Can I homeschool my son to receive the sacraments?

Our son child attends daily Mass with us and accompanies us to frequent confession (once or more per month) and discusses the Scripture with us. He tested well with the Director of Religious Education and was given credit for the first year of preparation for first Holy Communion. He yearns to receive the Eucharist and to confess his sins to the priest and so worked hard this summer to memorize the Nicene Creed, the Act of Contrition, and to understand more deeply about the Eucharist.

Our DRE communicated to us that instead of being tested to evaluate his preparation that he would be required to sit in the traditional second-year class each week for this academic year and could neither receive his first Eucharist now nor be homeschooled for the second year of preparation. Knowing that parents are the first educators and our family represents the domestic church, we are puzzled. Please advise. God bless you!

It sounds to me like the DRE has acknowledged that you have taught your son well by giving your son credit for one year of sacramental preparation. The parish apparently feels that your son would benefit by taking part in parish instruction for his second year, possibly because it will help them to better assess his readiness for the sacraments and introduce him to the larger parish community.

Yes, parents are a child’s primary educators, but they are not a child’s only educators. It is not unreasonable for the parish to seek to have input into your son’s sacramental preparation, in cooperation with you, since the pastor is responsible for the care of souls in his parish. You are free as parents to monitor your son’s catechesis and to supplement it at home. If you become concerned about your son’s parish classes, bring your concerns to the attention of the DRE and the pastor.

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