Saturday, March 10, 2007

Pagan Homeschooling

We're homeschoolers (obviously), and we're pagan. But do these two aspects of our lives have anything to do with each other? Should they?

A huge segment of the homeschooling population is Christian. For some of these people, being Christian doesn't affect their homeschooling. But there are many that use their religion as a reason to homeschool. They count their religious "lessons" as part of homeschooling. They surround themselves with fellow Christian homeschoolers.

So why aren't there any pagan homeschooling groups? Not that I'm complaining, it's more like I'm just wondering. What's so different about pagans that they don't feel the need to band together and use their religion to inform their homeschooling decisions?

In trying to decide whether we are "pagan homeschoolers" or not, I have a hard time deciding. On one hand, our spiritual beliefs have no impact on the academic subjects we (will) teach our children. Honestly, I don't really see how they would. I can see how Christians who believe in Creation wouldn't teach their children about evolution. It's against their spiritual beliefs. But none of our spiritual beliefs conflict with what our children would be learning in school, should they go.

On the other hand, if the boys are learning at home rather than at school, then isn't everything we teach our children part of homeschooling? So when I teach them to be respectful of nature and about the world we live in.. is that our version of a Bible class? I've been checking out several books from the library by Lynn Plourde (Wild Child, Spring's Sprung, Summer's Vacation) and also Child of Faerie by Jane Yolen. Is this our religious curriculum? I wonder.

Of course, in the end.. does it really matter? What use is a label, really? If I obsess over whether I'm a pagan homeschooler, am I any different than the people who say, "Can we be unschoolers even if we use workbooks? Please?"

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At 11:19 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Good point! I don't know why christians wrap up school and religion in the same package. Its like going food shopping is as sacred as attending mass.
Maybe its a larger mindset? They seem to want to shelter their children from everyone not like them. I can't think of anything worse than spending 24-7 with people exactly like me.
just funny a few years ago my very christian friend was telling me about the book King and King a book for little kids about two kings who fall in love. I immediately said "I have to get that for the kids what a neat idea". She said "I think it should be banned". The thing is my son has two friends with 2 moms and 2 dads. Even at 3 and 4 he didn't think anything wrong with it... and why should we say anything different?

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I really try not to be anti-Christian, really I do. I know that not all Christians are intolerant and afraid of the larger world. I swear, I do. Most of my family is Christian, can you believe it? :)

But still, I wonder about these people who are on the more extreme end of the spectrum. I think that the vast majority of their strange idiosyncracies are a way of hiding from what scares them. It seems like a very sad way of living, but then again, I'm sure that they're sad that we're going to Hell.

Oh, and I agree about kids being wonderfully tolerant if they're not taught otherwise. After all, think of all the kids who go to that transgendered pediatrician (so sorry, I forget her name!) and think nothing of it.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

I'm not a fan of labels either. I think it's all about how you want to raise your children and how you want to "identify" yourself.

I've just discovered your blog and have been enjoying your posts. :-)

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

Hey, glad to hear you're reading. :)

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Jen said...

*former christian missionary here* so I have a very skewed view of christian homeschoolers b/c I knew so many that homeschooled to segregate themselves. Now that I look back at that part of my life its almost like I am talking about someone else.

We are raising our kids buddhist and my parents are agnostic.


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