Jump-Start Your Catholic Home-School Project

A Simple 4-Step Method for Catholic Families to

Get Home-Schooling Right from the Beginning

NCCL has been counseling home-schoolers and prospective home-school parents for years. The following outline includes some of the most basic and important steps to help you get started and get it right from the beginning.

Step 1: Pray

The Holy Rosary, specifically, is the sine qua non of any Catholic home-schooling project. Do we home-school or not? What is the will of God for us? Will home-schooling foster my family’s vocation to holiness? True devotion to Mary is the indispensable aid to making the right decision. Even if it is God’s will that you do not home-school, praying the Rosary provides Catholic families with the grace they need to perform their duties of state in life.

Step 2: Meet experienced home-schooling families

Do we school all the children at home? When do we start? How can we teach all the subjects? And keep house? What works? What doesn’t? Why are some home-school families happy? Why are others not? Who is the principal of the home-school? Who’s going to teach? Do parents have a duty to instruct their children in the catechism even if not teaching at home in other subjects? Must/should home-schooling parents send children to CCD classes? (Call NCCL.)

Prospective home-school mothers and fathers can have these questions and many others answered best by experienced home-schooling Catholics. Mothers can join already home-schooling mothers over tea and talk things over. Fathers have to speak and meet with other home-schooling fathers. Parents should meet and interview at least 3 experienced Catholic families who are successfully and happily home-schooling. (It’s not a bad idea also to meet and interview at least one Catholic family who has either ‘failed’ at or ‘retired’ from home-schooling.)

Step 3: Read books and listen to audio tapes about home schooling; e.g.

Why Homeschooling?, by Mrs. Janice Smyth (audio cassette available from Our Lady of the Rosary School; telephone 502/348-1338)

The Catholic Homeschool: The Why and How, by Karen Wood (audio cassette available from Family Life Center International; 1-800/705-6131)

Catholic Home Schooling: A Handbook for Parents, Mary Kay Clark (book available from TAN Books & Publishers; 1-800/437-5876)

Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum, Laura Berquist (book available from Mother of Divine Grace school; 805/646-5818)

Home Schooling with Confidence: Real Education for the Real World, Rick & Marilyn Boyer -- call NCCL.

Step 4: The last step: choose an established curriculum or design your own

We’ve seen not a few would-be home-schooler’s start here -- and consequently never start their home-school endeavor or delay it by years! Composing a curriculum is not easy work, especially for beginners. The ‘pioneer days’ of home-schooling are past. Get help and advice from successful veterans. Design only a completely Catholic curriculum and choose only Catholic books (when available). Go back to step no. 2 above: meet and confer again with the home-schooling mothers and fathers who have experience.

Questions? Need leads? Call NCCL. We’ll do what we can to make your home-schooling venture a glory to God and a success.

For home-schoolers who have already started, the above schema can be adapted as follows:

Re-Step 1: Continue to pray the Rosary, frequent the Sacraments, give alms, perform works of mercy.

Re-Step 2: Stay close to Catholic home-school friends and families; we need wholesome ‘support’.

Re-Step 3: Improve your reading and edify yourself and family with the best of Catholic literature and devotional works. (Contact NCCL for an abridged list and/or suggestions.)

Re-Step 4: Re-evaluate your curriculum and progress periodically; seek more experienced help to assist you.

National Coalition of Clergy and Laity 621 Jordan Circle, Whitehall PA 18052 USA

telephone 610/435-2634 • 610/435-2734 fax

hs/j-s 98.3

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