I’m confused how I should react.
My husband and I send our son to the local preschool. It’s a great environment with caring teachers. He is thriving and making new friends by the day. His learning and social skills have just excelled. We couldn’t be happier. Except for one small detail.
The preschool we’ve chosen happens to be run by a church. We knew this when we enrolled him and as non religious people we had to make a decision as to whether it was right for our child. Upon in-depth consultation with the staff, both my husband and I were told that the church’s involvement was minimal and parents had the option to remove their children from any bible studies classes if they desired.
I specifically asked about the level of religious education at the information night and was told that the centre has a lot of current families who are not religious and therefore activities are always offered to children whose parents decide not to send them to the sessions.
That seemed fine to me. But it appears that this isn't actually the case.
Rather than being led to participate in other activities during the allocated weekly religious education time, the entire class has been involved. I've asked my son about his day and have been told about bible stories, religious based songs and activities about God. He comes home singing about Jesus and telling me that God created this and that. It became clear that it wasn't a once off event but rather an ongoing class.
To a point, I get it. It's hard on the teachers to separate the children when they want to be with their friends. It's even harder when the bible studies teacher makes the lessons fun and colourful. What child wouldn't choose exciting group activities over quiet reading?
But in a way, I fell a little misled about the options available for my son. I feel, given the amount of staff during the day, one of them would be able to set up a more appropriate activity for those children, like mine.
It's not that I'm against religion, I'm just not a religious person. I believe that each person is entitled to their own opinions and in return, I ask that my wishes are respectfully acknowledged too.
In essence I think a lot of the fundamental values of the church are good; love thy neighbour, lead an honest life etc. But it's getting to the point where I have one very confused little boy on my hands. I'm okay with my son being exposed to different view points, I just wish that it had been at a later stage in life where I would be better able to explain things to him. As a three-year-old, it's very confusing to be told one thing at preschool, only to return home to another.
My plan is that my children will have a well rounded education where they will be exposed to a range of beliefs. They will then be able to make a determination on religion which is right for them.
Now, I'm stuck. How do I address this with the preschool?
Some people would say that I should withdrawl him from the centre but I'm reluctant because he is doing so well and has made some wonderful friends there.
How do I approach the centre respectfully while still getting my point across?
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