Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Pre-school & religion

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
So I'm finally biting the bullet and enrolling my DD (about to turn 3) in pre-school - 2hrs a day, 3x a week. It'll be great for her as she is hungry to learn and she needs to meet other little ones. Plus I've been told they will relax on the potty training rule as long as she's in the process of learning, phew!

Because I'm so late in the game, I can't observe classes and word of mouth is limited since still relatively new to the town. Our choices are a church based preschool which comes highly recommended. We are Christian but not the same denomination as this church. We are not very religious though, only go to church on the holidays - so I guess we're essentially non-practicing. DD has been baptized and I'm ok with her having a "lite" introduction to religion, but I don't want too much since it could confuse a child - especially since she's had no exposure so far. I know it varies from school to school (and district/state) but wondering how others' felt about the prescence of religion in pre-schoolif you are not religious. The pamphlet for this particular school reads the following and it's all I've got to go by so far:

"We seek to help children develop a Christian orientation as they recongnize the worth of persons and our common responsibility to God." The rest of the pamphlet makes no other mention of religion.

Our 2nd option is at a community center for the town (for kids and women) - it offers preschool 2x a week and has a looser curriculum. It is not as highly recommended but is a non-religious option.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Hopefully if we don't actually discuss religion, this topic will stay.

JT went to a church-based preschool. The only religion that was apparent was a prayer before snack time and actually celebrating Christmas. It is a different denomination than we are, but there wasn't anything to take issue with.
 

lizzyann

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 23, 2009
Messages
2,435
My neighbor sent her daughter to a Catholic preschool and it taught very little about religion. She is not Catholic and she felt comfortable sending her daughter there. I would try to ask around and see if anyone knows more about the religion portion of the curriculum. If it is a great school, I'd say go for it!
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
I was concerned with the same thing. I did not want to send my daughter to a highly religious preschool. That was one of the questions I asked when I was researching them. There are SO many options here so I could afford to be picky. Talk to parents who send their children there and decide what you will and won't be comfortable with.
 

tiffanytwisted

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
792
In the small town I grew up in, one of the best preschools is affiliated with a Lutheran church there. Many people of many different denominations send their childen there because the preschool has such a good reputation. From what I've heard most of what they do is educational, there are some religious aspects in the songs they learn, etc.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
A local Montessori school, my a priori choice for preschool and perhaps primary school in general, has a similar stated mission in their pamphlet and on their website. I have a friend who has chosen to send her son there, despite not being particularly religious herself. She says that she has heard it is not actually religious, but only in its charter. I don't see how this is possible, as why bother having it in the charter if you are not going to actually follow through?? Perhaps there is a funding motivation (i.e., grants) or something??

But we have opten not to send our kids because I feel like it is hypocritical for me to have my kids attend a school that espouses a world view that we do not share at all. So that is my more philosophical reason for my choice: I think it is important to behave and act in ways that are consistent with our beliefs and values, and I want my kids to pic up this way of behaving too. On a more practical level, I don't want to have my kid going to the school and learning things, and then coming home and hearing a different message from us, and perhaps getting confused, or worse, arguing about it with his teachers of school friends ;)) I was that kind of kid myself and suspect mine could follow suit. E

TA: I should add that for us it is not just an issue of being a different demonination than the school, but a more fundamental difference in beliefs. If it was simply a denomination issue, I would likely overlook the difference and send our kids to the school since it is likely that any religious content would be general and unlikely to contradict my core beliefs.
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,660
At 3 years of age I doubt whether your child will remember much or be influenced by the small amount of religious information she'll be exposed to. Since all forms of Christianity have more similarities than differences, I wouldn't give it a second thought. They'll probably say a prayer before they eat and celebrate the Christian holidays and that's about all you can do with 3 year olds.

If it's the better pre-school, I'd go there.
 

charbie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,512
The majority of the preschools in our area are all associated with a church, and like others have said, it allows for Christian holidays to be celebrated in the preschool. I was raised Methodist (but didn't go every week) but went to a Lutheran preschool....DH was raised Catholic, and went to a Baptist preschool. I don't think either of us were influenced in any way bc of these experiences.
 

janinegirly

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
3,689
Thanks all. I'm not as much bothered by the different denomination as I am by the fact that we are not religious and have not introduced DD to any of this. I don't want her to be confused or worse, indoctrinated. I kind of doubt the latter would happen at a 2hr preschool program in the Northeast, but that's where the concern comes from. Because we are not religious she does associate Christmas with Santa, and Easter with the bunny - I just wonder if she'll get confused since they are so impressionable at this age. If it's just a question of songs and very general stories with *be kind* messages, that's perfectly fine. DH seems more ok with this than me - he says she's going to have to learn about God at some point. I suppose that is true since we will loosely have her follow the Christian milestones and then let her make her own choices, but I just keep worrying about her developing some guilt complex and come home spouting messages. Anyway, I don't want to get too deep into it because then this thread might get banned!
I'll try to ask the director some leading questions to get a sense of the degree of religious teachings ("what do you do/teach over the holidays") and maybe track down some moms in the area!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Here is a funny story. Our friend's kid went to an at-home daycare and as it turned out, the woman who ran it was religious and liked to sprinkle some faith into the daily life with the kids. Our friends discovered this when their three year old came home singing at the top of her lungs "JEEEE-BUS loves me yes he dooooo! I looove JEEEE-BUS!" So there is likely the extent of what a three year old picks up at school ;))
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,129
From past experience with church-based preschools, one might expect children's songs relating to the bible, bible stories being read sometime, the religious aspects of particular holidays being stressed, prayer daily.

I think if you are not religious and do not want basic aspects of the Christian religion taught to your child, you should absolutely choose another preschool. As for us, we were extremely pleased with our preschools and felt that our kids learned in a safe, loving environment where good values (kindness, respect for others, honesty, forgiveness, etc.) were taught in addition to school readiness.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
We don't practice any religion but DD went to a Jewish day school. It was really the best school we could find and we loved the program. We were concerned about the religious aspect but it was a really great experience for her. DD was never confused and always knew she wasn't Jewish (or Joobish, as she called it) even though they celebrated holidays at school and she could recite the Jewish blessing beginning with "Barukh ata Adonai Eloheinu..." by the time she was 2.5.

I think you'll find that a lot of the kids in the program are not the religion or denomination of the church that runs the program. We too are considering Montessori and a lot of those programs are run out of churches. I think (at least locally) a lot of churches (and other religious establishments) use daycare and preschool programs as part of their community outreach but the programs are sprinkled with religious themes at best. Your kid will color pictures and read stories and sing songs related to the religion but that's about it.
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,660
My kids went to a nondemoninational preschool but for some reason they said grace before lunch, which was fine with us. My son came home one day and said he wanted to say grace before dinner. Our family is not religious at all. Agnostic if anything. But we said sure, go ahead because it was so cute. He says, "Mom is gracious, mom is good. Let us thank her for this food. Amen."
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
My sister, who is an athiest, sent her son to a religous preschool. She was clear about her beliefs prior to admission, but believes that it still posed an issue, even though the school claimed it didn't. Perspectives can often veer quite far from the truth, so the slights she felt may have been percieved, and also could be related other things, related to my nephew that have nothing to do with religioun.

If you love the school and find the denomination itself to be acceptable move forward, but not with the expectation that your child won't be exposed to the beliefs of the church that the school is affiliated with. If the denomination is not one with a reputation for indoctrination I wouldn't be concerned about that,but your daughter may come home singing religous songs on occasion, or talking about prayer because they do so in school.
 

nfowife

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 15, 2011
Messages
544
We are Jewish and I have sent both my olders to a church-based preschool. The particular one I send them to is faith-based but not over the top. They say a blessing/prayer before lunch, and learn about the holidays. I haven't heard them (nor have my children said anything about it) mention Jesus. They have a monthly chapel for the 4 year olds where they talk about right and wrong, character development, using a bible story. So far I've been okay with it and we just back it up at home with our personal beliefs. My kids know we are Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas, Easter, etc. because they are not our holidays. My children have adjusted just fine.
That said I did call around when we first moved here at different church programs (because that's the majority of programs in my area) and the ones who seemed very evangelical or over-the-top to me, I avoided.
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Ugh... this issue is a big one for DH and I.

In the UK many primary schools are run by faith groups - despite being funded by the tax-payer. In our area the only decent one is run by the Church of England and the local secular primary is dreadful.

Despite being staunch atheists, active members of the British Humanist Association and sitting as atheists on the local Standards Advisory Committee on Religious Education which oversees religious education in the area we may have to hold our noses in the best interests of our child. Yes I feel hypocritical, but unless we can afford private school fees we don't honestly have any real choice - also I went to religious schools and it helped make me the atheist I am today!

The biggest issue is that despite living 200 yards from the school we may not get a place as priority goes to children whose parents attend church even if they don't live in the local area (despite the fact that MY TAXES pay for it - the church does not). :angryfire:

The CofE is generally fairly benign - depending on the head-teacher - and I'm pretty sure that we can counter any religious nonsense at home. The local pre-schools are all run by evangelical and pentecostal groups so they are a complete no-no.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations
    Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.

New posts

Top