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Adolescent Rebellion Against Religion

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    Posted: 04/Nov/2015 at 10:27am
This is our 6th year of homeschooling. We are traditional Catholics. We use Catholic curricula that is put out by somewhat traditional but still modernist Catholic programs. As my handle would suggest, we have seven children. Our oldest is 23, a college graduate, and attended public and parochial schools pre-k through 12. He is in the military. Our second attended public schools K-9 and homeschooled 10-12, which was like pulling teeth. But he did finally get through at age 20; he is now working and living independently, probably going to college next year. Perhaps because we started so late, perhaps because he already had strong bonds with his public school peers, the process of transitioning to homeschooling with our second was a nightmare. A large part of his rebellion was against our religious instruction--mostly against Christianity in general, secondly against traditional Catholicism, and least of all against mainstream Catholicism. (Many of his friends were, what we would call, Novus Ordo (New Order) Catholics. So I think that last is not surprising.)

Our third child is currently our biggest concern. He is in 9th grade. Let me preface. The boy works hard. He gets up in the morning and does a paper route. He is taking advanced mathematics and science as he's brighter than the average bright kid. But, increasingly, he's becoming anti-religious. This morning, he said, "I don't care what that book says!" (referring to the Bible)

Our priest has said that all adolescents go through a skepticism and rebellion stage. He has advised us to just allow him to go through the phase.

But we suspect there is more going on than just adolescence.

Last year, this boy had a remarkable year in three sports. (We live in a state that allows homeschool kids to participate in public school sports.) Although we applaud his sporting achievements, he has also started listening to rapp music, echoed some of his peers' rebellions against for example going to church, and generally become a less pleasant kid to be around.

One of our Catholic homeschool programs advises against allowing homeschool kids to participate in public school sports. I think I can see why.

But at this point, pulling him out of sports--especially since he's kind of phenomenal--would likely create more problems than they would alleviate. We are at a loss as to what to do.

In terms of local homeschool groups, there is only one nearby. No offense, but they are mostly evangelicals and we are hesitant to get involved with them. Probably even more reluctant to drive an hour to engage in a Novus Ordo Catholic group. We do have some contact with other children from our church, also an hour away. But our best friends and their large family moved to another state recently. Besides, our experience is that our children (particularly our second) have tended to ostracize themselves from other homeschool children. There were actually four homeschoolers this year on the cross country team, for example, and our 10th grader wanted nothing to do with them. We are, frankly, at a loss.
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