I'm worried about the faith statement for our coop...

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by ediesbeads, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. ediesbeads

    ediesbeads Member

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    I don't know what to do! We are joining (or trying to join) a different homeschool coop this year. I've heard great things about it and we got very excited. However, it's held at a bible fellowship church and they have a faith statement that both parents are required to sign. My husband is Catholic and he said he couldn't sign it because there were a couple of statements that go against the teachings of the Catholic church. I CAN sign it because I was raised protestant and haven't converted. We are raising our kids in an interesting combination... we attend Catholic church as a family and the kids attend religious ed there. They also attend a local ecumenical youth group, and my oldest attends a middle school youth group at a bible church. They go to all sorts of VBS's..... Catholic, Baptist, Bible church.... they are getting all aspects of Christian religion.

    DH has no problem with the kids and I attending the coop, but he can't sign the statement.

    I'm worried the coop won't let us attend since DH wouldn't sign it. The kids aren't bound to any decisions because they haven't gone through confirmation at any church yet. They are still open to options. I'm the one who will be attending the coop and I signed it.

    Am I just being silly worrying? Will they kick us out?? I don't know what to think.

    Anyone dealt with this type of thing before?

    Edie
     
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  3. KrisRV

    KrisRV New Member

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    pick me yes, pick me.. it happen to me I sign it dh wouldn't so they wouldn't let us in..
    oh well we moved on. I hope its different in your case. good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  4. pamark1

    pamark1 New Member

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    Same thing would happen to us......... we are Christian Scientists..... you know, the evil cult people :roll: We don't quite match up with most statements of faith so we don't belong to any homeschool groups. Such is life. I'm just about ready to start a Secular Homeschool group for those of us in this world that are on the fringe of the more privileged masses. :lol:
     
  5. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Sounds more like a conformance group rather than a support group.

    We homeschooled because, in part, we wanted the freedom to choose what our children learned and didn't learn. Why work with a group that insists on conformance to their opinion (whether or not we agree with their statement)? They should be supporting our decisions, not undermining them.

    What if you join the group and not want to teach creationism, for example? What if you want your children to understand the elements of other faiths? What if you choose to use a secular textbook for one subject? What if they insist that Christians must support a particular political party? What if the church has a strong stance on some social issue with which you disagree?

    Forcing you to conform at the outset could well impact your options moving forward. Would they ask you to leave over any of these things? Why should you have to look over your shoulder for any decision you make?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  6. Olly.

    Olly. New Member

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    Ask them if it is okay to have him initial what he agrees with and then sign to those, instead of the entire statement?
     
  7. ediesbeads

    ediesbeads Member

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    Update! I called and talked with the leader of the group. I discussed our situation and she asked me lots of questions about everything. After our discussion she said as long as I could sign the statement and as long as DH had no objection to our kids attending the group she was fine with it! Whew! I feel a lot better now. She said she understood a lot because her MIL is Catholic and her husband WAS Catholic but converted to become a protestant when they married. So she understands the situation from a personal point of view. We had a very nice discussion about how the group is ecumenical and has members of all different denominations. That made me feel much relieved!

    BTW I think if this hadn't worked out, Olly's suggestions would have been a great one!

    Edie
     
  8. northernmomma

    northernmomma New Member

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    I agree with you husband he shouldn't sign something that goes against his beliefs. I also can say that maybe that group isn't for you if they are so closed to not allow other beliefs in.
    And starting your own group has been going through my head as well. I find the ONE group in this city is great for activities but lacking on the social aspects. Also during meetings they condemn anyone who isn't a believer in their beliefs. Which kind of goes against the mission statement of all are welcome. Nice people, just sometimes it is hard to keep personal opinions separate from the group.
     
  9. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    It's understandable that there will be differences of opinion. It's when they codify their particular beliefs that it becomes a problem. Even if you agree will all those beliefs today, what's to stop them adding something new in the future? Requiring a signature is an attitude of mind - control and conformance.
     
  10. cabsmom40

    cabsmom40 New Member

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    I think it is great that they let you join. I also think it is great that your husband was true to his beliefs.

    As far as Christian homeschooling groups wanting the member to be in agreement, I am all for that. I wouldn't want my child to attend the co-op classes being taught evolution. So, I wouldn't join a secular homeschool group without really checking out the individual classes. I don't think it is a policy to be mean spirited, it is probably in place to keep everyone on the same page.

    We had issues at the coop I belong to, and I am not sure of the exact problems, but they did arise from the statement of faith. We choose what we want to belong to and if it is a Christian group then I would expect it to be supportive of Christian ideas.

    I don't think it is mind contol. At any time you can opt out. If they change a rule and you don't agree--opt out. Mind control is where you have no choice.

    Also, (OK this might stir up some lovely debate) in heaven we aren't going to be able to just believe however we want. God is truth and we will know the truth absolutely then, and we just won't be able to pick and choose what we like and what we don't like. Is the mind control?

    I do think there are a lot of issues that divide Christians that shouldn't. There are things that are disagreed upon that don't really matter in the bigger picture. Should women only wear dresses? Should women cover their heads? Should Christians eat bacon? Is the Rapture going to happen pre-tribulation (my preference), mid-ttibulation, or post-tribulation?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  11. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    I agree. I have no problem signing a statement of faith for an option group. I had to sign for my kids to attend the homeschool academy in town. Knowing everyone was on the same page to some degree meant not having to worry about a parent getting bent out of shape because a teacher emphasized a particular agreed-upon doctrine during class.

    When I attended a Christian University I had to do the same: sign a lengthy statement of faith and lifestyle covenant. Did I like having to agree to certain lifestyle things (i.e. couldn't socially dance: given that I teach social dance, I wasn't happy about it.). But I CHOSE to attend that school. There are seven other colleges in the immediate area that I could have gone to instead.
     
  12. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    And it's quite OK for a church to have a statement of faith - for this very reason. But we're talking about a homeschool co-op. Isn't that different? Part of education is to learn differing opinions and to understand what others believe and why. Insisting on conformance undermines that process. All of a sudden, you're under suspicion if you're 'different'.
     
  13. JosieB

    JosieB Active Member

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    Glad it worked out for you.

    I also don't think it's wrong to require a statement of faith to be signed. It's not REQUIRED that you attend a specific co-op or homeschool group.

    I had to tell my church I was saved to become a member. Is that wrong too?

    I think it's perfectly acceptable for a group to have a common goal and require their members to sign something saying "I will do this, won't do that"

    Some people sign things like this for some jobs and to rent some places as well. (like non-disclosure and you won't break the law or you lose your job/apt etc)

    I don't think it's a big a deal (exclusion of people who CHOOSE not to sign) AS a PP said-it's not REQUIRED. If you had to sign a statement of faith for PS-that would be a diff story.
     
  14. Shelley

    Shelley New Member

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    Why is a co-op different? The people who began the co-op did so wanting to follow specific guidelines of beliefs. I've seen Catholic co-ops, secular co-ops, Protestant Christian co-ops, etc. All set themselves up with certain rules and guidelines. I certainly wouldn't get my knickers in a twist if a Catholic co-op expected me to be of their belief system. That, to me, would be a given.

    Some people homeschool because they want to ensure that their kids--- at least up to a certain age--- yoke themselves with like-minded people. Co-ops are private entities, so they're well within their rights to set up whatever belief guidelines they'd like. Private schools do the exact same thing.

    My opinion is that, if you don't like a co-op's rules, then don't try to join the group. It's that simple. I get annoyed with people who get snitty [which the OP clearly DIDN'T do] because a private group has the 'gall' to try to create any sense of exclusivity. They're a private group. That's the point of making it private rather than public.

    Just because an ideal co-op to one person means that all ideas are shared and exchanged as being on an even playing field doesn't mean that everyone believes or wants that to be what a co-op is about. If there's nothing around that meets your beliefs, then create your own...which I'm pretty certain would come with its own set of rules that would chaff at someone else's expectations.
     
  15. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    I can certainly see your viewpoint (and I'm glad, by the way, that the situation described by the OP sorted itself out). Personally, though, I believe in a broad education, exposing my children to conflicting views and encouraging them to think through why they believe one thing over another. Maybe it's my contrarian nature, but being expected to accept someone's interpretation of what's right in fields where there are many interpretations simply undermines the purpose of education. Education shouldn't be about peer pressure and closing doors; it should be about individual discovery and opening doors.

    It may be that requiring a signature is a safeguard and the group is not conformist at all - but their insistence on one raises a warning flag with me.
     
  16. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    Steve, by that standard we should abolish all faith-based education. And send the kids to public school. Because a big part of the benefit of homeschooling is being able to have control over from what point of view your child is taught. I don't see how my child has to be regularly "exposed" to a child who thinks it's alright to cuss or who believes in a different god in order to learn about other faiths and lifestyles.

    Education is about learning differing opinions in a safe environment, not just about learning them. So there is no Earthly reason my 7 year old needs to learn Evolution from a humanist. I want him to learn evolution, eventually, from me or others who think like me; people who can present the theory without pushing an agenda.

    It's no different than a faith-based institution of higher education. How is it a problem for a Christian University to limit entrance to students who uphold Christian beliefs? Or for a Mormon institution to limit entrance to students who have been baptized in the Temple? Or for a Jewish institution to limit entrance to students who are among certain sects of Judaism? I really don't understand your logic, Steve.
     
  17. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    Oh, and I daresay that public institutions do the same thing. Students are required to sign agreements that emphasize the requirement of 'tolerance'. Which usually means you will refrain from expressing ANY ideas that are not common to the mainstream humanist ideals.
     
  18. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    Not really. A Christian school starts out with a particular worldview. That establishes a default, a goal, a vision. But how do they go about that task?

    Our older children attended a Christian high school that introduced them to many different ideas, forcing them to think through the issues and guiding them through the process. The teachers were sensitive and had a lot of patience. They helped the children as they considered differing viewpoints. As you put it, it was a safe environment. By the time our children graduated, they could explain to me what they believed, and they could explain what others believed and why.

    A couple of years ago, a new principal started at that high school, and they've become what I would call 'conformist'. Out went any discussion of other views. In came grading children based on parroting back the information they were fed instead of a reasoned explanation that may or may not agree with the teacher's words. The new approach borders on indoctrination rather than education. Needless to say, our younger children do not attend.
     
  19. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    But that's not what we're talking about. We aren't talking about free discussion of ideas. We're talking about what it takes to be admitted to the Christian school in the first place. Did you not, in some way, have to prove your family was a Christian family before your children were admitted into the school? Or do they accept everyone regardless of beliefs? Did your children have classes with Muslims or Jews or atheists? What that even possible based on the school's admission standards?

    Because if it was not, if the school limited admittance to students who confirmed to certain standards, then there is no difference between that and what this homeschool co-op does.
     
  20. Cornish Steve

    Cornish Steve Active Member

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    You hit the nail on the head. Does the school, or co-op, encourage the free discussion of ideas? Free discussion in a safe environment would be excellent. Does requiring a signed statement of faith imply a safe boundary or strict conformance? If the former, wonderful; if the latter, beware.
     
  21. Actressdancer

    Actressdancer New Member

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    So your objection is the perceived possibility of a problem that may or may not exist?

    Interesting.
     

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