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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summer Vacation, Teaching From Religious Aspect

Tomorrow is our play date in the park from 10-12. There will be no formal lessons tomorrow, as we need to head to Walmart after to pick up a birthday card for the kids friend's birthday party this Saturday.

I have been asked by a few people, in the last couple of weeks, if we take summer vacation. Absolutely yes!! I need that time to catch up on everything else I don't get to all year LOL. Because I make my own curriculum using various sources I need the summer to get it all together, and get organized for the next year. Plus I finish grading, and organizing from the current year. We start school the day after Labor Day, and usually end the first week of June. We take days off for holidays, and other days that public schools take off. Because there is no set time of hours you must accumulate in Florida, to home school this is very flexible. Your child does have to pass their evaluation at the end of the year, so too much time off can be a very bad thing. Over the summer I do review things that I do not want them to forget. For example Caitlin will read, and DJ will do math. These are both things that can be easily forgotten over the summer. There are homeschoolers who do it all year, with very little breaks in between, and there are others who do very little work, and end up in trouble at the end of the year. Usually on our playdate days, which are usually every other week, we either do no lessons, or make up the lessons on the next school days. I am an organized type personality so having a set, organized schedule works best for me. All homeschoolers are different both in the way they teach, and what they teach. That is what makes us all unique in our own ways. There are some that frown upon those who don't teach religion, or are not what they consider strict enough in both lessons taught, and child behavior. They don't want people who are different in their groups, or their children even playing with them. This is not my philosophy. I like diversity, and I want my children to understand there is nothing wrong with people being different from you.

I have had several people ask me recently if I basically am a religious weirdo, and that is why I homeschool. First of all that is an extremely negative, and rude way to perceive anyone. When my answer is no, then I get other negative responses from people who choose to teach from a religious aspect. So this is my thoughts on this. I am a religious person. I believe in God, pray, and try to live my life to the standards he would wish me to. I have even read the Bible. I was forced to go to church as a child, and I always resented that, even though I enjoyed church. I am a free thinker, and have some issues with religion in general. I find all religions fascinating, and love to learn about them. I am mostly fascinated by the human behaviors associated with either believing in God, or not believing in God. I have very strong opinions on religion, and all things in life. I can almost always see both sides of a story. Now with all that said I do not teach religion in my homeschool lessons. If religion comes up in a particular lesson that is fine, but I do not choose curriculum or lessons based on religion. I do not feel I am qualified to teach religion, based on my own thoughts, and opinions on it. I want my children to learn, and make their own opinions on everything in life, not be a clone of myself, and that includes religion. My children attend church, and enjoy it, if they decided they did not want to go I would respect that. I do teach from a moral aspect. I have rules about things I consider immoral, and expect respectful, and kind behavior. I believe in the 10 commandments, and use them as a guide when raising my children. I do not believe in corporal punishment, it does not suit my parenting needs. That does not mean my children have not gotten a spanking ever in their lives. I do not take into account my children playing with your children based on your religion, or beliefs, though that does not mean I would necessarily leave my children alone with you. I have expectations for anyone who would keep my children for any length of time. Safety, rules, and observation are my top priorities. Likewise if your child were to stay at my home I would respect whatever rules you follow in your home. A lot of people hate this, and think my standards are way too high, or even crazy. That is OK it doesn't bother me. You have to have very thick skin to home school your children. You will be judged from everyone including family, friends, neighbors, church members, and mostly from other homeschoolers. You have to keep your focus on the end result having your children grow up to be whole individuals, with an education you know was a good one.

4 comments:

Anne said...

I am glad you have such an accepting attitude towards others, since otherwise, you wouldn't allow DJ to associate with Libby :). She really enjoys their correspondence.

I guess because I know a number of people who homeschool (even here in the Small Town) I don't find it an unusual decision. People have a variety of reasons for choosing to homeschool and I am certainly in no position to judge the choices of others.

I hope you weren't offended by my asking if you taught in the summer. We wanted to know because Libby is hoping that DJ wont take off the summer from writing her (because really, isn't it all about how it relates to me).

Melissa said...

Anne, I don't offend easy, and several people asked about taking off the summer. Must be because it is close it was on their minds. I have said before most people are curious, and I do not mind at all discussing it. I am sure DJ will continue to write Libby, he very much enjoys it. It started as a school project, and now he considers it fun, so that is always awesome for anyone who teaches. Thank you so much for being willing to let them be penpals, you were the only one who accepted the offer.

Anne said...

Libby enjoys it too. She checks her email and is always very excited when she has received something from DJ (she doesn't get a lot of email :).

Melissa said...

DJ doesn't get a lot of email either, so it is quite exciting to him too.

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