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  1. #1

    Default Is there a program that teaches religons but isnt religious?

    So living in a Christian nation I want my child to know what Christianity is.. BUT I also want her to know what Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Paganism, and Buddhism are. Are there any programs that teach these religions to kids in a kid like way without being Sunday school "Jesus loves the children." Or is this something that I am just going to have to come up with on my own?

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    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    ok, now i'm starting to want those 'other' curriculum area links! this gets discussed around here fairly frequently - try doing a search (you have to click on the word search, tho, not just put the words in the box next to the word search) for world religions. I know there is a book by the author of the magic tree house series, but i always forget the rest of them. there are a few book series for kids about different religions, and I think DK has a book about world religions. Oh, and you didnt mention your child's age, but i'm assuming grade school or younger - if they are older, there is a world relgions unit study at intelligo. also, the Unitarian Universalists have some of their RE (religious education) materials available on line, and they do teach world religions
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    Lol she is only 3. But this is just something I have been thinking about.

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    I've seen this book bandied about a time or two -


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    Anita Ganeri has written a nice series of picture books for young children. These are stories not instruction in the religion but are nice introductions.

    Krishna Steals the Butter and Other Stories [Hindi]
    The Milk and the Jasmine Flower and Other Stories [Sikh]
    The Sound the Hare Heard and Other Stories [Buddist]
    The Temple Lamp and Other Stories [Jewish]
    Noah and the Ark and Other Stories [Christian]
    The Great Night Journey and Other Stories [Muslim]

    Mary Pope Osborne, Betsy Maestro, and Demi are other authors to consider. They may be a bit much for a three year old though.

  7. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry View Post
    Mary Pope Osborne, Betsy Maestro, and Demi are other authors to consider. They may be a bit much for a three year old though.
    I don't know the others you mention, but those are all good resources. And I like the series What You Will See in... (a Mosque/a Synagogue/a Hindu Temple, etc) that explores houses of worship. But also not great for a little kid.

    But none of these are a curricula... We have just chosen to cover things as they coincide with history. We did a lot of Christianity, Judaism, Confucianism and Hinduism with our ancient history study and then more Christianity (Protestantism basically) along with Buddhism and Islam with our Medieval year.
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  8. #7


    The only place I've ever heard of a well rounded world religions program for children is through the Unitarian church. Thanks dbmamaz - I didn't know they had materials online. My daughter is also three so haven't looked into it specifically yet but it might be worth trying to get in touch with your local Unitarian church to see if they would share their curriculum. I'm not Unitarian but friends who are said they even teach about Native American religions which I thought was very cool.
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    What about the religion course from Intellego? It's geared for slightly older kids, but it looks interesting.
    DD5, DD2, DS9mos

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    We've also chosen to cover world religions in the context of World History - studying religious beliefs when we learn about a particular culture/civilization. I like the book "Sacred Myths" for it's overarching coverage, but the presentation/format of the book is a bit...odd.

    The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions is really nice and like most of Usborne's non-fiction books it has internet links-galore. Unfortunately, some of the videos that it links to are not properly formatted so we're not able to watch them here in the US. Again, though, not really appropriate for a young child. It works well for my rising second grader and my younger two do tag along.

    If we were talking about the pre-k set then I think I'd focus on good quality picture books that talk about some of the stories/legends of other culture/religions in much the same way that Fairy Tales take the center role in the early years of Waldorf education. Not for the "spiritual" stuff, but rather just for exposure. A child that grows up reading the stories of many religions will have a far different understanding of religious beliefs than a child that is only exposed to the stories of their own religion/culture.

    There are oodles of really nice picture books along these lines - all of which we found through the library. Since they come in a picture book my kids have always understood them as a story, not as something that's literally true and I think it makes for good inoculation against fundamentalism/exclusivism.

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Is there a program that teaches religons but isnt religious?