Would love some suggestions from anyone in a similar situation.
My son is starting Primary school in September and we have taken the decision to remove him from religion class as we are atheists.
The school are very amenable to this, but as he is the first student in this very small rural school to ever opt out of religion class, they are at a loss as what to do with him during the class.
I understand that because it was my choice to exclude him I should prepare something for him to do while religion is being taught to the others but I don't know what to do, should I buy some books that he can rotate on different days so he doesn't get bored?... Any parents in a similar position I would love to hear what you did.... I have considered 'where's wally' and there is a good Usbourne book called 'a thousand searches' which is educational, but could be a bit advanced for him....
Not sure, but I am interested in replies you get because I am in a similar position!
Someone has suggested a sticker book that he could do, but it could get expensive, also, I'm sure the teacher wouldn't appreciate the inevitable attention a sticker book would draw from his class mates.. I think a coloring book will only last for so long also...
Does your school have a library? I haven't decided yet if my kid will be participating in religion, but he's older so will be likely making the choice himself. If he does not participate, I will be supplying him some kind of 'self-development' materials, like educational books about the world, humanity etc.
What about getting an exercise book, something teacher recommended? A sticker book may be seen as a 'treat' for not participating in religion... IMO. However, junior infants are quite young, and you probably don't want to bombard your child with stuff, on top of starting school!
As a teacher I would have no problem with any child in juniors using a sticker/colouring book while the others were doing religion. After all the religion program is not work heavy so they should get some light relief.I have one little boy in third who has opted out and with the parents we chose some topics he was interested in and he did little projects in class( parents helped at home) I know that's no good for you now but just talk to the teacher, they will have some ideas.
Just to say ( on an anonymous forum) I have never taught 2 1/2 hours religion a week, usually bout 45 mins once a week. Far too much to cover in curriculum.
Thanks for that Lilly09!... Should I prepare something for everyday?... Or should I just wait to see how things pan out and how the routine goes... I just feel like a colouring book is a bit of a cop out on my part...
No need to to prepare something every day, without being smart that's teachers job. Have taught infants for years and many don't realise the importance to colouring, it develops fine motor skills and is a precursor to handwriting. As time goes on you can mix it up a bit, word searches with cvc words ( consanant v owe consonant words like cat big) read the sentence/word and draw. you could put these in a cool folder your child has picked out so they take out their special folder when the class are doingbreligion.teacher will help with these.
Www.activity village.com. for nice colouring.
Hope that helps, sorry for the spellings my tablet has a mind of its own.
As it is in infants he will be, the work he can do independently is somewhat limited.The folder is a good idea, it will serve as a place for him to keep this work and look back over with pride, as he progresses.
Do you know what phonics scheme they use (e.g Jolly Phonics?)
hi, I wouldn't imagine you would have to give him anything, the teacher is bound to prepare for your child. It is very kind of you to do that though and the teacher would be very grateful.
A lot of the religion at this age would be based on friendships, family etc. so if you downloaded some colouring/activities of a non religious nature that would be lovely and you could even make a little scrapbook for him..photo's of friends/family, pets, jobs he might do, being kind, rights and responsibilities, recycling etc. Theme based work would also be nice- matching flashcards (Autumn, my body). So much is freely available on the web now.
Best of luck to your little man for September, a special year!
Since it's instead of religion class would you consider something got to do with evolution or something? I'm sure there are some books designed to explain evolution to kids. Ask him to read a certain amount of pages and ask him about it when he gets home to make sure he reads them. That's what I'd do anyway!
You might want to consider the annual school class play - my kids did secular plays for Junior/Senior Infants but in first class they did the Nativity. If your child attends a school with a religious ethos you will find that its not only during Religion class that religion is mentioned. My kids go to the Parish Catholic school so they have a prayer first thing in the morning and again at the end of day. Also they learned a lot of Christmas carols with a Christian theme-You may need to sit down and consider how far you want to exclude your child from activities the rest of the kids are doing. Cant be easy for you - is there any option to send your child to an alternative school that does not have a religious ethos?
Some nice workbook type books in Aldi at the moment.
That's very true. I nearly choked when my kids brought home their history book at the end of Senior Infants year and I read through it. There was a chapter in it about the origin of Christmas and specifically Jesus being the son of god. In a $%*%ing History book! And this was in an Educate Together school. Unfortunately the whole curriculum in Ireland is christian orientated.
It is a problem.. but my big issue is with the sacraments, luckily its only 2 in the whole 8 eight years, I think its impossible to avoid the prayers and the plays portion of religion, but I would love if the teacher could explain to the other kids why my son doesn't partake and that everyone has different beliefs... I think it would make him less of a pariah, but at the same time, as wrong as it is I have to accept that we are forced to put him in a Catholic school and there has to be some compromise on everyones part....