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Non-religious families going to religious private schools Lock Rss

Hi all,
I'm hoping to get a bit of insight into private schools.
My ex has espressed an interest in sending our dd to a private school with him offering to pay the extra expense. So I have done a bit of research into the schools around our area.
We both would like to send dd somewhere with strict discipline and obviously to gain a good education.
Now I don't want to offend anyone or start a debate or anything about religion or public vs private but I don't know what's the right thing to do.
I went to public schools and turned out just fine so I'm not against them, I'm just looking at this option now that it is available.
I am not at all religious and neither is the ex and to be honest I have no interest whatsoever in changing my ways. I don't mind dd learning about religion but looking at the websites they spend a lot of time on religion with daily devotion, prayer, chapel etc. Is it going to cause problems with dd learning this stuff and coming home to me with questions that I can't answer, or will my way of life conflict with hers, ie praying before bed, at meal times etc. I'm sure I am coming across as completely ignorant but I just don't feel that I could ask these kinds of things to the schools.
A few of the schools state that they accept children from non religious families but they interview the parents, I would feel so awkward telling them I want dd to go there but i'm not interested in it myself you know?
So I guess I'm after anyone elses experiences. Thanks for reading this far!

Mum to Charotte 13-03-06

DH and I had the same dilemma, we were both non-religious and wanted our children to attend the local private Catholic school, as the public schools here are terrible. They do spend a bit of time learning religion, and have a weekly prayer servie and a whole school Mass once each term. They do RE in class and say Good Morning Mrs XXX and God bless you! LOL one of my sons has drunk it all up and is very interested, the other is completely nonchalant and doesn't give a hoot. They still spend plenty of time learning non religious subjects, and I believe that so long as when they are learning religion they are learning about tolerance and love for all others, and no fire and brimstone, I was happy with that.

As for questions you can't answer, we get plenty of those and I say, well I'm not sure but it's a good question for you to ask your teacher, or we do some research on the net. And as for your interview, I'm sure they won't push you to convert or anything lol. The staff are aware that non-religious people choose private schooling for reasons other than religion, tht's why you pay top dollar, and Catholic private schooling tends to be the cheapest in the country.

i dont know where you live but i am in sa and have found a christian private school that teaches both the bible AND evolution and then leaves it up to the child to choose what they believe in as they get older. i think they do morning daily prayer at the school which i see as a good thing so am ok with that

some of the schools i looked at wanted at least one parent to attend a church etc. we would not lie and say we were religious to get in though so alot of schools we wrote off as they were to full on. we believe in god but we are not religious iykwim.

eta that i wanted a school that taught about god and love and the bible as i believe that to be important and unfortunately, i do not know enough to be able to teach my child. i hope one day they will be able to teach me sad.

we just kept looking and have found the perfect one for us. keep looking, you will find the one that suits you.
[Edited on 18/01/2010]
Thanks to you both for your thoughtful responses. It really is good to hear about other peoples experiences as I don't have anyone in the same boat to compare with. Mumto2Ts I am in adelaide northern suburbs, would you mind telling me where your kids go? In a pm if you prefer?

Mum to Charotte 13-03-06

i am northern suburbs too. the school is Cedar College at Northgate. i was so impressed with this school. plus all the things they are doing with the government money that they received is fantastic.

eta that ds does not go there yet. i have just enrolled him already as you need to start all that stuff rather early to make sure you get in. we went there for the interview and a tour etc and we just knew that this was the right place for us and our kids.
[Edited on 18/01/2010]
I used to work at a Christian school. To be honest, a good 1/2 of every class I taught was from a non-christian/non-religious family who just wanted to give their kids a better education than they felt they'd get from the local public schools. I could normally pick the non-religious students simply because they weren't as familiar with the bible stories as the students who were exposed to sunday school/church so their Christian Life results were often lower (from a lack of familiarity - if you've heard the story 20 million times you're going to be able to answer questions about the story a lot easier than someone who's only learning it for the first time). If you find the right school there shouldn't be a problem with the fact that your family isn't religious.

If your children do ask questions that you can't answer then you can either sit down and help them research it or tell them you don't know and suggest that they talk to their teacher/someone in your extended family who is religious instead. For the most part though (at least at the school I taught at) the primary school Christian studies tended to look at fairly common bible stories so even a little kids bible/one of the "Bible stories" book you can buy at most book shops would probably be able to help with any questions that they have.

Our children go to a private school even though we don't go to church and are not overly religious. We actually researched a few schools and went for the school that was 'ecumenical' rather than only one denomination. This school also had more focus on the 'education' and 'co-curricular' components of schooling which we liked rather than the priority focus being on 'religion' first (as some schools do)

We were truthful during the kids interviews and said we don't go to church but we are 'Christian' and are happy for our kids to learn religion and 'christian values'.

As someone above said I think a huge majority of parents send their kids through private schooling for the education and opportunities rather than the religion side these days.

I would suggest visiting schools, speaking to parents who have their kids at the school and asking lots of questions to determine what school you feel is the best for your daughter and your family!

Good Luck!
You will find alot of families are not religious at all. My kids attend a independant Lutheran school and I don't even remember being asked what religion we were on the application and we weren't asked during the interview they just explained how it was intertwined during the daily classes.

If you look up the schools website it should give you a good explanation of what degree of religious knowledge and practice they expect from their families smile)
Our DD#1 is starting catholic school next week and as I am not of any religion (and dont even believe in god) I was a bit nervous but we chose it as we felt it would be the best education for her. My DH is a primary teacher in both the public and catholic systems (casual) and he really wanted her in the private system... he really believes its a better education, and I am just keeping an open mind about the religious teachings, so long as she is happy its all fine.

DD#1- 2004, DD#2 -2006, DD#3 -23/10/08.

Well, I need to say thank you so much to all of you who have replied. Your posts have certainly helped to put my mind at ease. I still have a lot of research to do, but now it doesn't seem so daunting smile

Mum to Charotte 13-03-06

It was a long time ago for me now but for some weird reason when things got from bad to worse at North Adelaide Primary where I was from February 1985 to June 1989 I got moved into a Religious Private School at St Andrews in Walkerville by my Mother.It was the education and opportunities to do things that I wouldn't have got at my State School that made it a wise choice plus the safety levels and a great principal at the time made all the difference.I know this is an old post but choose wisely for the kids.I went to Canada on a Cultural Exchange Six Months after moving in and one year later went on a School Musical Performance Trip to New Zealand but there's more to it than that.It's the reassurance in years to come they go onto great things.
I don’t like private schools in them; I can’t see everything that gives me knowledge. Knowledge is the best that I can get from everyone on the Internet resource and including from I always recommend this site to my friends who are still studying at a university or school.
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