At the beginning of September I will be co-founding the new Secular Parenting group at the Center for Inquiry – Ontario. This program is long overdue. A big complaint that we get from people is that events are held in the evenings almost immediately after dinner time and run into any child’s bedtime. This excludes parents from being active in the activity. There has also been the argument that this is a large contributor to the lack of women at the center, because they are at home taking care of the kids (I guess…). At least the first argument seems more than legitimate and enough of a reason to start making a specific time for parents to come and hang out at the center with other secular parents. They can discuss a variety of things from how to help children deal with death, how to teach them about religion and whatever else parents…do. It was something I wanted to start the entire time I worked there, but there always seemed to be something else that took up the time I should have been spending on this program. Now that I have a bit more free time on my hands, I’ve decided to start it up.
Here was the big problem – I’m not a parent… and I would actually make a really horrible parent. Also, just making a time and place specifically for parents doesn’t mean they automatically have free time away from their kids. So… I will be starting the program with another person. The other person will talk to the parents and I’m going to do kid time!(I know, I just said I’d make a horrible parent, but entertaining kids for two hours is a lot different than being responsible for how they turn out in life.) So now I’ve been thinking about different critical thinking/science/secular activities that I could run with children, and I thought I would open it up for suggestion! The criteria is pretty open at this point – for kids ages 4 – 10 (ish) that can be done with a group of kids in an indoor setting. Also, if it is quieter, it would be better… but not necessary. I want the activities to involved figuring things out, classifying things and using other critical thinking skills.
What are your ideas?!