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Old 06-05-2008, 11:04 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,372 times
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This is my first post here. I have spent most of the day reading on here and finally registered. A little background on me: I am a 28-year-old mom of 2 who was raised in the Catholic church. I went to church every Sunday, etc. but never really felt all that close to God. I recently did a Christian Experience Weekend at my church and I have a newfound passion for religion. I should add that my husband is Lutheran and really isn't into going to church much at all.

My little girl is 5-years-old. She was baptized and attends mass with me. She has always been very inquisitive about her faith and is a very faith-filled child. I have never pushed anything on her and although before my CEW, we didn't speak of God much, she still did. She speaks of Jesus, angels and God as freely as she speaks about the Disney Princesses. She has two bibles that she keeps in her bed, cross statues that she found in a closet (yes, I know it's horrible that they were in there but we had just moved) next to her bed and wears a cross necklace daily. She attends a Catholic preschool and has had a very positive experience there. She absolutely LOVES it!

We had never given any thought to where she would go to school because we live a block away from a great public school. We have told my daughter her entire life that she would be going to that school for Kindergarten. One day, as we were walking by she asked if they pray there. I told her that they did not. She stated that she wanted to go to a Kindergarten where they pray. I then began to consider sending her to our church's school. It's a good school and I don't worry about the academic side of things. They perform better than our public schools (that are also very good).

I'm worried that being in a Catholic school may be bad for her faith. Does that sound crazy? I went to public school growing up and I knew of all of the kids at the Catholic school and they were not the "good" kids that they have the reputation of. In fact, of the ones that I have knowledge about (from other friends) quite a few are not even Catholic anymore or have no religion at all... I wonder if having it thrown at them all day every day will cause them to rebel. Does that make any sense at all?

What I want for my child is to grow up with confidence in herself and in her faith. I want her to be a good person. Isn't that what we all want? I wish this was an easier decision for me. I guess what I'm asking is, do those of you who have gone through Catholic school have any advice for me? What did you think about your experiences?

I have seen some bashing, etc. on this board and I hope that doesn't happen here. I don't have any bias against any religion and I certainly welcome any responses. I just want to make the best decision I can for my child....
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:52 AM
 
Location: The Netherlands
8,568 posts, read 15,651,790 times
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Well I have been send to a Catholic school, but was baptised a Protestant.
My father is a Catholic and my mother is a Protestant, so we went to both churches. I guess my parents wanted me to decide for myself if I wanted to become a Catholic or a Protestant.
I find the Catholic faith less 'personal' and less 'down to earth' than the Protestant, but somehow seeing the difference between these 2 Christian religions made me realise that I just don't like organised religion.
That I am not much of a 'blind' follower.

Originally Posted by ellajack0304
Quote:
She attends a Catholic preschool and has had a very positive experience there. She absolutely LOVES it!
I don't see any reason why your child should be taken off this school if she likes it there.

Quote:
I wonder if having it thrown at them all day every day will cause them to rebel. Does that make any sense at all?
I guess it has to do with how she deals with the dogmas of each particular faith.
Right now she is a child and children still have enough imagination to not be bothered by dogmas.
Only the children who have a problem with dogmas will eventually rebel.
Mostly these are also the same people who have a problem with authority and don't like it when others tell them what to think (and what to like and how to act etc).
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:55 AM
 
Location: among the chaos
2,136 posts, read 4,630,402 times
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EllaJack,

I was not raised Catholic, my response is from a mother's perspective...(also, I converted to Catholicism as an adult and am raising my children in the Catholic faith.)

I have 5 children and the one thing that I have noticed with them is that as they enter school the become very social beings. My children's elementary school is also within walking distance. It is always amazing to me when I find out how many kids live right in our backyard that I never knew.

My only advice to you would be that if you are interested in keeping an eye on who your children play with and having some control of their environment, I would put them in the school that is closest to your home. My children went to a preschool that was a 15 minute drive and never had friends over to our home. But as soon as they started in the elementary school, our home has become the local hang-out.

You can remind your child that she can always talk to God. It certainly does not matter where she is. I taught kindergarten CCD this past year and that was one of the things that I really tried to instill in my kids. No matter where they are, God is there and they can ALWAYS talk to Him. Prayer is just a conversation between them and God.

Best of luck. Feel free to DM me.

Peace be with you,
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Old 06-06-2008, 09:57 AM
 
8,175 posts, read 12,074,276 times
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My children have gone to both Catholic and public schools. There are good kids and bad kids at both places, and good and bad teachers as well. No matter which school you send your daughter you would be well advised to volunteer there as much as possible.
Now, personally I found that the Catholic school was a lot more open to parent volunteers (they didn't have the money to hire aides ) and the daily exposure to religion really makes a difference. Public schools are not so much into having parent volunteers, at least not at the school itself. But things such as field trips are free!!!!! But there are no uniforms, and uniforms are a great thing.....
I don't know, I would keep her in the Catholic system since she is already in it and likes it. You can always change later.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,372 times
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Thank you all SO much for your responses. I appreciate them greatly! I am a person who loves to think of things from every possible angle before making a decision! :-)
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Old 06-06-2008, 01:43 PM
 
2,600 posts, read 3,478,893 times
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I spent 12 years in Catholic school. It definitely wasn't thrown at us "all day every day." We had a regular daily religion class, mass every once in a while, and prayer in the morning and sometimes before classes depending on the teacher. We didn't do a lot of Bible reading but instead were mainly taught catechism teachings that were in our religion books.

Since I can only speak of my experience, many of the kids in middle and high school were into sex and drugs at an early age. Of course, not all were. I wasn't. A large portion of the students came from wealthy families, so it was common knowledge that if you wanted to buy drugs you bought them from the students at the Catholic school I attended.

Again, just the experience from my particular school, but there was a lot of favoritism toward the students that came from money. My family did not come from money and had to work for assistance by volunteering at bingo, etc. Because we didn't have as much money as some of the other kids, we were treated as second-class citizens so to speak. There were five of us from my family in the school at the time, and all of us were treated the same, so it wasn't just because they didn't like me as an individual.

The year after I graduated I had a run-in with one of my old teachers. She informed me that she quit teaching because the vice-principal (a nun) "ordered" her to change (raise) the grade of a student whose parents contributed greatly to the Athletic Association. Apparently she was worried that if he receiving a failing grade, which would've prevented him from participating in sports till his grades came up, the parents would've held back on their regular generous donations.

Aside from all of this, the education was a good one. I'm not going to deny that, but based on my personal experiences the whole Catholic-school thing left a bad taste in my mouth. I know, it's not fair to judge them all based on one bad one, but that's just how it is.

My sister sends her son to a Christian school in town. She says the children are very respectful and well behaved. If we could afford to send our six children, we would in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:32 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,372 times
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Thank you, Content Christian. I appreciate your honesty. I have heard similar things about private schools in general and people with money. We have an interesting situation here because we live in an area where the public schools are likely more affluent than the Catholic one. Our public schools are considered so "good" (due in part to the fact that the district has a lot of money) that no one can understand why on Earth I would want to send her to the Catholic school. My reasons are for the faith-based education and the smaller class sizes. Our local public school has 25 children in a class with only one teacher and an aid that is in there for 1 hour a day. The Catholic school has 18 kids per Kindergarten class and 2 teachers per room. That is a huge thing for me.

I grew up without much money at all and I went to a school where not many of the kids had much money. I wish that my children would get to experience more cultural and economic diversity in school but the reality is that where we live, it isn't going to happen. The median household income for both schools is near identical. Now, I don't know how that will play into the politics of it all. I realize that the private school is funded by tuition and donations, etc. I hope we don't have the problems that you experienced.

Again, thank you so much for your reply. It really does help to view this from all points of view!!
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