A vital part of our home school program is diversity. We live in a colorful world. God designed it that way. Humanity consists of men, women, and children of different races, religions, lifestyles, and ideas.
Moreover, our world is rapidly changing. New conversations are emerging. Tough issues such as gay marriage, religious extremism, or the legalization or marijuana, are creeping more and more into our daily discussions. It’s up to us parents and educators to prepare our children by teaching them to stand for their beliefs and how to respect racial, political, and cultural differences. Otherwise, they will begin to view their world through eyes of prejudice and hate all because he or she doesn’t agree or is different.
Here’s one example. During a recent conversation about religious differences, a student expressed negative thoughts about Muslims. This student was aware of tragedies such as 911 and the rise of Isis. Somehow, this student had attached the actions of a few pseudo-religious rogues with the agenda of an entire religious group of peace loving people who celebrate Jesus Christ.
Thus, James and I launched our World Religions project whereby all of our students would explore the world’s top five religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Judaism. We incorporated math, geography, reading, writing, art, music, history, and social studies into the lessons.
Over a three month span, we visited a local mosque. We ate lunch at an Indian restaurant. We took turns reading stories out loud. We practiced writing in Hebrew and Arabic. We incorporated literature lessons with The Ramayana, which is a Hindu epic. We made prayer beads. We celebrated Easter and prepared a Passover Seder. We visited the Holocaust Museum Houston and vowed to stop hate starting with ourselves.
This three-month adventure opened up many “teachable moments.” The students engaged in lively discussion and traveled to new lands. They even took up a collection to help the child victims of the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. We donated $56.00 to Save the Children.
I thank God for these life-changing experiences. More than that, I thank Him for allowing us to impact young lives with lessons that they will NEVER forget.
TAMS and ED is a 501(c)(3)organization. We provide a home school experience for children who need a smaller classroom experience. For more information, visit us on Facebook at TAMS and ED or online at http://www.tamsanded.com.