Religious Ed at home?


I know there are plenty of Catholic homeschoolers out there, but does anyone exclusively homeschool their PSR/CCD cirriculum only?

My ds is in public school and we’ve been utilizing the parish religious ed. program, but dh and I are not impressed at all with what he is learning in his 2 hours a week. We are thinking we could impact his life much more by having a formal study at home.

I’m not sure exactly what the parish catholic school teaches, but it seems that the religious ed. kids are getting a haphazzard, lack luster, touchy-feely program that doesn’t really give them the solid foundation in the faith that they need.

Any advice would be appreciated.


I agree with you. I do not have any children, but I have taught religious education for many years. In both my old parish and my current parish, parents were allowed to home-teach the religious ed. The parish provided the same books as those used in our classroom program.

Be aware, however, that I have heard of parishes that will not allow home study religious education.


Our parish has a program that is supposed to include parents. (Yeah. Right.)

I would suggest that you join in your son’s education. Work with him on the lessons, perhaps augment the curriculum with the Baltimore Catechism. In my 6th grade CCD the year is all on Scripture and the text is outstanding. You could just pump up the material at home while still allowing him to join with the other kids his own age. The teacher will welcome well-taught kids in class; they REALLY make a big impact on the group.


I guess I was lucky our parishe(s) will allow home study/one parish has a LARGE homeschool population…especially if your kids know there material!
I homeschooled my son for religious ed. to prepare him for his 1st communion/confession…and he was partially homeschooled for his COnfirmation class…both times I was told he was very well prepared, knowledgable on the faith etc.


Our old DRE was happy we educated our kids about the faith at home. He said we were doing what all parents should be doing.

If your child likes CCD, or your parish raises a stink, do both. Send him for his 2 hours of pap per week, and then use Faith and Life or another good program at home.

Remember, too, it’s not just what they learn in books that makes a difference. It’s celebrating feast days, liturgical seasons, and making your faith a big part of every day. —KCT


every year I offer the option to parents to home school, especially if the CCD schedule is not compatible with theirs, and I give away a few books, make appointment for follow-up and testing, but no one ever takes me up on it, or shows up for the follow-up/evaluation sessions. I think most parents just want to put their kids in CCD/PSR for free babysitting, and are hugely affronted when we suggest they should be doing the larger part of the child’s faith formation at home.


If anyone encounters problems with their parish permitting legitimate homeschooling of catechism, this might help. The Catholic Homeschool Comanion had a piece written by Pete Vere, JCL that sited these canon laws with a few others. He helps frame the argument that Catholic parents have a right to choose to homeschool catechism if they desire.

Canon 793 1: Parents, and those who take their place, have both the obligation and the right to educate their children. Catholic parents have also the duty and the right to choose those means and institutes which, in their local circumstances, can best promote the Catholic education of their children.

Canon 213 “Christ’s faithful have the right to be assisted by their Pastors from the spiritual riches of the Church, especially by the word of God and the sacraments.”


Yeah! Another poster with a situation very similar to ours!! our parish priest directed us to contact a local school (called Padre Pio Academy) and use what they use. dd is just 5 right now, but it’s getting on to the time we need to start with her, so we’re going to be getting going on it soon. For now, we’re teaching prayers, listening to stories of the saints and that seems to be enough for a 5-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-month-old. Good lucka nd God bless!!!


Isn’t Padre Pio the school affiliated with the FFPS in KC? I saw them on the web site of my former parish (Blessed Sacrament) that is now a FFPS church? If so, their program should be rock-solid.

We did the home study two years ago and used the Faith and Life series. My youngest was in second grade and the DRE was hesitant about allowing him to make his First Communion but when we sent him to the First Communion teacher for “evaluation” she said he was much better prepared than the kids who had been in class all year. This year they are in CCE but we are still “supplementing” at home. We travel quite a bit so their CCE attendance is sketchy anyway. The home study (Faith and Life again) will make sure they don’t have any gaps.


My parents have used Our Lady of the Rosary school with comes with a religion program of study. Mom also implemented various books and people into the curriculum, such as in grade school we study the saints and in highschool we read John Paul II’s books and Christopher West’s books.

I remember going to PSR in 3-4th grade. It was a complete joke.


The parish has no choice. The religious education of children of first and foremost the responsibility and task of the parents, not the parish or the school, and this is Church teaching. By all means, of course, enroll children in parish religious education programs in order to meet requirements for important sacramental preparation, but always do more at home.

– Mark L. Chance.


Thanks for all of the great replies! Keep them coming…

You have helped me see some exciting options. I’ve gone from feeling irritated and defeated by the parish’s program to excited and empowered to do a majority of it at home.

The Faith and Life series looks great, and I’ll probably order the books for ds’s grade next week.

Thanks for giving us hope. (I’m so glad the forum is going again!)


You’ll have a great time doing it. My kids are older now, but I have wonderful memories of all the fun things we did together over the years :slight_smile: --KCT


all parents should be overseeing the major part of the child’s faith formation at home, and when they take him to Mass, and when they allow him to see how they live out their faith. It is a sad fact however that many families fail in this duty for reasons too numerous to mention.

What the parish has no choice about, however, is that the pastor has a duty to teach, preach and sanctify, and that includes providing assistance for families in educating their children in the faith. It is one of the basic canonical reasons for the existence of a parish. Christ told the apostles to first preach the Gospel, then to baptize.

The pastor is also required to certify that children (and adults) approaching the sacraments for the first time have been properly instructed and are well disposed for the sacraments. How he chooses to make that determination is quite within his right to decide. If his decision is that religious instruction in the parish is the way to go, then that is that.


Admittedly, which is why I said: “By all means, of course, enroll children in parish religious education programs in order to meet requirements for important sacramental preparation, but always do more at home.”


– Mark L. Chance.


Another option to check out is Seton. You could enroll in just a religion class, or just buy the appropriate texts and go from there.


True enough. Though sometimes, pastors choose to delegate to religious ed directors, who then become heavy handed. (in which case the pastor needs to know what’s happening) I’ve heard of DREs telling parents they can’t teach their kids religious ed at home - period, ended. Get real. Do they really think they can dictate what parents do in their homes? —KCT


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