Friday, June 29, 2007

What say you?

I've had a few responses to the Sally Thomas article I posted on homeschool vs. public school. One response asked where Catholic or Christian schools fit into the puzzle of where to send your children (or not send them) for school. Since I have not yet crossed that bridge (to mix metaphors), I'd like to hear from some who have.

Why did you choose or reject the confessional (i.e., Catholic or Protestant) school option for your child? What questions did you ask yourself? What questions would you want to ask if you were crossing that bridge?

29 comments:

Amy said...

I chose to homeschool due to what is taught (immorality, materialism, paganism, sex ed) in public and private schools, as well as what isn't (our Catholic Faith, modesty, unbiased history, etc.). The only Catholic schools I have ever lived near were not faithful to the teachings of the Church. If I did live near an orthodox school with excellent academics, I would consider sending my children there.

Crafty Mom said...

I have chosen not to send my daughter to our local Catholic school simply because of the expense. While I like what is taught there, I simply cannot afford it. It is far cheaper to buy my own curricula, and incorporate her into the everyday life of our Catholic faith.

And while our public schools are top notch, they do nothing to promote living a good and moral life, and I can't see how anyone is expected to learn in a class of 25 small bodies.

LisaM said...

We chose not to send our children to the local public school because of the immorality and lack of values being taught in the school. We thought we would like to send them to the Catholic school, but we can't afford it. Then I learned more about what actually is being taught in the local Catholic schools -- my children learn more about their faith with our homeschool curriculum at a fraction of the cost. My sister teaches 4th grade at a local Catholic school; even though she's my sister I wouldn't want her teaching my children. I decided that if the other teachers were anything like her that I could do a much better job. I think that the most important thing is to teach my children about their faith, to read, write, and do math. Everything else will follow in due time. Religion is not the focus of the Catholic schools around here; comparing themselves to the public schools and trying to outperform on standardized testing is the focus.

Marie Giorgio said...

We chose and continue to choose to home school because of the very real Domestic Church that we become when we are home together a lot of the time. It gives us a chance to form our kids in the virtues, in character, in relationships, and in our Catholic faith. We also have plenty of time for fun things together which may not happen so much if they were gone all day and then had home work and projects on top of that. There is plenty of time to work on real life skills through chores and real responsibility around the home, again something that they wouldn't have as much time for if they were gone all day.

Plus, I just like being my own boss and not having other people tell me when and how to do things :). I get to decide when the school day starts and stops, when it's time for a break (like after a baby) and we get to vacation at the beach in May when it's not crowded :). I guess those are more the benefits and not the reasons. BTW, we've been home schooling for 11 years, have nine kids, and started when our oldest was in kindergarten. We love it and it works well for us. But it is a call - really a call within your vocation of motherhood.

from Teresa G, using daughter Marie's gmail account

Beth said...

Are we allowed to say why we would choose Catholic schools? ;) My kid is only 3 months old, and I'm open to homeschooling if God calls me to it, but right now I'm 99% sure I will be sending her to our local Catholic school. I've been involved in the school for many years, and it is wonderful. It is run by very holy Nashville Dominicans, and getting additional Sisters every year. Our Pastor is very involved, and he is very faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic church. They do an excellent job teaching religion, incorporating faith into all the subjects, and the kids attend mass every day and pray several times per day. It's also within walking distance from our house, and it is free! (You just have tithe 5% of your income, but of course we do that anyway.) I hope you don't mind me posting this. Thank you!

Mary Nappi said...

I went to Catholic school all my life. For elementary school, it was a positive experience. However, the values stressed at the high school were far out of line with those of the Catholic Church.

Because private school is expensive, the vast majority of the students at the school came from wealthy families. The students were extremely materialistic, and the school did little to deter such attitudes.

The school prided itself on its academic and athletic reputation and put little effort into forming the students into moral individuals. The teachers and staff bombarded the students with the message that they needed to perform well academically and athletically so that they could get into a good college, so that they could get a good job, so that they could be wealthy and successful just like their parents. These are not the values I want to impart to my children.

Mrs. H. said...

If you have the Nashville Dominicans or the Sister of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist teaching in your schools, you are so blessed. Absolutely NO homeschooling experience could top the opportunity to be influenced by these holy women.

Red Cardigan said...

I homeschool because I was homeschooled myself for the last two years of high school; prior to that I'd attended Catholic schools in many different parts of the country. They were all rather weak in Catholicism, and rather strong in the snobby elitist private school ethos, which makes sense when you consider how high their tuitions were. To me, considering the government involvement in Catholic schools, the secular textbooks and materials used in every class except religion, and the fact that Catholic schools must teach with standardized tests in mind just like the public schools, the only real difference between public and Catholic schools is an extra class period (religion) and the occasional Mass--not much for all that tuition money, IMO.

doingmybest said...

So...does choosing Catholic education , warts and all, make me less of a Catholic than the homeschooling moms? Are they better Catholics than the rest of us? A class set apart? hmmm....

joetessmom said...

My husband and I chose homeschooling for our children after three years of Catholic education that we found not so Catholic! Also, there was a great lack of discipline. The public school system here in Florida is greatly lacking in basic educational concepts as well as the "agenda" it promotes. I read the blog from doingmybest and I am so sorry that she feels this way. In some parts of the country, there are some very good Catholic schools, we just don't live there! Also, I have come to believe that homeschooling is a vocation. It's not just about the education, it brings the family closer together. It brings marriages together. We have grown so much spiritually as a family by doing this. We had to make sacrifices to be able to do it as do many of those who send their children to Catholic schools. I don't know one homeschooling mom who looks down on another mom because she chooses to send their child or children to an outside school. We are very close to a family who continues to send their children to the same school my son used to attend. They choose not to homeschool, but we are very good friends. We are all followers of Christ and there is no room to look down on anyone else. We are all doing our best in the way we can! God bless!

Liz said...

I'm a convert, so when the choice was imminent for us it was between Protestant/fundamentalist Christian school, public school and homeschooling. We chose homeschooling because it allowed more freedom academically than the private school (as in my son whose math abilities were second grade at a time when his small motor skills were still at a kindergarten level), because we didn't like the rigidity of the particular Christian school (which folded the next year anyway) and we didn't like the moral atmosphere or the academic reputation of the public school. Over the years we revisited the decision again when a new Protestant school was started up (theology Calvinist and we weren't), but we homeschooled all the way until college with both kids.

After I converted and the kids were no longer homeschooling, I had the opportunity to teach in our parish school. It cemented for me the decision to homeschool. I had thought at one point that if we'd been Catholic when the kids were younger we might have chosen Catholic school. What a saw when I taught there was an elite private school with the name Catholic attached to it. Kids who'd been in the school since kindergarten didn't know what the Virgin birth meant (one boy told me that of course Jesus had a human father, and this kid was a regular communicant), they thought the Eucharist was merely a symbol, some were more interested in witchcraft than the Bible and some of the kids who were interested in the Bible were involved in Protestant youth groups. The mean spiritedness of the kids towards each other was worse than a saw when teaching in public school.

What really has touched me about it, however, is the experience of a friend whose children attended that school. She and her husband were Catholic school grads. They sent all 9 of their children to Catholic school for elementary school and the older ones for high school as well. Their youngest 3 started homeschooling 3 years ago (and I teach them one subject). Five of their 6 oldest are not living a Catholic life at this point and the 5th is very wobbly. The parents don't blame the Catholic school, but they do blame themselves for not realizing how poor a job of catechesis the school was doing. The three youngest are vibrant Catholics who know far more about the Church and her teachings than all the oldest ones put together. We have wonderful discussions about the faith during our class periods. They can tell you the ways in which the Catholic school is not doing a good job and why homeschooling has been so much better for them.

I think that before anyone decides to send their child to a Catholic school (unless it is one of those run by the orders mentioned in other comments) that they should read Steve Kellmeyer's book Designed to Fail. It outlines a lot of the problems in Catholic schools and what the root problem is.

Homeschooling allows for so much more attention to the needs, gifts, and abilities of the individual child. It is an atmosphere in which talking about God is not scoffed at as "uncool". It is a place where the amount of money your father makes, where you buy your clothes, what you have materially does not define who you are as a person.

I've seen the graduates of public schooling and Catholic schooling and I've seen the graduates of homeschooling. Academically, spiritually, morally, and even socially I'll put the homeschool kids up against any of the others and they'll come out on top. As a matter of fact I know very, very few faithful young Catholics who are the products of either of the other system (other than converts) and the few who are faithful are so in large part because of the influence of converts and homeschooled Catholics while they were in college.

I've had the privilege of teaching other people's kids in a private tutoring type setting for over 10 years now and I wouldn't trade it for any school setting. These kids grow up to be not just former students, but current friends. They call me, we do things together, they tell me how I still inspire them. That never happened with kids I taught in any other setting.

My dd is currently dating a graduate of public school (convert to the faith after high school). He says that his high school experience was a complete waste of time and that when he has kids they're going to be homeschooled.

I am not necessarily philosophically opposed to the idea of schools as contrasted with homeschooling, but in practice, at the present time, at least in our area, I've seen absolutely nothing that would recommend school over home and plenty that would recommend home over school.

Margaret Mary Myers said...

The reasons we decided to homeschool 22 years ago might not be the very same (or only) reasons I would make that choice today. We made the decision because it was our understanding at the time that religion, as taught in the local Catholic schools, was "watered-down", at best. I also felt that both my own experience with public school and my childhood best friend's experience with Catholic school were bad experiences, socially.

Why have I continued to homeschool? (And yes, I have four years to go).
1) We can incorporate religious education into the curriculum anywhere we wish (for example, history, literature, or just as we go through the day). We can adapt religious instruction to the student's ways of learning, and to what we learn as we got through life.
2) We have a strong, closely-united family that sticks together and helps one another through life's trials. (I'm not saying others don't. I think the many hours spent together at home have helped us with this, but that doesn't mean there aren't families whose children go to school who are close also. I can only speak from my own experience and what's worked for us.)
3) I think that the independence of the work, and the flexibility of the structure, have fostered our children's creativity and the development of their own interests and their confidence in being who they are, without regard to what others think of the way they dress or how smart they are or whether or not they are "different".
4) Homeschooling has given us stability while working through relocations, the sudden and severe vision loss of one of our children (and then two), deaths in the extended family, and major changes in financial circumstances.

In summary: religion, family closeness, flexibility, stability.

Thanks for asking! :)

Mary B said...

In 96 when I had just 3 kids we decided to 'try' homeschooling. While I liked my sons teachers at the public school they were so overwhelmed by the big problems ordinary growing up problems were not addressed. There simply wasn't time. I figured I couldn't mess up 1st and 2nd grade and we couldn't afford the Catholic school-- so I didn't even check how acurate the Relious Ed was there.
After 1 year and one more baby we were hooked. I loved the pace, the peace, as another commenter said, it was about the Domestic church we became.
5 years later, expecting our 6th and having just moved I considered public school again. We were in the neighborhood I grew up in after all. But 2 of my teachers from that school said I would be much better homeschooling still!
That forced me to do some real looking around. I rejected the other middle school because it was too large. I rejected a Catholic school that was having issues with its older students. They were escorting all the girls to the lavatory but there was no explaination. Apparantly the boys were not gentlemen by 7th grade at that school. My son was.
I did choose another Catholic School and was surprised I liked iot so much. Unfortunately many sent there children there in order to avoid the imigrant population rather than for the Faith aspect. There were little things I did not like. The curriculum did not discuss the wisdom of dating etc till the end of 8th grade even though they held regular dances for age 11 and up.
The next year we sent our son to the local High School. We wanted to avoid a mutiny. However it was with the agreement that if he fell to peer presure, if he was a follower instead of 'salt and light' that he would be pulled home. He almost lost in Sophomore year but has since done well.
His sister, after 1 year in a Catholic school asked to come home for 8th grade and then go to the High School. Its worked well so far and next year she graduates.
The younger 5, (yes there was one more) are still homeschooled and may stay that way. It is so much more work to track every teacher, friend, activity, liberal influence, struggle with grades, concepts, books, lunch money.... that its hard to have time for real conversation, for just enjoying the person they are becoming. Even if I could afford it I would think very hard.

Most important I think its what God wants me to do right now. Even the hard years. Even when my son fought being home, it was what God wanted. No one said our vocation would always be easy or match the world's expectaions of us.
As to helping the schools I can do that when my kids grow up. I'm seriously thinking about tutoring in my retirement.

Margaret Mary Myers said...

I wanted to respond in a separate post to the lady who asked if choosing a Catholic education makes her less of a Catholic than the homeschooling moms. I'm sure you mean "in our eyes". Not in mine!

I have wonderful friends whose children went to (or currently go to) Catholic schools...and also to public schools. There are "success stories" coming from Catholic (and other Christian) and public schools, as well as in homeschooling; and there are "failure stories" in homeschooling, as well as in religious and public schools. (Although there really is no such thing as failure when we speak of a person!)

As parents, we pray for guidance, make our decisions, and do the best we can, day in and day out, one step at a time. We need to do what we do - do our best - for love of our children and love of God, and then leave the results in God's Hands...and respect one another.

jugglingpaynes said...

I feel very humbled by what I've read here. I homeschool because I love being around my kids. I struggled with the decision of going against the norm until my oldest was four, and then I took that leap of faith into homeschooling. We do use our Church's religious ed. program, simply because I don't feel I could teach it well and have no problem seeking help. I do help them with their catechism homework and we attend mass regularly. My children are kind, caring and loving blessings that are a joy to be around. What other reason do I need to homeschool?
Peace and Laughter,
Cristina
P.S. I love your blog name!

Lucy said...

Why can't good morals and faith be taught at home, while attending a public or Catholic school?

I am not a mother yet, but am fascinated with the fact that so many Catholics are choosing to homeschool these days. Why is this?

I attended a Catholic university and every devout Catholic I know attended public school. Clearly it can't be that horrible?

JMB said...

We chose public school for our four children after a disasterous couple of years in our local parish school. If I knew then what I know now about schools, I never would have kept them at the Catholic school after pre-K. But I was young & inexperienced and didn't know any better. We are very happy with our neighborhood school, the children can walk to school by themselves, the teachers are dedicated, young and enthusiastic and the education standards are top notch. I homeschool my children in religious education and that works best for us.

sksherwin said...

This is in response to liz's comment that "I've seen the graduates of public schooling and Catholic schooling and I've seen the graduates of homeschooling. Academically, spiritually, morally, and even socially I'll put the homeschool kids up against any of the others and they'll come out on top. As a matter of fact I know very, very few faithful young Catholics who are the products of either of the other system (other than converts) and the few who are faithful are so in large part because of the influence of converts and homeschooled Catholics while they were in college."

I am one of the "faithful young Catholics" (who also did very well academically and socially) that you don't seem to think exist. Any way I think of trying to prove this to you seems sinful and prideful on my part, so I won't try. I will say to doingmybest and lucy that choosing Catholic schools for your children is not a sinful decision. One need only read "The Catholic School" (http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_19770319_catholic-school_en.html) and "Declaration on Christian Education" (http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_gravissimum-educationis_en.html) for actual Church teaching about Catholic education, including the statement in "Declaration on Christian Education" that the "Council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children" (no. 8). I read an article recently (I don't remember the title or author) that argued that homeschooling counts as Catholic education, and certainly if parents think their local Catholic school is so subpar that they can't in good conscience send their kids there, then homeschooling is a wonderful option. But it is clear from these Church documents that Catholic schools are also a wonderful option.

I am grateful to my parents, who sacrificed to send their six children through Catholic schools (all the way through college, all of us). I owe my faith to them, to the schools I attended, and most importantly, to the grace and generosity of God.

Another important point to make, in response to liz's comment, is that I was not influenced by "converts and homeschooled Catholics while in college." My faith became my own -- deep, sincere, and very orthodox -- when I was 13 on a pilgrimage to Fatima. Indeed, I have never known any converts to Catholicism that are anywhere near my age (28 years old), and I've never known anyone anywhere near my age who was homeschooled. I do love reading and learning from certain converts, like Scott Hahn and Jeff Cavins, but what good Catholic doesn't?

I'm sure liz didn't mean to offend, and I'm sorry her experiences of Catholic-schooled Catholics have been so negative. I myself am deeply committed to Catholic schooling, and my husband and I are excited for our boys (nearly 3 years old, and 11 months old) and the other children we hope to be blessed with to attend the same schools I did. I wouldn't hesitate to homeschool if there was a need, but we are so fortunate to have wonderful Catholic schools in our town which complement and support the faith instruction my kids receive constantly at home.

Nancy Parode said...

We've sent our children to Catholic schools in the past, but we're military and move every two years. It's impossible to a)find openings in Catholic schools everywhere we go and b)to afford the outrageous tuition in our current diocese. I don't have $10K for high school tuition. We're saving for college, not high school.

Public schools are out of the question. The Bloods have moved in...even my home educated kids can read their graffiti. It's heartbreaking.

We've found that homeschooling works for us. No "new kid" or "military kid" teasing (yes, it happens in Catholic schools). No mean teachers (most of the time!). No camping out in parking lots in the dark, hoping to get a spot in the new school. No peer pressure.

Instead, we have a very relaxed atmosphere and Catholic learning every day. When my children can't understand a math concept, I can take time to show them and not make them feel guilty for holding the rest of the class back. I can hug the, read to them, cook with them, share real life with them.

God called me to this life, very clearly, when we were facing an overseas transfer. Every time I wonder if we're doing the right thing, He sends reminders my way.

Ouiz said...

Wow... I'm sorry that some people feel that their toes were stepped on. I think we all pray about the choices for education for our children, and go with what we think/discern to be best.

I *did* attend parochial schools for much of my life. We moved around quite a bit, so I got to see many all across the country. Yes, there was religion class, and yes, we went to confession and Mass regularly.

There was still a LOT of childhood cruelty, cliques, and even drug use (in high school). In fact, I saw LESS of that in the particular public high school that I graduated from.

I am not blaming the schools -- I'm not sure that any teacher or school can magically make all the kids behave and "play nice," no matter what.

In spite of what I mentioned above, I enjoyed school and came out a fairly balanced person. I did, however, turn my back on my Catholic faith for Protestantism starting in high school, and left it completely in college. (obviously, I have since returned!)

My husband and I choose to homeschool because of the cruelty I saw in ALL the schools I attended (in 10 different states), and the fact that I was sure I could teach my children better. I can go at their own pace, spend the time needed on a subject they have trouble with, and let them fly forward and run with whatever interests them. We can visit the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament during the day. We can plan day trips... and yes, they can see their mother, warts and all, as she tries (and fails) to live the life Jesus has called her to. They can see me repent, pray, and start over. They learn what it takes to get along with others of different ages. They are learning more about their Faith, and hopefully will be better grounded in it than I was when they go "out into the world."

This is why WE chose to homeschool. If others choose not to, that is fine. I don't think homeschooling is the ONLY option. I know that it works for our family.

DavidofOz said...

For us homeschooling is not primarily an academic choice. It is the best way we can see to live an authentic faithful family life. The children get the required academics - and do well - but that isn't the most important point. They are learning to live in a comprehensive manner within a real environment, one containing other people of varying ages and backgrounds.
Even if a Catholic school opened up next door we wouldn't send our children there. Our responsibility is to raise the children in the faith and the faith is more than just books and scripture. The Faith is a living faith.
The early Christians were known by the way they lived and interacted with others. Fellow Romans were impressed with the way Christians treated not just each other but even strangers with love. A school environment just doesn't seem to provide that experience.
At school knowledge is chopped up into seemingly non related "subjects" when there is often a common thread reaching through knowledge. At school I learned that religion is 4 periods a week and not to be confused with all the remaining 26 periods of Maths, English, etc.
I think all parents need to examine just what they consider educating their children really is. Is it to get the highest marks? Is it for the children to be the same as everyone around them? Is it to allow the Mum to have a break from the kids or pursue a "career"?
We took a more wholistic approach and realised the experimental school system (it has only been around for just over 100 years) didn't achieve what we considered a complete education.
So, even with our limitations and shortcomings, we draw upon the grace of marriage and revel in the family life God has deemed fit to provide us with.

Kimberly Wasson said...

Reality: most Catholic schools are, quite simply, no longer Catholic. Most, not all. In the state of Ohio, many of the Catholic schools use the exact same materials that are used by the public school system. Additionally, Catholic schools have become a dumping ground for students who have been removed from public school for one reason or another and whose parents do not want them to suffer the stigma of the "alternative school".

I have worked in the public school system. The teachers are not evil, mind-controlling, authoritarian government agents. They are over-burdened educators who have been given a mandate to educate, and had all authority stripped from them. They cannot discipline their students, must maintain a "politically correct" stance on any subject that smacks of controversy and many of them fear their students. Yes, this even applies to teachers of elementary age students!

As a parent, a traditional Catholic homeschooling parent, it is my primary goal to teach my children to "know, love and serve God in this world so they can be happy with Him in the next." The most dedicated teacher in public or private school does not love my child. Nor are they responsible for their religious education or moral development...that falls to parents.

Homeschooling is not always easy, but, trust me, any difficulties are far outweighed by the advantages; and the bond that exists between parents, child and siblings is only strengthened.

stephanie said...

I plan on beginning "formally" homeschooling my 5yo next year. The questions I've asked that have brought me to this decision are as follows:

Q) What materials do you use?
A) Same as public school

Q) Are the teachers Catholic?
A) Not all of them...you can't discriminate based on religion.

Q) So, if you're using non-Catholic materials and have non-Catholic teachers, how is it a "Catholic" school again?

I believe God has given me the grace as a mother and the primary educator of my children to home school and I can do a better job educating and forming my children while they are young and at home with me. When they are older, well-formed in their faith and full of the grace of God, received through the sacraments of Baptism, Communion, Confession, and Confirmation, then we'll send them to the Catholic school.

Magpie said...

I'm from Ontario, Canada where we have publically funded Catholic schools. From the comments left here it sounds as if the school was no worse (and in some ways better) than the schools you have in the States. We don't really have issues with the snobbery, because it's publically funded, and in elementary schools the student body is 90% Catholic with the remainder being mostly other Christian denominations.

We had one of the friars from the church coming once a week in addition to our regular religion classes, and before that we had one of the Sisters of St. Joseph coming by.

I left for the public system in high school, because none of the Catholic high schools offered a math specialisation. I found that going to the public school was a lot better for me just because it made me a lot more aware of my faith.

When interacting solely with Catholics (or ostensible Catholics) I found that there was less opportunity for dialogue and less incentive for me to look at just what it was I believe.

K said...

Unlike most of the commenters, it seems, we began home schooling for academic reasons. Our children attended a Catholic school that I was very happy with, between sessions of teeth-gnashing at the overwhelming imposition of the institutional school's schedule demands ... but I digress. When in fourth grade, our son hit the wall. He was thirsting for acceleration or at least enrichment, especially in math or science, but the staff of the otherwise fine Catholic school was not willing/able to provide what he needed. We never seriously considered public school at this point, based on what we knew from family and friends who had children in the so-called gifted programs -- we don't believe those programs would give our kids what they need. We pulled all our children out and began home schooling. Never made a better choice. Said son has ripped through 4 years of curriculum, including Algebra I in 2 years. He's starting high school Geometry in a couple of days. He is barely 12 years old. He couldn't be happier and has said repeatedly that he never wants to go back to a "regular school." The rest of the family is enjoying working at customized pace, all ahead of their chronological peers, and enjoying the freedom from schedule tyranny that goes with any institutional setting. So for us, it began with academics, and has expanded to include loving the lifestyle. Teaching religion and morality was never an issue for us -- it is and always will be there in our family.

Christine said...

I home school out of obedience to the Lord. I had my daughter in our local "Catholic" school and I was quite dismayed at the use of secular curricula and all the propaganda that is so cleverly hidden therein. My daughter suffered because I was not immediately obedient to what I knew was God's will for her schooling (my parents paid her tuition...it was easier for me to be a slacker). My youngest has never been "to school." He is 100% active boy, and I knew from the time he was little that he would be home schooled. He would not do well in the rigid environment of the local schools (public or private). I enjoy the flexibility of home schooling. We can take a day off if someone is ill, or we can go out on a field trip on a whim. If DH needs to travel for work, we can go along and check out the local history or museums in the area. If we are having a bad day we can take a break and go back to things later. We do not have to follow a regimented schedule. Because my Dh is self employed and frequently has late hours, our school day can start later on so the children get "daddy time." We pray about which curricula to use, and have chosen different types for different children. Home schooling affords us this opportunity. It is not a "one size fits all" scooling like brick and mortar schools are.

My children are happier at home and when surrounded by children at home school events in the community. They do not have to submit to peer pressure that makes them behave in a fashion that is contrary to what they are taught and to what we believe. I have seen marked improvement in my daughter's attitude since we brought her home. She participates in Challenge club with other girls whose families have similar beliefs and values to ours instead of feeling like she has to compete with the only children she was surrounded by in Catholic school.

I could go on and on about all the wonderful reasnos we home school. It comes down to this for us, though: We are charged as parents to be our children's first teachers. For some people this means sending children to school, for others it means supplementing and countering what is taught in the schools, for us, obedience in this area means we home school.

This is what we do today. God might tell us to send our children to Catholic school down the road. We always try to be obedient to His will, whether we understand it or not.

Christine said...

I just re-read what I posted earlier. I apologize for the spelling errors. My typing skills are not what they could be.

Mary B said...

Me again. Thought I'd mention a book I came across recently: Morning by Morning: How we homeschooled our African American sons to Ivy League by Paula Penn Nabrit. It has to be the #1 book on education I've ever read. I missed it when it first came out because it was marketed to the Africa American community however it has something to say to every mother.
First she waited until her biys were in college to write the book. Also they were either suspending college about to graduate or a year in before she worked on the Chapter about what they did right and wrong. She is achingly honest about her successes and failures and does not advocate homeschooling for every parent or child. She does look at the success and failures of the different school systems they used just as honestly.
Don't be surprised if you feel like your mom or grandma is yelling at you for slacking off where you thought you were doing so well! You will be challenged. You will also be invigorated and inspired.

Sarahndipity said...

I know I’m going to be in the minority here, but I’m 99% sure my husband and I will send our daughter (now 3) and any future children we have to public school. We can’t afford Catholic school, and to be honest, homeschooling does not appeal to me at all. The public school system where we live is excellent, one of the best in the country. My husband and I both graduated from this school system, and neither one of us never left the faith.
My reasons for not homeschooling have nothing to do with “socialization” – I have no problem with other people homeschooling and I absolutely believe that homeschoolers can be adequately socialized through extracurricular activities. It just sounds like an enormous amount of work. Also, I’m not sure what our future children will be like, but our daughter is very extraverted and loves her preschool, so I think she would do better in a traditional school setting. I also want to have time to write poetry, read, and possibly work part-time or have a home business while my kids are at school. I’m really looking forward to having time to myself from 7-3 every day, I have to admit.
To me, there are two main reasons for staying home with my kids (I work full-time now because I have to, but hope to be able to stay home or work part time soon). The first and most important reason is because I want to raise my own kids and be there for them. But the secondary reason is a quality of life reason. Having two working parents is awful – every minute of every day is filled up with stuff we have to do. It’s hard to squeeze in any fun. If I stayed home, I could do a lot of the housework and errands during the week and we would have more time to relax and have fun as a family on the weekends. But if I homeschooled, that would take up a lot of time during the week and would almost defeat one of the purposes of staying home.
Catholic school is too expensive, especially if I want to stay home with my kids or work part time in the future. If it were cheap or free I’d consider it. It’s out of the question if I ever hope to stay home. I honestly don’t see any difference between Catholic schooled kids and public schooled kids. I went to public schools my entire school career and always had a strong faith. I never left the Church. What matters is that you have a strong foundation in the faith from your parents.
Kids aren’t stupid. I knew I wasn’t going to have sex before marriage from a very young age. Hearing the word “condom” in ninth grade sex ed did not make me suddenly want to run out and have sex. I think people really don’t give kids enough credit when it comes to these things. I had good formation from my parents and CCD classes. That’s what matters.