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Can inclusive groups ever work?


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Seriously, can they?

 

I don't want to go into specifics-but I'm questioning whether homeschoolers can EVER manage to accept differing beliefs. Between my local secular, inclusive group and the stuff on the boards lately, I'm feeling like an "Army of 1"-and a not very successful one.

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What do you mean by accept? In my faith (Christian - Baptist) we are taught to witness to others. I can understand that there are different beliefs in the world, but of course I believe that mine is going to get me to Heaven....and I don't want to see anyone left behind. So if I truly believe that, shouldn't I be witnessing to others? Or should I just put on a "don't care about others" attitude? That would completely go against everything I believe.

 

Can I GET ALONG with people of other faiths? Of course! I can get along with them without arguing. Do I pray for them? Of course!

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I think it depends on what the groups are doing… these "co-op" style groups that exist some places and have classes - perhaps not so well if it's science or history being taught and different people want it taught from different perspectives… but homeschool groups that get together to play sports, have park days, craft days, etc, sure - I don't see why not. :)

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What do you mean by accept? In my faith (Christian - Baptist) we are taught to witness to others. I can understand that there are different beliefs in the world, but of course I believe that mine is going to get me to Heaven....and I don't want to see anyone left behind. So if I truly believe that, shouldn't I be witnessing to others? Or should I just put on a "don't care about others" attitude? That would completely go against everything I believe.

 

Can I GET ALONG with people of other faiths? Of course! I can get along with them without arguing. Do I pray for them? Of course!

 

I was going to say yes, absolutely! Then I read this post and... now I'm not sure! Does this mean witnessing to people even if they ask you to stop doing so, or if they express an absolute desire to avoid discussing religion? If so, I'm not sure I could participate in a homeschool group where this was regularly the approach of some members. Not because I dislike chatting about religion -- I'm actually pretty much always happy to discuss such things -- but rather because I think I would have an issue with someone trying to preach to my kids on a regular basis. I also suspect that my beliefs, which I wouldn't keep quiet about in the face of such a discussion, probably wouldn't be welcome by someone coming from this mindset. (Not to pick on you at all here ChristusG! Your post just brought up some interesting thoughts for me.)

 

So I guess the answer is maybe, if the mix of membership is right, and if all people are willing to leave differences of opinion at the door.

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I think it CAN work, but it takes work, KWIM? And there will probably always be spin-off groups of like-mindedish people that enjoy each others company. That doesn't mean that everyone can't/won't participate in the large group, but that such a group may not meet all of a homeschool family's needs. Hope that makes sense.

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Seriously, can they?

 

I don't want to go into specifics-but I'm questioning whether homeschoolers can EVER manage to accept differing beliefs. Between my local secular, inclusive group and the stuff on the boards lately, I'm feeling like an "Army of 1"-and a not very successful one.

 

 

In a word, yes.

 

We have weekly park days with an inclusive group, and love it. This group has been meeting for five years and has over the years included families from Muslim, Atheist, Sikh, Catholic, Baptist, and Methodist backgrounds as well several families that have never revealed their family's religious background. Sometimes people discuss religious topics in smaller groups. (Not in a clique sort of way, though.) Quite honestly the discussions about vaccination were much more heated than any other topic I've heard discussed. Only once have I ever heard of someone in the group being upset over a comment of a religious nature.

 

It really just depends on the people in the group and their ability to share the sand box. :)

 

 

BTW- AFAIK only one family has ever left the group for a reason other than an out of state move or a major scheduling conflict.

Edited by BLA5
grammar fix :)
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I think it depends on what the groups are doing… these "co-op" style groups that exist some places and have classes - perhaps not so well if it's science or history being taught and different people want it taught from different perspectives… but homeschool groups that get together to play sports, have park days, craft days, etc, sure - I don't see why not. :)

 

:iagree: My homeschool group is more along the lines of the latter. We do field trips, educational tours, occasional one time "fun" classes (not formal subjects), craft days, picnics and seasonal parties, park days, game days, and so on. I've been with them for over two years now and there's never been an issue (except the time when we set up a "paranormal" thing at the library and one ex-member decided to email all the other members and tell them she didn't think it was a good idea and that it had to do with Satan and stuff... whoooo... but other than that, religion is not a focus of the group at all, and I like it that way just fine. Religion is more of a private thing IMHO and doesn't need to be the focus of a social group, which is more along the lines of what we are. Fortunately it's worked out just fine even though I'm a secular Jew and the other two organizers are both Christian (one mennonite). :) We have all managed to accept each other, to not push our beliefs on one another, and to still get along just fine despite that. I wish more people could do that!

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What do you mean by accept? In my faith (Christian - Baptist) we are taught to witness to others. I can understand that there are different beliefs in the world, but of course I believe that mine is going to get me to Heaven....and I don't want to see anyone left behind. So if I truly believe that, shouldn't I be witnessing to others? Or should I just put on a "don't care about others" attitude? That would completely go against everything I believe.

 

 

Inclusive groups can absolutely work as long as everyone is committed to respecting others and honoring some boundaries when it comes to discussing religious beliefs.

 

But if someone shows up determined to use the group gatherings as an opportunity to "witness" about their own beliefs, that ruins it for everyone.

 

Inclusive means "everyone is welcome". It does not mean "everyone is welcome to come try to convince others to believe what they believe".

 

If someone in an inclusive group believes they are supposed to witness to people - they are welcome to be there, and the group can accept that they believe that. It does not make it okay for them to exercise that belief on the members of the group.

Edited by laundrycrisis
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I've been part of an inclusive group for 13 years. We have gotten along swimmingly. People of all faiths are accepted. Many have done activities to educate others on their faith - with the goal of understanding, not evangelization. One Jewish family invited everyone to their Hanukkah celebration and used the opportunity to teach us about their faith and traditions. A Muslim family used our history fair to educate everyone on their heritage. In addition to the Jewish and Muslim families mentioned, we have Christians of most flavors, atheists, agnostics, pagans, you name it. For the most part, we don't talk about our religions unless we are confident that the other people are interested. We have an unwritten no-proselytizing rule. Live and let live. The only people who didn't want to be part of our group were those who either didn't want to associate with the "heathens" or those who could not abide by the no-proselytizing rule. Most of the Christians in the group took more of a St. Francis take on evangelizing ... "Preach the Gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words." ;)

 

It has fallen apart somewhat, but mostly because the founding members have sent their children to college and the newcomers all seem to have a "what can you do for me" attitude. Those of us in the middle were stuck with most of the work and we got tired of carrying the load. Most of the moms are still great friends and get together a couple times a month for either a night out or a Saturday morning coffee.

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I suspect the OP wants to know if there can be a homeschooling group of people of all (or no) faiths without drama and arguing and hurt feelings about evolution vs. creation, or any number of other issues.

 

 

Exactly-the big one right now seems to be the people who are less structured in their academics as compared to those who are a little more structured. For example, apparently my daughter learning Latin is seen by some as close to abusive-the fact that Latin is my daughter's favorite subject, and one she was dying to learn is irrelevant.

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Exactly-the big one right now seems to be the people who are less structured in their academics as compared to those who are a little more structured. For example, apparently my daughter learning Latin is seen by some as close to abusive-the fact that Latin is my daughter's favorite subject, and one she was dying to learn is irrelevant.

 

Some people (not all of course) who are really into the "less structured" philosophy can get really dogmatic about it. When this happens in any group which is not specifically built around that particular philosophy, they are IMO in need of a polite reminder that inclusive groups welcome diversity, and not everyone is going to follow what they are following, and that's okay. If they can't handle a group with a variety of ideas about how to homeschool, without criticizing approaches different than their own, they should perhaps go start a group specific to their own preferred philosophy.

Edited by laundrycrisis
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Inclusive groups can absolutely work as long as everyone is committed to respecting others and honoring some boundaries when it comes to discussing religious beliefs.

 

But if someone shows up determined to use the group gatherings as an opportunity to "witness" about their own beliefs, that ruins it for everyone.

 

Inclusive means "everyone is welcome". It does not mean "everyone is welcome to come try to convince others to believe what they believe".

 

:iagree:

With the group I facilitate the guidelines include having participants refrain from focusing on the differences of religious/political/educational philosophies/beliefs during monthly meetings, field trips or outings.

I ask them to focus on the common factor which brings us together: homeschooling.

During our time together the goal is to stay on topic/be focused, whether the discussion is about "top curriculum picks" or taking a tour through the Jelly Belly Factory.

If they want to chat about these issues, it needs to be done outside of the group, on their own time.

:)

Edited by kalphs
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Seriously, can they?

 

I don't want to go into specifics-but I'm questioning whether homeschoolers can EVER manage to accept differing beliefs. Between my local secular, inclusive group and the stuff on the boards lately, I'm feeling like an "Army of 1"-and a not very successful one.

:grouphug:

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Exactly-the big one right now seems to be the people who are less structured in their academics as compared to those who are a little more structured. For example, apparently my daughter learning Latin is seen by some as close to abusive-the fact that Latin is my daughter's favorite subject, and one she was dying to learn is irrelevant.

:grouphug:

:iagree:

Been there, heard that one too.

:)

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the group I've been a part of for the past 3.5 years (and was active in before I put my kids in school) is working out fabulously and we have all types of people in it. We have the large group, and then there's a smaller core of us that regularly get together. There are Christians of all types, Catholics, non believers, etc. We all respect each other's position and don't really discuss religion. It works out beautifully.

 

In the past there WAS a trouble maker there but she was asked to leave. The difference in the group is amazing. It's WONDERFUL!!! This same woman was kicked out of a church we attended, and she left the synchronized swim team my dd is a part of. Since she's left, the change there is also amazing and all the moms are friends now. And again, people of all different backgrounds and beliefs there, no drama, no issues.

 

I feel so blessed and know this is NOT the norm. But yes, it CAN happen.

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I've been part of an inclusive group for 13 years. We have gotten along swimmingly. People of all faiths are accepted. Many have done activities to educate others on their faith - with the goal of understanding, not evangelization. One Jewish family invited everyone to their Hanukkah celebration and used the opportunity to teach us about their faith and traditions. A Muslim family used our history fair to educate everyone on their heritage. In addition to the Jewish and Muslim families mentioned, we have Christians of most flavors, atheists, agnostics, pagans, you name it. For the most part, we don't talk about our religions unless we are confident that the other people are interested. We have an unwritten no-proselytizing rule. Live and let live. The only people who didn't want to be part of our group were those who either didn't want to associate with the "heathens" or those who could not abide by the no-proselytizing rule. Most of the Christians in the group took more of a St. Francis take on evangelizing ... "Preach the Gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words." ;)

 

It has fallen apart somewhat, but mostly because the founding members have sent their children to college and the newcomers all seem to have a "what can you do for me" attitude. Those of us in the middle were stuck with most of the work and we got tired of carrying the load. Most of the moms are still great friends and get together a couple times a month for either a night out or a Saturday morning coffee.

Thank you for sharing Ethel! :)

I'm sorry your group is going through growing pains. :grouphug:

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So I guess the answer is maybe, if the mix of membership is right, and if all people are willing to leave differences of opinion at the door.

 

this is key. We are very respectful of each other in our group. We don't push religion, or speak against it, on/to anyone. People need to keep their opinions to themselves in order for a group like this to work, or only discuss them with their close friends.

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this is key. We are very respectful of each other in our group. We don't push religion, or speak against it, on/to anyone. People need to keep their opinions to themselves in order for a group like this to work, or only discuss them with their close friends.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Yes, they can. There's at least one in California that's been in existence for many, many years. But they didn't start out calling themselves an "inclusive" group. It was just a homeschooling support group. The founder didn't make a big deal out of it, but she was clear from the beginning that all homeschoolers were welcome.

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I think you have a uniquely difficult situation there in America.

However here in Australia- I have been part of inclusive homeschooling groups for years and I have the utmost respect for everyone's ability to get along. The truth is, it is usually us secular folk that do a fair amount of compromising and biting our tongues (in my experience- maybe it works both ways), but it has worked well for our kids.

 

Given a certain mentality that is very prevalent over there- no, inclusive groups containing people with that mentality couldn't work. Its too much an "us and them" polarity, sadly. But yes they can work when people actually want to get along more than they want to righteously push their point of view onto everyone else.

 

As Rosie said- so glad I live in Australia.

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Our little homeschool group meets weekly for lots of fun activities. We have several different faiths and some I'm not even sure about. It doesn't make a difference. When we get together, we don't talk about faith, we talk about homeschooling. We don't have any screening at all. If you homeschool, come play. If you like us, come back.

Edited by amana
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I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

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I think you have a uniquely difficult situation there in America.

However here in Australia- I have been part of inclusive homeschooling groups for years and I have the utmost respect for everyone's ability to get along. The truth is, it is usually us secular folk that do a fair amount of compromising and biting our tongues (in my experience- maybe it works both ways), but it has worked well for our kids.

 

Given a certain mentality that is very prevalent over there- no, inclusive groups containing people with that mentality couldn't work. Its too much an "us and them" polarity, sadly. But yes they can work when people actually want to get along more than they want to righteously push their point of view onto everyone else.

 

As Rosie said- so glad I live in Australia.

Thank you for sharing Peela!:)

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I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

:iagree:

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I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

Wow, that's totally different than here. People here are constantly wearing their religion on their sleeves and then waving their arms in our faces :tongue_smilie:and then they start on the politics. Small talk here= God talk and politics. If you're waiting in line too long it's Obama's fault and the 'nice' old lady in front of you will start telling you to make sure you are stockpiling because things are going to be getting worse and worse and make sure you are right with the Lord. Seriously. It's bizarre, and I am NOT making this stuff up.

Oh, and there's the mandatory prayer before any type of function I attend at DH's work.

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I've been part of an inclusive group for 13 years. We have gotten along swimmingly. People of all faiths are accepted. Many have done activities to educate others on their faith - with the goal of understanding, not evangelization. One Jewish family invited everyone to their Hanukkah celebration and used the opportunity to teach us about their faith and traditions. A Muslim family used our history fair to educate everyone on their heritage. In addition to the Jewish and Muslim families mentioned, we have Christians of most flavors, atheists, agnostics, pagans, you name it. For the most part, we don't talk about our religions unless we are confident that the other people are interested. We have an unwritten no-proselytizing rule. Live and let live. The only people who didn't want to be part of our group were those who either didn't want to associate with the "heathens" or those who could not abide by the no-proselytizing rule. Most of the Christians in the group took more of a St. Francis take on evangelizing ... "Preach the Gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words." ;)

 

It has fallen apart somewhat, but mostly because the founding members have sent their children to college and the newcomers all seem to have a "what can you do for me" attitude. Those of us in the middle were stuck with most of the work and we got tired of carrying the load. Most of the moms are still great friends and get together a couple times a month for either a night out or a Saturday morning coffee.

 

Ellen, thanks for sharing this. I would give my eye teeth and a few other body parts to have such an experience. Unfortunately, I think we are too far along in homeschooling for that to be an option. The few groups around here are fairly strong Christian-based groups.

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Yes, they can work. Our inclusive group has been going for 10 years. It's included, in various combinations, Christians (from very conservative evangelical to very liberal, including various kinds of Protestant, Roman Catholic, Quaker, a sect that I never heard identified, but kept the Sabbath), Jews, Muslim, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalists, atheists, agnostics, Unity, Neopagan, those about whom I have no idea, etc.

 

The biggest issue has not been religion, but how focused on education to be. We had a huge blowup between the folks who wanted to continue to become more academically focused (as the group had been working toward since the beginning) and some newer folks who wanted it to be primarily a moms' social club. Thankfully, that social-only group spun off to start their own thing. There are some folks who are members of both, which is great. No one group can meet all needs. We've also been dealing with the "what can you do for me" rather than the "what can I contribute" attitude more recently. I think that is indicative of an overall societal shift and homeschooling becoming more mainstream.

 

We now have a series of educational enrichment classes that are a la carte, so that folks can choose those that fit them. I think a standard co-op where everyone has to do everything would be very difficult to pull off, though, in that situation. We tried once, but it fell through in the planning stages. Our other activities reflect a range of perspectives, and anything that is specific to a particular religion is clearly identified as such so that folks can make their own choices.

 

We talk religion a lot. I'm heading up a series of comparative religion field trips this year for interested families. Kids are kids, and yes, situations do occasionally crop up, but, as a member of a very minority religion, I can tell you that I prefer these sorts of issues regarding religion occur in a group where my child is known as a person, not just a religious label, and where the parents are committed to the value of diversity. I haven't seen an issue among the parents in terms of proselytizing in the 6 years we've been part of the group. A few instances of awkwardness occurring through a lack of understanding or unconscious assumptions, but those were cleared up easily with explanations.

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As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

 

It's a societal thing in our area. The town council still has a prayer in Jesus' name for guidance before every meeting. The local paper runs the daily prayer and Bible verse (taken from "The Upper Room") as part of the masthead and does a big Bible giveaway and scripture contest each year.

 

The mayor runs on a Christian platform (his first name is Tim and the campaign signs spell it with a cross for the "T"). In the town annual report, he said one of the three things he was most proud of during his last term was his prayer breakfast (where he conducts town business). After the earthquake in Haiti, we had an uproar when he used the town water bills to solicit funds for a Christian mission program there whose main goal is proselytization (and only for that program).

 

I've gotten Jack Chick tracts in my takeout bag from Arby's and my child's Halloween bag. There's a plethora of businesses with the fish symbol on their advertising, or labeled "Christian" this or that. That's why I work so hard for the continued success of our inclusive group, so that I and my child have a place to be.

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It depends on what the group is unified for.

 

If it's fighting oppressive homeschooling laws-- yes, I think we can be unified. I blogged about this yesterday. Here in Illinois, we formed a PAC to fight legislators who intend to restrict our homeschool freedom. PACs are non-partisan and non-religious. I think that as long as they are single issue, focused on homeschooling, then we can and should unite to fight a common enemy.

 

However, with regard to other things-- worldview, best methods of homeschooling, etc.? I don't know. I'd like to see homeschool conferences become more inclusive, but I don't see state "Christian" organizations relaxing on this. Have any of you looked at the schedule for the upcoming PA conference? A friend of mine pointed it out to me today-- take a look. The conference sponsored workshops are, overwhelmingly, about worldview, parenting, etc. NOT about homeschooling.

 

If our mission is to educate kids, then yes, I think we can be unified. If our mission is worldview change, then I think we'll have a huge split.

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Any time a large number of women get together for anything there is bound to be a fight.:boxing_smiley:

 

Unfortunately that is my experience as well. :(

 

I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

 

I also see it this way. I live in the "Bible Belt" and in a medium sized town. I just don't see the spiritual measurements in any other area. I've been around here as both a traditional Christian and now a very non-traditional spiritual person. :) I haven't noticed being pulled out any more from either side.

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Of course they do. I have quite a handful of relatively informal groups locally. . . the most formal being a monthly book club for my dd14 that's going strong after 3 years. . . and many less formal arrangements. They're all inclusive and happily so. Key is: intentional respect.

 

Tread lightly. Truly demonstrate mutual respect. Avoid conflict, hot topics.

 

Works for me. I do various cooperative schooling projects (long term) with an LDS family. . . a lapsed Catholic family with an evangelical teenager. . . athiest families. . . and everything else in between. If you can be TRUE friends with families of other faiths, then you have the skills needed to cooperatively school with them if you so choose. Some people feel better surrounded only by likeminded folks; if that's you, then No, don't bother trying. Others appreciate variety of thought; if that's you, then Yes, it can work well.

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I've been part of an inclusive group for 13 years. We have gotten along swimmingly. People of all faiths are accepted. Many have done activities to educate others on their faith - with the goal of understanding, not evangelization. One Jewish family invited everyone to their Hanukkah celebration and used the opportunity to teach us about their faith and traditions. A Muslim family used our history fair to educate everyone on their heritage. In addition to the Jewish and Muslim families mentioned, we have Christians of most flavors, atheists, agnostics, pagans, you name it. For the most part, we don't talk about our religions unless we are confident that the other people are interested. We have an unwritten no-proselytizing rule. Live and let live. The only people who didn't want to be part of our group were those who either didn't want to associate with the "heathens" or those who could not abide by the no-proselytizing rule. Most of the Christians in the group took more of a St. Francis take on evangelizing ... "Preach the Gospel at all times, and, if necessary, use words." ;)

 

It has fallen apart somewhat, but mostly because the founding members have sent their children to college and the newcomers all seem to have a "what can you do for me" attitude. Those of us in the middle were stuck with most of the work and we got tired of carrying the load. Most of the moms are still great friends and get together a couple times a month for either a night out or a Saturday morning coffee.

 

It would be nice if we had a similar organization down here in SOUTHERN Illinois. Unfortunately, we seem to be on a different planet, even though we are in the same state.

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I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

 

:iagree:

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Thank you for sharing Ethel! :)

I'm sorry your group is going through growing pains. :grouphug:

 

Thanks for the hugs. While I am sad that this group didn't continue, I had a good 10 years with this group before it started to fall apart (and it had been going on for about 5 years before I found them.) I have met my life-long friends in this group - they are like family to me.

 

Most of us with older kids just couldn't do all the park days and host the evening parents meetings. Also, the explosion of info and support on the internet changed the face of support groups. I think what made this group work is that is was a support group, not a co op. We had an "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. If you wanted something for your children, you made it happen and invited people to join you. If people didn't like what you were doing, they were free to do their own thing. Most of the newer homeschoolers (many seemed to be escaping a bad school situation, rather than embracing the lifestyle of homeschooling) wondered why we didn't have activities for their kids. They just couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that they were in charge - if they wanted something, they needed to make it happen.

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I've been a part of a few different "inclusive" groups and for the most part, they seem to run well.

 

I did have one snippy leader get all bent out of shape one time when I posted the most innocent "hey, we're going to the National Day of Prayer rally, if any of you are interested in meeting up, we'd love to see you there" message one time. The NDOP rally featured a wide range of clergy from Catholic and Eastern Orthodox priests to liberal mainline Protestant ministers to Evangelicals and even a Jewish rabbi. And it wasn't like I was saying that anyone *OUGHT* to go, just that we were planning to go. People post events all the time of that list that do not personally interest me, and I just ignore those messages. Why couldn't the secular folks just do that with my message?

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I think it depends on the people who are the most active in the group and the tone they set. If they judge others in the group... others in the group will judge them back and then there will be division. My group is extremely diverse and we all get along. I think that is because we do not judge each other. I keep in mind that the people who disagree with me have their reasons... If they don't act like I do, it's because they don't believe the same things. It's possible to have an inclusive group... It's just not very common. :001_smile:

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I think inclusive groups could work if religion is not the focus of the group. As I said in another thread, the only time I find religion is brought up in any group activity I participate in is when it is a homeschooling group. Religion is not discussed at exercise class, book club, meditation group, charitable group, business meetings, or the annual Christmas party for dh's work. It isn't brought up when I talk to moms at karate lessons or dance lessons either.

 

I don't get why it is such a focus for some homeschoolers.

 

I think it's a focus for some homeschoolers because some people choose to homeschool primarily for religious reasons.

 

I'm glad that religion is not even close to a focus at get-togethers for our main local homeschool group. I think having someone determined to witness would definitely change the tone and make it less welcoming for those who are not that particular type of religion.

 

Wow, that's totally different than here. People here are constantly wearing their religion on their sleeves and then waving their arms in our faces :tongue_smilie:and then they start on the politics. Small talk here= God talk and politics. If you're waiting in line too long it's Obama's fault and the 'nice' old lady in front of you will start telling you to make sure you are stockpiling because things are going to be getting worse and worse and make sure you are right with the Lord. Seriously. It's bizarre, and I am NOT making this stuff up.

Oh, and there's the mandatory prayer before any type of function I attend at DH's work.

 

A little OT, but...Mandatory prayer before a work function? Wow. I thought religion was really overt and "in-your-face" when I lived in an area where it was common to ask a newcomer if they'd found a church home yet. I can not imagine living some place where religion is as large a part of general life as you describe. It's totally foreign to me.

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Also, the explosion of info and support on the internet changed the face of support groups. I think what made this group work is that is was a support group, not a co op. We had an "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. If you wanted something for your children, you made it happen and invited people to join you. If people didn't like what you were doing, they were free to do their own thing. Most of the newer homeschoolers (many seemed to be escaping a bad school situation, rather than embracing the lifestyle of homeschooling) wondered why we didn't have activities for their kids. They just couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that they were in charge - if they wanted something, they needed to make it happen.

You are welcome Ellen! :)

:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

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Wow, that's totally different than here. People here are constantly wearing their religion on their sleeves and then waving their arms in our faces :tongue_smilie:and then they start on the politics. Small talk here= God talk and politics. If you're waiting in line too long it's Obama's fault and the 'nice' old lady in front of you will start telling you to make sure you are stockpiling because things are going to be getting worse and worse and make sure you are right with the Lord. Seriously. It's bizarre, and I am NOT making this stuff up.

Oh, and there's the mandatory prayer before any type of function I attend at DH's work.

 

really? What state do you live in?

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The secular group I am a part of is running swimmingly ;).

 

 

I don't know what i would do without my people. We represent various religions (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, UU, nothing...lol) . Me, unschoolers, Calvert, Oak Meadow, cobbled...we get along well!

Edited by LibraryLover
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I think it depends on the people who are the most active in the group and the tone they set. If they judge others in the group... others in the group will judge them back and then there will be division. My group is extremely diverse and we all get along. I think that is because we do not judge each other. I keep in mind that the people who disagree with me have their reasons... If they don't act like I do, it's because they don't believe the same things. It's possible to have an inclusive group... It's just not very common. :001_smile:

 

:iagree:

 

for heaven's sake, leave your judgment bottled up indefinitely. :001_smile:

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Before moving, I belonged to a secular (but effectively inclusive - there were a number of families of various religions) group that's been going for at least 6 years. It was fine. There was no religion-related drama. While officially religion was off-limits, people occasionally posted events at their churches that might be of general interest, and I never saw any complaints about that. Most drama came from things like vaccinations, the morality of zoos and battle recreations, and so forth.

 

I think it helped that there was an active Christian group as well which was non-exclusive enough that anyone who wanted a more Christian environment could have one (ie. no SoF limiting it to fundamentalist Protestants).

 

The local inclusive group has been utterly drama-free as long as I've been on the list, but isn't super-active, either. There isn't a huge non-Christian homeschooling community around here, so I think we better appreciate what we have :)

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