View Poll Results: Do you teach religion in your homeschool?
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Yes, we have a formal religious education curriculum
Yes, as it relates to other subjects
Yes, but only when it comes up in our curiculum
No, because we don't feel that religion should be studied as a subject
No, because we don't want to include religion as a part of our children's education
Other (elaborate in the comments)
10-06-2010, 09:19 AM #1
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- Apr 2009
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Weekly Poll: Do you teach religion in your homeschool?
One thing some people don't realize about secular homeschoolers is that they aren't ignorant about religion. Many of us grew up in various faiths, and were sometimes quite immersed in a particular religion for a while. Others may have not have had an upbringing in a specific denomination, but have spent a significant amount of time studying various religions and have a varied knowledge about both current religious trends and religious history. For this reason, a lot of secular homeschoolers find that they want to share this knowledge with their children and so religion can sometimes be a subject that secular homeschoolers pursue.
What is your feeling about this? Do you study religion formally or informally in your secular homeschool?Topsy
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10-06-2010, 09:27 AM #2
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We have not really officially studied religion by itself, but my sons study various religions as they relate to the history they are studying. For instance, both my sons are really into all things Japanese, so this includes studying Japanese history, which brings about the studying of historical and present major Japanese religions. Even though I have my own (strong) views on certain religions (or perhaps, more accurately, the extremists in various religions, less than the religions, themselves), I would rather my children learn about the beliefs of others with as much of an open mind as possible, both the good and bad of each one. They can make up their own minds about what they believe and hopefully know ahead of time potential pitfalls in following a certain route.Deanna
quirky daydreamer, lover of twisted humor, mother of 4 living in northwest Arkansas
10-06-2010, 10:17 AM #3
We're a mixed household. I'm the athiest who respects everyone's personal beliefs and my husband is Southern Baptist. Sure gets complicated sometimes. When I was growing my family was Catholic. I went to a Catholic church until I made my first communion and then had the option to go or not go. My mother at that point decided she wasn't a believer but encouraged me to go to church with as many friends as would invite me so that I could learn what different people believed. I've been to services for just about every kind of belief at this point and for a few years really tried to get into church with my hubby to support him.(I even taught sunday school to 3 year olds. One it got me out of regular church and two I figured if it was simple enough for toddlers maybe I'd figure out the attraction too.) It just wasn't for me. My children have been exposed to my husband's beliefs and mommy's beliefs and whenever it comes up in our studies I try to present a fair portrayal of whatever belief system is currently being discussed. Plus the neverending car discussions as we pass the bazillion churches in town. Meanwhile Hubby encourages my son to read the Bible and look for relevance in what it says- not in the bigotry some people find in it.Jeannette
Mom to 11 yr old Lego Maniac son and 5 yr old Self proclaimed Future Rock Star Daughter
Gearing up for our third year of homeschool
10-06-2010, 10:53 AM #4
My husband is Christian & I'm an Eclectic Pagan. I was forced to go to a Baptist church until age nine. Then, my mom finally decided that she didn't want to force us to go to church, like her parents had forced her. So, I stopped attending church & started searching for what I believed; all I knew at that point was that it wasn't Christianity or Catholicism (most of our extended family is Catholic). I studying various different religions while trying to determine which would fit me. My kids have free choice when it comes to religion. I want them to make an informed decision about what religion, if any, they choose to follow. They're exposed to our beliefs, but not forced to follow either.
We study them in historical context when they pop up in our History studies. We also do a World Religions study where we study each religion on its own & more in-depth, but I don't really count it as part of school.
10-06-2010, 11:00 AM #5
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We have not formally started teaching it due to his age, but it has come up (with him suddenly saying grace) and we address it. So far we stick to it as a diversity issue "Grandma prays because of her beliefs, others pray differently, or don't pray at all". Actually, trying to explain the concept of deity, without believing it, has been difficult for us. DS doesn't understand exactly what it is Grandma prays to. We plan to introduce all religious beliefs.
We have been unable to posit Santa as a real being as well though, we talk about him with a giant wink and nudge, so it's clear it's a fun traditional game. I don't even think there is anything particularly wrong with it, but I couldn't bring myself to actively convince my child that there are actual magical beings watching him.
He is free to believe anything he wants, but we want it to come from his thoughtful study, not indoctrination.
Last edited by MamaB2C; 10-06-2010 at 11:02 AM.Brandi
Alabama Gulf Coaster,
Learning and loving life with DS 6 and hubby of 21 years
DS is in public school, but we enrich and expand at home
10-06-2010, 11:22 AM #6
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We are an agnostic family (I was raised extremely catholic and I am the only member of my family who has not baptized her children). We teach about all religions and try to point out the similarities between the religions as opposed to the differences (for example, "The Golden Rule" exists in all organized religions). We also use Time4Learning, and in the 6th grade social studies curriculum they teach about all of the major world religions in relation to history, and some of the major characters in the religions. So far we have only done Judaism, Hindu, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism but I am finding it is a nice unbiased introduction to world religions. It is very important to me to emphasize that religion often has a lot to do with where people are located geographically (and that religion is often humans way of trying to expain the unexplainable). I definitely feel like religion is relevent, but in our house we really try to make sure that all religions are given equal respect and emphasis.
I agree that many believe that agnostics know little about religion or teach little about religion which is false. There was an interesting article on Yahoo the other day worth checking out. It polled people on religion and found that Mormons, atheists, and agnostics knew the most about other religions. It also quizzed people and found that many did not know the basic facts and information about their own faiths.
10-06-2010, 11:31 AM #7
I teach about the Pagan holidays as they come up 8 times a year, and my Pagan beliefs. My ex-husband teaches about the Christian holidays and beliefs. Our goal is to show our son that while these are our religions, neither one *has* to be his. We teach religion as it comes up, but will move into comparative religions later on as our son matures.
10-06-2010, 11:35 AM #8
Neither my husband nor myself are religious, and DS has made it clear that he equates modern religions with ancient mythologies. My husband did grow up going to church and going through the motions, but I'm not clear if his parents are actually religious and believe in what they listen to or if they just attend church out of habit and because it's "what people do". At any rate, it made no impression on my husband. I didn't go to church as a kid except on occasion, and that was to an ultra liberal hippie Methodist church that my parents attended for the social aspect. It was a very macrame-potlucks-group camping trips type of church but when they got a new pastor who actually talked about religion my parents immediately stopped going (as did most of the congregation). We never discussed religion growing up and it was just a non-issue, as it remains in my life today.
I'll gladly point DS in the right directions if he ever shows any interest in learning more about religion, but he is so scientific minded that I'm not sure it will come up much, at least not in a "what higher power do I believe in" sort of way. We do learn about mythologies as we study the ancient world and will discuss modern religions as they come up in our world studies, but I can't imagine spending lots of time on it other than in historical context unless he's interested.
The Santa issue is one I just can't come to terms with. It actually took a lot of work on our end to "convince" DS that Santa is real, and the only thing that convinced him came from a scientific source (or seemingly so--the very fun NORAD Christmas Eve Santa flight site). I'm wondering when we'll have to confess and I secretly hope to every year--I can't stand lying to him like this and going through these ridiculous hoops to make something out of nothing. To make matters worse for some reason we introduced "advent elves" who put a little something in his advent calender every.single.night of advent. He LOVES the advent elves and probably believes in them more than Santa but it causes me so much stress to come up with 24 little things for his calender. I hope the charade ends soon, but I'm stuck with it for now.
Sort of off topic but related: Did anyone watch Glee last night? While I commend them for bringing up religion AND atheism, I wonder why it is that non-believers are always portrayed as lacking something in their lives, or having come to their lack of faith in a god as a result of something horrible and scarring in their lives? Why can't we be portrayed as just simply, well, non-believers? Simple as that?Mama to one son (11)
2014-2015: Jacobs Algebra, CPO Earth Science, HO2 Middle Ages, IEW, AAS
10-06-2010, 11:53 AM #9
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- Nov 2009
Yes I do. As I've mentioned on a few other threads, I'm giving my kids a comparative religion course this year, using a book called My Friends' Beliefs. Religion is an important part of a lot of people's lives throughout the world, and I think it's good to have some understanding of different religions.Just call me Shoe...
10-06-2010, 12:55 PM #10
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We will be studying religions as they come up in our curriculum but expanding on what is there. We will be studying various religions when we do our Geography study (probably starting early next year) and we will expand on the various religions found in different times/areas as we are doing our History program (Mosaic using SOTW). We are doing a study of various Creation stories at the end of our Prehistory study before we start History. Obviously we are keeping it very simple for now since they are pretty young (they'll probably be 6 and 4 when we actually start doing this). I think I'm going to have the most problem with Christianity because at this point I have kind of an ick feeling about it (whereas I'm pretty neutral on all the others).
We have no problems or issues with Santa Claus. :-) My oldest obviously doesn't believe but the younger two do. We don't make a huge deal over it and since they get gifts from a bunch of Grandparents, I'm not sure they see it as a big deal. Other than watching the usual movies and saying "Santa is coming tonight" we don't go crazy. We also don't use him as a threat for good behaviour since I think that could cause some hurt feelings when they find out he's not real.Dorothy
Continuing to homeschool after returning to work.
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