Monday, August 18, 2008

Homeschooling: More Catholic than the Pope

Well, okay, maybe not MORE Catholic. But definitely Catholic.

Both we and some of our friends have recently encountered criticism of homeschooling, with the argument that homeschooling is not Catholic. The attitude seems to be that not sending your children to the local Catholic school is something akin to being unpatriotic. I do want to note that the vast majority of people that we have talked to about homeschooling are very supportive. But for those who are not, let's look at what the Church says about homeschooling... thanks to Seton Home Study School for putting all the information in one place!

Catholic schools were once an essential alternative to the Protestant schools that dominated most communities. However, I wonder what, if anything, we are accomplishing by pouring money into them today. I know, I know, there are many fantastic Catholic schools where children get a solid education in a vibrant faithful environment. But I think those schools are more and more the minority. I hear so often that many times the teachers in Catholic schools are not Catholic, or only nominally so. I hear that with a few exceptions, the students are not any more well-formed than your typical public-schooled child. I wonder if a big part of this is that parents send their kids off to Catholic school and think, "Well, that takes care of their faith formation! Done!" In fact, there is NO substitute for parents sharing their own love of the Church and practicing the faith as a family.

What if, instead of giving parents a false sense of security with Catholic schools, parishes put more money into programs like Family Formation, so that the whole family would be encouraged to learn, pray, and celebrate the faith together?

Let the tomatoes fly.


Kate said...

AMEN, girl!!! Out Catholic schools here are anything but.

Tell whoever criticized you that I said "THHHHHPT!!" (In a loving, Christian sort of way, of course!) :))

Kate said...

Um, I meant "our" not "out".

By "our", I meant the schools where I live- not all Catholic schools! :)

Jennifer said...

I have been trying for almost a year now to get Family Formation or a program that encourages the family to take the role, in our parish. It is so frustrating! When will people see that we have to start with the adults and the family? At Rel. Ed. I "teach" those kids ONE hour a week... that is all! But... if I empowered and taught a parent - they could teach their children a lifetime....this whole thing is just very sad to me and yet it really gets me going!