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Saturday, November 29, 2008


A Mauldin

I've been a public high school teacher for over twenty years and can attest that home schooled kids do quite well when they do enroll in public schools. These kids are involved in other activities and have a wide circle of friends. There is a wide range of home schooling curricula from which to choose. The arguments against home schooling tend to be made from ignorance or are based on some unique incident. I'll go one step further and suggest that Christian kids ought not to be in public schools. Their faith is marginalized more and more with each passing year and one could assume that's part of the plan.


My family's experiences with home schoolers has been quite positive. We live in an extremely secular, very liberal "classic college town" which also happens to have a thriving home school community. If our limited personal view counts for anything, home schooling demographics and worldviews vary greatly.


What to me is so heartening about this is that it crosses religious, political and racial boundaries. These are Americans making good use of their freedom and at the same time helping to break the public school monopoly. It gives hope that the entire next generation will not be indoctrinated.

At the same time it makes one wonder about the Catholic schools when Catholics also need to home-school their children. However, it does conform to the principles of the Church insofar as the parents are the primary educators and catechists of their children.

It points out as well how people can find a way, even in the toughest of circumstances and schedules, to do what is best for their children. Kudos to Catholic lay people like Laura M. Berquist, Kimberly Hahn and Mary Hasson for producing orthodox materials for Catholic parents who may not be able to design such things for themselves.

I hope perhaps that the Church leaders at the diocesan and parish levels will take the initiative and be facilitators, taking the leading edge and becoming flexible with Catholic families because the primary goal is the proper education of the children, rather than the maintenance of systems and institutions.

Dan Deeny

Thank you for this information on home schooling. I have also been a public school teacher for twenty years. I was badgered out of one school, where I'd taught for ten years. Then, I was fired for incompetence from a north St. Louis, suburban school after just three months. I had one student who was home schooled part of the time. She was a good student, participated well in class, and was courteous to everyone. I had thirty students in a class - too many to teach. I have the impression that the large, government schools are just processing students. Don't get me wrong, some good students graduate from these schools, but the majority - good kids and average students - coast through the system, having a good time. They aren't at fault because they are too young to know any better. I think we Catholics are at fault because we have let our education system collapse, or nearly collapse. Cristo Rey schools are doing a good job, but they need to get their costs down and their class sizes down. Ten to fifteen students per class should be the limit. Catholic educators should lead the way: remember, the Benedictines have had excellent schools for 1,500 years. Keep us all informed on Catholic schooling!

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