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We are never going to agree.

 

In the above situation, why can't the commonality be homeschooling? In a situation of Christian homeschoolers why isn't the commonality Christianity? Why is a group that is a group of Christians excluding Christians? To me it makes no sense.

 

To me it is as simple as that. If the group is a Christian group it should allow all people who profess to being Christian. If it is a homeschooling group allow all homeschoolers in the area.

 

I'm done. I've got to go to bed. We won't see eye-to-eye on this. We didn't last time this topic came up.

 

That's ok. We don't have to agree on this. :001_smile:

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But apparently the group the OP tried to join does require the signing of such a document.

 

I'll have to ask if maybe since you are not on the other side you can't see how what you see as guidelines for behavior is something totally different to those not on your side.

 

Actually, I have been on the other side of things.

 

I get that the OP was sad and frustrated and venting here. As usual, posts wander all over and become bigger than where they started, especially in matters of faith.

 

I have experienced the isolation of homeschooling in an area that has few groups nearby. And realized after a few visits that despite the fact that one was "the only act like it in town," that it would not be a good fit for our family. The funniest part about it was that it was an "all-inclusive" group that was actually surprisingly rigid with negative opinions for all that didn't fit their philosophies. Watching how they treated people, we decided to move on ... but it wasn't easy since there wasn't anything else at the time. I realize that it was our decision as opposed to a group SOF in our case.

 

While these are frustrating situations, I still agree with Sola's point. :001_smile:

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Why is it that all the academic co-ops around here have one that excludes families who believe in additional scripture? I am so frustrated right now! Sheesh! We are all Christians. What is the big deal? It makes me feel like they see us as riffraff who would somehow pollute their children.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

Posted in the general hub-bub of conversation elsewhere, but wanted to wish you well in finding something that will be good for your family ... I know how frustrating it can be to find a good group, families that can be friends, etc. Good luck with your search.

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Wow. I am less than halfway through. ETA: Apparently I stopped reading right where I should have. First 3-4 pages, last page... yep that was about right. :P

In no way is a SOF (generally speaking) a way of saying you are not a good enough Christian and I think the assumption that it is is "icky.";)
icky.
:D I never use the word icky, and when people do it makes me smile.

 

I don't like statements of faith. I would much rather a statement of expected behaviors and other policies to keep everyone happy such as not debating evolution or religion IMHO.

:iagree:

I don't see the real divide as being Catholic Christian vs. Protestant Christian but rather between those who are devout Christians (of whatever denomination) vs. highly secularized folks.
:iagree:But it took a lot of maturing for me to get to this place. And then we also have secularized folks who have very high standards of conduct, and we also have disagreement as to what highly secularized means. We don't attend regularly and haven't for a couple of years...

 

Here's my problem with that. The OP and I are both LDS. We are Christians. LDS is a subset of Christian. Protestants don't get to own the word Christian, any more than LDS folks or Catholic folks or JWs do. They are all subsets of the overarching word Christian, which simply means someone who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior. So when you have a group that says it's Christian, then it seems wrong and mean to exclude other Christians. Perhaps if people would call themselves "The Conservative Protestant Homeschooling Group," it would help. If there was a homeschooling group just for Mormons, it would be called that, not the more general term.
The group that I was interested in had nothing about any kind of religion in their title. I found out when filling out paperwork and getting to the SOF.

 

Okay, since I keep seeing Jehovah's Witnesses mentioned, I figured I should say something to clarify. We do not have additional scripture. We use a variety of translations including those written by Catholics and Protestants. We have a translation published by Jehovah's Witnesses that we use the majority of the time. It restores the divine name where the original manuscripts used the tetragrammaton. I am not expecting to convert anyone, just clarifying that we do have reasons for believing the way we do. I am not a Young Earth Creationist, nor am I an evolutionist, but I have gained respect for the fact that there are reasons for them believing the way they do.

 

Hmm...I don't know where you grew up, but...I am 41 yo and have always been LDS and we have always identified ourselves as a Christian sect. Not sure why a sect could not be Christian. Maybe you could enlighten me? And every church has some portion of truth to it.
Jehovah's Witnesses identify as Christian. We find the term sect offensive and I am very surprised that LDS accept it. We do not accept the Nicene Creed. There is only one sentence that I have issue with. Why is that? "Yahweh created me, first-fruits of his fashioning, before the oldest of his works. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I came to birth; before he had made the earth, the countryside, and the first elements of the world." (Proverbs 8:12, 22, 25, 26, New Jerusalem Bible) "by his [God's] side, a master craftsman." (Proverbs 8:30, Jerusalem Bible) "through him God created everything in heaven and on earth." (Colossians 1:16—Today's English Version). Compare Proverbs 8; Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:1

 

The Bible summarizes the matter this way: "For us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things . . . and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things." (Italics ours.)—1 Corinthians 8:6, RS, Catholic edition.

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" --2 Corinthians 1:3

 

"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better." --Ephesians 1:17

 

I'm really sorry that was your experience. :( I hope to raise my kids to be a bit more tactful in addressing our disagreements with mainstream Christianity (not using "less than" or "better than" or "gentile" or anything like that). I have had many many non-LDS friends in my life that I have been able to have honest and insightful religious conversations with. Often my faith in the Lord has been boulstered by their Testimonies of their experiences with the Him via Scripture study and service in their various churches. I have learned much (and my kids can learn much) from members of other denominations when we've approached eachother from a place of love, even with our theological differences.
:iagree: Edited by Lovedtodeath
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There are exactly 2 homeschooling groups that I've been able to find in my town of ~30k. There's probably more, but they don't advertise (or don't advertise well). One of the groups is actually LDS (but inclusive, there's some non-LDS members, and they don't require a SOF), but the students are all middle school/high school age. My oldest is 6. Not exactly a fit for us. The other group is a SOF group, which does *awesome* field trips and art classes and such that we can't participate in because agreeing with the SOF is required (and we don't agree with it). I can relate to the OP's frustrations. I don't expect the SOF group to bend to accomodate me, but I don't feel it's wrong for me to feel frustrated with our lack of options when it comes to associating with other homeschoolers, especially when it's something unrelated to homeschooling (for our family at least) that's limiting our options.

:iagree:The only one I could find without a SOF had mostly teenagers while I had to chase a toddler around. I got absolutely nothing out of it and most of the activities were not appropriate for my family. In addition, they met either at a park, roller skating rink... or a church! I do not feel comfortable taking my kids to a church. It would likely confuse them, and if they told someone (like my mom) where we went without clarifying, it could cause some misunderstandings.

 

Does everyone feel comfortable taking their kids to a gathering of a homeschool group at a church?

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We are never going to agree.

 

In the above situation, why can't the commonality be homeschooling? In a situation of Christian homeschoolers why isn't the commonality Christianity? Why is a group that is a group of Christians excluding Christians? To me it makes no sense.

 

 

 

It makes sense to me, different Christians believe very different things. That is why.

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born-and-raised LDS here and the LDS church definitely defines itself as 'Christian'. In fact, the entire name of the church is 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". I've always always always heard other members define themselves as Christian and I've always done so myself.

 

Now truthfully, if someone asks me what religion I am or what church I go to, I do say that I am 'LDS' or 'Mormon', but that's mainly to specify which

'flavor' of Christianity I belong to. Just like someone might say they were Baptist or Episcopalian or Catholic or Nazarene or Pentecostal or whatever.

 

I know that some churches refuse to acknowledge us as Christian because we don't recognize the Nicene creed. But our entire religion is based on and around Jesus Christ. :001_smile:

 

:lol:

 

Yeah, hard to argue with that!

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Really? I thought the joke was disgusting.

 

 

It is not a joke-it is a Churchill quote that was used at the time by him to make a point about degrees of difference.

 

What is amusing is that the board is disgusted by this quote yet freely discusses "tea", "bookcases", and which paraphernalia they enjoy with their "tea". Goodness!

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Anyway, I just don't get the "everyone must accept ME ME ME but I'm allowed to be disparaging toward others if I don't like them" mentality.

 

:iagree:

 

 

Serious question:

 

If a Messianic Jew (believes in Jesus as the Messiah, among other things) wanted to join an exclusively Jewish group, would it really be that hard to understand when the MJ wasn't welcomed with open arms?? Messianic Jews are not accepted by the vast, vast majority of Jewish people.

 

But, if a Jewish family wanted to start a homeschool group, would they really need to put "Orthodox, Reformed and Other Non-Messianic Jews Homeschool Group"? Wouldn't it be enough for them to call themselves "Jewish Homeschooling Group" and then, in the groups "statement of faith" address issues like Messianic Judaism?

 

It's the same thing with this Mormonism / Christianity debate. But, for some reason it's not politically correct to point out that Mormonism isn't accepted as a Christian religion by most Christians. And mainstream Christians aren't accepted as "true" Christians by Mormons. I didn't pull the term "Gentile" out of my.... hat... earlier in this discussion. My brother converted to Mormonism 25 years ago.

 

To the OP, if you're even still reading this: Have you tried talking to the group? Have you asked if they can make an exception? It's worth a try. Then, when you meet some more inclusive souls in the group, you can start your own inclusive group. ;) Just a thought.

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:iagree:

 

 

Serious question:

 

If a Messianic Jew (believes in Jesus as the Messiah, among other things) wanted to join an exclusively Jewish group, would it really be that hard to understand when the MJ wasn't welcomed with open arms?? Messianic Jews are not accepted by the vast, vast majority of Jewish people.

 

But, if a Jewish family wanted to start a homeschool group, would they really need to put "Orthodox, Reformed and Other Non-Messianic Jews Homeschool Group"? Wouldn't it be enough for them to call themselves "Jewish Homeschooling Group" and then, in the groups "statement of faith" address issues like Messianic Judaism?

 

It's the same thing with this Mormonism / Christianity debate. But, for some reason it's not politically correct to point out that Mormonism isn't accepted as a Christian religion by most Christians. And mainstream Christians aren't accepted as "true" Christians by Mormons. I didn't pull the term "Gentile" out of my.... hat... earlier in this discussion. My brother converted to Mormonism 25 years ago.

 

To the OP, if you're even still reading this: Have you tried talking to the group? Have you asked if they can make an exception? It's worth a try. Then, when you meet some more inclusive souls in the group, you can start your own inclusive group. ;) Just a thought.

 

It is a mindset/personality that excludes.

 

And I think people who have that mindset/personality are drawn to a particular type of religion.

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But why does it make it wrong? Again, I'm not talking about being hostile to anyone. But if I want to start a group that does XYZ, why am I wrong to not include people who want to do LMNOP? If the purpose of my group is to accomplish ABC, why would I want people who's agenda is DEF?.

In this case, it's more like one group is ABC, and unwilling to accept the person who does BCD (when the person is willing to accept the presence of A and pursue D in their own time).

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:iagree:

 

 

Serious question:

 

If a Messianic Jew (believes in Jesus as the Messiah, among other things) wanted to join an exclusively Jewish group, would it really be that hard to understand when the MJ wasn't welcomed with open arms?? Messianic Jews are not accepted by the vast, vast majority of Jewish people.

 

But, if a Jewish family wanted to start a homeschool group, would they really need to put "Orthodox, Reformed and Other Non-Messianic Jews Homeschool Group"? Wouldn't it be enough for them to call themselves "Jewish Homeschooling Group" and then, in the groups "statement of faith" address issues like Messianic Judaism?

 

It's the same thing with this Mormonism / Christianity debate. But, for some reason it's not politically correct to point out that Mormonism isn't accepted as a Christian religion by most Christians. And mainstream Christians aren't accepted as "true" Christians by Mormons. I didn't pull the term "Gentile" out of my.... hat... earlier in this discussion. My brother converted to Mormonism 25 years ago.

 

To the OP, if you're even still reading this: Have you tried talking to the group? Have you asked if they can make an exception? It's worth a try. Then, when you meet some more inclusive souls in the group, you can start your own inclusive group. ;) Just a thought.

I don't doubt that your brother called you a "gentile" or "Not a real Christian". I do however, believe that he was very rude and wrong to do so. In all my years as a Mormon I've never been taught to call non-Mormons "gentiles" or say that persons of other Christian denominations are "not real Christians". It's not what we believe (speaking as an organization - obviously some individuals do, I've encountered at least one IRL myself, and I find the mindset incredibly sad and misguided and not in line with the teachings of the Church).

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In this case, it's more like one group is ABC, and unwilling to accept the person who does BCD (when the person is willing to accept the presence of A and pursue D in their own time).

 

Reminds me of the song "Everyday People:"

 

"and so on and so on and scooby-do-be-do-be"

 

And that lyric, my friends, is one of the cheesiest in musicdom. :D

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It is a mindset/personality that excludes.

 

And I think people who have that mindset/personality are drawn to a particular type of religion.

I do believe you're on to something here.

 

 

Serious question:

 

If a Messianic Jew (believes in Jesus as the Messiah, among other things) wanted to join an exclusively Jewish group, would it really be that hard to understand when the MJ wasn't welcomed with open arms?? Messianic Jews are not accepted by the vast, vast majority of Jewish people.

I would have to say that this is a slightly different kettle of fish. Are Messianic Jews only Jewish by heritage? Are they Christians who are not ready to let go? I don't know enough about the Messanic Jews to say. Would they even want to be part of a purely Jewish group.

 

But, if a Jewish family wanted to start a homeschool group, would they really need to put "Orthodox, Reformed and Other Non-Messianic Jews Homeschool Group"? Wouldn't it be enough for them to call themselves "Jewish Homeschooling Group" and then, in the groups "statement of faith" address issues like Messianic Judaism?

I think a better comparison would be if Reformed Jews start a homeschool group and excluded Orthodox Jews simply based on their religious practices. Are the Orthodox Jewish homeschoolers even going to bother checking out the Houston Reform Jewish Homeschoolers? Maybe they would be better suited to check out the Houston Jewish Homeschoolers.

 

It's the same thing with this Mormonism / Christianity debate. But, for some reason it's not politically correct to point out that Mormonism isn't accepted as a Christian religion by most Christians. And mainstream Christians aren't accepted as "true" Christians by Mormons. I didn't pull the term "Gentile" out of my.... hat... earlier in this discussion. My brother converted to Mormonism 25 years ago.

This is the pot and kettle having a conversation.

 

Too many times Protestants are told time and again that Catholics, Mormons, EO, JW, etc are not real Christians. The Momons have popped up here and said, yes, they are Christians. Just because you don't want to believe it Catholics, Mormons, EO, JW, etc identify as Christians doesn't mean that these groups of Christians don't.

 

No matter how you spin it, you won't convince me that a Christian organization should exclude a large percent of the Christian population.

 

To the OP, if you're even still reading this: Have you tried talking to the group? Have you asked if they can make an exception? It's worth a try. Then, when you meet some more inclusive souls in the group, you can start your own inclusive group. ;) Just a thought.

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Which religion would that be?

I don't think you can pin-point any one religion or denomination. It is more of a bit of cancer in the body of any given group. Off the top of my head I can't think of any one religious group that does not have its short-sighted legalistic mini-group. Unfortunatley sometimes the short-sighted legalistic people get put in charge or charm their way to the top or even force their way in.

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It is a mindset/personality that excludes.

 

And I think people who have that mindset/personality are drawn to a particular type of religion.

 

I do agree with this.

 

And I thought this thread would be dead by this morning.

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I don't think you can pin-point any one religion or denomination. It is more of a bit of cancer in the body of any given group. Off the top of my head I can't think of any one religious group that does not have its short-sighted legalistic mini-group. Unfortunatley sometimes the short-sighted legalistic people get put in charge or charm their way to the top or even force their way in.

 

Yeah, what she said.

 

My thought was kind of half-baked but Chucki really cranked the oven up...

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I don't think you can pin-point any one religion or denomination. It is more of a bit of cancer in the body of any given group. Off the top of my head I can't think of any one religious group that does not have its short-sighted legalistic mini-group. Unfortunatley sometimes the short-sighted legalistic people get put in charge or charm their way to the top or even force their way in.

 

I can accept this. I have seen it also.

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I am surprised also. I think everything has been said. We're just going in circles now.

I betcha someone really wants to be going in ovals.

 

 

Okay, that was bad. I'm going to shower and get dressed. I didn't even want to get into this topic again so soon after the last one. Let's wait at least 6 months before bringing up SOFs again.

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So I'm thinking about why SOFs bother me so much. And this is what I think it is: First, it's not that they don't have the right. They absolutely have the right, and I would defend their right to do so. The problem for me is they use the word Christian, and I, very honestly, don't think it is Christian behavior - especially to exclude people who very honestly and sincerely identify themselves as Christian. There's no one standing at the door of our (or any church I've ever been to) that has asked me to sign a SOF before I come in. They'd never get any converts. And I just can't picture Jesus doing this. He would have no problem telling you that you're messing up, but there would always be room at the table for you. If you misbehaved or were rude, you might be asked to leave; otherwise, He would welcome you. Because, how else is He going to spread His word.

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So I'm thinking about why SOFs bother me so much. And this is what I think it is: First, it's not that they don't have the right. They absolutely have the right, and I would defend their right to do so. The problem for me is they use the word Christian, and I, very honestly, don't think it is Christian behavior - especially to exclude people who very honestly and sincerely identify themselves as Christian. There's no one standing at the door of our (or any church I've ever been to) that has asked me to sign a SOF before I come in. They'd never get any converts. And I just can't picture Jesus doing this. He would have no problem telling you that you're messing up, but there would always be room at the table for you. If you misbehaved or were rude, you might be asked to leave; otherwise, He would welcome you. Because, how else is He going to spread His word.

:iagree:

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So I'm thinking about why SOFs bother me so much. And this is what I think it is: First, it's not that they don't have the right. They absolutely have the right, and I would defend their right to do so. The problem for me is they use the word Christian, and I, very honestly, don't think it is Christian behavior - especially to exclude people who very honestly and sincerely identify themselves as Christian. There's no one standing at the door of our (or any church I've ever been to) that has asked me to sign a SOF before I come in. They'd never get any converts. And I just can't picture Jesus doing this. He would have no problem telling you that you're messing up, but there would always be room at the table for you. If you misbehaved or were rude, you might be asked to leave; otherwise, He would welcome you. Because, how else is He going to spread His word.

I don't think the idea behind a SOF is to spread the Word. I think it is to keep "their" version of the His word uncontaminated by other versions of His word. There have been a couple people already in this thread who have said they don't want their children exposed to alternatives.

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I find it interesting how offended some are by the "exclusionary" mindset. YES, I'm exclusive. Absolutely. It's because I'm selective on what I allow to influence my child. I'm selective on who I allow to influence her. Having been raised by a mother who allowed any and everything into our home, I see the harm in not being discerning. I don't automatically assume that because someone self-identifies with a specific group that they're good for my family to be around or associate with.

 

It has nothing to do with being "better" than anyone else. It has nothing to do with hating (frankly, I don't have the energy for hating) anyone or any group. It has nothing to do with keeping my dd in the dark about people who are different, have different values or beliefs. It has everything to do with the huge responsibility to raise a child according to my faith and beliefs.

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I don't think the idea behind a SOF is to spread the Word. I think it is to keep "their" version of the His word uncontaminated by other versions of His word. There have been a couple people already in this thread who have said they don't want their children exposed to alternatives.

 

Okay, I can see that. I guess it's not how I see things, though. And like I said, they have every right to meet with those people they choose. My heart is more with the people left out.

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So I'm thinking about why SOFs bother me so much. And this is what I think it is: First, it's not that they don't have the right. They absolutely have the right, and I would defend their right to do so. The problem for me is they use the word Christian, and I, very honestly, don't think it is Christian behavior - especially to exclude people who very honestly and sincerely identify themselves as Christian. There's no one standing at the door of our (or any church I've ever been to) that has asked me to sign a SOF before I come in. They'd never get any converts. And I just can't picture Jesus doing this. He would have no problem telling you that you're messing up, but there would always be room at the table for you. If you misbehaved or were rude, you might be asked to leave; otherwise, He would welcome you. Because, how else is He going to spread His word.

 

First, I'd like to say, that as a Christian, I have no standing in righteousness of my own. I'm just a sinner, redeemed solely by the finished work of Christ.

 

I do see a difference in the desire to raise our children with like-minded believers and fortifying their faith as part of their training, contrasted with an open, inviting church congregation that is desiring to serve, worship and win the lost. Since you brought up Jesus, he did not invite all his followers to the Last Supper. He invited his closest confidants and friends. He desired a closed, intimate meeting time with them for a particular purpose. He DID have some occasions to 'be exclusive.' I think some Christians feel that the training of their children is also a time to be 'exclusive' for a particular purpose...I don't think that being exclusive is ALWAYS a scary word.

 

FWIW, I got a chuckle out of a local church that had on its sign outside "Premillenial, Fundamental, non-instrumental" :tongue_smilie: Well, there you go...you know what to expect there!

 

OP sorry for your troubles...I'd encourage you to just keep looking. Life is short...

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First, I'd like to say, that as a Christian, I have no standing in righteousness of my own. I'm just a sinner, redeemed solely by the finished work of Christ.

 

I do see a difference in the desire to raise our children with like-minded believers and fortifying their faith as part of their training, contrasted with an open, inviting church congregation that is desiring to serve, worship and win the lost. Since you brought up Jesus, he did not invite all his followers to the Last Supper. He invited his closest confidants and friends. He desired a closed, intimate meeting time with them for a particular purpose. He DID have some occasions to 'be exclusive.' I think some Christians feel that the training of their children is also a time to be 'exclusive' for a particular purpose...I don't think that being exclusive is ALWAYS a scary word.

 

FWIW, I got a chuckle out of a local church that had on its sign outside "Premillenial, Fundamental, non-instrumental" :tongue_smilie: Well, there you go...you know what to expect there!

 

OP sorry for your troubles...I'd encourage you to just keep looking. Life is short...

 

I attend what many people think is an exclusive church so I certainly don't think 'exclusive' is always a bad word, either. I just can't quite equate the Last Supper to a field trip to the zoo. Anyway, I would like to see a little more inclusiveness in the larger Christian homeschooling community in general, especially when it comes to field trips and play dates.

 

You're absolutely right that life is short. We all need to do what we feel is best for our children in the short amount of time we have them, and I'm pretty confident that parents here do exactly that. And, life is too short to get too worked up over these little differences. I hope the OP can find a place where she feels welcome.

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I attend what many people think is an exclusive church so I certainly don't think 'exclusive' is always a bad word, either. I just can't quite equate the Last Supper to a field trip to the zoo. Anyway, I would like to see a little more inclusiveness in the larger Christian homeschooling community in general, especially when it comes to field trips and play dates.

 

<As I said, it was not a strong argument...just in the overall scope of training/raising your child, it was meant to make a point, I guess>

 

You're absolutely right that life is short. We all need to do what we feel is best for our children in the short amount of time we have them, and I'm pretty confident that parents here do exactly that. And, life is too short to get too worked up over these little differences. I hope the OP can find a place where she feels welcome.

<AMEN. I hope we are all in agreement about that>

 

 

 

.:)

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

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I find it interesting how offended some are by the "exclusionary" mindset. YES, I'm exclusive. Absolutely. It's because I'm selective on what I allow to influence my child. I'm selective on who I allow to influence her. Having been raised by a mother who allowed any and everything into our home, I see the harm in not being discerning. I don't automatically assume that because someone self-identifies with a specific group that they're good for my family to be around or associate with.

 

It has nothing to do with being "better" than anyone else. It has nothing to do with hating (frankly, I don't have the energy for hating) anyone or any group. It has nothing to do with keeping my dd in the dark about people who are different, have different values or beliefs. It has everything to do with the huge responsibility to raise a child according to my faith and beliefs.

Speaking only for myself, I'm not offended so much as confounded. I can agree with everything you said here, and do feel as if I've a responsibility to protect my child from bad influences and associates. I'm more liberal when it comes to religious influences.

 

Okay, I can see that. I guess it's not how I see things, though. And like I said, they have every right to meet with those people they choose. My heart is more with the people left out.

Having been the wrong type of Christian I see where there is much more to protect my kid from than people with different religious beliefs.

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

Is it a Charlotte Mason group or a homeschool group? Why would a BJU'er want to joint a CM group? Wouldn't a BJU'er more thank likely want to join a homeschooling group than a CM specific group?

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

 

let me try to see if this works:

 

Let's say you are a CM homeschooler and you see YourTown's Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers. You ask to join and you get their statement of faith that you must sign in order to participate. And in the SOF, it stipulates that you are only eligible if you use only CM's original writings as your inspiration or you can't join. You can't join if say, Karen Andreola was your inspiration.

 

You think of yourself as a CM homeschooler but the group says you're not.

 

And there were no other homeschool groups in town. Or the county. Or anywhere nearby.

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

 

I have no issues with the first, as long as would-be participants don't have to sign a statement of belief in Charlotte Mason in order to join.

 

The second bothers me, although I have no respect for Bob Jones. If the Bob Jones family wants to go on outings or explore nature with the Charlotte Mason group, I think it is unkind to exclude them based on their schooling choices. (I'm assuming here that they aren't badmouthing Charlotte Mason to the other kids on park days.)

 

Most statements of faith I've heard about don't relate to homeschooling. Unless you are teaching a class on religion, for example, the fact that Mormons don't believe in all points of the Nicene Creed is unlikely to come up. If what you are really looking for is someone who won't take God's name in vain and who reads the Bible and tries to follow its teachings, then Mormons will fit in great.

 

Now, I do think that if a group holds to a Creationist view or studies history with a focus on End Times or the role of God in shaping history, I think that should be stated right up front.

 

As a Mormon, those points would have excluded ME, but I know many other Mormons who agree with those views.

 

And I do think that all groups should be sensitive to those who are isolated from others and willing to welcome them. It's the Christian, and kind, thing to do.

Edited by Melinda in VT
Horrible punctuation typo
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Quote:

Originally Posted by CAMom

So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

 

For me, it is the religious exclusionary aspect that is objectionable. I'll be more specific, though. My objection is when a Christian group writes a SOF specific to (their version of Christian) dogma. I believe that a person who self identifies as Christian should be welcome.

 

I find the imposition of scripted spirituality anathema and abhorant. I have always felt this way. 20 years ago, when I was early in recovery from alcoholism, I attended an AA meeting in which the leader was using a Bible (this is thoroughly agains the traditions, btw). I was a Christian and yet I left the meeting because of the intensity with which I protect individual spirituality.

 

The curriculum "exclusions" seem trivial to me. Not that educational orientations are trivial but that a person's spirituality is (or, at least, can be) so highly formative, foundational, and primary. I would have a much less visceral reaction to exclusion based on educational style.

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For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

I'd find it a little odd for a homeschooling group based on a particular methodology to reject anyone who was interested in being a part of the group, as long as the person was respectful of the group's purpose and not promoting their own agenda. I can better understand an exclusionary faith-based group than that.

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

 

Is the group hanging out at the park, doing field trips to the zoo, or what? Why couldn't a BJU person go to the zoo with CM people? If they're teaching co-op classes, why not say "You're welcome to join us, but please understand that our classes usually come from the CM perspective"?

 

There's a classical group a couple hours away from me that I thought about joining until I saw their SoF. :glare: I see no real reason why an unschooler couldn't join a classical group with the understanding that co-op classes are mostly going to be about Latin. Perhaps the unschooler could teach an interesting class, and learn Latin, and everyone would benefit.

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Reading this thread (before the posts got deleted) has been like watching a train wreck -- where 8 different Christian trains slam into each other over and over and over again. I honestly don't get it. Why do you to that to each other? Is it that important for your train to be the only one left on the tracks? The one or two voices who were trying to be compassionate and understanding have been completely drowned out by the squeal of the other wheels spinning madly.

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So, is it only SOFs that people find exclusionary and objectionable? Should a homeschool group accept any and every homeschooler or is it OK to exclude based on other criteria?

 

For example: Would it be acceptable for a group to say they are a Charlotte Mason group? Would they be unethical to not accept someone who uses straight Bob Jones in their homeschool?

 

This example probably has some serious flaws, but think of this. Say you consider yourself a Charlotte Mason homeschooler, you've read all her books, you've been to conferences, etc. There's a CM homeschool group you want to join, but they have a ...statement of adherence to CM principles.... and you find out that since you have used a spelling workbook instead of nothing but copywork/dictation, you can't sign it. But other than that, you have much in common.

 

In my instance, there is a large Christian homeschool group in my area. They call themselves Christian Homeschoolers of ..... They have play dates, field trips, Valentine's Day parties, etc., and they 'the group' that offers standardized testing for the area. To join in any of these activities, you have to belong to the group. I'm a Christian, attend a Christian church. But there's the SOF, and it's worded so that a very few Christian denominations couldn't sign it. Honestly, it was worded to exclude Catholics and Orthodox. It was later I realized that LDS and most likely Jehovah Witnesses couldn't sign it either. Almost everything on the SOF I could agree with except this one thing. I could have fudged it some and still signed it, but that wasn't honest.

 

This was when my oldest children were little, and since then I've found other outlets. But there was a time when my girls would hear about a field trip to the Capitol from mutual friends, and guess what? We couldn't go. It's not all that easy to just go out and start another group especially with only a couple of families. Thankfully over the last 15 years homeschooling has grown in my area, so it's not the problem that it was. However, in less populated areas, it is a real issue for those who are excluded because of a SOF.

 

We've had three Orthodox families and several Anglican families in our group over the years. We don't have a SOF; out name pretty well says it. Catholic Homeschoolers of.... So if someone inquires, they know, but they don't have to sign anything. My 2nd oldest dd was very good friends with a Jewish girl, and she joined us for field trips and Latin class for several years. Honestly, on field trips and play dates, religion just doesn't come up that often. Curriculum, cooking, meal planning are usually the main topics.

 

This isn't an issue for me anymore, but it was in the past. And obviously it still is for many people who don't have other groups to choose from.

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Thanks for the answers! I see your points. I really do.

 

I guess for me, it just doesn't bother me when a group wants to define itself. If there was a "Christian Homeschoolers" group in my area that had a clause in their statement of faith or code of conduct that you had to wear denim jumpers and head coverings, I might find it odd but it wouldn't upset me not to be able to join.

 

It wouldn't even bother me if they thought I was less of a Christian than them for that. I might find that sad or ill informed but it wouldn't offend me. If that's the identity they want for that group then that's their choice. It just wouldn't be the group for me.

 

Defining a group where one spends part of their time doesn't necessarily mean that one isolates oneself from diversity in all areas of life. I may want a group where I can just really let my hair down while still embracing diversity everywhere else. (Not that I necessarily do. I'd likely be comfortable in any manner of group.)

 

I sympathize with those who have very few options in their area.:grouphug:

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Reading this thread (before the posts got deleted) has been like watching a train wreck -- where 8 different Christian trains slam into each other over and over and over again. I honestly don't get it. Why do you to that to each other? Is it that important for your train to be the only one left on the tracks? The one or two voices who were trying to be compassionate and understanding have been completely drowned out by the squeal of the other wheels spinning madly.

 

I never could see it when I was completely on the inside. It has actually been fighting these battles inside the homeschooling community that has put me on the outside looking in, and from that perspective, your description is pretty accurate. But I understand that for those on the inside, being that last train on the track is all that matters in the end - because it's their salvation and that of their children.

 

Some days I think if it weren't for my children and the fact that I made a promise to raise them on the inside, I'd just walk away from the whole shebang and be done with it.

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My objection to a SOF very specifically said non-co-op groups. I understand why co-op groups might have a SOF, especially if they are teaching science and history. My objection to a SOF is for groups that go to the zoo, have park days, etc. It does give the impression that everyone else is an undesirable.

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Exactly. No one is saying that you don't have a right to form exclusive groups. Of course you do. But that doesn't make it necessarily the most gracious thing to do, or the best thing to do.

 

The number one reason people form these groups is for to benefit their children. It is NOT to benefit the community as a whole. I think that fact is getting lost in the shuffle here. I'm going to do what is best for the education of my children.

 

I'm not saying that it is not a good and worthy goal to form clubs that enhance the community of such and such town. I'm not saying that a particular homeschool group might also enhance the community of such and such town. But that is a byproduct. It is NOT the reason the homeschool group exists. It is formed for the benefit of the founder's children and it is joined by other's for the benefit of their children.

 

I only buy curriculum that benefits my children. I don't buy curriculum because it would enhance someone else's business or ministry.

 

So yes, it is both right AND ethical for me to do what is in the best interest of my children if that happens to mean that a family with different values doesn't get to discuss literature or science with us. And I'm sorry they don't have anyone else to discuss these things with. I am not obligated to discuss with them just because they also happen to school at home and not many other people in the town do.

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