As a parent of a child who starts school later this year, I would have no interest personally for a Pre-K through Grade 12 private Wiccan school. Although both myself and my husband are initiated witches, we feel that school is for essential academics (the classic three Rs), plus some humanities and cultural enrichment (art, music, foreign language), technology or career enrichment (computer use, including typing), and physical activity (recess for younger grades, targeted physical education options for older grades). For us, religious education should be done within a home setting or within active participation in religious programs and should not detract from the academics. (For our daughter, she will be exposed to our practices at home and some open coven events, but we're planning largely for UU religious education programs to fill in the gaps for education in diverse religious paths.) In addition, with programs like Spiral Scouts, the niche of child-friendly pagan religious education is pretty well covered.
In addition, I would not send a child to a school--religious or not--where the people looking to start the school are not able to express themselves correctly with the written word. It might be that you were just rushed when you posted this, however you know what they say about first impressions. ;)
What might change my mind would be:
1) a list of the qualifications of the instructors--all should have at least a master's degree in a relevant field, and the administration should have doctorates. As this is a religious school, all instructors should be initiates of the religious material they are planning to teach, and administration should have achieved the 3*, if in a degreed tradition.
2) documentation of accreditation and certification--the specifics would vary by state
3) information about the particular curricula that would be used in the classroom setting
4) a review of the facilities, including safety inspections, access to technology/equipment, etc.
5) clear criminal background check of all employees--an absolute must
6) teacher to student ratio
7) cost and location, and whether bussing would be provided
As far as location goes, probably a West Coast location would be better than the East Coast, and an East Coast location would be better than the Deep South or Midwest, both in terms of numbers of potential students, willingness of local government to assist with the legal requirements of setting up a school, and parents who would be interested in a non-traditional school setting.
Even though it isn't something that would serve me and mine, best of luck to you on your plan!
Jul, It is a long time Dream of Mine to open a Private school that is Pagan.
AND it is essential to this dream that the school not only be Pagan But be the very best school in the region ,.
It is a dream as I said . I have seen it in many dreams
One that happens from time to time.
As you mention, standards of excellence. the Best in reality for Parents to make a real world choice.</
♥)O(♥ ♣ Greetings Sparrow! ... Your Dream to to open a Pagan Private School sounds wonderful! ♣ I am extremely perplexed by certain Wiccans and Pagans who say that they don't want to "Shove their Pagan religion down their children's throat and that they will not teach or involve their children in their Path." ♣ Except for these certain Wiccans and Pagans... In EVERY other religion and path... the parents always teach their children their own path and religion from the very beginning! ♣ ALL Hindus, Buddhists, Shinto's, Indigenous, Shamans, Isian, Native Americans, Islanders, ALL 3 Abrahamic Religions etc... they ALL joyfully and proudly teach their ways, and paths, and devotional and magickal practices, their religions to their children! ♣ ONLY in Wicca do you hear people say that they won't do so and that it is terrible to do so! ♣ Such Wiccans and Pagans will destroy these paths... they do not honour their Path. ♣ The children after they have Grown~Up, can choose another path if they wish! ♣ These new Wiccans and Pagans have no respect for Hereditary Religious Witchcraft and Paganism and look down on continuining this time~honoured ancient and wonderful Tradition with their own families. ♣ Granted... sadly, many "Wiccans and Pagans" are extremely superficial and have nothing of any mystical, spiritual, magickal, worth to pass to their children... nor have they awakened nor have they experienced the inner Mysteries of the Godddess or Deities to pass down to their children. ♣ But, those Wiccans and Pagans that cry out against passing on the practices and Mysteries of deeply spiritual Paganism or "Wicca" to their children will cause these Paths to vastly diminish and die out. The children will see how little their parents care about their own religion... by not sharing it with them. ♣ Maybe the parents have nothing in their own experiences to share with their children... maybe they are eaten by laziness and apathy... and have no real Love for their Path. ♣ In EVERY other Path and Religion... the parents proudly and joyfully teach their children their own Path from the very beginning... it can even be very eclectic... from the time the child is a toddler! ♣ What is Wrong with so many Wiccans and Pagans??? ♣ ♥)O(♥
Sounds like you've got quite a swarm of bees in your bonnet, Magickal Hummingbyrd, but because I have a few minutes this morning, I figured I'd address some of your comments about raising children (and let someone else address your criticisms and negative comments about Correllianism, should someone want to take that on).
Just so I have a frame of reference, do you have children, and if so, what religion(s) did you raise them in and (if they are of the age of consent at this point), what religion(s) are they part of today?
To address some of your specific comments:
I am extremely perplexed by certain Wiccans and Pagans who say that they don't want to "Shove their Pagan religion down their children's throat and that they will not teach or involve their children in their Path.
I'm guessing that you're probably a solitary practitioner, correct? One challenge with coven life is that, at least within a traditional coven setting, the practices require a lot of time commitment--far more than some religions require. For students, it is not uncommon to have 20+ hours/week tied up in studies and practices some weeks. In my view, suggesting that a child, after committing the 35+ hours/week for academic studies (not including homework), should then be put into the type of training that is afforded adult students would be cruel for the child and not allow for exploration of other activities (sports, the arts, etc.). That's why some parents look at programs like Spiral Scouts or religious education curriculum through groups like the UUs--it allows for extra curricular social interaction (a must for children) while making for a manageable and age-appropriate religions training.
Such Wiccans and Pagans will destroy these paths... they do not honour their Path.
Aside from this statement being a rather nasty attempt at an insult, which I'm sure you did not intend, it isn't true. Wiccans and Pagans have no need to "grow the masses" by breeding new members, nor by proselytization. Yet, these paths are still growing because informed adults are able to choose these paths on your own. To put it simply, your statement is in error.
These new Wiccans and Pagans have no respect for Hereditary Religious Witchcraft and Paganism and look down on continuining this time~honoured ancient and wonderful Tradition with their own families.
I am an initiate of a traditional witchcraft tradition that came from a hereditary line--and one of the rules of the family part of the line is that NO FORMAL TRAINING is permitted for children until they have reached around age 12-13.
Part of this is because many of the topics and practices are wholly inappropriate for children to experience, and could be damaging to their growing psyches, intellect, and social development. If you would like me to expand on this further, let me know.
As it looks like the rest of your post is just rambling on with insults against everyone who doesn't think like you, I'll leave it there and see if you have desire to refine your dialogue.
you guys she is just stating a personal opinion, i see no names, or anything to think she is attacking anyone????
I see her statements as general, and not pin-pointing anyone here?
I would not be intrested in sending my children to a religious school of any faith, mine included. I belive religion should not be chosen untill the person is actually an adult, and sending a child to a school that has a religion would be forcing the child the belong to it before he/she can make the choice.
I strongly belive schools should only offer academic education and a moral code, at most.
Although, I feel this idea would be ideal for what I would like. I do not want to shove any religion, even my own down my child(ren)'s throat(s). I feel that religion is a choice to follow a path not a necessary requirement to follow one specific religion. I would say that it would depend on the academics, as well as the aspect of a religions course which would go over at least the base ideology on each religion. So my child had the choice to choose the religion that they would want to follow. Even though, I would like my child to follow in my footsteps, I will not force them. Over all I guess I would need a basic understanding of the curriculum before I would be able to make an educated decision.
I've consider it and realized what i would want is a "History of Religions" class that covered, from an anthropological point of view, the history of all mayor religions and the religions these are based upon but wich less people know about (Such as Zoroastrism)-
I could see a focus on mythology in the literature classes from early on. Most public schools aproach mythology as they do all other forms of lit, as something you need to read to appear "educated" and understand litterary references further down the road.
I would also love to see the curriculum focus on some of the writers that public schools tend to neglect. The Women's Regionalist movement might become more than just a footnote. Their focus on the role of women and mothers in society, in compassionate men and women living in more rural societies often in harmony with nature as opposed to at war with it would fit well with a Wiccan education. The works of Sarah Orne Jewett come to mind.
Perhaps oral tradition and storytelling would also play a roll in English Language Arts Classes.
Lastly, we might actually have a school that studies history that does not focus on old white men.
How soon can I send my resume? : )