Homeschooling


#1

Anybody out there Home School? Ever since I saw Dr.Mary Kay Clark on ETWN w/ Fr.Mitch Pacwa on 8/22 I have whole-heartedly subscribed to the notion that this is the best way to go for my kids. BTW, Dr.Clark is the director of Seton Home Study and I am just eating up everything on their website.

So DH saw me reading a book on homeschooling and we got into it. He is a convert, but I’ve come to realize that he really on converted so we could marry. I still have hope . . .Anyway, he thinks I am just a fanatic and said that his children will absolutely not be homeschooled. Little one is only 15mo, so I have a few years to pray for his conversion. I thought about doing 9 consecutive months of First Friday/Saturday masses for this intention.

Everything I read says that as a Catholic parent, I have the right and the duty to educate my children as I see fit, but how do you do this when your spouse is so vehemently opposed? I could never go behind his back, and I think he’d undermine me with the children or maybe do something even more drastic, legally or otherwise.

I will have to talk to my priest one-on-one about this sometime and we have a homeschooling family in the parish, I should call mom sometime and ask her. Also, our NFP instructor homeschooled her children, so I have some resources, but I’m still timid about working this out w/ DH. We have a nice little Catholic school here where I went as a child, but even some of the teachers are not Catholic and few students as well . . .

Any suggestions? Anybody have any experience w/ this?


#2

There are people here who are very, extremely, in your face pro homeschooling. There are also people here who can’t imagine anything other than Catholic schools. There are people here who send their children to public schools and think everyone else should, too.

That said, it seems like what is right for your family in the education arena should be something both you and your husband are behind.

You could pray for your husband’s conversion, but I think you are equating his conversion with his agreement with your plans for homeschooling the children. Praying for his continued conversion is a good thing - but not if your motive is so that he’ll agree with you.


#3

Have you asked him why he is against homeschooling? I hope some people here can give you a well rounded view of the pro and cons, so hat you can share this with your husband. I too have thought about it, but have been wary for personal reasons—i have periodic bouts with depression throughout my life, and wonder if I could be stable for the commitment. I mean you have to be very structured. I was public school teacher for a while, so I know the planning that goes into lessons, and keeping firm track of grades and testing and ditto sheets and books and EVERYTHING—it is 90% management and 10% teaching----NOT that the kids are suffering for it;but the planning, structure,and management make for better teaching and learning of the students. No, I haven’t homeschooled, but I imagine this is how it would be for that too.

I hope the best for you and your family:)


#4

Hello,

I home school my two DC with Seton. I love it and it works wonderfully with my family. I highly recommend it. However HSing is a family thing, which means that the whole family is involved with it. I know of a couple of families where one of the spouses aren’t on board and they are doing fine, but it is rather hard. I suggest that if you really think this is what God is calling your family to do you should pray for your husband and ask God for guidance. I would wait until you are both on board before beginning HSing.

I will pray for you and your family.


#5

I have an 18 month old boy, and I really want to homeschool when he starts kindergarten. I have no idea where to begin and would like to read some books on it, since I have several years to decide if it’s something I am capable of doing. Does anyone know a book to read that outlines how to go about homeschooling?

As for the original poster, I will pray that your husband joins you in your decision to homeschool.

God Bless You.


#6

Hello,

We have been a homeschooling family for 7+ years now and we love it. It isn’t for everyone but in my heart I believe that it is what God calls us to do.

I don’t care what school your children attend, they will be learning their morals and character from their classmates for 6 hours a day. I’d rather our children learned that from us instead.

There are pros and cons to each side and I won’t get into that here.

My DH is ok with homeschooling but not involved in it. He would be fine if I decided to drop the kids off at the public school tomorrow morning too.

I have a different view from the poster above that is a teacher. Because I am only homeschooling 2 children there is not the management involved like there would be in the school system. I don’t have to teach them to raise their hand, ask to go to the bathroom, line up for recess, that sort of thing. If you have decent discipline in your home your children will listen to you and my children love being homeschooled.

The work involved gets progressively more intense as your children get older and then less intense as your children take on more responsibility for their own education as they get even older.

When children are JK, SK, grade 1 age the schooling for them doesn’t often take more than about 1 - 2 hours a day at most. This is because we can skip busy work, lining up for recess and that kind of thing.

There are difficulties to homeschooling like keeping toddlers busy, working around breastfeeding and babies, having people in your house all the time (makes it messier), teaching subjects you hated as a kid and still hate. It is also a big commitment for the family, especially mom.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world. These children are ours, given to us by God, and I want to do everything I can to raise them to love Him and live for Him. That means keeping them from being indoctrinated with secular thinking and worldview until they are old enough to know what they believe and why they believe it.

Having said all of that, I don’t believe you should go against your husbands wishes. You do, however, have plenty of time to research, teach your babies as they grow and show your husband the benefits of homeschooling. You also have lots of time to pray for God to guide your husband in whatever God believes is right for your family.

God Bless,
Re
PS. That socialization stuff is a bunch of nonsense too! Most homeschooling groups have plenty of opportunity for your children to make friends and socialize…friends that you can discern are suitable for your children based on their families beliefs and morals…not just whoever is in their class at school. Our children participate in 2 separate gym programs, visit homeschooled friends frequently, swim with homeschoolers, do crafts with homeschoolers, do field trips with homeschoolers! You name it. If socialization in the school system means my child is asking for condoms and clean needles at age 11 - no thanks!!!


#7

Hi Cecilia, my suggestions to win your dh over to hsing:

  1. Pray–your novena idea is awesome.
  2. Begin to socialize with hsing families, so he can see the fruits of hsing.
  3. take him to a Catholic hs conference–even if you don’t hs, they have nice spiritual talks and a great vendor hall that has lots of good Catholic material for any household.
  4. Tell him that you will not hs against his wishes, but you would like him to explore it with you as an option.
  5. Tell him that you would to like hs during summers and breaks–he’ll like the idea of an academic edge, plus you can use the time to beef up their Catholic world view and religious ed.
  6. Ask him if you can try it for the kindergarten year. It’ll save you money for tuition and it would be a great time to try it.

Really, you can’t hs without his support. A husband doesn’t have to be involved in the day to day details, but he must be there in a supervisory/support role.

I hope you do get to hs because it is such a great lifestyle, but if it doesn’t happen–you can have a very happy, holy family life. I think it takes a little more work if you kids are in school because so much of their time is taken up outside of the home. But, that’s okay.

Most of all, be at peace about it. :slight_smile:


#8

I agree with PaulinVA who pointed out you need not equate your husband’s heartfelt conversion with any decision to homeschool. These are separate issues. You need to find out your husband’s objections / fears about homeschooling so that you can address them properly. It may be simple lack of familiarity with the idea that is so disturbing to him, and once you and he learn more about it, his objections may be melt away. Or it may be the fear that you and your children would go in a very strict, orthodox Catholic, isolationist direction and would inadvertently slip farther and farther away from him.

There are many reasons to homeschool. Some people homeschool for religious reasons: family rather than an external institution as center of life, solid religion instruction not at the mercy of possible cafeteria-Catholic school teacher, sex ed parents’ way, no bullying/ foul-language/ materialistic / classmates, etc. Other people are concerned about the government’s increasing infringement of rights, e.g. second amendment rights to guns for self-defense from criminals and tyrannical state, seizing private property under eminent domain, burdensome regulation of businesses, and significantly higher taxes than anything the American colonists who rebelled from England ever dreamed of paying. And these people see the public schools being used to indoctrinate kids into liberal, politically correct propaganda: trust in the “nanny state,” let us experts take care of everything for you, involuntary wealth redistribution via welfare and other gov’t programs, pre-marital/ homosexual/ contracepted sex and abortion taught in school, reinterpretation of history, the U.S. is an evil empire destroying Native American cultures and the Earth in general, and nothing good ever came from Western culture. (Yes, I’m exaggerating here, but you get the idea.) Other parents are concerned that a lot of time is just wasted in institutional classrooms: standing in line, handing out papers, taking attendance, dealing with discipline problems. These parents want more time spent on actual instruction and custom-pacing for their learning-disabled or gifted students. Homeschooling offers one-on-one instruction that NO INSTITUTION would ever be able to afford giving. So my point is, there are so many good reasons to homeschool, maybe your husband can find non-religious reasons to support a homeschooling decision.

to be continued…


#9

LISA Annette posted a concern about long-term commitment and structure: “I was public school teacher for a while, so I know the planning that goes into lessons, and keeping firm track of grades and testing and ditto sheets and books and EVERYTHING—it is 90% management and 10% teaching.” Please remember this amount of organization and structure is only necessary when teaching 20-25 students and having to communicate their progress to their parents; it’s a lot easier when teaching your own children, one at a time. I order all my books from one place, www.setonbooks.com, which takes maybe a couple of hours in August depending on how many of my children are school-aged. When the books arrive, I calculate how many lessons or pages are in each book and divide by a 36-week or 180-day school year. I write inside their record book cover the list of books and number of lessons or pages we need to cover per day or per week, and poof, lesson-planning is done, maybe an hour or two per child. I don’t need to keep track of attendance per se because each child’s record book shows if we did work on a given day, what subjects and what pages. I don’t need to keep track of tests or grades a la report cards because, TA DA, I AM the parent and I know how my child is doing in every subject. (When my children reach high school, I will formally enroll my kids with Seton and be more structured with sending in tests and compositions, and Seton will issue a report card for college admissions purposes.) I don’t really have ditto sheets per se. Maybe I’ll have my kids photocopy a page or two on our home printer/ scanner/ copier if I don’t want them writing in a particular textbook. (Some books are consumable workbooks, written in and “used up” by each child; others are textbooks not to be written in that can be re-used by later children.) And of course, I’ll throw in various enrichment activities and field trips throughout the year.

On the commitment issue: You have to know why you’re homeschooling and be (or become) self-disciplined and organized enough to follow through on your plan. But if you keep firmly in mind WHY you’re doing this, praying for strength in your vocation of motherhood in forming your little ones, you CAN get through the inevitable difficulties and frustrations.

By all means, take your time researching this option. It may seem scary from the outside looking in, but the teaching portion of it is not hard, in my opinion, just the discipline, organization, and juggling multiple children. DO NOT BE AFRAID. :slight_smile:


#10

15 year veteran here . . . :thumbsup:

Educate yourself on the topic; I always recommend Laura Berquist’s book Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. She explains her philosophy then makes grade by grade recommendations. Excellent book on education in general.

You have time to educate your husband on the topic, but if he says “no” when the time comes, that’s it. I’ve never met anyone who did it when the spouse objected. Those who have grudging approval have a hard time since the spouse is not really supportive. Good luck. You have time to pray and sacrifice if it’s really what God wants for your family. —KCT


#11

Well, I don’t equate my husband’s conversion w/ agreeing to allow me to hs our children. I explained to him that I would feel a lot more at ease about our children attending public school after Catholic school (only goes to 5th grade right now) if I knew that he was taking an active part in teaching them the faith at home by word, action, example. Esp since our little ones are boys, I want him to show them just how a good Catholic man behaves and practices his faith.

After our tiff on Friday afternoon, he decided he didn’t ‘feel’ like going to mass on Sunday . . .this aggrivates my feelings and deepens my convictions that if he isn’t going to be serious about his faith, then it’s up to me to teach our children and hope to God that by my prayers God will change his heart.

In reading what Dr.Clark has written in her homeschooling handbook, I whole-heartedly agree that every subject should be permeated with the faith. If the children are going to learn to count, forego counting cats and dogs, how ‘bout ‘1’ is for one God, ‘2’ is for Jesus’ 2 natures (fully divine and fully human), ‘3’ is for 3 persons in one God and so on.

My husband’s main opposition to hsing is the socialization and ‘sheltering the kids from the ‘real world’’ issues. When I read to him from the handbook and added my own 2 cents, he basically said that I could find any study to show the results I want it to show and that the numbers of kids surveyed only portrays a miniscule fraction of the total population. Also, that the homeschooling groups are going to make all other forms of education sound worse than they really are and just try to sell you a product. He says that people like me - fanatics - are the reason he stayed away from religion for so much of his life. IMO, I think he is just as desensitized as much of the rest of our society.

A lot of my convictions about hsing are rooted in the fact that I did not learn the faith at home and in my formative years, my parents were completely absent from my life and I was left to my own vices which resulted in some heartbreaking memories. My husband’s perspective is that his parents kept him under their thumb until he was a Sr. in HS and he said by then he went overboard with the ‘socializing’ (partying) scene whereas if his parents hadn’t been so strict, he might have been more reigned in. Whatever. He thinks our children need to learn for themselves and be allowed to make their own mistakes. Sure, to an extent . . .but there are some mistakes that they don’t need to make for themselves just for the sake of learning that those things aren’t a good idea.

And being strict doesn’t mean you have to be overbearing either. If you make home and family a desireable place and welcome your kids’ friends into your home where he’s still under your supervision, then socializing shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, we are only 3 hours away from Wichita and the Spiritual Life Center where there are plenty of opportunities for socializing with other Catholic youth (not to mention visiting gramma and grampa). But I think my husband has stereotype these groups of people as not cool enough. He is not there yet in his faith, so I think he fears having to be around ‘these kinds of people’ or my raising our children to be ‘these kinds of people’ and that they’ll be weird.

I really think he’s more concerned with how HE will be perceived b/c of the hsing stereotype, but he would only argue that I only want to hs b/c of my irrational fears. God help us. There is a hsing conference coming up next summer in Kansas City and I’m praying that he will agree to go if we can make it into a mini-vacation and do some other ‘fun’ activities while we’re up there - a Royals game or something for ‘him.’ Please pray for us.


#12

I homeschool. I agree, parents have a right to educate their children as they see fit–AND THAT INCLUDES YOUR HUSBAND! If he is vehemently opposed to homeschooling, don’t homeschool! He has rights as your child’s father and you must respect his opinions even if you don’t agree. You must come to decisions *together *regarding your child’s education. Maybe he’ll change his mind on homeschooling; maybe he won’t.

My husband thought I was a bit nuts when I introduced the idea of homeschooling. My dh is also a convert to Catholicism, and he primarily converted because of me. If your husband converted to Catholicism just to marry you, then you have proof that he’s willing to do something for your sake that he may not be fully on board with. He may do the same for homeschooling, (but probably not if you push it even after he’s expressed vehement disapproval.)

You say your little one is only 15 months old. Take your child’s educational future to God in prayer. If He wants you to homeschool, let Him change your husband’s mind. If your husband doesn’t change his mind, I don’t believe it can possible be God’s will for you to homeschool your child when your husband vehement objects. Your baby is your husband’s child too.


#13

Perhaps you could make a “deal” with your husband that you won’t homeschool without his agreement – that should set his mind at ease so his fears won’t get in the way of hearing the rest of what you have to say – but in return, out of fairness and out of love for you to whom the idea is very attractive, he should give homeschooling a fair hearing, including an honest appraisal of what your local private and public school alternatives offer, both good and bad. Claiming that a study can be found to “prove” any arbitrary point of view is just not a fair and objective listening to the case for homeschooling, in my opinion.

Some questions to ask your husband, and I doubt he has the answers right off the top of his head, are:
What are your goals for your children in their character-formation and religious / academic instruction, etc.? What kind of men (you have only boys right now, yes?) do you want them to grow up to be, with all the struggles and temptations of this day and age? Our world needs strong leaders and generous servants in many different arenas. What manners, values, habits, skills, ideas do you want to instill in them while they are under your care to grow up and go out into the adult world with? Even completely secular, no-claim-to-Christianity fathers have ideas and opinions on this subject. Only when you have the goal in mind can you answer the next question, what method of schooling is most likely to get your children to the desired “finished product” goal?

I personally love the homeschooling lifestyle, but let me reassure you that it is NOT the ONLY way to raise happy, well-adjusted, faithful Catholic adults. There is much you can do as the mother of Catholic- or public school- children to direct them and support them in their faith formation. So you please be at ease, if your husband eventually decides against homeschooling, it doesn’t mean your children will automatically leave the Faith and go to Hell. :wink: But for your own peace of mind, I think you’d be more at ease not homeschooling if you felt your husband had done an honest and fair evaluation of homeschooling before rejecting it as an option. Know what I mean? You’re both on the same side here in wanting to give your children the best possible upbringing and education, you just need to figure out together what that is.

Best wishes.


#14

Look up setonhome.org. There are other cirriculums out there like Mother Divine Grace and Catholic Heritage Cirriucula. I just picked up on Seton Home Study because I got to see the director speak on ETWN. It helps to see and hear the people behind the scenes. If you go to this website, under the tab “Considering Home Schooling” there are some excellent talks given by Dr.Mary Kay Clark (the director), Ginny Seuffert (hsing mother of 12 - awesome no-nonsence mom), and one given by a priest siting the Church’s teaching and dealing w/ the parish priest and clergy. Also, you can order Dr.Clark’s book “Catholic Home Schooling - A Parent’s Handbook” for $10 + s&h. So far it’s a pretty good read and covers things like grading, credentialling, and legal matters.


#15

I’ve home educated my older two, and I might home educate again, once the adoption in final. I’ve also run what used to be called BBS for home education.

Your baby is 15 months old. A lot of people who home educate (I know I include myself in this group), aren’t worried about formal education of babies, or even 3 and 4 year olds. You have time on your side.

I know what you are reading is exicting. Just for now, please- Put it aside, at least in your husband’s presence. Don’t mention it to your husband. If all he hears and sees is “Dr. Clark this and that” and “Homeschool this and that”, he is going to be obstinate about the whole thing. You are overloading him with information, and if he doesn’t understand, he’s ***not ***going to want to understand.

You do not need to convince your husband about home education today. You do not need to run out to the very next home education conference in your area. TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE.

According to my calculations, your toddler won’t be ready for Kindergarten until what, 2011? This gives you time to start lots of things:

  • Praying a rosary, or even a decade of the rosary, every day for the intention of your baby’s future education. Keep it simple, sweetie. :slight_smile:
  • Ask for the intercession of St. Joseph in regards to your husband as a Catholic father. St. Joseph knows all about being a father.
  • Dr. Clark’s books are very good, but there are other people with other ways of home education. Take a look at those, as well. I can recommend the HEM web site as well as Seton. Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum is a very good book.
  • You also need to be very aware of the home education law in your state.
  • I know there are other Catholics who are part of Home School Legal Defense League. I am not. I feel they do more damage than help. But that’s my :twocents:. I also don’t endorse anything by Mary Pride.
  • Go out and meet, in person, not just online, other like-minded moms, who have older children as well as babies the age as yours. You want to see how these older children behave, as well as introduce your toddler to playmates. You need nice friends. Eventually, you want your husband to meet your nice friends, and your baby’s nice friends.
  • Pay a visit to your local public school. They have open houses. Get their flyers. See what they have. Do the same with local Catholic schools, usually during Catholic Schools Week at the end of January. Collect in all in an organizaed folder.

Keep praying, keeping it simple. Don’t talk about home education again until oh, 2009, unless your husband brings up the subject.

Almost forgot- Dr. Ray and his wife, Randi, home educate.


#16

Sadly, it sounds like your dh is attempting to avoid personal responsibility for his past choices (social, religious, etc.) by pointing at others, like his parents or you. Prayer may be the only task that will help him with that, & I will include both you and your family in my prayers.

Yes, most objectors I’ve met/spoken to invoke the same horrified mantra:

“***But they won’t be socialized!!!***”. :eek:

DUN-dun-DUUUUUUUUHHH!!! [Insert dramatic musical score here.] :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, OK. Personally, I think my kids could do without learning social “etiquette” like when & how to have sex, or how to drive that fat kid in the back of class to tears at recess. (Read “Lord of the Flies” to get an idea of how children without social skills “socialize” each other.)

Anyway, perhaps it would be worth it to note things that your DH’s common sense & reason should be able to see.

For example, he’s worried that they will be “sheltered from the real world.”

Has he considered how little the artificial environment of conventional schools resembles the “real world”? How are we prepared for “the real world”, by being forced to spend 12 years with two-dozen other people just like us?

The “real world” has people who are older or younger than us; who are bigger or smaller than us; who are richer or poorer than us; or who know more or less than we do. Rather than preparing us to face those things/people/situations, conventional schooling actually shelters us from that real world by putting us in an artificial environment.

In any case, babies are little people! Whether you end up HSing or not, you don’t have to (nor should you) let your little one collect dust until a predetermined age. Since we begin learning before we get home from the hospital, if babies are left to mentally stagnate, they’ll actually get a head start in how NOT to learn!! :doh2: Start teaching your little one now! Infants not only benefit from being taught, but thrive on it!

Thankfully, my wife is pretty adamant about “eventually” homeschooling our children, so we’ve taught our children from, well, not day one, but at least day 180! My oldest (2-1/2 now) started actively using sign language at 10 months old, far before he could begin to verbalize. And my 14 month old daughter has been signing also (less than her big brother, but she has been trying to verbally say a HUGE amount sooner than he did.) Both are completely enthralled with books, & constantly amaze us at how much they absorb!

Chris


#17

Chris, you are right that children learn from before Day 1. Yours are evidence of it, as are mine. No child should be left to stagnate.

However- There is no need to formally pursue any of this until the OP’s little boy is approaching school age. There is no need, for example, to put down on paper, right now, today, that this child will definitely be home educated on September 1, 2011.

It gives the OP plenty of time to get her ducks in a row, collect the evidence for and against the other educational alternatives, and most importantly, not alienate her husband to the possibility of home education. It gives her plenty of time to meet and make friendships with other home educating parents, and to see the effects of home education on siblings. By taking her time and gradually collecting her evidence, and opening the door of their home to home educating families slowly, rather than giving the guy way too much information way too fast because she is excited and thrilled, she is going to better her chances.

It’s my opinion that if the OP keeps up on the course she’s setting for herself, she’s going to really tick her husband off! He is doing his best, and seems to want to be a father to his son, as shown in the OP’s other thread on Halloween. An involved father is a real blessing! The OP needs to have patience and work slowly right now, because trying to rush this guy who converted for her is not going to win him over to home education, or to a deeper practice of the Faith.

And the baby will learn, in any event. Trust me on this. I’ve been “doing” babies for decades.


#18

Wow, I must have really misspoken somehow! I didn’t realize I was implying in any way that one should make any formal declarations or decisions about schooling, or “rush” into anything, or “give too much information.”

My primary points were that kids can learn from day one, and that the “lack of socialization”/ “sheltered from the real world” arguments are actually more valid for conventional schooling than for homeschooling.

I’m not sure how it can be considered “rushing” or “too much information” to simply address DH’s primary objection with couple of basic questions:

  • “How are social skills supposed to be gleaned from being around a bunch of other kids without them?”, and
  • “How does the artificial environment created by conventional schools prepare anyone for the ‘real world’?”

Nonetheless, as I mentioned earlier, regardless of whether one ends up homeschooling or not, it is important to reinforce our kids desire/drive to learn & start teaching them whatever they want to know at the start.

Respectfully,

Chris


#19

It sounds like you also need to do more research to see what homeschooling entails? If the two of you research together, you can decide together? You both have sides you’re leaning toward, but if you agree to put those aside and really look at all the options maybe your husband will relax enough to really think this through with you. And you do have time on your side. I’d leave all options open for awhile while you investigate.


#20

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