Of Shielding and Religious Stuff

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently; I am pretty steeped in homeschool culture after nearly a school year of doing it (what??  how did that happen??).  As I begin to think about the next school year, specifically, and in general what I would like to pass along to our kids, I find myself in a conundrum, of sorts.  Or maybe not a conundrum but more of a constant evolution of deciding where to draw the line when raising little people.

I’ve noticed something this year as we have journeyed together; I am really comfortable explaining and exploring other cultures and religion with the kids but not comfortable at all when it comes to my own religion.   Let’ me give you an example.  Yesterday, Lily asked to download two different songs from her ballet class.  One was a Jewish song that starts slow and ends on a frantically fast beat.  The other is Jesus Loves Me by some contemporary singer.  Both are fun to dance to.  The Jesus Loves Me is a sweet song.  But I was much more comfortable with Heini Ma Tov, the Jewish children’s song.  What is that about?  I don’t know if I have an answer.  Perhaps it is what I have felt about church since I was a teenager; that it seems like such a private thing, religion, but modern evangelists have made it so public and demonstrative (and not in a love your neighbor way, either, in my opinion).  I feel caught between culture and religion.  The kids are getting older and asking questions and brushing up against the larger world.  I think that is awesome in so many ways.  On the other hand, it feels sometimes that our culture puts so much on display and is so “in your face” that there is no protection for our littlest people.  Right now the kids are young and complacent enough to follow our rules about watching and I can leave them alone with a show on without worrying that they will go exploring and find something inappropriate.  But Sam and I watch plenty of things that I wouldn’t want them to stumble across.  As Lily really gets into music, I feel the same way.  I love music-all kinds.  But I don’t love a lot of the sentiments of most songs.  I want them to be filled up with fun, bubbly, positive songs and that is hard to come by.  We just started using YouTube this week for some lessons.  To no one’s surprise, I hardly ever go on YT…but there are great resources there for school  But there’s also so much CRAP.  I don’t want to over-protect these kids, I think Sam and I agree, we want them to have a wide open world to explore.  My conundrum is how to support that and allow enough freedom with guidance and balance that with my annoyance at having to preview or be on top of all the media they ingest to make sure it is appropriate to their age and tenderness.

Which leads back to religion.  I quit going to church around fall…when I volunteered, foolishly, to do nursery once a month.  I have finally stepped down from that but would like to introduce the world of religion in a “seeking” environment but one that allows for other worldviews.

I have not solved this here…maybe I won’t ever.  It feels good to get it out and for the kids eventually to know that I don’t know it all.  And maybe it is so jumbled that it doesn’t make sense.  I can come back and clean it up later if that is the case.  For now, sorry about missing yesterday; another case of it not even being on my radar.  Batman birthday party at night and getting everyone in bed…

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