Thursday, December 17, 2009

Religion and School?

Jaidyn my first grader came home this week with paperwork and artwork she did at school. Like always, I take it out of her awesome Jonas Brothers backpack and check it out. I was a little surprised by what I saw. She learned all about Kwanzaa. I asked her what she learned about it, heres our conversation,

Jaidyn, what is this? (Pointing to a kwanzaa art paper)
Mommy, thats all about Kwanzaa
(She said it more like, KAH- wan- ZEEAH)
What is Kwnazaa, Jaidyn?
Some weird holiday kind of like Christmas.
Oh really? Did you learn about Christmas?
No, but I already know mom!!
Oh, do you, why do we celebrate Christmas?
(Her hand on her hip, rolling her eyes at me)
Because Jesus was born!
They didn't teach you that at school sissy?
No, they talked about Santa...some people believe he brings gifts if your good,
but Justin was really bad so if Santa was real he wouldnt get ANY!!
Jaidyn, does santa bring you gifts?
No, Santa is pretend! Hes like a clown who helps celebrate Jesus.
Did you tell anyone at school he's pretend? (We talked about this)
NO Mommy! You told me I couldnt tell them their clothes don't match or that Santa isnt real!
Are you going to learn about the birth of Jesus at school?
Probably (She says it probaby) not. Sometimes they don't teach us important stuff.

So, my question is, if they are going to teach about one religion, shouldn't they teach about all? We are Christian, I am raising my children Christian but I do want them to have an understanding about other religions. Mainly because when they get questioned about their beliefs I want them to be able to intelligently talk about it. I don't want people to think they are Christian because that is all they know. Just like I don't want people to think I am republican because I don't know anything. I study both sides of Politics and I have studied many other religions. But, I don't think the schools should teach anything about it. At least not until the kids are older to have a discussion about their views. In first grade can we keep it to simple math and reading.

And to let you know why we don't teach them about Santa it's because one day they do learn he isn't real. I didn't want them to question if Jesus is real or if we made him up too. And yes, I have had to talk to Jaidyn about not telling other people they don't match. She is a little fashionista, there have been time I have come down the stairs and she points at me up and down and says, "Umm, no. You need to change." My 6 year old is a spitfire! A very nicely dressed spitfire!


Chelsea said...

Love the matching comment.

I bet the reason they taught Kwanza was because it actually isn't religious at all. It's a holiday that was created by an African American to celebrate the African culture and family. There's no religion involved which probably makes it okay.

I think thought, that they should teach about all the different holidays that happen right now. It's interesting.

Melissa said...

Chelsea I thought it wasnt religious either but the way they taught it was as something to do other than christmas. It says this on her art paperwork. Pretty advanced stuff for 6 year olds! =)

"Give an alternative to the existing holiday and gives them an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society."

Courtney said...

Seriously? They learned about Kwanzaa? I think we learned about Santa and Hanaukah. That was it. They should teach about all religions. That's crazy. I guess that's the Gardner school district for you.

my stay-at-home-momma drama said...

I understand your frustration! In an effort to be politically correct in these crazy times, they went way overboard. Teach about how many different cultures celebrate the holidays but please don't take Jesus out of my Christmas for the sake of teaching me about someone else's "non-religion."

Chelsea said...

THAT: "Give an alternative to the existing holiday and gives them an opportunity to celebrate themselves and history, rather than simply imitate the practice of the dominant society." was written on the paper?


Melissa said...

Yes Chelsea..that was on her paper! She cant even begin to read those words, why put it on her paper. I got a good laugh out of it.