Many of you already saw the latest email from Catholic Heritage Curricula (which we use). But here it is for those who didn’t see it or don’t use CHC. It expresses well my same thoughts. These are also some basic answers for that anonymous commenter of mine (though I know who you are).
Don't you think that homeschooling is a gift that God gives to us and to our children? Yes, there are days when it's a struggle to get through the 'wrappings' to reach the gift, but oh, the happiness when the gift finally appears!
One of the more striking differences between public schooling and homeschooling is that public schooling is directed solely at the child in isolation from his family and personal life, sometimes to the extent that, when the child boards the bus to go home, there is a sense of "shedding" a separate world.
The gift of homeschooling is exactly the reverse; homeschooling deeply permeates the life of the child and of his entire family. Homeschooling, in contrast, is family schooling. From a CHC survey:
- I have had my children in private school…homeschooling by far has united my children in deep sibling friendships that just didn't have time to blossom as fully with the stress of school days outside the home. They are more confident students academically as well. Overall, God cannot be outdone in generosity...and with our small sacrifices of homeschooling He has blessed our family tenfold!
One of the many 'gifts' in the CHC approach is that your family is 'only answerable to your family and to God.' That is, there is no pressure to meet 'deadlines'; CHC families enjoy the freedom of being 'family schedule' focused, rather than 'outside of family's schedule' focus. From this CHC survey response:
- [I love] being with my kids day in and day out--teaching them to read--taking schoolwork "outside" on warm spring days--freedom to enjoy them without meeting "deadlines"…watching them learn about God.
Another 'gift' opened to us in homeschooling is that because the entire family is present and involved, younger children overhear what is taught to older siblings, and older siblings share what they've learned with younger siblings, naturally laying in wee minds a groundwork for learning in subsequent years.
- My son is excited about helping out his younger sister. My faith is increasing and my knowledge is growing along with my children's understanding. Things I took for granted and just accepted as part of my faith I find I have to think about in order to explain to my children. CHC helps me do this with all the wonderful materials and activities presented.
- I'll never forget the look on my daughter's face when she read her first book - "At Mass" from Little Stories for Little Folks. She had been reading words for a while, but I don't think it had really dawned on her that she was a reader yet. She read, "Pat is at Mass," paused for the tiniest instant as those words sunk in, and then looked up at me with a priceless expression of surprise, pride, and excitement. I am so thankful that I didn't miss that moment! Thank you for providing Catholic materials which teach and inspire my children!
Finally, there are the 'gifts' of being with our children, forming them in the Faith:
- I am always amazed at how drawn the children are to their CHC materials. They are constantly learning things about the Faith, saints, and virtue in the context of the academic course work. It is wonderful to see them get so excited to tell about what they have learned.
- We originally began homeschooling as a way to stay connected as a family, to learn and grow together and avoid the snares of negative culture pressures. After a few years of using CHC, we know that a big part of why we continue to homeschool is the quality of books and materials. It would be very difficult to surrender that.
- When we first started our homeschool journey, I didn't think I would be learning new things every day along with my children or that my children would be "teaching me" what Gods plan is for our family. I never thought I would have a child come to me saying God was calling him to be a priest. I know this is because our Catholic faith is entwined in everything and every subject we do together as a homeschooling family.
Thank you all for sharing your 'family gift' experiences with us!
As always, remember that CHC is here to 'share' with you, too. If you need support in your homeschooling adventure, we are here to help you.
With warmest regards,