Catholic School Decision


#1

I would like some input into an important decision my husband and I are trying to make. We are the parents of 4 children, 3 are school age. My 2 oldest have been in the public school system. They both make excellent grades. In the past 3 years we have committed ourselves to weekly mass attendance. Before this point we did not attend mass for almost 7 years (long story…) We have one daughter in a private (non Catholic) preschool. Next year she will be in Kindergarten. My oldest 2 will be in 6th and 4th grades next year. My husband and I can now clearly see the disconnect with our oldest 2 in regards to faith and real life. They have swallowed the humanist world view and are almost anti religion in their mind set. My eldest son, tells me that he might believe in reincarnation and that all that stuff at church may be made up. I myself remember the questioning period that comes at about his age. My concern is that he has no experience of true Catholicism and is too wrapped up in the liberal worldview of his peers. We recently had him shadow at the local Catholic school. Originally, he was excited but after a week told us that he did not want to leave his current school. Our 8 year old daughter feels that leaving her school would be the end of her life. Oh course, these decisions do not rest with them. I am concerned about the kids resenting the Catholic school and that complicating their acclimation to it. Our preschool daughter would like to go to Catholic school. My husband and I are struggling with this.

Money is another important factor. It would cost us $1055 a month for the three children to go to Catholic School. We were told today that the school MAY be able to give us a 10% discount. And that we can apply for help with our pastor. My husband is currently unemployed and in school. He will graduate in July. He is projected to earn $35,000/yr when he graduates. I make more working as a nurse. The total cost a year is $10,550 for the Catholic school. My husband went to Catholic school through eighth grade and felt that it was important for him. I went to both Catholic and public school.

I realize that others have posted on this topic. I am just at a crossroads as I need to submit the papers this week if we are to consider Catholic school next year. Any comments would be appreciated.:confused:


#2

The worst four years of my life, by far, was my four years in a Catholic high school. However, that fact that it was Catholic had nothing to do with it. I hated it from my freshmen year to my senior year. There was virtually no options for anyone not an athlete-no band, no chorus, no other clubs, just sports. A chess club for one year, and the drama club was comically inept. With small enrollment, you could feel out of place and very lonely. There simply wasn’t enough people to bond with.

My Catholic jr. high years were not much better.

College was great, so it’s not like I have anything against education. Just think long and hard about sending your children there.

I have NOTHING against Catholic school in general-just mine in particular! :cool:


#3

I had the opposite experience- my 4 years in a Catholic high school were the best of my life :) In fact, if it wasn't for the faith centered curriculum and the devout friends I made at that high school, I probably wouldn't be Catholic now.

As for elementary school and middle school, I attended a typical k-8 Catholic school. The religious education was mediocre most of the time, although there were those few teachers who really knew what they were talking about. We did attend Mass weekly, and had daily religion class. But I think the main difference was just that it was a lot more sheltered. It did not give us the education we needed to maintain our faith outside of middle school (as most of my friends who went on to public high schools are now cafeteria Catholic at best) but it did shelter us from the liberal, materialistic world view you mentioned.

My advice? (and bear in mind, I'm 18) The 6th grader probably isn't going to benefit much from switching at this point. If he seems excited about it again, or shows interest, then maybe he would, but his attitude about it is going to be a big factor. I would recommend getting him involved with Catholic groups outside of school, youth groups and such so he can make friends with kids who are being raised with the values you want him to have (there is such thing as positive peer pressure), and really focusing on his Catholic education at home. As for your 8 year old, it really depends on her personality, which obviously you know better then me :p If you really think she would resent switching schools, then maybe it isn't the best idea. If you think she is just being dramatic (I was such a drama queen at that age...ok, so i still am :D) then maybe switching would be good. Either way, I'd still recommend something like a Catholic youth group, and definitely a focus on the faith at home.

If they stay in public school or not, I would still HIGHLY recommend a good Catholic high school if you can find one. You have to be careful, because some are Catholic only in name (we have one around here that we call the rich kids public school). I think high school is crucial, because when they are a new little freshman, its like they're putty all over again, and its easy to be swayed by others ideas. But by the time they are a senior, their ideas are a lot more firmly set. The things that stuck early on are going to be harder to dislodge now. And the ideas they graduate with are the ones they take with them when they go off to college with out you.

As for your younger kids, if you can send them to a Catholic k-8, great, I'd recommend it. If not, just make sure they are surrounded with the type of people who aren't going to lead them astray, and that they grow up surrounded by their faith at home.

I wish I had some advice about money, but all I can say is pray. My parents managed to keep my brother and I in private school through bankruptcy and living with my grandparents. Granted, there were only two of us, but if you think its what is best for your family, God will provide.

Good luck, I'll keep your family in my prayers :)


#4

I dont mean this offensively at all, but I feel as though public school will give the students a better education.(I am a student teacher right now, so I have looked into Catholic vs. Public) So for K-8 you may want to keep them in Catholic school. Then in high school you could have them go to Catholic school.

Instead of spending money you may not have right now, maybe you could have your children read the bible with you, or some activity about our faith for a certain amount of time. Make sure they are involved in CCD.

You also could have your eldest two stay at their schools, and the third child go to Catholic school as well.

It can be very traumatic for children to lose all of their friends. They will meet new friends, but especially for your 6th grader, he will see it as something you chose for him, and not something he chose for himself. With him you may want to say. We are going to discuss our faith at 5 o’clock every Wednesday for 45 minutes (or take them to adoration, or pray the rosary together, if you read the bible together read Matthews gospel :slight_smile: )OR you can go to Catholic school. Its not a punishment, its a choice for him to make. And by the sounds of it he will chose choice number one.

I know a lot of my friends who went to Catholic school (I didnt) and I know a lot more about our faith then they do because of the research I’ve chosen to do on my own. Some children need the structure from parents to make the choice on their own. As long as you provide that, I dont see a problem.

Friends are also important, and find a parish with lifeteen for high school :slight_smile:

Hopw this helps.


#5

I’m an education major and I start my class room observation this semester! :slight_smile: Isn’t it interesting seeing the classroom from the other side of the desk?

As for better education, that is going to vary widely depending on school. I know in my case, the education I received in private school was much better then I could have gotten in a public school. Even now that I’m at a community college, I can see the difference. My high school classes were on a higher level then many of my college courses, and its one of the best community colleges on the east coast.

But at the same time, I have heard of private schools that provided a much lower quality education. It’s really going to depend on the individual schools.


#6

Well, my kids don’t attend building school. But when we were discerning our educational plan, we felt pretty strongly that it would be public school or homeschool (we chose homeschool). Our main reason for the exclusion of Catholic school was the money. We could’ve afforded it, but we didn’t consider it a wise use of our money, especially when college will loom with enormous costs. It also helped that the Catholic school that we were considering is not exactly a bastien of orthodoxy. Whether or not they actually teach untruths, or whether they just teach Catholic - lite, I don’t know for sure. But our philosophy was that our kids could understand that a secular school is not a good faith example, better than they could understand that a Catholic school teaching error is not a good faith example.

On the other hand, going to a Catholic school, even a mediocre one, will likely result in God’s name being used throughout the day. And it will also result in your children belonging to a Catholic community. Even if your school is not perfectly orthodox, there will probably be other families there who take the faith seriously, so it will give you an opportunity to make those connections.

FWIW, I think an 8yo is young enough that they will adjust to a new school pretty well, and be able to make new friends. I only kept one friend from before 3rd grade - every other friend I had as an older child was made in 4th grade or later.

It’s a tough decision. For some families, the huge financial sacrifice of Catholic school is worth it, for others it’s not. God bless your discernment.


#7

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