If you have shopped around for a homeschooling Co-op or organization to join, then you are familiar with the statement of faith. Many Christian Homeschool groups and organizations have a statement of faith for new members to sign.
The purpose of this statement of faith is to ensure that all of the members of the group have similar homeschooling philosophies and goals in homeschooling their children. These are families that the members plan to spend a great deal of time with for the foreseeable future, and it is very likely that the children in these families will be the best friends of the children already in the group.
I am not a big fan of a statement of faith. I feel that I do not necessarily have to agree with everything my friends agree with, and also that diversity in a group can be a learning experience is. Fortunately, there are many groups that do not require a statement of faith. They are all-inclusive and invite families of all faith and creeds to join. I have noticed however, that the inclusive groups tend to be anti-Christian. In my case, any mention of Christianity in the online message groups are met with hostility.
Therefore, a Christian like myself is caught with a catch-22. I do not want to be in a group that excludes others. Meanwhile, I do not want to be told that my Christianity should not have anything to do with my homeschooling. So how do I balance this dilemma?
I recently signed a statement of faith for the homeschool program my children are taking. It is comforting to me to know that many of the topics discussed in class can include Christian ideals and viewpoints. It is also comforting to me that children my kids will be close to will also have many of the same ideals. Meanwhile, I am also maintaining my membership in the inclusive homeschooling group. It is very important to me that our children know and spend time with children and families from all lifestyles just as they would if they went to a regular school.
Whether you decide to join an exclusive homeschool group and sign a statement of faith, or to belong to an inclusive group with no statement of faith, you will find that both will have their limitations. I highly recommend that you choose your homeschool affiliations carefully and never sign anything that does not sit well with you, and to also consider joining a second group to balance out the limitations of the first.
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