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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '13, 6:15 am
My3Stars My3Stars is offline
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Default Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

I have read many posts regarding Seton. We have twins who will starting kindergarten next year and have considered both our public school and private school options. Our private school options include a Baptist school and a Catholic school. The Baptist school is more affordable but I am very concerned about anti-Catholic teaching and confusion for my children. They have attended preschool there for two years and although we have been happy academically, I have already had to deal with "re-teaching" the Lord's Prayer to them because they are being told different at school. Additionally, they use the ABEKA curriculum which I have heard from others can be anti-Catholic. The Catholic school is very nice but it is very expensive. Tuition for our two kindergartners would be 12k and we are not rich people. Plus we have a younger son who will be needing schooling the following year. We considered trying to come up with the payment but it would be a great financial strain to do it. I looked into financial aid but we missed the deadline for this year-we are new to this. Plus the school is in a very rich area and we fear we would be out of our league. The other obvious option is public school which is our area has received very good reviews but is huge with 980 kids for k-2nd grade. I am interested in the Seton program but work and I am not sure I have the patience even if I quit my job to home school my children. God Bless those that do. I wondered if the Seton program offered supplements I could include at home in addition to them attending public school. Does anyone know if Seton is full time only? I think our only option is to go public and supplement but I am not sure how to do so. Would love to hear what decisions others made and if you were happy with the outcome. Catholic education seems so out of reach for us.
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '13, 6:26 am
catholicmamajoy catholicmamajoy is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Quote:
Originally Posted by My3Stars View Post
I have read many posts regarding Seton. We have twins who will starting kindergarten next year and have considered both our public school and private school options. Our private school options include a Baptist school and a Catholic school. The Baptist school is more affordable but I am very concerned about anti-Catholic teaching and confusion for my children. They have attended preschool there for two years and although we have been happy academically, I have already had to deal with "re-teaching" the Lord's Prayer to them because they are being told different at school. Additionally, they use the ABEKA curriculum which I have heard from others can be anti-Catholic. The Catholic school is very nice but it is very expensive. Tuition for our two kindergartners would be 12k and we are not rich people. Plus we have a younger son who will be needing schooling the following year. We considered trying to come up with the payment but it would be a great financial strain to do it. I looked into financial aid but we missed the deadline for this year-we are new to this. Plus the school is in a very rich area and we fear we would be out of our league. The other obvious option is public school which is our area has received very good reviews but is huge with 980 kids for k-2nd grade. I am interested in the Seton program but work and I am not sure I have the patience even if I quit my job to home school my children. God Bless those that do. I wondered if the Seton program offered supplements I could include at home in addition to them attending public school. Does anyone know if Seton is full time only? I think our only option is to go public and supplement but I am not sure how to do so. Would love to hear what decisions others made and if you were happy with the outcome. Catholic education seems so out of reach for us.

If you are considering homeschooling, you have a wide selection of wonderful Catholic material out there to choose from. While Seton is probably the largest and most well-known of Catholic programs, they are not the only option.


Last month, another member posted this gem about homeschooling and I think it really should be a "sticky" on the forum for homeschooling info, because it contains a wealth of information regarding the different programs and curricula: http://forums.catholic.com/showpost....48&postcount=9

The best method, program, and philosophy for homeschooling is the one that works for your children, you, and your family. Do you have an upcoming conference in your area? If so, I highly encourage you to attend. Not only will you get a "hands-on" look at various curriculum and material, most conferences have at least one talk geared towards new homeschoolers.
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  #3  
Old Apr 29, '13, 7:18 am
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mommamaree mommamaree is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Quote:
Originally Posted by My3Stars View Post
I have read many posts regarding Seton. We have twins who will starting kindergarten next year and have considered both our public school and private school options. Our private school options include a Baptist school and a Catholic school. The Baptist school is more affordable but I am very concerned about anti-Catholic teaching and confusion for my children. They have attended preschool there for two years and although we have been happy academically, I have already had to deal with "re-teaching" the Lord's Prayer to them because they are being told different at school. Additionally, they use the ABEKA curriculum which I have heard from others can be anti-Catholic. The Catholic school is very nice but it is very expensive. Tuition for our two kindergartners would be 12k and we are not rich people. Plus we have a younger son who will be needing schooling the following year. We considered trying to come up with the payment but it would be a great financial strain to do it. I looked into financial aid but we missed the deadline for this year-we are new to this. Plus the school is in a very rich area and we fear we would be out of our league. The other obvious option is public school which is our area has received very good reviews but is huge with 980 kids for k-2nd grade. I am interested in the Seton program but work and I am not sure I have the patience even if I quit my job to home school my children. God Bless those that do. I wondered if the Seton program offered supplements I could include at home in addition to them attending public school. Does anyone know if Seton is full time only? I think our only option is to go public and supplement but I am not sure how to do so. Would love to hear what decisions others made and if you were happy with the outcome. Catholic education seems so out of reach for us.
Seton is not for full-time only. It is very flexible. You can pick and choose the subjects and materials you want and order lesson plans if you need them. I prefer Kolbe myself, but Seton is an outstanding homeschool curriculum producer and all of their materials are faithful AND beautifully illustrated and produced. If you choose not to enroll, you may just purchase what you would like to use for your family.
For example, I will be enrolling with Kolbe, but using some of the beautiful Seton history and science materials as supplements.
Good luck and God bless you for being so conscientious about making sure your children get a Catholic education.
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  #4  
Old Apr 29, '13, 8:05 am
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mountee mountee is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Your decision is a tough one and it becomes more difficult when your first choice, the Catholic education, is economically out of range. Let me say something that is strictly based on personal experience and opinion. At 62 I have come to realize that I have a great deal to learn about the Catholic faith and most of what I realized I didn't know or was in error about came as a result of this forum. Even though I was educated from grade school through college at first class Catholic schools I am poorly catechized, but working hard to fix that. I have taught in Catholic schools, private schools, public schools and an inner city school. No matter where I have worked the truth is that the most important factor in what a child knew or learned was connected directly to parental involvement. So, with a deep commitment to raise your children Catholic, and with the extra study that might involve for you to do a good job, you will be the primary teacher whether your children go to public or Catholic schools or you teach them at home. I would not send my children to a Baptist school but that is strictly an opinion. No matter where you choose to send them there is a chance that they will be exposed to ideas or people you won't approve of, the only place you have complete supervision over is yourself in your home.
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  #5  
Old Apr 29, '13, 9:36 am
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

I would be very wary of the Baptist school!

If you choose the public school route and send your children to CCD, be prepared to do a better job than CCD! Some parishes use excellent materials, but if it is not reinforced in the home will not do too much good. Parents are the prime educators of their children.

Praying together as a family for some time each day is great. Also, expose them to good age-appropriate spiritual books for children, of which there are many out there!
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  #6  
Old Apr 29, '13, 9:58 am
St Francis St Francis is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Many years ago before I even had children, I read a description of a woman's path to homeschooling. There were several points, the main one of which I bring up here, and that is that she figured out the family budget and saw that they were spending a lot as a result of her working: work-related expenses such as day-care and transportation, and more subtle expenses such as food (lunches, eating out more frequently, pre-made foods instead of from scratch; new clothing instead of thrift-shop or home-made, etc.) As a result, she realized that her working actually cost her family more than she made.

This is not true for every family. Some families, both parents are working and they are living very thriftily, bit it is a consideration.

If it turns out that your family could afford for you to stop working, or work it out so you worked in a way which allowed you to homeschool at the younger years, I would recommend this. Your twins are entering kindergarten, which has very little academics--it is mostly for the children to learn how to behave in school (stand in line, etc), and some of the background info for reading and arithmentic, and develop fine-finger abilities (for writing), and to make sure everyone is up and running with basic info like colors, etc (some children are behind on this or know it in different languages). It varies from place to place. Most or all states have a "Scope and Sequence" of what the schools are expected to teach for each year, and you can look up what your state expects.

But the younger the children are, the less well-behaved they are--they're just young, it's normal--but it is hard for one adult to monitor all this behavior, so children to not get as much individualized feedback as they do in smaller groups like families.

So to me, homeschooling at this age is a really good idea, or half-day K, (also, middle schools in some systems are really bad), and a heavy academic program is not necessary, that is really a family thing. I put together some basics for my children for those ages (OK, for most of their education!) and did a lot of things like asking how many pieces would we have to cut a pie into for each person to have an equal piece and that sort of thing (which I think is better for children and they can't do a lot of in school).

We homeschooled til high school when it was part homeschool and part community college, and two of mine are now ft in 4-year college. I am not against school, but our school system was not too good and there are no Catholic schools nearby, so we didn't have a lot of options.

Seton is very good, very academic, and has been known to overwhelm some students and/or parents while for others it has been great. Depends a lot on circumstances and aims of the family.

HTH
Annie
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  #7  
Old Apr 29, '13, 5:39 pm
leonie leonie is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Having seen what a wonderful high school experience my teens have had as homeschoolers, I try to encourage parents to take a leap of faith and homeschool.

Seton is a lovely program. We used it for my older two children for their first two years of high school. We did make some accommodations because I felt some of their testing was overly demanding--essay questions for every history test, for example. Their English is wonderful and all the college students I know that used Seton have done very well in college.

However, my kids didn't like Seton. They weren't very engaged with the material. So, we made a switch and started putting together our own courses from here and there. For some subjects, we bought the textbook book and test book and I just graded them on test scores. For some courses, we recorded hours spent on the subject (generally, a year's course is 150 hours).

. I really love the courses on homeschool connections online. We used the recorded course option. It's $30 a month and you have access to all the courses that have been recorded. I would just download the answer keys and grade their assignments, but they also offer a grading option for most courses. The course descriptions tell how much each course is worth.

I really like the travelling labs that a Protestant group called Landry academy does. My son did a years worth of Biology courses in a two day workshop.

I don't think it's necessary, but there are accredited programs that will review your academic portfolio and issue an accredited diploma for a fee.

The reason I love homeschooling high school though is not academic. I love the friends my kids hang with. I love the way there is so much innocent fun with no pressure to date, do drugs, drink, or dress immodestly. We do have a really nice community in which the teens themselves (with some parental aid) put on dances, murder mysteries, teen quiz events, intramurals, etc. It would be much harder to homeschool where you had to work to find social opportunities like these.

http://www.homeschoolingcatholic.com/conferences/

Try a homeschool conference or talk to an experienced homeschool parent. Our Indy conference has three talks specifically geared to homeschooling the high school years.

God bless.
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  #8  
Old Apr 30, '13, 7:02 am
gardenswithkids gardenswithkids is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Do you have any vacation time at work saved up that you could use to try homeschooling for a week or even a few day in summer?

I was already a SAHM but my school aged kids were attending a public* school before we started homeschooling. I gathered a variety of educational materials, including workbooks and library books, and we tried it out for a week. And we've been homeschooling ever since...

*Prior to public school, my children attended private Christian school. (It wasn't Baptist but it was theologically very close. They used materials like Abeka and Bob Jones, Bob Jones especially being anti-Catholic.) It was a generally good experience for younger grades but by third or fourth grade, the "generic Christian" was gone and non-Catholic theology became more problematic. That helped prompt a move to look for "good public schools" and our experience with supposedly "good public schools" lead us to homeschool.

I have a good Catholic friend who had a similar experience with a Baptist-ish school where the younger grades were pleasant but they pulled their children out by middle school because of the anti-Catholic teachings. The went to public school and with lots and lots of her parental involvement, they are doing fine and strong in their faith.

If you decide to send your children to public school, be prepared to get involved. Actually, no matter where your children go to school, be prepared to be heavily involved.
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  #9  
Old Apr 30, '13, 1:30 pm
ThyKingdomCome ThyKingdomCome is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Catholic Heritage Curricula is also a lovely "boxed" curriculum that you could use. Kolbe Academy, Mother of Divine Grace, and Agelicum are the other major Catholic curriculum providers.

I would just like to offer my own experience. I do not have the patience to homeschool my children. But I do it anyway, and I am learning to grow in patience (boy am I a slow learner), and I continue to be happy with my choice to homeschool my children, even though it isn't perfect, and I am not perfect (or even close), and my mothering is not perfect.

I have a "stretchy shirt" analogy that was inspired by the stretchy undershirts that I bought at the "Motherhood" maternity store when I was pregnant with one of my kids. I bought that shirt while I still had plenty of growing to do. And the shirt looked tiny on the hanger. I thought, "I'll never be able to fit that tiny thing over my belly." But sure enough, in the dressing room, the shirt stretched and fit over my 5 month pregnant belly. "Ok," I thought, "but it will never fit me when I am 8 months pregnant." Guess what, when I was 8 months pregnant, that shirt was the size of me at 8 months pregnant. Not before, not after, and not when I wasn't wearing it. But when I needed the shirt, it expanded to just the size I needed it to be at just the moment I needed it. God's grace is the same way. You may very well NOT have the patience to homeschool twin kindergarteners at this very moment, because you are not homeschooling twin kindergarteners. Looking at your God given virtues, you may not see a holy enough, patient enough, ___ enough mother to take on that task. But God doesn't give the grace you need ahead of time. He gives you the grace WHEN you need it. Just like the stretchy shirt, when you need His help the most, it will be there. But the fact that it is overwhelming to think about ahead of time is not proof that it can't be done, if it is something you feel God is really calling you to.

That's not to say it will be easy, or that you will love it, or that you will do it really well right away when you start. It might take a while to get into a groove where you feel like you really can do it, and you learn this different way to doing things. But if you feel like homeschooling might be the best option for your kids, or that God might be asking you to do this, have confidence that it will be ok, and that he will give you, AND your children, the graces to do it. WHEN the graces are needed.
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  #10  
Old Apr 30, '13, 1:38 pm
ThyKingdomCome ThyKingdomCome is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Oh, and there is a thing called "afterschooling" which describes putting your kids in traditional school and then supplementing their education at home as well. There is an entire forum (or subforum) about this on the Well Trained Mind Forum - not a Catholic forum, but at least it might connect you with others who are doing the same things.

Any of the homeschool providers could be used as supplementation. For those that require "enrollement," you could register them for one class, and you can also purchase lesson plans and textbooks a la cart to use as you please.

If you decide to go the "afterschooling" / supplementation route, what subjects would you want to teach at home? There is an online instruction program for the Faith and Life Religion curriculum (which is an excellent curriculum for teaching the faith, and which is used by many homeschoolers) http://www.mycatholicfaithdelivered....e=FaithAndLife . But this is only for grades 1 and up. Ignatius Press, which publishes the Faith and Life books (you can buy them as real books and not do them online at all), also offers a program for Kindergarten called "Who Am I" which you might like, and which can be used by anyone. You can also buy any of Seton's workbooks without enrolling in their classes, and use them.
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Old May 3, '13, 12:17 am
GreyRabbit GreyRabbit is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Hopefully this won't be hijacking the thread, but I've a question relating to this homeschooling option: if you have a kid who is in, say HS but you have kids in lower grade levels, would you be homeschooling all of them all at the same time? Or...well I don't know, lol! How does that work out?

Also, I'm not very smart myself, especially with math and the sciences. I'd be afraid of having to teach those subjects when I'm sooooo weak in them myself!
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  #12  
Old May 3, '13, 6:03 am
ThyKingdomCome ThyKingdomCome is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

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Originally Posted by GreyRabbit View Post
Hopefully this won't be hijacking the thread, but I've a question relating to this homeschooling option: if you have a kid who is in, say HS but you have kids in lower grade levels, would you be homeschooling all of them all at the same time? Or...well I don't know, lol! How does that work out?

Also, I'm not very smart myself, especially with math and the sciences. I'd be afraid of having to teach those subjects when I'm sooooo weak in them myself!
Homeschoolers with multilple children make it a goal for their children to learn to study independently (what a great skill!), so that a high school student will hopefully be pretty independent, and not need one to one teaching for a very long portion of each day. So if you keep a traditional schedule, your older children who are more independent would be working on their own while you are instructing your younger ones directly. Depending on the number and needs of the children, this can go very smoothly, or be difficult. Some people don't use the traditional school schedule, and will save difficult subjects for a different time of the day or week, or let Dad teach a subject when he is home.

Also, you'd be surprised the options that are available now for teaching different subjects. Several math curriculum have dvd/cd-rom instruction as the main learning part of the lessons. Also the homeschool teachers guides give a lot of explanation and help to the parents, making it possible to teach it more easily than people expect. The curriculum providers often have some form of extra assistance that they can provide the students, so that the student can go to the advisors with difficult questions. And most recently, online classes are becoming more common, where the student sits at his computer and participates remotely in a class with other remotely participating students and a teacher, and then turns in their work to that teacher, which is pretty similar to the way it would be if the child were in school. There is definitely a way to get around the problem of a parent not feeling equipped to handle the instruction themselves. Although if that parent who is weak in math teaches their kids from the beginning, they also have the opportunity to learn along with the children, and end up able to help them with the higher levels when it gets to that point. I am doing this with my ds in Latin. I am learning from the beginning with him, and even though I don't know it any better than he does, the extra help I get with answer keys and teacher's manual added to my maturity enables me to help him solve problems when he gets stuck. If it gets to the point that I feel like I don't have time to keep learning with him, or I can't keep up with his quick mind, I am confident that he will still learn the language effectively, because of all of the other resources available to us.
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Old May 3, '13, 6:08 am
catholicmamajoy catholicmamajoy is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyRabbit View Post
Hopefully this won't be hijacking the thread, but I've a question relating to this homeschooling option: if you have a kid who is in, say HS but you have kids in lower grade levels, would you be homeschooling all of them all at the same time? Or...well I don't know, lol! How does that work out?

Also, I'm not very smart myself, especially with math and the sciences. I'd be afraid of having to teach those subjects when I'm sooooo weak in them myself!
Every family has their own way of doing things regarding schedules when homeschooling multiple kids. By the time my oldest was in high school, he was pretty self-sufficient and followed the lesson plans/syllabi on his own, so he needed minimal (if any) direct teaching. As far as those subjects that you feel you are weak in....Outsource! We used community college and earned dual credits, which gave him a jump-start on earning his degree. There are also online options (both college and high school) and larger homeschool groups will often have co-ops or classes just for teens with subjects that can be difficult to do alone. Try to attend a Catholic homeschooling conference in your area- often they have talks on homeschooling teens and preparing them (spiritually and academically) for life after high school.
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  #14  
Old May 3, '13, 6:13 am
TheRealJuliane TheRealJuliane is offline
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Default Re: Catholic Education Options--What to do ? Private school, Public school. Seton HS

DO NOT send your children to the Baptist school! We're not Baptists and their errors are many and pervasive. Eliminate that option from your list immediately.

I am a strong homeschool supporter for many reasons. I think most parents underestimate their ability to help their children learn - we've given way too much power to government or institutionalized schools over the centuries and accepted the model of education that we took mostly from Germany. I believe that learning is built-in to us and that children will learn naturally, especially when they aren't tired from spending long hours in groups of age-peers in structured classrooms like little prisons. Yes, I have opinions about school!
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