Article Discussion: Changing Our Preschool For the Better

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This topic has 2 voices, contains 1 reply, and was last updated by  Debbie B. 6 years ago.

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November 2, 2011 at 1:28 am #6257


Click here to read the article: Changing Our Preschool For the Better

November 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm #6283

Debbie B.

I’m glad the curriculum was changed, but there is still a danger that Chanukah will end up being presented as “Jewish Christmas”. Chanukah is, religiously speaking, a more minor holiday than Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. It is elevated in the US due to its calendar proximity to Christmas. From what little I know, Ramadan is also a very different kind of holiday compared to Christmas.

The pre-school still seems to have a faith-centered unit with the assumption that all families celebrate some sort of holiday within a month of Christmas. I think it would be better to broaden the theme to be more about cultural diversity. Then a child whose family is not religious could still share something about his family.

It is still a victory that things will change at the pre-school. But it brings back my own memories of being frustrated as a Cub Scout leader that other parents in charge of Cub Scout pack events did not believe that all ethnicities did not have some kind of religious holiday involving lights. An Indian woman who was convinced of this gave her family’s celebration of Diwali as evidence. I feel that when it is still clearly a Christmas celebration with a few other religious celebrations thrown in, the kids who are not Christian may still feel like their holidays don’t measure up to Christmas. I wasn’t worried about that for my own kids who are secure in their religious identities, but I objected on principle.

My daughter attended our park district’s pre-school, but they definitely had only a “winter” unit and were very careful not to have religious references. But then again, our town is very diverse, probably half Jewish (although the more religious Jews don’t send their kids to the Park district pre-school), with a significant religious Muslim population too (plenty of women in head-scarves, some even in full face-covering chador), not to mention the Buddhists, Hindus, etc, and so ethnically diverse that over 50 different languages are spoken by the kids in the public schools. My kids have attended public school and there too, for the most part, the schools are very good not to put the celebration of a particular religious holiday in the curriculum, even if they may talk about how different people may celebrate different religious holidays.

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