Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Christine Sacchi,

1/19/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Since the life of a home school family includes challenges beyond the academic, you will need psychological, emotional, and spiritual support

Now that we've discussed how anxiety should not prevent people beginning to home school, let's look at what comes next. Three things to think about when starting are: curriculum, support groups, and dealing with family and friends' reactions.

Highlights

By Christine Sacchi,

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/19/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Homeschool, homeschooling, education, praental choice, school choice, Laura Berquist, Mary Kay Clark, Miki Hill, Mary Hasson, Kimberly Hahn, education, Christine Sacchi


MIDDLETON,NY (Catholic Online) - Now that we've discussed how anxiety should not prevent people beginning to home school, let's look at what comes next.

Three things to think about when starting are: curriculum, support groups, and dealing with family and friends' reactions.

Today's home educator will encounter a bewildering number of curriculum options.  A Google search on home schooling will bring millions, not thousands, of results.  The bounty of the internet cuts two ways.

There are books with syllabuses and lesson plans included.  There are correspondence schools, many of them Catholic, which offer a full service distance curriculum, complete with tests, report cards, and record keeping.  There are online, interactive courses. 

The variety is wonderful, but how to narrow it all down?

Attending a conference or curriculum fair can be invaluable.  You can see materials before you buy and ask questions of people who sell them.  You can often ask questions of those who have written them.

I had a breakthrough moment about teaching reading at a conference. Linda Bromeier, author of the Little Angels phonics series, was giving a talk.  My first two kids could already read when I started home schooling.  I was facing teaching reading for the first time with my third child.  My sister-in-law had assured me that the other subjects would eventually be learned if reading was mastered. That was comforting but I felt immense pressure about reading.   

I feared my children would miss out on the pleasure reading had afforded me. I feared they would struggle with all the other subjects if I messed up their reading.

Linda took questions at the end of her talk. One person after another asked whether this or that program was good.  She had the same answer for each, "If it's all or mostly phonics, it will be fine."  The third time she said it, I felt a weight lift from me.  The fear that one mistake could cause permanent harm vanished.  As long as I used phonics, I would not cripple my child's intellect for life! Today my third born is a brain researcher.

What about after the conference? The value of a local support group cannot be overstated.

You might find, for example, a curriculum that got high ratings on so many websites? A mom in a local group may tell you that's the one that requires four seminars before you can use it. 

Your child shows signs of difficulty reading or counting?  A mom in your group may have a child with similar problems.  Your group may put you in touch with community resources like reading specialists or diagnostic testing.

And since the life of a home school family includes challenges beyond the academic, you will need psychological, emotional, and spiritual support. Since 1998 my group's moms have helped each other weather every problem from illness to daily lessons to family crises.  We pray for each other every day.  We haven't always agreed about how to do things.  But we are far stronger for the shared experience and have a deep bond of friendship.

If you can't find a Catholic group, there are many evangelical Christian groups.  While you would not be attending Mass together, you would meet people willing to advise, support, and pray for you.  They would be able to understand your day to day needs. 

If no religious group is available, look for a secular group.  While they may or may not be people who pray, you can still get information, support, and activities like field trips, academic enrichment, or play time.  And you may find that joining a secular group puts you in touch with people who would like to start a Catholic one.

But what about your mother-in-law or your dad, or other person who has doubts about your decision to home school?  Some family members can be quite vocal with fears and even opposition.  One friend of mine was told she is "ruining" her children! 

It's easy to feel defensive.  After all, this decision is something you and your husband have thought through very carefully.  The remarks seem intrusive, even insulting. Yet you would like to pursue your decision while preserving important relationships.

Sometimes assuring people that learning and friends for the children are important to you is enough to keep the peace until family members begin to see positive results.  For the first few years my in-laws  mourned the lack of "normal" milestones.  Where were the report cards, the concerts, the football games?

As time passed there were spelling bees, plays, piano recitals, and karate tournaments.  The grandparents met the kids' friends. One day they took me aside and thanked me for home schooling the children!  They said our kids were the most respectful, bright, well behaved kids they knew. 

While I have to admit my kids may put on their best behavior for their grandparents, the positive effects of home schooling did become its best defense.

-----

Christine Sacchi, who lives in Middleton, NY, has not yet finished homeschooling all of her seven children. A horn player, she blogs about opera at bassobuff.blogspot.com and attended The King's College and the Manhattan School of Music.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading


Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading


Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading


Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading


Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter