Muslim moms public schooling... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 12-10-2011, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you feel about your kids and school and this time of year?  My kids' school is fabulous in so many ways, but they really have a lot of emphasis on the holidays, all the public schools do here, and I feel there is no escaping it really.

 

Dh wants them in school and we have no private Islamic option here.  *I* feel like at least if we homeschooled, they would not be immersed in it and I would know what they are exposed to and be able to discuss it along with our values and beliefs.  My other idea has been to simply go overseas for the month of December, LOL  ;)

 

i also know though that they have to learn sooner or later to function in society...however, I feel like a young adult well-versed in their value system and beliefs is better equipped to do that than say, a 5 year old.

 

thoughts?


lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#2 of 6 Old 12-11-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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I'm not Muslim, but I am strongly opposed to schools celebrating holiday's during the school day. Even if they try to be secular they will always leave some child out.

 

I hear where you are coming from and we are homeschoolers already, so we do incorporate our religion into our learning. Does the school understand your concern? Could they do a snowman day instead of a Christmas party? Maybe you could keep the kids home when they are doing the celebrations and ask they their schoolwork come home with them. ''


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#3 of 6 Old 12-13-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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It's not simple, is it? 

 

We were in public school in the US. Now, we are in the UAE and the kids go to a secular, private school based on American curriculum. A lot of American students, but not a majority. And many of the US and Canadian students are dual nationality, and many of those, Muslim. That said, the school does it up for Christmas, way beyond what our little public school back home ever did. Santa's workshop. No kidding. They did a "Winter Concert," and to their credit, they did songs from a lot of traditions, and in several languages. So that was nice. Also, there are huge numbers of all religions, as it's Dubai and it's a huge school. But still, I found more emphasis on Christmas than Eid. Which is weird, considering our location and that it is a secular school (Islamic Studies is mandated by UAE government for Muslim students, and Arabic for all students).

 

Back in the US, I pulled my kids out of Christmas concerts and had them study alternative stuff when the class practiced their Christmas music. Teachers were incredibly accommodating about things, and were also very interested in sharing OUR practices and traditions in the classroom. And of course there was never an issue pulling kids out for Eid celebrations.

 

I am trying to push dh to consider going with virtual school for next year, which would eliminate the Santa's Workshop and Christmas concert issue, and enable us to focus on doing our own thing. But, like your dh, mine wants his kids "in" school. I'm working on it.

 

That said, every Christian holiday is an opportunity to revisit what we have in common with, and how we differ from, our Christian neighbors and peers. Lots of teachable moments, lots to talk about. 

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#4 of 6 Old 12-16-2011, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We do.  :)  I don't object to some of it...like they are making "Christmas lights" in art class right now.  I also buy what most people call "Christmas lights" and hang them up during Ramadan and Eid.  Colored lights.  That's ALL they are.

The other day when I was there, they put together green "tangram" shapes to make what the teacher called a  "Christmas tree"  Well, it was a green tree formed by putting the shapes together to create 3 triangles with biggest on bottom and smallest on top.

 

I do object to stuff like "make your 'wish list for Santa' on so many levels.  Even if I were Christian, I would object on the simple basis that it's a disgusting promotion of materialism. 

 

I do see plenty of "outs" though and lots of things I don't object to--like the writings I saw by older students hanging in the hall had an option to write about making cookies.  ;) 

 

I hate all the emphasis on it though.  I've told DH what we need to do is travel for the entire period from the last week of November until the 2nd of January.  ;)


lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#5 of 6 Old 12-17-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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This week brought us much closer to deciding to online-school. It's always interesting because Christmas is such a hot-button issue. I think, like any holiday, it should be celebrated by its celebrants any way they wish. And I don't dislike the nods to it at school, because that's one way to get to know our neighbors and compatriots. But Christmas is just too big, and in too many cases, no other non-civic holidays get any shrift at all. And I agree on Santa. I told my kids about Santa from the way beginning. I didn't ever want them thinking they were somehow not good enough to be visited by the gift-slinger, and luckily both kids have handled the "secret" really well.

 

One thing I was really thankful for was how an overdone Christmas, in a secular school, in a "Muslim" country, opened the door for us to talk about all the values issues that have bubbled up this semester in our educational environment. The Queen Bee stuff, the "cool kid" thing, the fact that eating junk food apparently get kids cool cred, the Blackberry and iPhone proliferation, etc. If they didn't wear uniforms, I know both my kids would be belittled in this school for their clothing, because we do hand-me-downs and we don't buy brand names.

 

It's really too bad, because from a curriculum standpoint, I am really very satisfied with what their school does. But classroom management, parties, behavior issues, social stuff, all fall short. People argue against homeschooling claiming that kids need social opportunities. If this is what they're referring to, they can have them.

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#6 of 6 Old 12-18-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peaceful_mama View Post

How do you feel about your kids and school and this time of year?  My kids' school is fabulous in so many ways, but they really have a lot of emphasis on the holidays, all the public schools do here, and I feel there is no escaping it really.

 

Dh wants them in school and we have no private Islamic option here.  *I* feel like at least if we homeschooled, they would not be immersed in it and I would know what they are exposed to and be able to discuss it along with our values and beliefs.  My other idea has been to simply go overseas for the month of December, LOL  ;)

 

i also know though that they have to learn sooner or later to function in society...however, I feel like a young adult well-versed in their value system and beliefs is better equipped to do that than say, a 5 year old.

 

thoughts?

I totally agree with you in that a 5yo is NOT ready to handle all that.   Our school year ended Dec 10, thankfully, so we only had 2 weeks of Christmas junk to put up with.   My big issue with it was that pretty much all the children's assessments were complete, the report cards were being written (they are done quite differently here) so just about ALL they were doing was holiday themed crap.  I think the last 2 weeks contained very little in the way of actual learning... Honestly I wish I could have just kept him home! 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

I'm not Muslim, but I am strongly opposed to schools celebrating holiday's during the school day. Even if they try to be secular they will always leave some child out.

 

I hear where you are coming from and we are homeschoolers already, so we do incorporate our religion into our learning. Does the school understand your concern? Could they do a snowman day instead of a Christmas party? Maybe you could keep the kids home when they are doing the celebrations and ask they their schoolwork come home with them. ''

This is us too...we are not part of any of the 'Big 3' religions. I think that all holiday stuff should be done somewhere other than school... at least partly because in most schools kids are not doing so incredibly well that they can afford to waste that time on christmas silliness!   Even stuff that appears secular is 'claimed' by certain religions... and it not part of others... so someone IS left out.  A related example... I found out towards the very end of the school year, that the religious education program (that I opted my children OUT of mainly because it is a 'non denominational christian program) was conducted in the library... the children that were opted out ( my little pagan boys, and the muslim students made up the entirety of that group) were in the computer lab.  Right off the library... and the door was wide open (they didn't bother to have any staff person to supervise the non participating kids so this was their answer).  So my  first grader would come home with all manner of bible stories and christian childrens songs.  And yes, I do find it offensive that my child is singing 'yes, Jesus loves me!' when I've specifically requested he not be involved in religious content!  and I'm guessing the Muslim parents would be thinking the same thing

 

 

 


Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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