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Religious Schools

Forum: Atheist and Agnostic Parenting


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March 4th, 2011, 10:37 AM
tiredmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Anyone have any experience with sending their kids to Catholic or other religious schools? My oldest starts kindergarden in the fall and our local public schools are not good. I'm on a few lists for lotteries of other schools around town, but I'm not optimistic that we will get lucky there. So I'm left looking at expensive private schools. The catholic schools are good academically and are reasonably priced, but when I go to the web sites, there is such emphasis on God and integrating faith into all studies, that I'm reluctant to even consider them. I'm also thinking about a local Jewish school, but there is also a fair amount of religious teaching there (though I think less so than at the Catholic schools) - and the only language offered is Hebrew. So anyhow, anyone have any good experiences with religious schools, or should I just give up and pay a whole lot more for the one secular private school that I like?
Iím Sarah (39), wife to Chris (40), mom to three boys (age 0, 3 and 5)
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March 4th, 2011, 01:40 PM
Zanahoria's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I personally couldn't send my kids to a school that would force religion on them. That was the main deciding factor in where we chose to send our oldest to preschool. It's run by a Jewish synagogue but their website stated in their mission statement that "we feel that religious instruction is best left to the parents" or something along that line. SOLD! LOL That sucks that the Jewish school near you only offers Hebrew, it's been my experience that although Jews can be as dogmatic as Christians and other religions, they're not NEARLY as pushy or preachy about it and if I was going to send my child to any religious school, I'd definitely pick a Jewish one over Catholic (the worst IMO) or any Christian denomination. I think Catholic schools require some kind of daily mass, don't they? That just wouldn't jive AT ALL with me.

I guess it depends on how strongly you feel about religion being taught to your child by someone other than yourself.
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March 5th, 2011, 02:00 PM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: ontario canada
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The only main differences I have noticed with public schools and religious schools in the cities where I went to school myself was that the religious schools were more violent.

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March 5th, 2011, 02:20 PM
tiredmom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Originally Posted by Kalia20 View Post
The only main differences I have noticed with public schools and religious schools in the cities where I went to school myself was that the religious schools were more violent.
Really? That wasn't even on my list of concerns for elementary Catholic school. In fact, that's one of the reasons I don't want them in our current public school district. Not so much for elementary school, but for the middle and highschool levels. Did you grow up in a rough neighborhood?
Iím Sarah (39), wife to Chris (40), mom to three boys (age 0, 3 and 5)
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March 6th, 2011, 02:05 PM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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No, not rough area at all. Where I went to HS, there were 5 of them in the city...population 100K and lots from small towns and the country, so was people from all different areas in the schools. The catholic school in the North end was the most violent, then one in the south end was opened. The others were public. Mine was the #2 most violent school until the second one was opened. But it wasnt *that* bad either. Fights here and there, but no gun violence or anything like that. Like anywhere, what schools are like depends on location. If you can, see if you can ask around for opinions on schools, and if you know anyone that has teenagers, you can get an idea of the schools rep that way.

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March 6th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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All of our local religious schools have rather high teen pregnancy rates. I will never NOT find that amusing, sorry. My own school (public) had a high rate in the couple of years before my graduating class, but it's always seemed to be much worse at the Christian schools. My stepdad's cousin was all gung-ho about sending her kids to a little Baptist Academy, but when her 14-year-old daughter ended up pregnant and the school kicked her out, there was a little change of tune. Heh.
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March 6th, 2011, 09:25 PM
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My best friend is Catholic, we actually grew up together going to CCD and such. She has her kids in a Catholic school, mine are in public. Now...before I go off, our town has 1500 people, her town has like 500. We are a very small community and there is only the one Catholic school and that is the ONLY religious school around for at least 60 miles. So...with that being said. Her kids are in mixed classes. They have K-2nd in one room, 3rd-5th in one room, 6-8th together. And that is it. They do not offer high school education. If you want to keep your kids in that type of school, you have to drive 60 miles one way to get to the nearest high school religious education center.

My kids are in separate classes, Kindergarten, 1st and so on. My kids are MUCH more social than hers. Her kids are afraid of people, do not talk in social situations and are not comfortable around other kids. My kids are very social, love to play with new kids and have no problem fitting in. Her kids are being brought up with religious teachings, mine are not. Her kids think that there is a man sitting on clouds, preparing to send them to flames if they are naughty. My kids are being taught that if you are naughty, you get into trouble and face the consequences, whatever that might be.

I would not send my kids to religious schools only because being there, means you have to participate in the religious days. They go to church once a week, during school hours. They talk about God and the bible in their classrooms. They pray during the lunch hour. I do not want my kids participating and without me there. I want to teach my kids about religion, not someone else.

Now...with that being said. Her kids are getting a better education than mine. Her kids do have more one on one time with the teacher and are learning more educational stuff than my kids are only because they can move quicker with less kids. There are three kindergarten classes in our school, 15 kids to one teacher with one teacher aide being available during the day (who happens to be a high school student earning credit for certain courses). So while my kids are learning, its not at a pace that the other kids are learning in the Catholic school.

BUT.....I teach my kids at home. I help them with math and reading and they do worksheets that I print out from online websites during the weekend to help keep them comfortable with learning. Most parents around this town don't work with their kids while they are home...which is why it is hard at school for the entire class to move forward when you have kids who are behind.
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March 7th, 2011, 12:54 PM
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The public school in my area is highly rated and my LO (or LO's) will probably go there for a few years, but I really, REALLY have my heart set on a prep school here in my city. It is a great school with an awesome reputation for its students being accepted to Ivy League schools and with a greater reputation of those students being offered huge scholarships.
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March 8th, 2011, 11:10 PM
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It would honestly be an absolute last resort for us.

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March 14th, 2011, 07:36 PM
*Kiliki*'s Avatar i have absolute power
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i dont think i would ever consider a catholic school...ever

Kristy, wife to Karl 6.16.01, Mom to Raianna 12.7.00, Elyse 12.3.02 and Helena 7.20.07, step-mom to Frankie 7.3.97 and step-grandma to October 3.9.15

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March 15th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Are there any chartered schools in the area? I would not send my kid to a Catholic school. My kids are in chartered Montessori school and I love it.
Mom to Issac (8/22/99), Carly (8/10/06), and Zack (2/7/11)
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