There is a religious creep that has been happening more and more over the years in the United States when it comes to religious influence in public spaces and public schools.
Instead of asking for permission, religious zealotry is moving forward with the expectations that to remove them once they have a foothold will require a lawsuit. And they can do plenty of damage in the meantime.
Schools that allow this creep to occur are opened up to lawsuits from all sides – the religious institutions that are frivolous in their lawsuits, and those furious to find their children were being groomed for harmful religions in a space that should have been free of religious propaganda.
More and more of the public school setting is experiencing influence through reading selection (religious overtones in fiction, religious bias in textbooks), the way discussions are steered in classrooms (By teachers that want to further a specific narrative around world religions and the history of religions), and through third-party organizations that partner with schools (organizations promoting ‘projects’ surrounding kindness and character building or charity are being funded by & run by those that incorporate specific religions themes – propaganda).
Of course, if you agree with these religions you likely see nothing wrong. Possibly, you’re offended I’m pointing it out. Maybe you think that ‘children should be exposed to all their religious options and make their own choice’ and yet – you’re not sending your child to my ‘Black Mass’ this Halloween*, are you? It’s a one way street and we see that.
*We don’t celebrate a Black Mass, but I love to poke the bear when it comes to the instant fear that strikes up in those double-standard zealots.
Why We Homeschool with Witchcraft
Reason #1 – Up until 13 years old, Magic is in a Raw state
There is limited amounts of time when it comes to learning, all kinds of learning. But the strongest learning happens when a child is young.
I don’t want the influence of strangers over the most formative years to displace the beliefs and traditions of our family, which are so precious to us. The loss of traditions and magical knowledge over generations can be very harmful to an entire practicing family.
To ensure that our children have the highest confidence in their own practice, to ensure that they have a complete education in witchcraft, it’s essential that I dedicate this time to them.
Reason #2 – Memories and Bonds and Traditions are Made
We believe that all moments in life are teachable moments. By teaching magic in every moment, we teach that we are living with magic all around us and in our lives every day. This practical form of witchcraft means that the more time that we spend together, the more chances that those beliefs, traditions, and practices are passed along in a strong and memorable way.
Being able to spend more time together means we have a very strong bond. It means we can emphasize OUR traditions instead of the schedules and activities and events that the school decides are the ‘key’ annual traditions that need to take priority in our lives.
It’s a subtle but damaging thing to have your own family activities and traditions take a back seat to a public school’s schedule for your family and children.
Reason #3 – Doubts come from outside, not inside
As public schools grow, as more children are populating larger school systems, the children become numbers. The environment turns into a machine that churns out workforce that assimilates and conforms. This system doesn’t nurture individuality, free thinking, and expressions or beliefs outside of the mainstream / norm.
Parents are told that children NEED to be surrounded by other children their age to ‘learn socially acceptable behaviors’ when the reality is that is like expecting the blind to lead the blind. Children don’t have anyone they are modeling their behavior after in a school setting – it becomes essentially tribal. And in an unhealthy way that we’ve seen play out again and again, in different ways, through violence and bullying and mental health issues on the rise.
These children then attack the ‘peg’ that stands out. Conform or suffer. We’ve all seen it.
Inevitably, witchcraft will be seen as a peg that needs to be hammered out. Through shame, bullying, doubt, mockery, etc. If you practice witchcraft, you know that doubt is one of the biggest obstacles to a healthy practice and getting results. Instead, we will head off the mainstream parental zealotry that is parroted by their children to others.
We prefer our children to have social circles that are vetted by us, their parents. And social interactions where those same kids & their parents are all at the same functions together. The parents model the social norms, the kids learn and mimic as used to be normal practice and is still very healthy practice.
Reason #4 – When One Religion is accepted as the Norm, it’s Difficult to Unpack
My daughter asked a friend why she said ‘Bless you’ to her when neither of them believed in God. This started a harmless conversation, where the other child was shocked to learn that ‘Bless you’ is ‘God bless you’.
If the norm is that you hear someone else say Bless you, then you start to pick up these norms as well without a thought if you are a child. Because you’re used to mimicking those around you, to conform. That’s what children do. That’s how they learn. But if you are not exposed to these norms at a young age, then it leads you to question them when something ‘odd’ happens that you’re not used to when you get older. This is one example, but there are so many.
I was very fortunate that I wasn’t exposed to outside religion when I was growing up except for a few occasions. And those few occasions involved my step-grand-parents and ended in a blow out fight with my parents. (A story for another day) And because I wasn’t exposed to these religions, it is extremely easy for me to pick up things that sound… odd.
Turn the other cheek?
Forgive people when they have made no strides to make amends? And continue to disrespect or harm you?
Don’t hold a grudge, give people chances instead?
All of these things sound like something a person would teach you if they wanted to make sure you would keep allowing them to abuse you.
Do no harm? (Am I Buddhist now?)
Never do anything for personal gain (should I embrace poverty like jesus and become a nun, next?)
Don’t accept money for spiritual work (again… jesus? is that you?)
Don’t do spells or say a bad word against someone that has done terrible things to you, wait for justice (then what is the point of doing magic? who is coming to save me? a god?)
Religious dogma and indoctrination is designed to be very effective, especially on children. And it has spread through popular culture and media. My work is cut out for me when I have to point it out to my children, point to it and say ‘this is what that is, dont accept this, that’s not what we believe or do’. That’s admittedly harder to do if 8+ hours a day, plus weekend activities, my kids are at a school surrounded by non-believers.
And it’s too hard to unpack dogma because I can’t see it, unless it’s an experience in the moment. I don’t want them to internalize ‘bless you’ when we don’t believe in those religions. I don’t want them to internalize victim grooming beliefs. I don’t want them to be disempowered before they’ve fully stepped into their power as a witch.
I’m not saying it’s easy. But it’s worth it to me to take the steps and make sure their education is complete. And that includes making sure it’s dogma free.
Reason #5 – It’s our Right to teach our Religious Belief & Traditions
As the religious extremes in this U.S. continue to push the boundaries of what they can get away with, I am reminded to follow their lead and make sure witchcraft is getting equal representation.
And when people or public schools or government officials violate my fundamental right to freedom of religion, freedom to homeschool my children, then I’ll be making an example of them – in court.
The more witches that take the fight all the way to court, the better our chances are of ensuring equal Freedom of Religion for ALL people.
Never let another witch burn.