For Homeschool Families: Questions


**Not sure if this thread should be under here, or under parenting.
Mods, feel free to move it if need be.
We are highly considering homeschooling starting this August.
Okay, I have some questions for all homeschooling families.
Here goes:

  1. Do you have a separate room in your home only for “class” or do you have class in the family room, kitchen, etc.? I would think for the kids to have a more structured environment that a separate room would be needed so it can be ‘decorated’ for school purposes and that way they could focus more on learning than on other distractions around?? :shrug: Again, I am asking for ideas here.

  2. Do you have school desks? Or table and chairs? I just don’t want the kitchen table to be looked at as a school table and then have the kids have to have class and meals at the same table, know what I mean?? :shrug:

  3. Curriculum ideas? Seton, Kolbe, CHC? Angelicum? Have you ever participated in a co-op program for homeschooler families? Any ideas that you may have or advice, please offer it.

Thanks in advance for your help/advice:thumbsup: **


We use our dining room table. I do have a wall I use for maps, brag papers, charts, schedule, etc. I’ve found a large (as large as possible) white board is very, very useful.

We use the dining room table, so it has to be cleared a lot.

We use A-beka for math, seton for handwriting, mcp phonics and 100 Easy lessons for teaching reading, historical novels and textbooks for history, Apologia for Science ( I love their elementary series), lots of reading, Faith and Life for religion–also lots of read alouds for religion. King of the Golden City for first communion prep. Race for Heaven also has a great first communion program.

I love co-op!


We used the dining room table and their bedrooms.

I highly recommend reading Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum by Laura Berquist. Lots of great information, even if you don’t put together your own curriculum.

—KCT (homeschool mom for over 16 years :slight_smile: )


**Another question that I forgot to put in the original post is how did your parents/in laws react to the idea of homeschooling?

Obviously I will not base my decision upon whether they agree with it or not. However I need a top 10 list of really great reasons why it is such an awesome thing to do for your children. I have my own reasons, just not sure if they are witty enough to use on the relatives.
We already know MIL’s opinion of it (and of course she thinks it is “looney” ). We need to have some great feedback from those of you who have been there, done that.

Thanks again for all of your help…:wink: **


We don’t homeschool but one of the families in our parish does and they turned their formal dining room into a classroom. They had little desks and a chalkboard and everything. They were homeschooling 4 kids at the time with their 5th soon to start.


My parents think it is fine. My dad was accepting, but a little skeptical (as a retired science teacher). My mom thinks the lifestyle is too hard on me. She had four children within four years and I think sending us to school was a great break for her. It helps because some of her very devout Catholic acquaintances have grandchildren being homeschooled.

My MIL doesn’t like it. She says things to my husband, but never to me. If we come across an article with positive things to say about hsing, we pass it along to her. My FIL doesn’t really express an opinion.

Our family culture is to not discuss things. So, we don’t. :stuck_out_tongue:

But, I have friends who have done open houses for grandparents so they can see the great stuff they do. One couple I know invited the grandparents to the homeschool conference. My friend’s MIL came away thinking hsing is a great thing, but that she (the dil) was qualified. :smiley:

Isn’t it funny–it seems like there is no pleasing some MILs.

The thing is if my inlaws came to us with an open attitude and lots of questions, we would love to share with them. But, they just grumble behind our backs. So, we don’t worry about it.


Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to justify your decisions or convince others you’re right. Often, the more ‘reasons’ you give for a decision, the more people want to argue. And it really doesn’t matter if your MIL doesn’t approve. They’re not her kids to raise.

If family is not supportive, come up with one line and use it as often as necessary. “We’ll decide from year to year what’s best for the kids.” End of discussion. If they really want to know more about homeschooling, offer to give them a book about it.


some families I know have desks in the kids room :smiley: A lot of families don’t have the extra space to devote one whole room to school.
My S-I-L uses her entire house. The kids can do their work wherever it pleases them, in the garage, outside, hanging upside down (okay maybe not), on the couch, at the table. The boy has a desk in his room when he needs quiet from his sisters.

When we start, I’m not sure what we’ll do. You just need to know that homeschooling is flexible. Be willing to scrap the “schoolroom” idea if it’s not working for the kids.
My in-laws have already been exposed to the idea through my SIL, so hopefully it won’t be that hard.
I’m kind of nervous what to tell my mother. :o

Here’s some books to read:
The ultimate guide to homeschooling by Debra Bell

check HERE


We are not currently homeschooling but when we did we didn’t have a special room. We used practically the whole house. I used a non-Catholic specific curriculum called Sonlight. There is alot of reading aloud in their program (which I love), so most of that happened on the couch. Math, grammer, and spelling usually happened at the dining room table. Science was usually in the kitchen or outside! LOL Tons of experiments and tons of Magic School Bus books. I kept their school stuff in tubs so it was easy to pick up and move around.
Lots of things we’ve done as parents have been different from the way we were raised, so we were used to sidestepping comments from family. The proof is in the pudding as they say and at 13 and 10 our kids have turned out well so far, so we get very few comments now.


I have homeschooled, public schooled and “Catholic” schooled. Homeschool has been the best, to say the least. Even though the kids are in an enclosed environment, there is much to be said about that. No name-calling, no threats, no foul language, etc. I know my kids are safe and receiving a great education. My 18 yr. old just graduated from Seton in Virginia. It was awesome. She’s very smart. Good luck with the hs!:slight_smile:


I will be home schooling my ds and possible my dd this year. I am removing ds from public schools because they have so totally failed to get him into the programs they promised to 3 yrs ago and do the testing necessary. I asked them to test him back 3 yrs ago when his counselor suspected dyslexia and he already had a diagnosis of ADHD. When I asked for the testing, they told me I had no right to ask for the testing!!! Mom’s apparently can’t ask for their child to be tested and the counselor he was seeing was from Catholic Charities not the school system. Funny thing is, I finally threatened lawsuit over some other stuff and viola! they decided to do the testing and lo and behold he is dyslexic and they put him in a special program after 3 yrs of wasting his and my time. I had a long talk with the counselors at Seton about homeschooling him and they are willing to work with him. He is so far behind academically yet his CAT tests showed that he is actually above the national average for his grade level and age. So, I was leery to tell my family about this but I finally told my sister and she thought it was such a cool idea. Mom won’t even be told until much later just so she doesn’t try to influence me and none of my other sibs are going to be told because they have no business knowing.

Now dd is another story… she goes to a very good Catholic school and is doing well but it costs about $6000 a year. I am struggling with money right now after breaking my leg, having a miscarriage, ds had ankle surgery, and the dog was in the vet hospital… I am drained!!! Even after insurance, my part of all these bills has me broke. I wish she could continue at the school, but I find it unlikely that I will be able to afford it.

The one thing going for me is that both my kids are in high school so most of the classes and lectures are online. I work full time so any classes I need to work extensively with them will have to be after I get home. As I said before, thankfully, my kids are older and understand that their day may not end at 3:00 and that they might have to take a “night” class or two…

I am waiting on making my decision about dd until my boss comes home from vacation since she is his favorite and he did help with her tuition last year with donations for a tax write off for him and tuition for dd. I was supposed to get a raise a year ago, but he decided against giving me my raise because the company hadn’t taken off like he wanted it to. I just found out yesterday that not only is that company starting to take off now but one of our other companies that we just started is expected to gross over 50mil in the next year. I better get my raise this year!!!

Yesterday when I was bored I went to for entertainment and I typed in Catholic homeschool and I found a series of videos about Catholic homeschooling from a Seton… it was pretty good. If you have about a half hour to check it out you might like the reasons she gives for homeschooling and the answers to other questions you have.


My sister in law sent me an article on the negatives of homeschooling. With all good intentions. She is a wonderful person. I sent an eight page letter back countering each point the article brought up. I never heard another word about it.
Luckily my sister homeschooled first so I didnt have to hear from my parents…though they may not be totally for it they certainly see that it has been good for my sisters kids as well as my own…now my husband on the other hand…after 5 years he still doesnt like it. Go figure:shrug: He hasnt been an obstacle though. I am very grateful…I’ve heard some horror stories:(

Good luck!!


I haven’t started homeschooling yet, but intend to. My dad seems ok with it because my sister did it. I think more and more people are warming up to homeschooling because of the deplorable state of secular messianic education out there.


The kitchen table. It has plenty of room to stack books, etc., on, and my son doesn’t get distracted by things like toys, the TV, etc.

Why does it matter? :shrug: Maybe it’s just me, but when I was growing up, the kitchen table was used for everything from eating to reading to fixing appliances to processing deer.

Of course, I grew up in the country… :slight_smile:

Still working on this one myself. I haven’t used a “formal” curriculum yet; I’ve been laying the groundwork since last winter by using various books picked up from here and there, along with a dryboard and sheets of the elementary-school style lined paper. He’s doing well with reading, and I throw in bits each day dealing with stuff like geography, history, natural science, etc., and of course catechism…for that, I’ve been using the old Baltimore Catechism. Must be working because it’s his favorite subject. :slight_smile:

[quote=mamacita]Another question that I forgot to put in the original post is how did your parents/in laws react to the idea of homeschooling?

Within the family, we ran the gamut of reactions from skepticism (“Are you sure you can do that?”) to dismay (“Why, you can’t do that!”) to outright hostility (“I won’t hear of such a thing!”) The last came from sisters-in-law, all of whom are public school teachers.

One in particular was very hostile, and every time we’d meet would go on and on about how terrible it was (“just a travesty!”) that we were depriving our son of a “formal education”, and about how wonderful the local public schools are (she has friends who teach there); until the last time she started in, I pulled a newspaper clipping out of my wallet about several elementary children in that very same school who were sexually molested by a member of the administration of that school, slammed it down on the table, and asked, “Is this the type of environment you expect to put my son into?”

She mumbled a series of weak defenses and excuses, and I haven’t heard a word out of her since.


We use the kitchen table, but I am looking into getting a kid-sized table for Vivi.
We use the CHC preschool-kindergarten program, and we love it! I like their program because Catholicism is intertwined in everything.
Vivi is only 3, so we don’t do much formally, but I do integrate the ideas from the lessons plans and some of the worksheets into our day.
Sorry I can’t be more helpful…


**Thanks to all for the replies and words of encouragement, it really means a lot to me.

Keep them coming!!!

DH is all for it. One of my sis in laws on my side homeschooled a year ago when they lived in FL since the school choices where they lived were pretty slim. However, now they moved and they don’t Homeschool anymore. My mom actually said a few months ago when we were supposed to be moving to Denver “I think you should homeschool DS so he doesn’t have to be so overwhelmed w/ the move and switching schools again” So, it’s just the in laws that will give us grief, but we are used to that, they always give us trouble over how many kids we want etc…

We switched from a Legionaries school where he attended pre k, K, and 1st. Tuition was outrageous, even w/ financial aid. So we got to thinking that once DD starts school there is no way we could do it financially (and by all means, we aren’t driving new cars, no new tv, etc. so it’s not like we weren’t sacrificing). So, we switched him to our parish school. Academically, I believe it was a waste of money. He was bored. Didn’t want to move him up a grade because then he would have been so much younger than all of the other kids. Also, towards the middle to the end of the school year (I volunteered up there quite a bit: playground, room mom, etc) I was seeing things go on between the kids that just really broke my heart and made me rethink ‘why am I spending money for my son to see this go on??’ I just think that academically speaking, at home we could move ahead on certain subjects that he is advanced in etc. and the rest we will go with the flow.

Again, thank you to you all for your input. Feel free to share some more. Or PM me too if you’d like.:wink: **


We use Kolbe and I love them-- very flexible and extremely helpful. We use our DR table to homeschool but the kids have desks in their rooms, too. Sometimes they need the quiet of their own room.

If you do homeschool, I would suggest joining the Homeschool Legal Defense Association ( They are an excellent resource and they can tell you all the details of the homeschooling requirements in your state. They will also defend their members free of charge should that rare occasion arise when a homeschooling family comes under scrutiny from DCFS or a school district.

There is a website (I think it may be, but you can google it) that will give you any Catholic homeschooling groups in your area. These groups are helpful in connecting to other families in your area.

Hope it all goes well for your family!


We are just using our dining room table and a small Little Tykes table. Right now I am only “homeschooling” one preschooler, and I have a toddler along for the ride.

For our preschool program I have just made up my own program using whatever I can get my hands on that I think my son would like. I have officially ordered and enrolled him in the Angelicum Academy kindergarten program for the fall, though.


We do everything in the kitchen, and I dont recommend it. The room is always a mess!! If you have a separate room you could use, I would do that with a special desk for school. We use the Mother of Divine Grace, overall it has been great. There are some books on the syllabus that don’t get used much, though. The program is flexible and they will work with you if you want to change a text for some reason.

I highly recommend homeschooling. I have never met such wonderful Catholics adults and kids since we began homeschooling.


Hope this doesn’t interfere with the original post, but just wondering how many of you teach only one subject per day, instead of several/most subjects each day?

I’m thinking of doing this year in that manner (one subject per day), but wondering if my son will “forget” what we learn in each subject if we’re only doing it one day per week.

Any thoughts?



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