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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

11 - 20 of 87 Comments

  1. Christine
    3 years ago

    ChrisD:
    I ask that you practice charity before criticizing those who choose to educate their children at home. This article, as well as many of the comments which followed, listed numerous legitimate reasons to homeschool including: finances, special needs, & lack of a truly Catholic or any Catholic school.

    My oldest child was not allowed to return to his parish school once his learning disabilities were discovered. I chose to homeschool him rather than send him to the public schools who were known to have an extremely liberal social agenda. I continued to homeschool my next two children. After our move to another state, I found it extremely difficult to continue to teach my younger children with my oldest child's increasing needs. We looked into the closest Catholic school. My 2nd grader & 4th grader were not accepted into this school, because the scores on the standardized entrance exam were not high enough. Thankfully, we were blessed to find another Catholic school who did not have such high expectations. My younger two children are now thriving in this school, and have made the honor roll. My oldest child & I volunteer frequently to keep an eye on things. Each family has different circumstances, and as long as they prayerfully consider the educational path they choose for their children & stay involved should they choose school, the outcome should be good.

  2. Homeschooling mom of 3
    3 years ago

    The author makes some very good points. I am a homeschooling mother of 3 little ones. I attended Catholic school grades pre K - 8 and public high school. While my public school experience was worse, my Catholic school experience was far from bliss. Despite all that, when my oldest was born I said my first choice for education would of been to send him to Catholic School. But after my 2nd was born 20 months later I realized that costs would not allow that. I refused to even consider public education, knowing first hand what it's like in my district, so I looked into the homeschooling idea. I was pleasantly surprised by all the benefits homeschooling presented. There are so many misconceptions still out there about what the homeschooling experience is like.
    ...but this idea that the Catholic School system can better educate and catechize my kids are filled with a lot of asterisks. Few schools today are taught by priests and nuns, and even when they were, catechism was often very poor. Much of what I learned about the churche's teachings occurred as a adult when I was trying to understand why the church believed what it did. A child's faith is also largely dependent on whether the parents are practicing. I've seen far too many "Catholics" that attended Catholic school, but were just as secular as their public school peers because their parents don't practice. This year my oldest entered Kindergarten level CCD, and the teacher complimented my husband and me on how much my son knows. It's because we try our best to practice at home, not just on Sundays. Further more, even if kids were to get a decent education on the faith, it doesn't mean they would excel on the other subjects.
    Finally, let me just say I would LOVE it if one of my boys joined the religious life. I've always said jokingly "Lord, if you are only going to give me boys, could you at least make one a priest?". It would be a honor. And the bishop would be happy to know, statistically speaking, a home schooled boy is far more likely to enter the seminary then a traditionally schooled child. Maybe the school system, public and private, should take a dive and review why people are choosing homeschooling over "traditional" schools, instead of just bashing us.

  3. CathyS
    3 years ago

    Thank you for this article! As a homeschooling mom for the past ten years, I can attest to every point you made. I was shocked to discover that so much of the Catholic community did not understand, or were openly hostile, on this issue. You explained it very well. I don't know why some still don't get it.

  4. vance
    3 years ago

    The late Bishop Sheen once said if you want your children to turn away from the church, just send them to Catholic School. It is a shame but true. The Liberal Bishops and priests could care less.

  5. NancyP
    3 years ago

    Carl, with all due respect, I must disagree with your assessment of home education at the high school level. My children have had multiple opportunities for socialization (Scouts, athletic and dance classes, church activities, homeschool co-ops), specialized education (homeschool courses offered by our community college, which include bio and chem lab, as well as homeschool co-op courses in art, drama, video production and various sciences) and catechization (religious study at home and in our co-op, sacramental prep, parish youth group activities). My son started taking college courses during his senior year and did outstandingly well - and he has made the Dean's List both semesters this year. His moral compass seems to be surviving the college experience, too, despite the fact that it was formed via home education, a Catholic Scout troop (yes, he made Eagle) and a thriving Catholic homeschool co-op (where our children's friends are actively discerning vocations to the priesthood and religious life). May I suggest that you spend a little time researching what actually happens in a semester or so of Catholic home education (as well as the outrageous cost of Catholic schools in many parts of the country - guess what prevented us from considering Catholic high school?) before you disparage the science lab in my kitchen?

  6. ChrisD
    3 years ago

    What strikes me is how the home-schoolers refuse to see how not sending their children to the Catholic school weakens the school. These families tend/profess to be the most orthodox in their faith and by keeping their kids away they cause the school to lose some of its strength/success, especially when it comes to evangelizing the school to those on the fence in their faith. So, why would someone on the fence send their kids there if those who believe in the faith do not?

    My children go to a Catholic school. The more home-schoolers there are, the less kids in the Catholic school, and the greater likelihood our school will close. The result: I will have to send my kids to public school. Thanks home-schoolers for your truly selfish actions.

  7. EJ
    3 years ago

    Rita--

    One must be prudent when addressing topics within the context of private revelations which are in the process of being investigated.

  8. RealMenPrayTheRosary
    3 years ago

    Wow! What a great article Jennifer! As I kept reading the article, it seemed almost surreal that the thought process my wife and I have undergone for the last year was reflected in word and on paper in this article. I am sorry that Bishop Vasquez doesn't have a full perspective but I'm sure that if he did, he would be able to understand that Catholic Home Educators are CAtholic Schools. Parents are the primary educators, period. By Church teaching, the obligation is ours. We intend to do our job so that we can look our Blessed MOther in the eye and tell her that we tried to make her proud. So that she can lead our little ones directly to her Son. Totus Tuus.

  9. Emily
    3 years ago

    Pre-Vatican II (when Catholic schools were actually Catholic most of the time), the Church also taught repeatedly that parents were the primary educators of our children. They have the right to delegate much of the work of the education to someone else, but not the obligation. And is isn't an abrogation of their responsibility. They are still the primary educators. It used to be to go to public school you had to get a dispensation from the bishop of the diocese. Now parents usually treat it like it's just one of many options. Sadly, I'm willing to bet that the reason that Bishop (and Fr. Stravinskas, who has openly and prominently denied the Church's ex cathedra dogma "No salvation outside the Church" and also has denied that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah as well) is against homeschooling is because most homeschooling parents are conservative or at least lean traditional, and feel very comfortable being involved and educated in their faith. Thus, the Bishop is missing the chance to indoctrinate the children in modernism.
    Then there is the tuition money. Many of us families who are open to life are having large families, and are one income families. Tuition is a major burden on us. Also, most Catholic schools do not have the ability to deal with special needs kids.
    When the crisis in the Church has reached all the way to the hierarchy of the Vatican, when in even the best Catholic schools you usually have numerous families who have lost the faith in practice if not openly and thus have the potential to negatively influence my children at a very impressionable time in their life, when most vocations come from either truly Traditional Catholic schools or homeschoolers, and when research has repeatedly shown homeschool to be a superior form of education verses the school setting...it's not really a choice for many of us- it's our duty.

  10. mikem
    3 years ago

    Well, I have read all the comments above (65 of them) and what is the summary point of it all? That the Catholic Church in America has not been able to maintain an authentic Catholic education in its schools. That's it. Period. end of discussion. The same must be said of Catholic HIGHER education as well. If all the colleges that are Catholic in name were EVALUATED as to their true pedigree...we'd be down to the merest HANDFUL of really Catholic colleges..... Satan has succeeded in leading the elect astray. Only a remnant remains that are seeking to enter the narrow door. "Work out your salvation in fear and trembling." - St. Paul.


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