The late Father John Hardon once said, “Home schooling in the United States is the necessary concomitant of a culture in which the Church is being opposed on every level of her existence and, as a consequence, given the widespread secularization in our country, home schooling is not only valuable or useful but it is absolutely necessary for the survival of the Catholic church in our country.” While homeschooling may not be for everyone, and certainly God may call different families to different modes of education (possibly based on the ultimate mission of each individual soul) homeschooling can be a viable education option. Further, it is easy to see how Catholic homeschooling, with its directed focus and parents dedicated to intensive religious instruction and character formation, can contribute to the renewal of the Church in these tumultuous societal times. We at Prince of Peace seek to always recognize the parent as the primary educator and support our homeschooling parishioners.
Our homeschool group meets for Friday noon Mass followed by lunch and coop activities. Some past and current events for POP homeschoolers include a geography with a geography bee, public speaking and debate, Spring drama productions, pilgrimages, family get-togethers, a tubing field trip, mom’s night out, feastday/liturgical year celebrations and a Latin class taught by our very own Fr. Tomlinson.
Meeting dates for Fall 2012 are as follows:
All Fridays of the Spring Semester from 4 January 2013-3 May 2013 except for 22 February 2013 and 29 March 2013.
There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when determining whether you should homeschool. Among them include asking yourself the following questions
-Am I willing to spend the necessary time in planning, implementing and evaluating curriculum for my child? Homeschooling cannot be relegated to a ‘hobby’. It must actively be pursued every week day from August or September until May or June, every year.
-Do I have access to the resources I need? Can I provide a well rounded curriculum for my child that will meet his/her unique educational needs? There are more curricula available than ever before. Excellent curriculum providers abound, but you the parent must research to find the right fit and grade level for your child.
-Do I have a basic understanding of my Catholic faith or at least a willingness to learn with my child? Many parents who embark on Catholic homeschooling do not know their faith as well as they would like, but find excellent materials and pursue knowledge together with their child, often taking advantage of resources at their parish and in their diocese.
-Do I have the support of my spouse? Some husbands take an active role in homeschooling, teaching a class in their area of expertise, often math or science. Other fathers’ primary role is one of principal and athletic or music director. In other families yet, fathers provide moral support for the wife and children, but are unable to teach or manage. A situation in which a spouse actively opposes homeschooling, however, is a red flag that successful homeschooling may not be possible. Spouses should be in agreement as much as possible as to the mode of their child’s education in order for any choice to be successful.
-Do I know and understand the laws of my state pertaining to homeschooling? The Homeschool Legal Defense Association offers a summary of homeschool laws for each state. For the most up-to-date information, consult your state’s Department of Education web page.
-Will I have the support of my pastor? Does my diocese offer resources or guidelines for Catholic homeschooling in my area? The Diocese of Charleston allows homeschooling and we at Prince of Peace have two very supportive pastors. Please consider joining our POP Homeschooling group every Friday of the school year at 12.30p in Croghan Hall.
-Do I realize this is not just an option for education but a lifestyle choice? Many homeschooling families find that real learning is interwoven into everyday life. If this does not appeal to you, homeschooling may not be the right ‘fit’ for your family.
If you answer ‘no’ to some of the questions above but still have a strong desire to homeschool, know that you are not precluded from being a successful Catholic homeschooler. It does mean that additional challenges will be yours so make sure to address them upfront before proceeding with your plans. (From http://www.integratedcatholiclife.org/2011/03/thomas-many-catholics-choose-homeschooling/)
Religious Education Policy for Homeschool Families
Homeschool Families are defined as parishioners of Prince of Peace Catholic church who homeschool their child(ren) in all courses and are in compliance with South Carolina Homeschooling laws: Option I, Option II or Option III
Parents who are not homeschooling their child(ren) must receive Religious Education through Prince of Peace Catholic School or Prince of Peace Religious Education Program
All Faith Formation Curriculum must be approved by the pastor
All children must be enrolled in the Religious Education program as Home School children.
Children are not required to attend weekly Religious Education classes
Children receiving sacraments must follow the guidelines provided by the Diocese of Charleston and the Parish.
A copy of the new Diocesan Curriculum Guide can be found here
A complete explanation of Prince of Peace’s Homeschool Policy can be found here
The Home School parent is not required to be certified under the new Diocesan Catechist Certification Program. We encourage parents to continue their own faith formation through the certificate program