Friday, November 8, 2013

The Secular Minority

I was a public school teacher for over seven years, and I think sometimes that experience distorts my perceptions of society for the better. You're skeptical about that, aren't you? Let me explain.

Public schools are, of necessity, secular places. The Christian Right  probably sees that as a terrible thing, but people who aren't Christian, and even a great many moderate and liberal Christians, see it as a great boon. Kids of different faiths can learn  and play together without having to feel awkward or isolated because of religion. Sometimes they still do, but it isn't inherent in the system.

By contrast, I attended a Baptist school for the first seven years of my own education. A Pentecostal kid would feel uncomfortable in that school, and a Catholic child would have been directly taught that their faith was based on idolatry and ... well, Paganism.

I had forgotten what the world of Christian education was like until I started homeschooling. You would think that I wouldn't be exposed to it much, being Pagan and a homeschooler. (My *teaching* is more secular, but my home is so very Pagan.) You probably only think that, though, if you are either:

A) not a homeschooler
B) a very isolated homeschooler
C) a homeschooler in an area with a blissfully LARGE Pagan/secular homeschooling community

Here in Indiana, indeed this is true throughout the Midwestern United States, being a secular homeschooler is the minority population. (Based on what I'm seeing on blogs and websites, it seems to be true across the whole country.)

As a Pagan, I'm accustomed to being the minority. It's hard to find an active, *local* Pagan homeschooling group, let alone one that has kids the ages of your own kids. Depending on where you live in the US, it can be hard to find other Pagan adults. But c'mon!! It shouldn't be THIS hard to find other homeschoolers who don't reference creationism for each science lesson.

Okay, now I have to remind myself that I am not complaining that they exist and have their own groups and activities. I'm not, truly. It's nifty that that they have the first and (to my knowledge) only national homeschool honor society. It's great that there is Christian homeschool prom in Indy. I just want secular versions of those things, too. I want MY kid to have the option to participate without compromising HER principles.

And what does that mean, realistically? She who smelt it dealt it? haha! In all seriousness, though, I have long had the philosophy that if I see an issue that needs addressing and nobody's fixing it, perhaps I'm being tapped on the shoulder. 

So, ... *big sigh* I think I am going to start working on a local (Indianapolis-area) secular homeschool prom and a national secular homeschool honor society. Sure could use some help on both, if anybody has a hand, an ear, a brain, or any other useful parts to lend.

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