by Mercedes Pekelharing
I have been doing home-schooling for nearly three years and am not sorry that I have started it, but if I had the option I would rather send my children to a Traditional Catholic school (i.e. St. John the Baptist).
Let me expiain in a bit more detail.
In the first place I am very happy with the decision my husband and I have taken as regards the education of our children. When I observe the direction that schooling is going, together with its complete lack of morals, then I know that having taken our children out of school and opted rather to do home?schooling was very necessary for the protection of their souls.
When we first decided to go for home-schooling I was extremely keen and did not fully realize what I was letting myself in for, which I must say was a blessing otherwise I might never have started.
Do I still feel as keen now three years later? Yes and no.
The novelty has now worn off and reality has set in. It is not easy to teach a number of children all at different levels (especiality for the young mothers who still have a number of little ones). I would be bluffing myself if I tried to keep up with a school like St. John the Baptist. I have come to realize that I am first a mother and then a teacher. I must say that there are days that I would just love to be a mother, wife and homemaker again. I try my best and take one day at a time and I do think that my children are learning well and are not behind as regards the local schools. It is however very rewarding to see your children progress in their subjects under your guidance. Personally, it is very gratifying to see that I can actually teach a little child to read and write. Catechism is also a subject in which my children have benefited very much since home-schooling. However, how much more would they get from John the Baptist! Think of the Holy Mass, devotions and sacraments these children are exposed to.
Do the children miss school? The answer is again yes and no. Some children have the need for friends much more than others. There are certain subjects in home-schooling which are more difficult when they have to do it on their own. When the children have gone through much research on a project they would love to share it with their classmates, but home-schooling makes this difficult.
It is not my intention with this article to put off parents from starting home?schooling, in fact I strongly recommend it, but even more strongly recommend St. John the Baptist school. Only consider home?schooling if there is no way you could send your children there.
Unfortunately, for us as a family St. John the Baptist is not possible. We have however tried to make the best of the situation and have made use of a number of books (religious as well as the secular subjects) from Our Lady of Victory School, for which I am extremely grateful. We also put high emphasis on hand skills. Homemaking (cooking, sewing) for the girls, and carpentry, technical drawing, etc., for the boys. General craft work and art is also done with the children. With these subjects the home?schooling environment is very favourable.
Home?schooling entails much sacrifice and determination, yet if I turn the clock back, I would still make the same decision because our home-schooling was not started for its novelty but for the safeguarding of our children's souls.
Young Traditional Catholic families are very fortunate in that there is a Traditional Catholic school available today in South Africa, which for many of us older families was a dream that came; true too late. It however does not mean that we cannot support and pray for our Traditional Catholic school.