Have you ever considered homeschooling your children? It's a great educational option that all Catholic families should, at least, prayerfully consider. So writes the Diocese of Lansing's Superintendent for Schools, Tom Maloney, in this month's FAITH Magazine, the official diocesan publication. Here's Tom's advice:
Parents are the first and foremost educators of their children. Not the parish. Not the diocese. Not the state. Parents. What an incredible yet wonderful responsibility. As the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Christian Education, Gravissimum educationis, says of moms and dads:
“Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and men that a well-rounded personal social development will be fostered among the children. Hence, the family is the first school of those virtues that every society needs.”
That is why the Diocese of Lansing fully supports those parents who decide to educate their children within the home. To demonstrably underline this point, homeschooling families are invited to celebrate their end-of-year graduations in St. Mary Cathedral in Lansing, the heart of the diocese (see attached photographs).
Meanwhile, as part of the recent Realign Resources for Mission review, the Diocese of Lansing also aspires to make available a homeschool option for all families across our 10-county diocese.
As any homeschooling parents knows, it’s not easy. However, it is rewarding. So, is homeschooling for you and your child? Here’s three pieces of advice:
* Take it to prayer: As with all decisions in life, the choice of education for our children should be rooted in prayer. So, take your child in prayer to the Lord. He loved your son or daughter into existence. He also knows best what will help them grow in love for him as scholars and saints. You’ll also be given light as to your ability to undertake the task of homeschooling. Repeatedly return to prayer as you discern your way forward.
* Be not be afraid: Don’t let fear be a motivating factor in making your choice. Perhaps you are worried that our Catholic schools won’t be Catholic enough. That concern may be based upon your own very real experience at Catholic schools. However, times change. Our 35 Catholic schools are staffed by faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, and his holy Church, who desire to help your child grow in the wisdom and love of God. So, do come and see. Upon inspection, however, you may still feel drawn to homeschooling. In which case, great! Read on.
* Do the research: “Homeschooling” is a term that covers a wide range of educational options. Some parents homeschool as part of a co-operative. Others less so or not at all. Meanwhile, Catholic homeschooling curriculums are equally varied. So, do reach out to existing homeschool parents to talk with them about their experiences. They’ll help you and, undoubtedly, encourage you, too. And if you don’t know any homeschool parents? Drop a line to the Diocese of Lansing’s Schools Department and we’ll help you make the connections. God bless you.
* For more from this month's FAITH Magazine go to: https://faithmag.com/