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Catholic Education in America: Homeschooling is Not the Problem Comments

The "Catholic schools vs. Homeschool" attitude is tragic. Those who insist that Catholic parents have an obligation to send their children to Catholic schools need to stop guilt-tripping parents and impugning their motives and deal with reality. We're not the enemy of Catholic schools - we are Catholic schools. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 87 Comments

  1. catholic school mom
    1 year ago

    If we don't send our Catholic children to school who will? Did Jesus hid in his mother's kitchen or go out and talk to sinners? A lesson you can not learn at home.

  2. Christi
    1 year ago

    I wish we could send our kids to Catholic Schools. I say this especially as a former Protestant who still has much to learn about the customs of our faith. I also would like my children to not just learn facts and propaganda in the public schools, but to develop true wisdom.

    Sadly, the cost is so prohibitive, especially for a single income family. Additionally, my children have special needs, and I have not yet heard of a local Catholic school that can accommodate them. I would like to try homeschooling, but I'm afraid my ADHD would make me a terrible teacher!

  3. Jennifer Gerrells
    2 years ago

    I have homeschooled my eight children over the last twenty-five years. I am down to the three youngest, two of whom are in high school, the youngest is in sixth grade.The argument purposing that homeschooled children are social outcasts compared to their private schooled peers is absurd. My children have had, and continue to have, plenty of socialization through extracurricular activities. While I am tempted to shoot down all of the ignorant and uniformed statements that have appeared, I will only address one, college. Of my five children who have graduated from high school, homeschooled all the way from K through 12th grade, three have completed college, one is a college junior, and one is finishing his freshman year. Most have received one or more partial academic scholarships. All have maintained GPAs in college well above a 3.0. Their fields of study have varied from pre-pharm to psychology to mathematics. The assumption that parents are not qualified to instruct their children is absurd. It is not like they will need to teach particle physics. Additionally, for those whose children surpass their own education, there are many enrichment/academic programs available to make up for any deficiency. Based on standardized test scores, homeschooled children surpass just about every other educational option. The state in which I reside will not allow homeschooled children to take the same test given to students in the public schools as they consistently surpass their scores, an embarrassment to the public school system. The closest Catholic school to my rural location is a 30 minute drive, each way for grades K-8, and over an hour for high school. Both schools have waiting lists. The tuition for grade school is over $5K per child, per year (a 10% discount for multiple children), the tuition at the high school is over $12K per child per year, with additional fees and books adding almost $2K more. For me to send my eight children through these schools would have cost me almost $800K just in tuition and books.

  4. Andrea
    2 years ago

    I live in the New Orleans area and Catholic schools are not welcoming, accepting, or tolerant of kids with disabilities. They are ok with bullying towards those who do have disabilities though.

  5. Charlotte Fulton
    2 years ago

    Congratulations on a well written article! As a writer you have put forth food for thought for anyone willing to accept it. Thank you for your insight.

  6. Rob
    2 years ago

    Jennifer, while this may not have been your intention, I do believe that this provides a strong example of how the Church has really taken it's eye off the family. In our state, to send our girls to the local Catholic high school would cost double of what it would cost for a degree at our largest state college. They seem almost flip about that. But this is just one example of how they have taken their eyes off the ball. Marriage prep is a check the box kind of thing and actual, ongoing marriage support is almost non-existent. Great we have all these lawsuits defending the church's right not to purchase contraception etc, but why not teach it too? Again, their silence is just another attack on the family. I could go on and on, but if the Church is not going to get serious about meeting us where we are, then they had better get ready for even more school closures and families actually try to live their faith and homeschool. I'll pass on private education that is high on costs and faith light. Kudos to the diocese in Kansas making this happen for families. I bet they are the exception for sure.

  7. christineL
    2 years ago

    The main problem is the lack of CONVERSION. We can't demand the truth from people unwilling to accept and teach it. We must pray for them, but we are not obligated to risk our children's faith in addition to paying them! If I wanted to change the schools in a practical way it would have to be when my children are grown. In my 15 years of raising children, my one year at the Catholic school was hands down the most stressful, beating all six years of pregnancy and childbirth, our 5th being born with special needs, 10 years of homeschooling, the selling and buying of homes, job loss. It was awful and I don't intend to repeat it unless circumstances require. Let the bishops, priests and whomever say what they say. It is no difference than what happened before the abuse crisis! If you won't pay attention to what the family is telling you, it will really come back to haunt you. The mothers were alienated and basically told to shut up. Here we are again....

  8. Susan
    2 years ago

    This article was linked from Spirit Daily on May 17,2012----

    Carl's opinion was...."What homeschooling cannot do is provide children with the socialization that comes from a Catholic School. The Catholic classroom setting is a mix of souls. It prepares children to exist in a framework of differing personalities and to do so with the moral reality of the Church. You cannot have socialization when the only persons in the room are mom and your sibling. Are we not called to live in community with other Catholic Christians?

    What homeschooling cannot do is provide the base of knowledge that a Catholic school has. To clarify, I am well versed in history, politics, and literature. I am academically weak in math and science. If my son were to learn these disciplines from me his education would be lacking. I am certain other parents, while intelligent, do not have the level of education needed to have mastered all subjects in a given curriculum.

    What homeschooling cannot do is provide the materials needed to give a full and well rounded education to children. Unless you have a full physics and chemistry lab in your house you cannot compare to a good Catholic high school.

    At the end of the argument, most home school parents want to send their kids to college, and there are no degree programs based on what happens in mom’s kitchen. In the world we live in today, you need a degree to succeed. There have been too many studies showing the improvement in the long range quality of life to argue against college. ".......

    In response.....
    Sorry Carl. You are totally wrong, wrong, wrong.
    1. We sent our oldest son to our parish school. He has a language disability. He was tortured emotionally and spiritually by those souls who were supposed to be the shining examples of Catholic charity. He was made fun of by students and the teachers and the priest in charge. Moral reality all right. If they had only walked their talk. He damned near lost his faith over it, by being rejected by those who should have known better, but were too "into" themselves to care. Every school--private or public--has its pecking order. We homeschooled him. He has received better socialization skills through working with his father, working jobs along side real people in the real world, of all ages and economic backgrounds. The best socialization is in the family and in a mix of age groups, not in a classroom full immature socially "herded" children. He is more socially mature in many respects that his peers who rejected him.

    2. No "school" has the base of knowledge of every discipline. And what is exactly
    "knowledge" anyway? I personally have three college degrees and still don't know "everything". My previous statement even sounds stupid, doesn't it. College is over rated in many respects. My children have learned more from the books and environment we have offered than a classroom curriculum/environment ever has. A person doesn't have to have mastered a subject in order to teach it. I taught English at the public high school level for years, and never mastered what you might perceive what "English" "is". But I did managed to teach my students an appreciation for literature, writing and critical thinking. It is up to the student to learn. The teacher can only present information in a way which inspires the give that information meaning and validity in today's world. Parents are teachers by their shear existence and by the graces of God through the sacrament of marriage. By saying that the parents don't have the level of "education" to teach their children is an insult to all parents and to God. One doesn't need a degree from some college to impart knowledge. Sorry, that line sounds like something from the NEA and teacher college manuals. A very superior, socialist, and elitist thinking pattern. Be careful.

    3. College today, is not what it was 30-40 years ago. It used to be a path to a career or a better job. It taught real job skills.....if one chose a major that the working world really needed. And your version of "quality of life" is what? Lots of money? Prestige? Big houses? Gobs of stuff? A diverse portfolio of stock, mutual funds, and gold stuffed in the mattress? If you are truly living by the Catholic faith, then you would know that this world is not our goal. Heaven is our goal. We are just passing through this valley of tears. Our goal as parents, is to instill the Faith so that our children can survive the influence of world as they pass through it, hopefully gaining Eternal Life. The "knowledge" you mention might be necessary or even more important than Heaven for some. Worldly goals aren't always the goals of the home schooling parent.

    By the way....when my children were getting ready to receive their First Holy Communion and Confirmations, they had to be tested by the priest to see if they were fully prepared to receive the sacrements. I had taught them their Catechism, not the school, priests or nuns, or religious ed instructors---me, a lowly parent. After they were tested, he said to me (somewhat reluctantly, too), that they were the best prepared students he had ever tested. Deo Gratias.

  9. Manda
    2 years ago

    Homeschooled children are the future of the Church.

  10. Lonny D'Agostini
    3 years ago

    Catholic education in Canada is no better. We now have people in Alberta arguing that we also need to teach Catholic students about the other religions. They insist that this is the only way to foster tolerance and respect in a diverse society.....

    My only reply to this sophism is: if I send my child to a French immersion school it is because I want him to be able to speak French when he graduates. Likewise, if I send my child to a Catholic school it is because I want him know the Catholic Faith by the time he finishes (not some teacher’s personal opinion about what the Catholic Faith is or should be). Imagine the indignation of parents if after sending their child to a French immersion school for several years discovered that after his graduation he had no proficiency in French at all, but had picked a little bit of Cree, Chinese and Swahili. Before we expose our children to other religious beliefs we first need to give them a solid formation in their own Faith tradition, otherwise all we will end up doing is confusing them and undermining their own Catholic identity. The Catholic Faith is not just one religion among others, it is the revealed truth about God from God Himself. This task of studying of comparative religion should be left to scholars and theologians and not to children who hardly know their own Faith. (I recall meeting a boy from a local Catholic school who didn’t even know the Ten Commandments. What I managed to do in just ten minutes the entire Catholic school system was unable to do in four years. I'm sorry but that is simply pathetic. Are these the kids they want to teach comparative religion to?)..........

    The prophet Daniel revealed that in the latter days, (Daniel 12:4) 'many shall pass over and knowledge shall be manifold.' Today, we see how the communication/transportation revolution has overcome to a large extent the problem of distances. Local communities no longer feel isolated from the rest of the world. People can now travel to the other side of the earth in a matter of hours and exchange colossal amounts of information in a fraction of a second. This increasing contact with other cultures has created a global village effect where it is possible to feel more 'connected' with people on the other side of the planet than with those at the end of our street. We are now able to see how other people around the world live, work and worship. As this globalizing trend intensifies there is increasing pressure on Catholic school to “broaden” their presentation of religion. Instead of just teaching the Catholic Faith to students, educators are now expected to teach the beliefs of the world’s major religions. This initiative, while not
    bad in itself, has the potential to cause great harm to students - especially if the subject matter is presented inaccurately or they are not first grounded in their own
    Catholic Faith (which is the case in most Catholic schools). Let us remember that the Catholic religion possesses all the truths of the other religions but without their
    errors. If such is the case, why then are educators pushing so hard for comparative religion in the classroom? It is because deep down they no longer believe this truth.

    While they may have the vocabulary, they do not believe in the claims of the Catholic Faith. And so, in their eyes, it is necessary to teach the students about the other faiths in order to give give them a “fuller” and “more objective” view of religion. It should come as no surprise then that they see the conflicting claims of the world's religions not as 'errors' to be corrected but as 'diversities' to be respected. The only reason why this attitude has become so fashionable in recent years is mainly due to the widespread ignorance on the origin of religions. At any rate, I can already foresee that this new initative, while being presented as an ecumenical opportunity, will only end up further eroding these students Catholic identity......................

    The great Italian mystic Luisa Piccarreta tells us, (Libro di Cielo) ‘Adam…in being created by God…was endowed with all sciences. What others learn with so many efforts, he possessed as gift in a surprising way. So, he possessed the knowledge of all the things of this earth; he had the science of all plants, of all herbs and of the virtue which each of them contained; he had the science of all species of animals and of how he should use them; he had the science of music, of singing, of writing, of medicine – in sum, of everything. And if the generations possessed each one its special science, Adam possessed them all…science of sciences, which is my Will, science all of Heaven............

    “as soon as {Adam} went out of {My Will}, his intellect was obscured; he lost the light of his Kingdom, and could not find the fitting words in order to manifest the knowledges he had acquired on the Supreme Will… even though Adam did not speak extensively about the Kingdom of my Will, he taught many important things on what regarded It; so much so, that during the first times of the history of the world, up to Noah, the generations had no need of laws, nor were there idolatries (no diversity of languages), but all recognized their one God (one single language), because they cared more about my Will. But as they kept moving away from It, idolatries arose and degenerated into worse evils.

    And this is why God saw the necessity of giving His laws as a preserver for the human generations.”............

    The above passages not only explain how the ancient Egyptians acquired the necessary knowledge needed to build the pyramids, they also tell us why fragments of truth still exist in the major world religions of today. They are all, to one extent or another, corrupted transmissions of an original (adamic) or subsequent revelation of God (mosaic, Christian). In Babylonian mythology, for example, we can see how the created elements came to be personified as gods. So when we look at the pyramids there is no need to invoke fantastic theories about aliens from another planet. If the average person finds himself amazed by such architectural achievements it is because he has been indoctrinated with the theory of evolution - which teaches an upward progression in man: from ignorant man to intelligent man. But as we have been shown, quite the opposite has happened........................

    Traditionalism holds that Adam’s children couldn’t know God through reason and so they depended entirely upon the original revelation of Adam. Semi-traditionalism holds that Adam’s children could only know God through reason because they had already received previous revelation from Adam. The Catholic position however teaches that Adam’s children were able to know God through reason, independent of any revelation, however, on account of original sin such natural truths could “only be known by a few…after a long time and with the admixture of many errors.” Fortunately, Adam transmitted to them many important truths over the course of his nine hundred and thirty six year life. However, by the
    time of Noe, this universal repository of knowledge had become corrupted due to the influence of the demons and the proliferation of sin. While Adam’s teaching would be faithfully pass on by the Patriarchs, outside of this small circle, it would become increasingly distorted - as shorter generations arose after the flood. It is at this point that God calls Abram to enter into a covenant relationship with Him. Thereafter, the Jewish religion is born. Not as something altogether new, but also as a restoration of that original revelation given to Adam.

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