity. We had been active in a group that was supposed to be secular. The core was christian and that core can't be held down for long. The ugliness rears its head and is very uncomfortable. We also took part in Catholic based. I found that I 'wasn't really
Catholic' - that was based on my political feelings. It was said to me, by way of a discussion that took place at a ceramics (painting) ceramics event. Over my shoulder, and next to me was a discussion by the main mothers of this
group, talking about people who were like me. They didn't even know me yet. They assumed, I suppose, that I had the same beliefs,(political)... just because I am Catholic. I realized that people of my own faith had turned ugly - mostly
because of their political views. I can't sit and act as if it isn't happening. I won't chose to teach my daughter that it is, ok, to just let people bash others' beliefs. Presently, I have a friend in the Intensive Care Unit in the
Hospital, so I was up late and I'm tired. I wanted to read a little of the posts, and post at least a little bit. I'll post more when I'm more coherant. Sorry if I rambled. Nancy g.

carecare7
05-05-2010, 01:41 PM
I have had negative responses from faith based families here. Maybe it is because I live in a rather leftie, liberal, pro-Obama, Democrat, progressive, pro-socialism, pro-national health care town. The faith based folks here may feel outnumbered and defensive. When we tried to join their group (because it is the only one that has a lot of fun activities for my kids) they saw my daughter's Harry Potter T shirt and my other daughter's artwork (with dragons in it) and for the most part shunned us and our kids. They even tried to prevent my artist daughter from entering her art in the local county art show they have each year by hiding her drawings under other students' drawings so the judge wouldn't see them. They wouldn't engage me in any conversations, and I am a very friendly, conservatively dressed person. I raise my kids to dress and act conservative (meaning decent and not revealing [girls] or sloppy, droopy, butt-crack-revealing- pants [the boy]) and none of us uses foul language or acts rude. Yet they asked me what church we attend the first day I signed up and when I said none, they wouldn't give me the e-mail list even though it is part of the welcome packet they give everyone. I dropped out of the group.

When I meet the ones that are less militant around town, they act like they don't know me and they still won't allow their kids to play with mine. It is as if they fear we will somehow sway them from their faith. A thief thinks everyone else thinks like a thief; people out to convert others either by intrusion or legal imposition think everyone else thinks the same way. They are totally surprised when they find out that I am very knowledgable about the Bible and can agree with a lot of it (help others, love one another, feed the hungry, help the poor, be kind and compassionate, be careful of your body, be modest, etc). They seem a suspicious and exclusive bunch here. Not very nice at all.

Shoe
05-05-2010, 01:57 PM
... To be fair though, ..., so I really think it has less to do with the belief system and more to do with the ill behaviour of the actual people involved.Hear, hear! Sadly, "holier than thou", disrespectful, obnoxious, ill mannered people come in all faiths and lack thereof :(....but then so do the good folks :)

laundrycrisis
05-06-2010, 07:39 AM
I voted negative, but feel I should explain my definition of "faith-based homeschooler". I do not consider everyone who is a Christian, or actively follows another religion, and homeschools, to be a faith-based homeschooler. In my mind I only apply that label to those homeschoolers who make their religion into the central theme of their homeschooling efforts, so that nearly every subject they teach incorporates some religious teaching....science is apologetics, history is only taught from a biblical perspective, language arts includes lots of scripture, free reading is bible stories, etc. Their homeschooling is like total immersion training in their religion for their kids. These are the people I have had negative experiences with. But I have had mostly positive experiences with people who are religious, but don't use their religion as the central theme of their entire life and homeschooling efforts, and who are happy to relate to others as a person, not a potential convert.