Ever since my husband and I have announced we are homeschooling, we have been hit with a barrage of “well-intentioned” criticism. My family and I are going the narrow path. In this modern era of family and financial planning it is really not a popular lifestyle. I have a few friends that are walking this path with me. I do not understand this fear of not “socializing” our children. I really don’t care because we are supposed to be using Jesus as our yardstick. Not our friends and family…enter moral relativism. Chris and I have decided to Homeschool our children because we want our children to have the best opportunity to get to Heaven possible. I really don’t believe that we are going to find what we need in public schools and parish RE classes. As a whole, those programs turn out some pretty undistinguished students. Out of the thousands of people I have met that have graduated from public schools…maybe five have attained what I want for my kids. That is pretty horrible odds. Now that they have lifted the classroom size mandate, I’ll bet it’s nil. They are notoriously underfunded and base curriculum on test scores, not quality. Parish RE is one hour a week. You would do better to educate your children in their faith by surrounding yourself with Orthodox families and leading your children by example. That means you, on your knees, reading the Bible and properly Catechising yourself in the faith. A parish RE class can’t make up for that. It is about quality, not quantity. Just because another family is Catholic doesn’t mean they are going to be the best examples. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Chris and I look to our Grandparents for their great examples of family life. They were raised in rural “isolated” environments and did not “socialize” with the exception of school. They are functioning in society just fine, thank you. They went to Catholic schools or lived in areas that were mostly Catholic if they did go to public. They did not participate in competitive group sports. I am not opposed to organized sports but if you look at today’s “role models” they are really pathetic . It isn’t about teaching sportsmanship and teamwork anymore. In our Grandparent’s time sport figures did not make that much money. Go stand at the sidelines now and watch how some of the parents act. It will turn your stomoch. Our Grandparent’s spent most of their time with family and their family life revolved around church and it’s community. They were also pure and waited for marriage. The average age for US kids to lose their virginity is between 16-17. Yikes. I am sure it has something to do with the fact that there is a 50% divorce rate in the US. In the 1950’s it was between 5-10%. Before that, almost nothing. Throw in the fact that most of these kids are also being raised by day cares, not their parents! 47% of children receive some type of non-parental childcare and spend their free time in organized activities. How much parenting can really be done? In our Grandparents age that was very, very rare. They came from large families and had large families which taught their children RESPONSIBILITY. They helped with the housework, chores, and took care of younger siblings and even had elderly Grandparents living with them. This type of lifestyle can only be taught at home now. It is not available even in rural areas because we are living in the Bible belt. Catholics are only 12% of the population and many protestant churches can be openly hostile. Most of the textbooks I am using come from “The Golden Age” of Catholic Schools. I know it is Pre-Vatican II but it turned out some pretty amazing scholars and vocations were booming. Anyway, in response to a recent accusation that “you can’t isolate your kids.” You can, and should if you know what is good for them. You need to be very picky about who you let your kids associate with. We need role models! What most people consider parenting these days is sub-par, at best. What we have now is children as a new leisure class. We are having smaller families, teaching less responsibility and children are spending less time at home with the families that should be influencing them. So, I am opting not to “socialize” my children. I will leave you with a quote from Pope John Paul II: “The future of humanity passes by way of the family.” My hope is to positively influence the world by educating my children at home.
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