Mommatown Content Policy
Homeschool, or Home Based Education is conducted by a wide variety of families for various reasons. People homeschool for everything from religious beliefs, to a child who for some reason is not thriving in public school, to personal beliefs of responsibility. The belief systems of those who make up the homeschooling movement these days are wide and varied.
There are families who forbid any book or content in their homes that contain fantasy. There are those who avoid all anthropomorphism. Since this is the case, we detail below what kinds of content you might find on this web site, and what kind of content might cause a post of your own to be denied, such as a book or craft item. We encourage you to look over this information and let it guide you as to whether you want to become part of the Mommatown community.
We respect that many Christians do not celebrate Halloween in any way, and we know why they do not do so. This site was created to allow as many Christians as possible to freely peruse and enjoy this site. Where we draw the line on fantasy content and other unreal creatures on this site can be a tough call sometimes, but here are some guidelines and background for this subject.
As far as classic Halloween goes, no references to witches, which is a personal identification and discipline directly forbidden by the Bible, will be on this site. Also, no Halloween decorations, nor books or other products are allowed to be posted for sale, that promote or support witchcraft or Halloween as a holiday.
However, churches often have alternate "Harvest Festivals" where kids are encouraged to dress up as characters, just not "obviously evil" ones, or they are encouraged to dress up as only Bible characters, or sometimes to dress up as "anything God created", which includes animals. We would like to allow as much freedom as possible on our site, but being a Christian based site, we do not allow for obviously evil, Halloween-specific-scary content on Mommatown sites.
The difficulty is this: What exact content are we forbidding here? On our satellite site, WeSchool.org, where users are able to sell "used items", what would happen if a person tries to sell a princess outfit? What about a demonic outfit? This might seem obvious that the princess is ok and the demon not ok. This line drawn in the sand can get muddy when someone wants to sell an evil princess costume or book, doesn't it? What about a dragon - historically, a mythological creature from the Dark Ages, found on some "coat of arms", that was thought to be a real animal, and who some scientists have pondered as possibly stemming from an understanding of the reality of dinosaurs in times past? Is a dragon image always about Satan, or is it sometimes ok in certain historical contexts? OK, so what about fantasy dragons? Some are "evil" characters, right? Where's that line drawn?
Because these waters get muddy fast, it is tempting to rid the site of all make-believe and fantasy content. We don't want to go that route. We enjoy fantasy. We like that God gave us a nose, but He certainly could have given us two, if He'd wanted, and how would that look? Where would it go? It's ok, in our opinion to create, and be silly, and make goofy creatures with your mind, and draw them on paper, laugh at them, grow up, animate them, and have fun creating goofy things until you are old. Because God creates, and we were made in His image, we like to create too. God has created some goofy looking creatures, Himself (we're looking at you, goblin sharks, naked mole rats, and spider crabs). It is a hard thing to make everyone happy, in fact impossible, and yet we want to be faithful to God as well. This muddy area will impact several satellite sites such as Weschool.org, where users can sell items, and our How-To site where users can post instructions on making items.
The community sees nothing until Mommatown staff approves a post
So post something, and if we deny the published content, please don't feel as though you are being punished. We will draw a line where it seems best. If you disagree that a book or item should be denied, feel free to contact us. We provide details on how to ask about a denial in our Membership Policy. Mommatown LLC reserves the right to have final say.
Holiday and Ancient Fantasy Characters
Those "other" characters kids "love" - you know what I'm talking about. Various holidays, seasonal rituals, locales, even movies, and ancient family histories, carry with them certain characters that kids are told are real, but they may not actually be real or historical, depending on the character. It's important to teach children the distinction between fantasy and reality. But it is up to each parent to decide what to teach their children. There was an incredible bond of trust created between myself and my daughter when I respectfully told her what was true and what was fantasy, and asked her not to break this news to other children, because their parents were in control of what that child was taught. She had a secret knowledge that we shared, that she knew I trusted her with, and it was the basis for a wonderful relationship going forward. I highly encourage parents to tell their kids the truth. Fantasy is fun and entertaining and goofy, but when presented as the truth, it is a lie, and can damage relationships later. We will not forbid posts of product or books having to do with these "Tinkerbells" but encourage parents to treat their kids' belief systems with the proper respect they are due. Because this can become a gray area, we may very well deny a post of a book saying "Tinkerbell is real!", allowing a post for the same character that does not promote a blatant lie, but instead presents itself for what it is fiction/fantasy to be read and enjoyed as such: "Tinkerbell and the Cave Troll in the Land of Dreams." So again, you can go ahead and attempt a post of something you aren't sure about, and if we deny the post, just be aware you are not in trouble, no repercussions will happen. And we hope you give us grace as well.
What is this? When you see Mickey Mouse walking around waving and acting "human" at a theme park, when Goofy drives a car like a human being in a cartoon, you are seeing anthropomorphism. There will be some anthropomorphism allowed on the web site. In my experience, as a kid, anthropomorphism was an obvious fantasy aspect of storytelling that also gave me the idea that animals deserved respect and protection. I knew they were not capable of the level of thought that humans are. As a kid, I really wanted my dog to understand my speech, just like a human would, just like Lassie, but found he could not. Reality tempered the fantasy and taught me what was real. Anthropomorphism can be a tool to teach empathy for creatures weaker than ourselves, or it can be promoted to a religion in itself where the animal kingdom is lifted up and worshipped, or where animals are favored above human beings. We trust that you teach your children wisdom in this area. Ask them what they think when they see the animal tv character driving a car, could that really happen? They already know it could not, it's just fun to watch. We are God's Managers for the animal kingdom, and we can not properly care for them, if we do not properly understand them - meaning it is important to confirm and support reality - that your dog does not actually understand 100% of what you say, and therefore should not be held accountable for "disobedience" in this regard. If you leave your hot dog on the arm of the couch, and tell Fido not to eat it, and leave the room for half an hour, guess what, it's going to get gulped. To then punish the animal is anthropomorphism skewing your reality of what the average dog is capable of understanding and what actions they should or should not be accountable for. Please teach your kids to understand the limitations of animals, and to respect animals, and love that God made them as our companions. This site is not promoting animal love over human love, nor does it drive the vegetarianism or vegan message or other likeminded personal choices some of our visitors may have. We are just letting you know that there will be anthropomorphism on this site. There is nothing so beautiful as empathy mixed with proper understanding and tempered with reality. So, anthropomorphism is not such an evil in our sight that it will be banned. It is how you handle it that counts, as does most fictional or fantasy content.
Are you still with us at this point? We hope however we differ is still acceptable for you, and welcome you again to our Mommatown family!