Monday, 27 January 2014

In hiding at the ice rick

I belong to a local homeschool group that is dedicated mostly to field trips.  I have found it to be really hit or miss on the attendance of some of the field trips and we haven't made many connections although I am starting to recognize a face or two.  This group did require a signed statement of faith, but I felt is was the least imposing of the ones in my area, so I gave in and signed up.   I have found most of the members are extremely conservative in their beliefs.  Trying to fit in has proven to be a bit of a challenge for all of us.  I wish to be respectful to the group while at the same time not hide who I am.  While at the ice rink, I met a lady new to homeschooling and we began to talk and my conservation was rather surprising.  I decided to be honest and upfront  when asked about science curriculum and I mentioned I teach evolution in my science.  The women looked shocked said "you really said that."  I answered hesitantly "yes."  I fully expected for the women to turn away from me, as it has happened before...but instead she leaned in and whispered "I do too, but I am in hiding, cause I want my kids to have friends."  We exchanged emails and plan to get together next week for tea.

I am telling this story for several reasons, one I have never openly said that I teach evolution to my children on my blog and it is time that I did.  Two, I found it incredibly sad that in this day and age people are so afraid to speak up and be honest.  Why can't people agree to disagree and move on?  Is it really so threatening to surround yourself with people who think differently from yourself?   Why does the young earth crowd feel threatened by the old earth crowd and vice versa?   Three, it emphasizes to me that their may be others out there like me, but they are in hiding and I have to search harder to find them.

Let me be clear I really don't care what beliefs people hold so long as they are not rude about it.  One of my friends in England was a wife of a Baptist preacher and fundamentally we are on opposite sides with many points but we were honest and respectful of each others beliefs and it never got in the way of our friendship.   I teach my children that there are many beliefs, and that they are smart and need to make their own decisions about their beliefs but they must at all times be respectful to others and it is okay to respectfully disagree and move onto other areas that are more compatible.  I wish more adults were able to do that as it appears to be a skill that many lack particularly in the homeschooling community where we live:(

It is funny I feel the need to mention our family's religious affiliations as if to prove I am still fit to belong, we are Lutheran and yes, I can rectify my religious beliefs with the teaching of evolution in my science lessons.  I have actually been asked this by a homeschooler who than rudely informed me that my views were not in line with Christianity and that I am really not a Christian.

Now on to our field trip excursion:  Ice skating
Little Man trying out the skates, he really didn't like the ice skates as they hurt his feet so we switched him to hockey skates which he felt more comfortable in.  I think we tried on at least a dozen skates before he found one he felt comfortable in.  
Here an older boy is giving my son some pointers on how to use hockey skates

This young man was so helpful he helped my son attempt to skate 

Meanwhile Firedrake who has skated before was looking to met new people and too my surprise found a group of teenagers that she like.  The kids seemed very nice

Firedrake skated for nearly 2 hours before coming off the ice in pain.

Mario fan lasted about an hour before declaring he was finished and went to play on some of the video games
All in all a fairly good day, while my daughter did exchange emails with the group of kids she met I am very curious to see if they keep in contact as there were obivious difference in beliefs and while Firedrake was not aware of them, I was.   For example the 16 year old hadn't read Harry Potter series because they contain witchcraft and that is one of Firedrakes favorite books.  While I hope the kids can overcome this obstacle, from past experience I have found these things can be deal breakers once the other children's parents find out:(.  Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised.

10 comments:

  1. I think it's great that you speak up for what you believe in. I never realised there was such a minefield of religious beliefs before i started homeschooling, and have been completely dumbfounded by some of the things i have come across ( the Harry Potter thing being one of them!). I think it's much more accepted to believe in evolution here in the UK though?
    I'm hoping that you find a circle where you can be yourselves, it must be so hard to hide a part of yourself to fit in. Good luck building those friendships :-)
    Ice skating looked super fun !!!

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    1. Thank you Susie for your kind words it has restored my faith a little. I found some differences in England in this areas but not to the extreme of what I am dealing with here in the states. I really miss home educating in England where religion is not a huge major player in the education of children:)

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  2. I have never encountered something like a religious statement in CT. I find it sad that in order to belong to a group whose commonality is that you all homeschool, you have to believe a certain way. I would do the same thing if it were my only option.

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    1. Thank you Jessica, I am so glad you found a more accepting homeschooling community. It is something I am still looking for!

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  3. I think it is very sad when you feel you can't be honest about how you believe. I believe that we should always respect the beliefs of others. I find this really a sad part of society. I have strong religious beliefs and have been ridiculed for it many times. The funny thing is that we are often defined by Christians as a cult and or not a christian. I find that interesting since the name of our church is; "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    We are taught plainly in our church to love everyone regardless of their religious beliefs and to be respectful of other beliefs We believe we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and that Christ gave his life for us all so that we can someday return to them. Essentially we are all brothers and sisters.
    I like that you are interested in learning and teaching your children about other faiths. I loved it when you went to various religious places to teach your children about different beliefs when you lived in England.
    Although I don't believe in evolution; I have been taught about it and my children were taught about it in public schools over the years. You are an amazing homeschooler and I love your adventures. I find that you are giving your children a well rounded education.
    Blessings for all!

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    1. Thank you LeAnn you have given me renew faith in the hopes to find others who believe differently but are able to accept differences with an open heart. I really want to find people like you locally to me.:)

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  4. Way to go. Its hard to be a voice of reason among fear-ridden unreasonableness! You are very courageous my dear, but keep on being you. You may well be a saving grace for others who are too afraid to be open. :-)

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    1. Ah my dear friend, we miss you tons:)!!!

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  5. Too funny! When I first started homeschooling 20 years ago, I had more problems with having to hide my faith, or lack of, but now there are so many liberal homeschoolers, it's not really a problem. Ironically, I have been well-trained over the years though. Last summer, while at a park that had a dinosaur toy, Sola started asking me if dinosaurs lived at the north pole. I really wanted to change the subject, as lots of people were around, but she really wanted to know about dinosaurs, so I ended up explaining to her that dinosaurs lived long ago (not even discussing evolution, but discussing non-biblical dating). I was whispering it and she kept repeating everything I said really loudly and I was cringing, when it finally occurred to me that that we weren't among a group of homeschoolers and probably everyone there believed in an old Earth and evolution. :-)

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    1. what a great story and I can relate as I am doing this with my kids now, warning them that we are entering a homeschooling situation where we have to keep quiet and try to fit in. I am really torn about this as I hate myself for doing it. I haven't found to many liberal homeschoolers near me at this time...but I am still looking:)

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