Are any of you sending your kids to a Christian based pre-school? I realize how silly this question seems (at least to me) since this is the secular room. I'm asking because I'm having a hard time finding a pre-k in my area that is not Christian based without the hefty price-tag of a Montessori/Waldorf/private school. As much as I would love to send E to a Montessori we just can't afford one.
All of my non religious mama friends don't seem to have a problem sending their kids to a christian based pre-k and I don't have a problem with Elliot learning about Christianity. I do want him to learn and understand all religious aspects because the different belief systems are so important in understanding why our world is the way it is but I do have a problem with a very narrow-minded (IMO) view of where we came from, why we're here and how we should live our lives...
He's already exposed to a significant amount of God from my ignorant MIL (who we live next door to) and his sitter(which has so far been very basic Golden Rule philosophy and bible stories about kindness and love) .
I guess what I'm having a hard time letting go of is the teaching of the trinity. I believe in a higher power than what's in front of us, but I don't believe in God. I don't believe in anything really. I want Elliot to grow up doing what's right because he wants to do what's right, not because he fears "hell". I want him to be kind to people because everyone deserves kindness, not because God wants him to be kind...
I realize I'm rambling, and maybe you ladies don't have any advice. I'm not really sure what I'm asking, other than, would you/do you send your kids to a christian based pre-school. If you don't, where do they go?
Thanks in advance:)
I wanted to send my DD to a preschool in our area. Unfortunately, all of the good ones are Christian based. DH was very set against this, so we didn't end up sending her. She is taken care of by my MIL and my Mom. MIL believes as DH does and spends 3 days a week with our kids. My mom is a Christian (Church of Christ) and exposes my DD and DS to stories about parables and Jesus and sings Christian based songs to her. She does not preach about hell or anything like that, so it doesn't bother me. I figure DD and DS need to know about Christian beliefs so that later they can make their own decisions. DH doesn't like it but tolerates it because my mom is not into hell and brimstone and all that - very open minded. She knows our beliefs and sticks to the songs I have approved of. She sings songs like "He's got the whole world in his hands", "This little light of mine", "Jesus loves me" and some other children's songs. My mom was a music teacher before she retired so she really enjoys singing with my kids and it makes them all happy and that is what matters to me most - that they are happy and loved. KWIM?
In the end, we will probably have to send DD to a Christian pre-school since both our mothers are not able to handle her needs as she gets older and wants to learn. In that event, we will probably go with a Montessori school.
All schools in England are taught religious education, but are taught it as a curriculum, not in a churchy type way. I don't think Travis has been exposed to it yet since they don't start RE until they are in the year above him. I guess if the school was a good school, I might send him to it even if it were religious and just answer his questions at home if he started asking questions about what we believe, etc.
I'd be comfortable sending my son to Christian-based pre-k, though we don't because we have affordable secular alternatives in the area. I don't think a child's mindset becomes fixed towards one belief system at that age. I also would look at it as an opportunity to introduce my little one to a smorgasbord of religions. So rather than immersing my child in one set of beliefs, I'd take the time to talk about what other religions and cultures teach, maybe even taking field trips to temples, mosques and other places of worship. That'd help introduce the concept that there is a multitude of stories people choose from to either form their beliefs... or not believe altogether.
I find that pointing out the similarities between religions helps others reach a viewpoint that it all comes from the same (human) source. If you're looking for resources on comparative religion, Joseph Campbell's "The Power of Myth" is a good one, as is Huston Smith's "The Religions of Man".
Good luck with your decision, and I hope your kiddo gets some positivity out of whatever school you pick.
The day care center I take DD has a pre-K program that's in line with the curriculum for the local school district. If you look for an NAEYC accredited day care, they might have a similar program.
I agree with the above!
Originally Posted by demigraf
I do not have a problem with my kids going to a religious based school at any level really because I do not have an issue with religion. I also do not feel that any sort of religion is gained at the ripe old age of 3 or 4 (even 5 if you can believe it!!). I have seen stories of children being "saved" at these tender ages but I don't think my 3 year old has the ability to chose a religion.
It would depend though on what is a part of the day I would think. The daycare my DD goes to is an NAEYC certified daycare center like Aelith mentioned. It is much more affordable and she gets a good preschool curriculum but the director and teacher are both rather religious. They sing "Jesus Loves Me" and "This Little Light of Mine" and a couple other churchy songs. They also pray before meals. That is the extend of their Christian based daycare though as since they are a certified and registered center with the state they cannot discriminate on the basis of religion and really if I was really ticked off about the praying and songs, I could even make a complaint to the state to make them stop. But I don't see harm in that. She is still learning her letters and numbers, plus she gets to play with her friends, whom she loves. Elle loves her "school" and I thought about switching her to a more secular environment but for the money we are getting high quality and really I doubt she will remember much of them once she is in 2nd grade. Ky doesn't remember his daycare at all. So I wouldn't have an issue with it.
My family is also extremely religious. I don't have an issue with that either. Like Myles said, it made me introduce world religions to my kids early. Ky especially knows a lot about many different religions. It helps that our area is very diverse religiously and at his school there are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhist, and even followers of Ife a traditional African pagan religion.
Sam is currently going to a Christian based preschool. I am generally okay with it because I figure someone needs to touch base on the whole Jesus and God thing and if he asks questions I can attempt to explain more and where we currently stand as a family (agnostic). He goes for 2.5 hours 3 days a week and I'm not entirely sure how much time they spend on Christian teachings though I know they do.
I'm not sure that I would comfortable sending my child to a christian based school. I think for me I would need to take a close look at the curriculum to see exactly how much religious based activities are going on. It's not so much that I have anything against religion but more that I want to teach my children about that myself.
THank you so much ladies. I really do want E exposed to ALL the religions and their beliefs so he can make up his own mind down the road. I didn't make up my mind until college after a year of religious studies. It's really a struggle right now because so much crap come out of my MIL's mouth and I struggle with the daily pushing of Christ down our throats. I know that whatever we choose, he will benefit from, and I appreciate the point about letting this be an earlier introduction to belief systems of our world. It's really a lot to consider with so many schools and choices and little financial resources... Luckily we have some GREAT public schools here. It's just pre-k that we're (I'm) worrying about. DH is catholic which I find really hard to deal with sometimes since he's for pretty much everything the Church is against and he's thinking of switching to the Episcopalian Church...
Anyway, THANK YOU for your insight.
We have a new pre-k program in the public school that's free. Honesty pre-k in general is so expensive so I was happy we were able to send him to the new public school program. He did go to the YMCA for a while it was the next affordable while we were on the waiting list so it was totally fine with me. :) We are doing K orientation on Tuesday! So hard to believe.
My boy goes to a Methodist preschool, but it's very non-religious. There are Jewish kids, Muslim kids and kids like mine who have no religion. They're very inclusive of other religious holidays, which I appreciate. They do chapel once a month on Mondays, but he goes Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he hasn't been exposed to it. His BFF has been, and his mom doesn't think he's really taking much of the chapel bit in. My boy will be going back next year and will be there Mon-Thurs, so he'll do the chapel. I'll admit I'm nervous about it, but I've loved this school for him, and I'm okay with him being exposed to the area's dominant religion, as long as he's not being indoctrinated.
I think you just need to ask how religious the instruction at each school is, how inclusive they are of other views and other religions. Some of the Christian schools in my area are super Christian, and I'd have been uncomfortable sending DS to one of those. So I asked the schools and I asked friends w/kids at the schools.
I mostly feel this way. The part that I guess I'm slightly different on is that I don't mind so much someone else teaching Maiya about all the different things that different people believe... I just don't think she needs to be introduced to ANY religion as early as pre-K.
Originally Posted by Bridget
Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I feel that she is too young yet to discern fact from... Um, how shall I word it? Wishful thinking? She has a hard enough time figuring out that someone who is dead actually is not going to "be back soon", the last thing I need is someone telling her that they're still alive, just in a different world, or something. Once she has a better grasp on reality (I'm imagining about 6 or 7, but I'm a first time mom and could be way off on that!), that then I'll be more comfortable with her hearing all these different stories. By that point, I'm hoping she'll have a better grasp on reality, and I hope that she'll learn about many different beliefs, and she'll be able to keep the facts straight in her head.
When she's older, she will be free to believe what she wants, of course. And I have no problem with imaginary stories. I just don't want people telling my 3 year old that xyz is FACT, when it's really not, it's faith- and she doesn't get that yet.
With all that said, if I found a close, convenient, highly recommended religious school at a great price, I MIGHT consider it. I would have to be sure, though, that there is no religion in their teaching.
But then again, we don't do Santa, or the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy, or the Great Pumpkin, or anything imaginary like that, so maybe I'm just really weird!
Hahaha! Great Pumpkin? Does anyone besides Charlie Brown believe in the Great Pumpkin? Lol
And I agree that pre-k is too young to learn about religion, imo. That is, if you aren't a believer. I took a look at the private schools in my area, searching for smaller class sizes, and all the private schools are christian-based. One said that the 4-k children were expected to memorize a bible verse a week. I found that so inappropriate for the development of a four year old.
Oh me me, I love the Great Pumpkin. :) course DH and I are Peanuts fans. LOL