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Teaching Paganism to Children

 

As a parent, whether you homeschool or not, a question you will inevitably encounter is this: will you rear your children in Paganism or teach them about it?

Some parents are committed to rearing Pagan children, including them in all related activities, and passing on a family tradition.

Others prefer to present Paganism as one of many religious choices.

Sometimes a relationship with a significant other influences this decision. If your partner is also Pagan, it may seem like the most natural thing in the world to pass that on to your children. Then again, you may not want to offer this as the only option for your child, especially if you felt railroaded into a family religion when you were younger.

If your partner follows another spiritual path, or is Agnostic or Atheist, you may need to discuss a compromise when it comes to religious education.

My son’s father is Christian and wanted him baptized. While I did not participate in the ceremony, I did permit it. In that instance, we discussed a compromise ahead of time: we would expose my son to a wide range of religions, and allow him to make his own choice as far as his personal spirituality. Over the past 10 years, my son has participated in many Pagan rituals and festivals, gone to his father are church, and attended the UU. He has been exposed to two different schools of Buddhist belief.

There is so much more I want to teach him about world religions, but the spiritual journey is his own. I can only do so much, and facts and lessons about religion can only tell my son so much.

On the other hand, since my husband and I are both Pagan, we will rear our daughter in a Pagan household with our traditions. This does not mean she must grow up to be Pagan. I have every intention of exposing her to a variety of religions. However, in this instance, we do not need an expressly stated compromise with regard to our daughter’s spiritual upbringing. The ultimate choice is still her own but, as far as we’re concerned, our family and household is a Pagan one.

One resource available for parents who want to teach their children about religion is Intellego’s “World Religions” unit study . We are using this with my son as part of his homeschooling this year. This is an excellent curriculum if you would like to start a dialogue about religion with your child.

What additional resources do you need to teach a child about a specific religion? Bringing them to visit various places of worship and immersing them in the experience is part of teaching, but sometimes books make an excellent jumping-off point. Over the next several posts, I am going to look specifically at teaching children the various facets of Paganism.

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I am an urban and steampunk fantasy author, Pagan writer, homeschooler, and genealogist from Massachusetts, currently living in England with my husband, son, black-headed caique, and three cats (one of whom is certifiably demonic - at least, according to military veterinarians).

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