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 December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Living Faith

No one should be hungry during the Christmas season

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In early December, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) stopped feeding 1.7 million Syrian refugees. For two weeks these poor, battered fellow human beings who had fled the misery of civil war, and the barbarism of the "Islamic State," were told there is no ... continue reading


HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Beloved Pontiff turns 78 today Watch

Image of Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Today is Pope Francis' 78th birthday and well-wishers celebrated the day singing and dancing for the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Born on December 17, 1936, the man who would become Pope Francis has ... continue reading


Turned into the wild, Pope Francis offers hope to displaced faithful in Middle East Watch

Image of Patriarch Younan said a major focus of their synod was on priestly formation since their communities have faced so much upheaval.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Times are hard and arduous for those who practice their Catholic faith in the Middle East. In a special audience with Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan, along with about 350 of his faithful from the Syriac Catholic Church, Pope Francis offered words ... continue reading


Mary hailed as 'great missionary' who brought Gospel to Americas by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis along with thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Vatican. The Pope celebrated Mass to the sounds and rhythms of many of South America's indigenous peoples. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Your Friday Feel Good Story: Watch what happens when the mic goes out during the American National Anthem at a hockey game in Canada! Watch

Image of Ina  heartwarming gesture of respect, Canadians sing the Star Spangled Banner when the microphone game out before a game featuring a team from the USA.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Here's your Friday Feel Good story! Enjoy your Friday and don't forget to share! During a hockey game in Canada between American and Canadian players, the microphone failed, silencing the singer. Without audio, the Americans would be without their national anthem, but ... continue reading


Irenaeus of Lyon on Eve and Mary

Image of An Icon of Ireneaus of Lyon

By Ireneaus of Lyon

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to ... continue reading


Taking the Kingdom by Force: Learning from John the Baptizer Watch

Image of The choice is ours. Just as it was with John the Baptizer. He shows us the way to give away our freedom in love - and then find it anew in the One who truly sets us free. (John 8:36). The kingdom of heaven is still being taken by force. The force of love. The Lord is seeking men and women in this hour who will take the kingdom by force like John the Baptizer.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

John the Baptizer was a man of Joy because he was a man of true humility! Humility is a powerful weapon when wielded by a soldier of love like John. He was a man who understood that life wasn't all about him. He emptied himself willingly and was thus able to ... continue reading


Faith restored in humanity! A random act of kindness changes a woman's life forever during the Christmas season Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While protests are wreaking havoc all around the world, wars are being fought, and people are being brutally killed, the warm sensation and fuzzy feeling of Christmas gets overshadowed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although good deeds and random acts of kindness ... continue reading


Do We Really Believe in the Resurrection of the Body and the Life of the World to Come? Watch

Image of Seated at the right hand of the Father, he works unceasingly in the world, to draw men into the Church and through it to join them more closely to himself.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. His salvation is offered extended to all men and women. That salvation is not only about our souls, but about the whole human person. It will only be complete when we are raised from the dead and dwell in the kingdom to come. He ... continue reading


A Christmas gift for suffering South Sudan

Image of The people of South Sudan have the same feeling and love for one another we do. Now is the time for us to extend our arms in compassion.

By Tony Magliano

The world's newest nation is in big trouble. After more than 20 years of civil war between the southern and northern areas of Sudan, the southern part of that country on July 9, 2011, became the independent nation of the Republic of South Sudan.But the situation on the ... 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, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... 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