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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

61 - 70 of 87 Comments

  1. Sandor
    3 years ago

    Hello Carl,

    I respectfully say, you really don't know what you are speaking about with regards to Homeschooling. I went to Catholic Schools for 12 years, and I am a degree'd Mechanical Engineer. I am forever grateful for the sacrifice my mom made to send us me to Catholic School on her single low income. I attended what would be considered a upper academic echelon HS for boys and did receive a much better education than my Public school peers. With that being said, I can tell you without hesitation, that the schooling my children are receiving at home with their mother is far better than the one I received. You fail to realize the quality of programs available for Catholic Homeschoolers. For grades 1-8, my wife used the very comprehensive Seton program which is an accredited schooling program in California. She has decided to use the Angelicum Great books program for the High School years, starting with my daughter, eldest of 8. These programs are rich in their content, demanding of the students, and produce truly educated individuals able to grasp fundamental reasoning concepts and draw upon source materials far better than their traditionally schooled counter parts.

    Both my wife and I attained B.S. degree's, so she is certainly equipped to school them in mathematics. But if she wasn't, there are numerous mathematics programs that give DVD instruction along with online tutoring if required. My wife has utilized some of these just to help maximize her effectiveness (you forget some of these math topics if you don't use them regularly). I too have helped on more difficult math topics.

    Regarding the socialization factor, we have our children in athletics, music and parish catechisis. But unless you've personally observed or experienced homeschooling in a large family, you don't realize the amount of real world experience these children gain from being schooled at home. The real world work place is in fact far more like the homeschooling environment, than it is like the structured school environment, where everyone sits in desks, faces the front, with one person leading the discussion and instruction. In the homeschool environment, elder children take time out to help the younger ones. They need to remain focused and get their work done, regardless of the constant movement of their siblings and other disruptive events. They have to learn to deal in an appropriate and controlled manner with people they have longstanding disagreements with (siblings). They learn to help one another to accomplish their goals of teamwork to get done before a certain time, so they can enjoy the fruits of success (movie or game). And most importantly, they understand and discuss amongst themselves topics as deep as the importance of virtue in their lives, assist one another on virtue and avoiding vice, discuss topics on the faith very freely and energetically. I never ever ever experienced this type of faith lived out so dynamically in my entire 12 years of Catholic Education. It's a wonderful thing to behold.

    Of course, it certainly is a calling, and can be trying to engage in. Like my wife and I say, with homeschooling, you are either pulling your hair out, our laughing your head off, never a dull moment :) It's not for the feint hearted.

    Please investigate what homeschooling is really like, before you make uneducated assumptions and statements which are truly removed the the reality of homeschooling. You may find that homeshooling, far from being a disservice to children, is actually a great gift to children, to those who are able to provide this.

    In Christ,


  2. Jennifer Hartline
    3 years ago

    Daniel Monzon,
    I'm happy to share: I'm using Seton Home Study curriculum with great success. It was recommended to me by my sister, who's been using it with her three children for over 10 years now. They are fully accredited and their support staff is always there when I have a question or need help. God bless you.

  3. Laurie
    3 years ago

    Homeschooler parents...keep your heads up high. I am noticing the integrity and maturity and purity of the young people who have been homeschooled. The Catholic schools where I live let me down...teaching all manner against the Church...including condom machines on premesis. I wish I had home-schooled my children. The Bishop in my area sings the same song...about Catholic school education. Head in the sand syndrome? I really don't know how they can vouch for Catholic education in schools when the schools have become centers for corruption of moral values.

  4. Tony
    3 years ago

    It is still Cannon law that parents have an obligation to seek Catholic education (798) AND the Church has an obligation to offer affordable Catholic education (800). I don't think citing Vatican II in gratuitous fashion carries your argument when one could just as gratuitously argue that Vatican II is the reason you don't find many religious teaching in our schools any longer.

  5. Judi
    3 years ago

    If I read this right, since there is a Catholic School near me, if I choose to send my child to Public School, I am not fulfilling my duty as a Catholic parent? What? That is totally stupid. I live paycheck to paycheck and even if we qualified for a tuition scholarship, I would still have all those extras I'd have to pay for (uniforms, lunch, fundraisers). I would love to send my children to Catholic school but it is not financially feasible for me to do so. I also work full-time so I would not be able to home school.

  6. Milehimama
    3 years ago

    Absolutely agree!

    My parish has a school. We don't attend it. Why? Because WITH MY PARISH DISCOUNT the cost to send 6 children is over $23,000 a year (not counting uniforms, book fees, registration, etc. etc. etc.) (We have 9 children, but three aren't old enough for school yet.)

    That's more than half our AGI. That's more per month than our rent and utilities combined.

    Don't tell ME I'm abrogating my duty by homeschooling when there is no opportunity for Catholic school.

  7. Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS
    3 years ago

    It pains me to read about the conflict between home schoolers and traditional Catholic Schools. Just glance through the statistics that is given below. It is taken from an article published in a weekly, India Today.

    “And surveys reveal*, it's a generation that spends 10 hours a day on some sort of a media, two hours on social networking sites, 1.6 hours on the phone, four hours 23 minutes a week on computer games. While 66 per cent carry mobile phones to school, 47 per cent can't live without TV. Over 45 per cent drink alcohol five times a month and 14 per cent use tobacco. Yet 70 per cent teens show signs of depression and 48 per cent think about suicide. A survey released by one of Bollywood's biggest hits last year, Udaan-all about a 17-year-old boy, who gets expelled from boarding school for sneaking out to watch a semi-porn film-shows: one in five teens watches porn before age 13; every second teen necks and kisses, 15 per cent in the school loo; one out of five claims to have had sex; 90 per cent believe in premarital sex, with 45 per cent of girls opting for clandestine abortions”. “Secret life of Indian teens” Damayanti Datta | February 25, 2011

    Seeing the plight of teenagers, parents respond in various ways. Some say, “that’s how the modern youth are”. But some others who are more serious about faith and morals say, “it should not be so”, but they do not find a way out to help their children. A few others find home schooling as right solution. I do agree that Catholic schools are better than other public schools. Yet situation is not really satisfactory. Therefore some parents see home schooling as the solution to provide best possible education and faith formation to their children. I think from the part of the Church we must understand the genuin concern of parents, appreciate their courage and support them. After all the future of our children are more important than the future of our instutions. I see in India also the number of people opting for Home Schooling are gradulaly increasing. There are also neighbourhood schools where two or three families of the neighbourhood together conduct the education of their children following the cariculum of Home Schooling.The emergance of such alternative educational system is an indication that our traditional educational system needs to be updated.
    Fr. Dheeraj Sabu IMS

  8. Cynthia
    3 years ago

    If it is an "obligation" of parents to send our children to a Catholic school, then what is the "obligation" on the part of the Church to welcome that child into that school community?

    I bought into the whole "Catholic" school scam hook, line and sinker, making sure that as we moved with my husband's job MY kids would be Catholic school educated, as was I, sacrificing all along the way. When it came time for my youngest to enter school we were shocked to learn that the admissions board deemed my child not "Catholic" school material, because of a disparaging report submitted by the preschool staff without the knowledge of my husband or I. We recieved the rejection letter on the Friday afternoon before Spring Break.

    Believing that the parish and school shared our goal of providing a Catholic School Education, we met with the preschool staff, pastor and administration to discuss a solution. My husband and I went so far as to hire a Catholic psychologist to evaluate our child so that we could have an objective point of view. We wrote the archdiocese asking for guidance. Ultimately, the school, pastor and school faculty broke agreements we had made and lied about their role or decision to reject our son’s application. We never received a reply from the archdiocese that can always find us for the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal.

    That incident happened over 10 years ago and has forever changed our relationship with the church hierarchy. I love my faith and will never leave it, but the lack of integrity we experienced was appalling and reflects deep problems within the hierarchy. In the end, it is hard not to believe that Catholic Education is not a self-serving private school system.

    As I sit here and write this, I hear the whir of the lawnmower being pushed by the child who was DENIED a catholic education by the same Catholic Church that Bishop Joe Vasquez, Ned Vanders and Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas represent. He is an excellent student with a gift for history, civics and music. He will be in advanced classes next year and will be participating in marching band. Too bad the "Catholic" high school won't get to hold him up as one of their "achievements".

  9. Anna R. Daniel
    3 years ago

    Excellent article. The Catholic school system has been declining over many years. Fifteen years ago my friends who had their children in what was a good Catholic school from an academic standpoint, removed their children and began homeschooling them because of the sex education program put into place in the diocese. I went with them to the bishop, who didn't see us personally, and left pages of documents with him showing what was horribly wrong with this program and he refused to meet with us or do anything about it.

    After my two older boys attended a Catholic high school with an excellent academic reputation and I came in contact with their laxity in moral standards, I refused to send my third son to this school. You can't stick the name "Catholic" on a school or university and than have teachers who are teaching and recommending a morality in conflict with the teachings of the Church. As I explained to the principal of the "Catholic" high school, I am sending my children here to get a Catholic education. I can get "condom theology" for free in the public school system.

    This is not "bashing" the local Church authorities, this is the reality that Catholic parents face today. If those in charge of the Catholic school system in each diocese don't deal effectively with these problems, then their school system deserves to fail. Better for their schools to fail then continue to corrupt.

  10. Patricia
    3 years ago

    I would rather my children go to a public school than a catholic school that does not have sound, orthodox catechesis and doesn't present the everyday living out of the faith with a "true, authentically Catholic" atmosphere, in leadership, teaching and example. Maybe the homeschoolers could show them how to do it.

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