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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

21 - 30 of 87 Comments

  1. Jenny Saunders
    3 years ago

    I posted a comment on Friday and would like to retract part of it, please. I said that our Catholic school principal was homosexual, and I found out that that may not be true. Everything else in the comment is absolutely true. Thank you.

  2. Greg Williams
    3 years ago

    I do agree that it is a false dichotomy between an home schooling and a Catholic school education. I must say, however, that it is true that the Pope, bishops, and priests are the first teachers of the faith and of morals (John 21:16 &17). Jesus left it to his Apostles to teach these things. It will be noted that Jesus did not say to a parent or to a group of parents, here are the keys to the gates of heaven; what will be bound by you will be bound in heaven; what will be loosed by you will be loosed in heaven; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against thee (meaning against you parents and what you parents teach). He left these keys and promises to Peter and his successors, and it is he upon whom He built the Church (Mat. 16:18 & 19) When you say that in Vatican II that it says that the parents are the primary teachers, you must be careful because this "primary" can mean a number of things. It is a word said equivocally. It does not mean God left it up to parents to be the first teachers of the faith in the sense that He left it to parents to teach infallibly the faith. They are first in the sense it is from the parents that the children will first hear it and see it practised. It is, however, still from the Church, i.e., from the Pope, the bishops, and priests that the faith is learned and passed on. For it is also from these that the parents know what is the true faith and what is heresy. The parents do not have the promise of teaching infallibly. The Pope does.

    Again, I agree that Catholic Schools and home schooling parents should not be at odds with each other. This unfortunate argument is one that is like that of one between home schooling parents and public school bureaucracies. Parents can and often do teach classes including catechism as well as many Catholic Schools. I personally have seen the outcome of very many lovely and faithful children having gone through a good home schooling education. I have also seen it done badly. Yet, I have seen Catholic schools also teach poorly and well the students in their charge. Catholic schools are not a guarantor of the faith being taught well, nor are they, however, a promise of a bad education. Much like anything, they too can do well or ill. Nevertheless, whether it is through a Catholic school or through a parent home schooling, the faith is known through the Church. Both must teach the faith according to the Magisterium. Both the Catholic school and the parent will learn what the Faith is through the Church, and not from its or his own feelings on the matter. The reason is, is that the Church is the First Teacher of the Faith: this you can see from Christ's own words (ibid).

    In cordibus Jesu et Mariae,

  3. Mom of 6
    3 years ago

    I found I had to teach my children the REAL Catholic faith on a regular basis to counter the stuff they were being taught in two separate Catholic grade schools. I then sent three of them to a Catholic high school. Two of them lost their faith. Four years after the first one started, AS A TEACHER IN THAT SAME CATHOLIC SCHOOL I know why they lost their faith! The nuns pride themselves on their "liberal catholic" stance. Why bother to be Catholic- it's all the same!
    When I first started teaching there, the tabernacle in the gutted chapel was empty. When I asked the youth minister why he said, "Oh, we don't emphasize that any more!!!"
    We let lesbian couples go to prom. We teach contraception and women's "right to choose", we allow any student to receive communion, no matter what denomination (or lack thereof).
    Shame on our bishops for not insisting on orthodox teaching in schools they allow to call themselves Catholic!

  4. Theresa
    3 years ago

    Why is there a "concern" that "homeschooling at least implicitly sends the message that parents do not trust the Church to educate their children properly, and the children get that message, that it leads to a subtle anti-clericalism because the children learn that priests cannot be counted on to hand on the faith..."? That "thought" and the "concern" of parents should be a HUGE "wake-up" call for ALL concerned! It seems to me that those approving curriculum for Catholic schools should be required to take the Mandatum, as should teachers at all levels of "Catholic" Schools. Why not? Why in the world not? Is there a concern that there are so many that don't hold all that the Catholic Church teaches in matters of faith and morals that there would not be enough teachers to go around? The "intent" of the Pastor, the Diocesan Bishop, etc., for. the Catholic School(s) under them may be well and good, but "good intentions" are not enough. Precisely "what" the teachers teach, day-in-and-day-out, may be quite another thing.... This goes for all levels of "Catholic" schools--from pre-K to the University, to even Graduate and post Graduate Catholic Universities. The "teacher" should be required to teach and uphold Catholic teaching in matters of faith and morals and the curriculum should, of course, reflect that as well. I can tell you that I know teachers in CCD and RCIC (and RCIA) whose knowledge of the Catholic faith and morals is very limited. Some, if not most I know have never read the Vat II Catechism of the Catholic Church, nor are they interested in reading it. No doubt, in this "technological age," like most of us, they just "don't have time." But I would ask: "What are your 'time' priorities...?" Our hedonistic, secular culture permeates our every day lives and, I dare say, most Catholics are not very well "armed" for spiritual warfare these days...! St. Paul was very concerned about thesituation in his day, the "times" are certainly not any better today!

  5. K C Thomas
    3 years ago

    It is very easy to say that all our children should be sent to Catholic schools. I have one question... Are our schools meant for rich who can afford high fees ?If the Church of Christ thinks we are her children, is it not obligatory on their part to find out the financial difficulties of the catholics and devise methods to see that all our children are given catholic education free or cheap ?If our schools, colleges and hospitals are not able to the poor what service we are proud of ? We are for catholic schools and for catholic education. If all unwanted luxuries , pomp, and show are avoided and if very rich families are advised to support the poor children it may be possible to improve the situation

  6. mary
    3 years ago

    I hope all you happy homeschoolers have legall representation.Just think of the stagering cost of that,when the State comes knocking on the door !You might have a choice as to where and how to educate your child,but no right as such.But do not worry yours truly homosexual couple is going to be more than happy to educate your child and I doubt in Catholic school !Although I know of one instance where it is the case.I guess the person must have found memories of his catholic schooling! Mm

  7. Ernest Lee, MD, MPH
    3 years ago

    Right on!!! My wife and I homeschool our 3 children, now ages 5, 7, and 9 years old. We use the Seton CATHOLIC Home School program and it works very well. I graduated from a Catholic gradeschool and Catholic high school, BOTH systems worked well. The homeschool textbooks we utilize incorporate Catholic teachings (even English and Science incorporate topics about God and religious themes). In fact, I have learned more about theology and the Saints than I did in traditional Catholic Schools. I LOVE BOTH systems. I will always remember my favorite teacher, Sr. Mary Celine, who departed to eternal life 2 years ago, and I am sure my 3 children will have fond memories of the lessons my wife is teaching them - lessons they will utilize the rest of their lives to do good on earth, and ultimately to attain eternal life.

  8. holyfamilypray4us
    3 years ago

    To Michelle, mother of 11 who runs a "mean calculator": I love it! You are a kindred spirit...and after your math excercise, some may be wondering about college options for children of larger those who ask all of us that ever-annoying question, "How are you going to pay for all those kids to go to college?"
    I'm curious as to how other parents usually respond? Our philosophy is: we worked our way through college and were better for it; ...also the trades are dying and in very high demand. Society has come to the mistaken conclusion that working with ones hands, i.e. plumbers, electricians, carpenters, mechanics, etc... are, in some way, sub-standard ways to make a living and consequently those who earn a living this way just couldn't "make it" in college. My husband and I encourage young people to pray to discern their vocation and look to their God-given talents for clues about what kind of higher level education to pursue...God will work out the details and usually this recipe will guide them towards a career/business they enjoy and which is conducive to the VOCATION to which God is calling them. FYI for those of us with large families: Christendom College in Front Royal, VA is absolutely Catholic and totally in-line with the Magesterium. According to their website, they will not accept any Federal monies/grants which keeps the gov. out and offers tuition "discounts" and work programs designed for the large Catholic family. (1st child pays 100% minus any $$ from scholarships and working on campus; 2nd child attending within the same time frame pays 75% minus $$ from Scholarships, etc.; 3rd pays 50%!! and if any student decides to enter the priesthood or other religious life, their debt is forgiven!! JMJ, pray for us; St. Michael, defend us!

  9. Mary
    3 years ago

    I really appreciated this article. It was nice to hear a defence of homeschooling. I think it does miss the mark in some ways. Homeschooling should never be an Us v.s. Them situation and it is very sad that ANY diocese would suggest that parents are wrong to homeschool. Homeschooling is a lifework. Parents have the right as primary educators of their children to choose any means they wish so long as God is serves first.
    There are many wonderful Catholic Schools out there. We have one in our area and I have a friend who teaches at a wonderful traditional Catholic highschool. Everyone who wants an authentic Catholic education for their children will make whatever sacrfices it takes to accomplish that goal.
    We must stop judging each other and start working together. Petty infighting will never get us to Heaven. We (a family of 7 children) choose to home educate. It isn't the easiest choice, but it is ours to make and our reasons are "nobody else's business". I love and pray for our local Catholic school. They are good folks who love their faith and work hard to give their children an authentic Catholic education. I have met many a homeschooler who poo-poo's these parent's choice, and that's sad. We all want the best for our children's souls, hearts and minds. How we choose to do that is our decision alone.
    All that being said, no homeschooler should ever be made to feel guilty over their choice. There are a lot of bad Catholic schools out there too and many of the good ones are just too expensive. As homeschoolers we would do better to be positive about our choice (and know our rights) than to worry after sad folks who wish to maligin us. Pray for them, care for the souls of our children and the proof will show.

  10. LoveMyFamilyLoveMyFaith
    3 years ago

    Amen! Jennifer, I thank your husband and your family for the sacrifices you make daily for the security of our great nation...which was made great by A LOT of homeschooled, Christian patriots!
    2) I am wondering if part of the reason Catholic schools are so expensive is that they buy their books from the same publishers who provide texts for the public schools --- as if there were no excellent Catholic texts and publishers to be had!
    3) I am a CCD teacher and am very concerned about the books we use...and the families not doing their part to reinforce what I am trying to teach them in the one hour I see the 12 of them each week. Again, I believe the parents have first line of responsibility, our job in the parish is to help fill in where the parents don't know or can't do...not to take on all their parenting duties in that time slot with so many kids!
    4) I also wonder if the expense of Catholic schools might come from abiding by state regulations or seeking "accredation" (as if that were any measure of a school's quality -- see Chapter 7 of an excellent book called "The Children Trap" by Robert Thoburn, founder of Fairfax Christian School in Vienna, VA)...Here in NJ some of our psychotic legislators - and newspaper journalists - cannot understand (or pretend they cannot understand) why homeschoolers resist any laws to regulate them...We homeschoolers know what those regulations will mean - they will make it so expensive and difficult that we will not be able to homeschool at all - exactly what the teacher's unions want. It is a shame we do not have more church leaders like Archbishops Dolan and Chaput - who will stand up for Catholics right to educate our children as we see fit - at home or in our local Catholic school. (we get no tax breaks or vouchers if we don't send our kids to the public school system - effectively punishing us for exercising our "right to choose" that the left likes to shout so much about!)

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