April 06, 2006

Turning Water to Ice

My 11 year old is learning. I am so proud.

Although I am not Catholic, my husband and his family are. So my boys are being raised Catholic, going to a small Catholic school in the area. This was MY choice and not something I was asked to do. I really love their school. Every school has issues, don’t get me wrong, but I’m very happy with what we have going on.

But this year I’ve started talking to my eldest more and more about independent thought and not believing everything you hear, not accepting, but researching and thinking. One person's thoughts are just that… their thoughts. There could be other theories on the same topic.

Now my younger two, I let them believe whatever they hear. Its not quite time yet for me to venture out into other thoughts concerning religion. They are too mouthy. If their teacher tells them about the Virgin Mary, then I let them believe she was a virgin. But if my 11 year old hears about it, I am more apt to say, “You know…” and I give him the historical background on the Catholic Church and virgin births. I want him to form his own opinions.

I want him to be his own man.

But I also want him to respect the opinion of others. He needs to know people are entitled to their opinions just as he is entitled to his. And he needs to truly understand when is the appropriate and inappropriate time to voice his.

For instance, it is inappropriate to tell his religion teacher that Mary may not have been a virgin.

Disagreeing with the religious dogma taught in his school is a BIG no no… as is calling the class bully a f***er during PE, but hey, that’s a whole other story.

I decided long ago that I wanted my kids to have an understanding of Christianity and to be raised in the faith. What they decide to do as adults is THEIR business, but with the faith background, they can make their own choices.

Every Thursday my 5th grader has a current event due for school. He goes on line and looks through MSN and prints something he finds fascinating, reads it, and creates a synopsis. (He almost always chooses Science and Technology.)

On Wednesday, he was doing his thing when I came over and said, “Dude, we have to go to your baseball game. Make a decision already. You’ve been reading on-line for an hour and we’ve GOT TO go.”

He said, ‘OK. I’m choosing this… Its my favorite.”

And I looked over his shoulder and it was THIS article on how Christ may have walked on ice instead of water.

Now I found the whole thing fascinating, and was pleasantly surprised he did too. But then I got concerned.

I said to him, “Hmm. Let’s think about the wisdom of picking such an article for your current event…”

And he replied very matter of fact, “Oh don’t worry Mom. It’s not for Mrs. P (who is their religion teacher as well as Math and a few other subjects). It’s for Mrs. S. She does our current event. And it’s cool with her. She’s not Catholic…”

And I had to laugh. Really it doesn’t matter whether she is Catholic or not, but the fact he realized that there was no way in hell he’d get away with it with Mrs. P made me think I am making progress. He is starting to realize what is expected of him and what he can and cannot do in the classroom. He is understanding personalities and rules.

I think that’s pretty damn important.

Posted by Boudicca at April 6, 2006 10:55 PM | TrackBack

Ahh, smart young man. I too attended a Catholic school. Found when I switched over to a public high school that my peers and I where way ahead in english, reading/writing skills and "Yes Ma'ams!"

Posted by: MCPO Airdale at April 7, 2006 12:22 AM

Good job!

Posted by: vw bug at April 7, 2006 06:40 AM

Isn't it amazing how many adults have never grasped the concept that you just taught your son? I don't know how many times I've been in a meeting where someone is digging a hole for themselves, and are totally oblivious to it.

You're a good mom.

Posted by: Jerry at April 7, 2006 08:08 AM

No, it means he's been reading Harvey's blog. That's where I found the article.

Posted by: Sticks at April 7, 2006 07:24 PM

I'm an atheist and if I had kids they would go to Catholic schools, preferably those run by Jesuits.

Posted by: Denny at April 7, 2006 10:00 PM

Good on you.
I've taught my kids and more that lesson.
And I learned it from my dad. He, however, shared this thought and let me figure it out from there:

"If your teacher is a Democrat, let him think you are too. That grade is more important than being right."

I explain a bit more - I include that those grades are tied to a scholarship or job, and that's worth more than winning the argument.

Posted by: _Jon at April 8, 2006 10:25 AM

I agree with _Jon, sounds like he has a strong grip on Neuro Linguistic Programming, he is already able to read not only personality but their individual sense of the world and knows how to alter himself to address them.

Smart Kid!

Good thing!

Of course, knowing his mom and dad, I would have expected no less.


Posted by: Pcola Titan at April 8, 2006 10:34 PM