[Editor’s note: This is Part II of a two-part guest blog series on why Catholic homeschooling may be right for your child. To read Part I, click here.]
The ability to tailor their teaching styles to fit their children’s personalities and capabilities is one of the advantages enjoyed by parents who choose to homeschool. When you homeschool, you can focus your teaching style to match your child’s learning style. You set the curriculum to meet their specific needs, so, if they need extra time to grasp a concept, they won’t be left behind. You can also choose how to structure the idea of going to school for your children, such as adopting special “uniforms” or forgoing traditional settings by teaching them more closely and personally at the dining table.
When deciding whether Catholic homeschooling is right for your child, consider the kind of teaching style you plan to adopt and how to implement it. Additionally, ask yourself if you have the time and resources you need like Catholic books, flashcards, etc. to make your planned teaching style possible. While deciding on a teaching style, look through your options of curriculum providers, as well, since the curricula they provide might also influence how and what you teach your child.
Teaching the Faith
Teaching the Faith in a homeschool environment is very important to many Catholic parents, and it is one of the best ways to guarantee your child grows up to be a faithful Catholic. In fact, 10 percent of the diocesan priestly vocations in America are filled by homeschooled men, despite a larger majority of Catholic children going to parochial or public schools.
Prominent members of the Catholic Church also echo the importance of homeschooling. Father John Hardon said of the practice:
“Homeschooling in the United States is the necessary concomitant of a culture in which the Church is being opposed on every level of her existence and, as a consequence, given the widespread secularization in our country, homeschooling is not only valuable or useful but it is absolutely necessary for the survival of the Catholic church in our country.”
As Catholic parents, the decision to homeschool must also come with an acceptance of the greater responsibility placed on their shoulders to educate their children in matters of faith and religious obedience. You must either be well-versed in the teachings of the Church to engage effectively in catechesis or be willing to learn and deepen your own faith alongside your child. Self-reflection and prayer can help you determine if you are fit to lead your child in this regard.
Making the Decision
After reflecting and praying over each aspect of consideration, choose whether to homeschool with the confidence that whatever decision you arrived at is God’s will. If that decision is to become your children’s teacher, then ask the Father to help you abide by your new responsibilities. Otherwise, take comfort in the idea that sending your child to public school, for example, might have a purpose in God’s plan—perhaps exposing your children to the service of evangelization.
— Laurel Whitworth is married to David and is a mom to four little people. She is the VP of Merchandise for Aquinas & More as well as the manager of all things family life. She and her family are enjoying their new life in Colorado with many trips into the mountains and forging new friendships in church and school.