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Books for the religiously well rounded child?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I also posted this in spirituality, but thought I would get more and possibly different suggestions here. . .

I don't have a particular religious belief system. I am a spiritual person who believes there are good things to be learned from all faiths/belief systems. I want to raise religiously well rounded children. If they grow up and choose to be Baptist, Muslim, or Atheist i do not care. I do however, think it's important to have a grasp of stories and teachings from all religions in order to foster an understanding and acceptance of all the Earth's people (and less importantly, to understand the Christian religious symbolism of Moby Dick - OK maybe that's not important but it is interesting )

I'm looking for books for toddlers and young children that will teach the stories of many different religions without too much (hmmm how to say this)moral directing? I don't want the end of the story to be "This proves God/Allah/The Spaghetti Monster want you to live this way and if you don't you are not living in accordance with their will/teachings." Just a simple - "there was a man named Noah and he did this" and the next story "Gilgamesh lived a long time ago and he did this"

Any book suggestions?
post #2 of 10
no suggestions, but subbing because I'd like to find similar books.
post #3 of 10
Parenting beyond belief is good. I believe that guy has a few books on the subject. Raising free-thinkers is another one.

Here is a link to Unitarian universalist curriculum. If you go to your child's age group, there will be lesson plans and in those lesson plans are stories to print or suggestions of stories to use. When I teach sunday school at the UU church, I cross out any words that I'm not comfortable reading. For example, One story has a little girl saying "well, God said we should, so maybe..." I started it at "maybe."

Also, Gale McGowen has a list of books that help teach religious education to children of various ages. I'll go search for that. Here it is:

There's one book called "The Golden Rule" that is pretty good.

And "What if Nobody forgave?" http://www.amazon.com/What-Nobody-Fo...7009313&sr=8-1
post #4 of 10
When I was a kid, my mom had a set of Childcraft encyclopedias. There was one volume called "About Us" that was about different cultures around the world. It had info on all kinds of things- dress, food, family structures and religious beliefs. It had a whole section on creation stories from around the world (Mexico, Scandinavia, Japan, American Apache, scientific theory, Biblical/Christian, etc.) and also a section that highlighted the major religions of the world like Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Shintoism, Judaism etc. There were pictures of different places of worship and explanations about different religious traditions- lots of stuff. There was another volume called "Holidays and Birthdays" that had a lot of information on the holidays of different religions. I read about the origins of Ramadan, Passover, Hannukkah, Purim, St. Lucia Day, Diwali, Chinese New Year Muhammad's birthday, the holy day devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe- you name it, it's in there. Fantastic resource! I remember beginning to read them on my own when I was about 5-6 years old. The ones I read were printed in the '80's, there have been a few editions since then. There's a pretty good chance your library would have them in the reference section if you want to go look through them and get an idea of what they are like. I'm definitely getting a set in a few years when my son is old enough to read.
post #5 of 10
My teens are not the same religion so we must have done fine on raising religiously diverse children. But I will say, it is ok to point out when a religion teaches something that is against your beliefs. I might tell my children that while it is their choice to make their own decisions on XYZ, my feelings are.....______. See what I am saying? So, while I do not like religions that repress women, I am happy for those for whom it works. However, I think that this works more for the men than the women. My children are exposed to many religions, they seem to not like the ones I do not like. But they have chosen different beliefs and directions to go.

I don't have book suggestions though. But on the books ideas, some books try so hard to be PC that they fail to really capture a religion or tell about it. Plus, I was raised in 2 religions and I rarely see a book that seems to get a clue on those faiths.

OK...I edited to add this....I just asked one of them which religion she is..she said Presby-Lutheran. I guess I should not let them get their religious viewpoints from Simpsons. LOL

I wanted to add that I don't really think that Ned Flanders is really Presby-Lutheran. He strikes me more as a more conservative Christian, just for the record.
post #6 of 10

I think I got this website earlier from here maybe years ago. This has lots of good information, but would be more useful to the older child if you don't mind letting them go on it.
post #7 of 10
I've made some book lists about various religions. A lot of these seemed aimed at kids 8 and up, but I've found a few for younger kids:

The Story of Religion (ages 4-8)
Many Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions (ages 4-8)

One World, Many Religions (says ages 9-12, but I think younger kids would get something of out of it)
The Kids Book of World Religions (grades 3-6)
The Usborne book of World Religions (ages 9-12)
A Faith Like Mine (grades 4-8)
Humanism, What's That? A guide for curious kids (grades 3-5)
Sacred Myths: Stories of World Religions (ages 9-12)
Religions of the world (grades 8 and up)

Not religion, but a good topic to cover scientifically if you're talking about creation:
Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story (ages 4-8)

A three part series: (ages 9-12)
Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story
From Lava to Life: The Universe Tells Our Earth's Story
Mammals Who Morph: The Universe Tells Our Evolution Story

There are series of books about individual religions - so ones about Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judiasm, etc. Libraries have a section (200s in the Dewey Decimal System if you care) that you could browse.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for putting so much time into your posts!! These are great references.
post #9 of 10
Dorling Kindersley the publisher has a bunch of awesome books..
one is just titled Religion, but there are individual religion ones. They're under the Eyewitness book series.. here's one on Islam. I love these books and the publisher. They're full of images and don't really preach, just inform.
post #10 of 10
This is the URL for the Tapestry of Faith Unitarian Universialist Curricula. It has stories, actives and resources for different age groups. We go to a UU church and I find that it draws on a wide variety of faiths in its teachings.

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