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Curriculum Deals with the Devil

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Curriculum Deals with the Devil

On the compromises I make when selecting curriculum and a review of the lab class my son took with a religious curriculum provider.


  1. CrazyMom's Avatar
    Out of curiosity....why not just dual enroll him in community college if you're willing to pay $200 for a Baptist church to teach a science class?

    While it looks like they provide some nice basic genetics labs, I don't know how the hell they're presenting that information without a framework introduction to evolutionary biology?

    Dunno...the bells and whistles are there...but what is the substance like? Have you seen the textbook?

    Sounds like your kiddo is very interested in bio. Personally? I'd go the community college route. Much more to choose from, and it'll be taken more seriously by better colleges. Unless your kiddo is planning to go to a religious university, a church science class on his transcript will be more limiting than beneficial in my experience.

    I understand your concerns with being limited in the deep south....but man....I'd have a hard time turning over money that will ultimately support the mission of the church.

    Not criticizing. It's nice he had a lab experience that got him excited.

    Still....too much yuck factor for me. To each, their own, though. Good luck to your son
    Updated 10-28-2015 at 03:03 PM by CrazyMom
  2. aselvarial's Avatar
    Having grown up in a highly religious school, I have to tell you to be careful. Ostracism is rampant if you don't believe in what they believe. And yes, I live in the Deep South so I know how hard it is to be secular in a world awash in religion, trust me. I'm with CrazyMom and in the future, I think I'd look at community college offerings. Maybe that isn't an option for you, you didn't say. And while this one is working, it doesn't mean the next one will. Still, glad that he's enjoying bio. My husband is a biologist so I understand the appeal. :-)
  3. Soulhammer's Avatar
    Wow, lots of assumptions in these two responses! Let me try to address some of those by filling in some detail.

    He had a great hands-on lab experience to go along with his online lab course, which I think is just inadequate on its own. I looked at the lab manual and it's good one.

    When my kid reaches the minimum age to enroll in cc, sure, we'll go there for his labs, but not now while he is 14. For now, he's confined to online courses and things we can afford in money and time.

    Not too worried about ostracism considering this was a one-off.

    The company's not a church, although the lab was indeed held in a church school classroom.

    The issue with the transcript is a non-issue. His lab will be listed as the online course he is currently taking from James Madison High, supported with a portfolio that includes documentation for real labs that never would have gotten done with things as they are now. That's that whole eclectic piece that makes things work out in our house. We take what we need and leave the rest.

    Are these two days the sum total of biology in our school? Um, no, certainly not. He has already gotten and will continue to get an understanding of biology that's rooted in science, not fairy tales, so if you are worried about my family's homeschool on that score, please don't . I mean, I have the Darwin fish on the back of my car .

    And about the church thing again: I am not anti-church or even anti-Christian (as long as no proselytizing is aimed my way). Every co-op we've done has been in churches that were gracious enough to let us use their space for little or nothing, and I sure do thank them for it. I have no problem with that, although there are those who certainly do.

    As for the rest, as I explained in my post, I make compromises in order to reach certain goals, and they are certainly not the choices you or other people might make, CM. And that's cool.
    Updated 10-28-2015 at 09:12 PM by Soulhammer (Explaining myself)
  4. ScienceGeek's Avatar
    Those look like great labs! Glad it turned out well. I would have a hard time trying it, fearing the worst.
  5. muddylilly's Avatar
    Under the circumstances....I get it. And two days, harm, no foul.

    But I'd maybe change the title to "Curriculum Deals with Jesus"......seeing as how you're not anti-xtian
  6. crunchynerd's Avatar
    A total aside, but in my head, I always read 'xtian' as "Ecks-tee-yan" for some reason. Probably because of reading X-mas as Ecksmas. hehe
  7. CrazyMom's Avatar
    Landry Academy....the people you gave money to...has this faith statement:

    There is one God who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died upon the cross and all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures.
    The Holy Spirit is a divine person sent to convict men of sin, and to indwell, guide, teach and empower the believer.
    The Bible (Old and New Testaments), without error as originally given, were inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and life.
    Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God. He fell through disobedience. All men are born with a sinful nature, and separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ and those who repent and believe in Him are born of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life, and become the children of God.

    (you can find this in their FAQs on their yeah...sure sounds like the company has deep ties with a church)

    I would have a moral dilemma giving money to this group....purely on the basis that my money might be used to further the agenda of the Christian right. They could be teaching the coolest labs on Earth...and I'd still feel too conflicted about supporting them.

    Elle took a couple of classes at community college when she was 14. Maybe there are different age restrictions at different schools? We didn't have any problems at 14. Do you know for sure what the minimum age is where you are?

    I get what you're saying about making compromises, trusting that kids can judge for themselves, taking advantage of good learning opportunities regardless of if there is a little theological conflict....and I largely agree.

    What I cannot reconcile, monetary support. I couldn't give money to a group that was religious mission based, because so often those are the groups financially backing TERRIBLE anti-science and hate legislation campaigns. The idea of my money being used that way.....ugh...I just can't.

    But each, their own.
    Updated 11-02-2015 at 02:52 AM by CrazyMom
  8. momto2js's Avatar
    Congratulations findings something that met you needs and going with it. I also live in the deep south and our public school parents meeting ALWAYS begin in prayer. SO, we take what we want and leave the rest. I use a coop, in a church, it is the only game in town. When the other parents say things like "I pray about that alot" I smile graciously and respect that they take comfort in what ever they do. Personally I don't care if you see god in the door knob, if it works for you. While they pray, I research, reason, and think but that works for me and my family. I'm glad to hear that your experience was a good one. The responses above make me just as uncomfortable as the "exclusively Christian" folks, I respect your world view, I understand their perspective and I am comfortable in my own skin to not be threatened by either one.

    On paying to support XXXX. I pay for products and services that I find useful, what the producers of those products and services do with the profit is up to them. I don't see much difference in funding missions, paying sweat shop labor in third world countries, or lining shear holders pockets. Perhaps I am strategically ignorant, but I am blissfully happy
  9. Diggerbee's Avatar
    I feel totally inadequate when I read cool posts like that. Living in Oklahoma, well, crimson southwest/south. White washing slavery, mansplaining feminism, and pushing religion from every moment is just enough to make this person nuts.

    The thought of having to adapt anything that comes from BJU just makes me cringe. And so the disappointment with the hostility and punitive attitudes from the liberal-secular side of society against all things homeschool has been disappointing, hurtful, and feels a lot like a knife in the back ideologically speaking. Getting to know other homeschoolers here has been difficult. I have discovered that I personally, am just odd and do not always get along with everyone just because we might share similar politics.

    Sometimes what I wrestle with isn't so much ideological purity, its simply being courteous.

    When I am thoughtfully quiet in the presence of someone else's belief system, sometimes that is taken as permission to stomp all over others. That silence isn't construed as polite so much as compliance or even agreement. And honestly a lot of times, even out here the Democrats are really Republicans. It shouldn't matter but it does, because we are a family with girls. Out here sexism is still a way of life. It's in everything, books, television shows, political stump speeches, the radio, and on the playground. I feel the need to build my kids up in that respect so that the BS doesn't stick to them as easily as it did to me.

    Even though my kids have never set foot in a public school, both have been told to their faces at various times on the playground *gasp that they are, "going to hell" for not being Christian. Oddly enough it never happens in front of me. It's sad. It's frustrating. The whole ball of wax. Sometimes I meet people who seem really nice who homeschool, but when they ask us what church we go to, we tell the truth. We don't. Then we never hear from those people again.

    The irony is that our closest homeschool family-friends have moved back and they are conservative Christians, but you know ever once in a while you meet people who are just innately gracious and kind. So it's not a big deal to disagree with them nor is it a big deal that our belief systems are different, because everyone is a grown up and we respect each other for our similarities and differences. Those are the only home-school friends we have. Period. Other people haven't been so friendly or open. It might just be me, or it might not be. Or it may be a combination of factors given our location and the ideology of this family unit.

    They are not surprised at us for being different from them or holding a different view. And they are not offended by that difference. I guess that is what allows the relationship between these two families to work.

    As for secularizing religious material, when we started, we didn't know anyone locally that was doing that at all. And at the time I didn't embrace the notion of having to weed through all that. So I didn't bother. I felt that being totally alone in this endeavor, that to rewrite the objectives would be more than I could chew. At times this makes me feel as if what we use is rather seat of the pants, and a bit haphazard, but I used what was available.

    I will be glad when certain religious groups drop their martial language and mentality. That in itself shapes a very hostile worldview that oozes out in some very strange ways in terms of behavior and social situations. I am not their enemy. I am just not their follower either.
  10. Soulhammer's Avatar
    My devil's sometimes someone else's deity .

    I have been anti-Christian and anti-any organized religion in the past, having had to go there in order to get up to escape velocity (the faith in which I was raised has sometimes been classified as a cult or cult-like).

    To be honest, it's homeschooling that's made me confront all of that in a real way. We found a hs support group that was inclusive, but only after getting really burned a couple a times after inadvertently going to activities where we were actively shunned when it became clear we weren't Christians. I am a little hot-headed IRL and maybe wasn't too polite when I told some of those moms where to go after they said things to my child the last time we showed up. I'm on the low end of tall, have big hair and boobs, and we were the only black people there, so you know how that went. They asked us to leave. I felt I was right to go angry black woman on them, but as my more level-headed friend helped me to see later, maybe this wasn't a productive thing to do. So I reflected on what I wanted (to be able to have my son do activities outside of the house), modified my behavior, taught my son how to field the awkward church question, and looked hard until I found secular-friendly groups that lived up to their inclusive labels.

    What's happened since then is that I've found some really great, supportive, interesting people in my group who homeschool and are Christian. I've learned not to say anti-Christian stuff around them and they've learned not to pray over our food or tell me to have a blessed day. We've agreed to disagree. My liberal friends think we're wackos for hsing, so kind of by default my "safe" hs space is loaded up with Christians.

    Doesn't work for politics, though. The thing I can't quite wrap my head around, however, is how refusing to allow one group's faith to determine things like the right to marry or who gets to have contraception covered by insurance is perceived by some in those groups as a violation of *their* rights. That's probably one for BPWHD, so I'll stop there.

    Thanks diggerbee, momto2js, ML, CM, crunchynerd, sciencegeek, and aselvariel, for responding and giving me plenty to think about.
  11. Diggerbee's Avatar
    I am just glad that you found a good supportive community. I am glad that it appears many of the people on this forum have. I would rather be in the minority in that respect.

    Prayer never bothered me. Imprecatory prayer though--will light my fuse. ( one might as well be sticking pins in poppets --because to me it's the same)

    If a woman chooses to play a certain role in her religion, due to it--that is her choice. So long as she doesn't believe that I don't have a choice to do otherwise.

    I know people who think the earth is 6000 years old--it doesn't affect how they buy groceries or drive their car, so most of the time that doesn't bother me. I believe it's ridiculous, but to each their own. Just don't expect me to go along with that. I am perfectly fine with billions of years.

    Its not the beliefs that bother me (most of the time) so much as the arrogance, and the exclusion. The latter part feeling an awful lot like the 3rd grade type of exclusion. That whole "mean girls" bit with faith wrapped around it. That doesn't impress me at all.

    I am not interested in lying to people to make friends. My children and I shouldn't have to sell our souls to make friends. We already have our culture and our beliefs and we see no need in trading them in. With that in mind, I am glad that you found a way beyond that and made connections with a good supportive community.
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