About Rest for the Weary

I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My homeschooling journey

I wanted to share with everyone how I came to the choice of homeschooling and how I feel about it now.  Twenty-two years ago in college, I researched homeschooling for my final paper in my major.  (which is education related)  I read John Holt and the Colfaxs and knew this was what I wanted for my children when I had them.  My decision was purely based on how ineffective public schools were; how they didn't work with a students strengths, interests, and at their pace.  I also wanted to protect them from feeling dumb (which I came across a lot in public school) and from being bullied.  At the time, I was a new convert and religion was not a priority for that type of choice.  Once married, the children came right away.  My husband was on board with homeschooling so that was to my advantage.  Once the children were of school age, I began using a relaxed approach based on interests.  (some would call this Christian Unschooling)  About that time, I became involved with a Catholic homeschooling support group.  I found out many things I didn't know.  Someone recommended me using the Baltimore Catechism for religion.  We picked one up, and as I read through it, I was amazed at how much I didn't know as a Catholic.  Slowly, we became more conservative in our religious convictions.  I researched so much because the internet was just becoming popular.  By this time, I was on my fourth child, and I was tired.  I decided to ask a question on a Traditional Catholics mothers' board about wanting to be done having children.  I got a huge lecture on how NFP is sinful.  Of course I shot back, "but the church allows it."  This led to a whole conversation about how the church after Vatican II was wrong on many things.  Someone mentioned the Traditional Latin Mass was still available so I inquired about one in our area since we had recently been disturbed with some of the things going on in our parish.  This led me to research everything from dressing to homeschooling methods.  I found that many traditionalist believe that you should only use Catholic curriculum and avoid things like unschooling, Charlotte Mason, and Montessori because they were heretical.  About this time, I developed severe anxiety and depression (although at the time I didn't know)  Upon reading this information, I panicked and changed my methods of homeschooling which led to a lot of tears on everyones part.  I didn't listen to my inner voice telling me that this wasn't for my family.  I truly believed that in order to be a good Catholic, I had to homeschool the "right way."  Sending the children to school was not even an option because like I said before, traditionalists including myself thought schools were evil.  I flipped flopped back and forth between methods for several years before I discovered my anxiety and left the movement.  Now I realize that any method a parent feels is best for their family is fine.  Not my place to judge.  I also believe that both Catholic school and public schools are suitable options.  Each family must decide.  At this point, we have decided to enroll our now 8th grader into a new Catholic high school next fall that is wonderful.  God willing, he will be accepted and the financial scholarships will come through.  We are also not closing the door on school for our other children.  We will be evaluating this through prayer and discussion throughout the spring to see if we feel any of our other children need to attend school.  I know a few who probably need to be at home at this point.  But now I can see that this can be a child by child decision and a year by year assessment.  Nothing is set in stone. 

1 comment:

  1. From a Catholic Answers Q&A:

    Q:I have heard that it is acceptable to use NFP for avoiding pregnancy if the reason is serious. Could you please tell me what reasons justify avoiding pregnancy?

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, "A particular.aspect of [the fecundity of marriage] concerns the regulation of procreation. For just reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children" (CCC 2368). But the Catechism does not explicitly define what constitutes "just reasons." Instead, proper determination is left up to the couple: "It is their duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood" (CCC 2368).

    However, the language used in Church documents may be somewhat helpful. For example, Gaudium et Spes states,
    [C]ertain modern conditions often keep couples from arranging their married lives harmoniously, and . . . they find themselves in circumstances where at least temporarily the size of their families should not be increased. As a result, the faithful exercise of love and the full intimacy of their lives is hard to maintain. (GS 51)
    Humanae Vitae says that a couple may morally space births if there are well-grounded reasons "arising from the physical or psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external circumstances" (HV 16).

    Ultimately, each couple must determine for themselves whether "just reasons" truly exist. Vademecum for Confessors Concerning Some Aspects of the Morality of Conjugal Life explains, "Certainly it is a duty of married couples—who, for that matter, should seek appropriate counsel—to deliberate deeply and in a spirit of faith about the size of their family, and to decide the concrete mode of realizing it, with respect for the moral criteria of conjugal life" (2.3).
    Parents should regard as their proper mission the task of transmitting human life and educating those to whom it has been transmitted. They should realize that they are thereby cooperators with the love of God the Creator, and are, so to speak, the interpreters of that love. Thus they will fulfill their task with human and Christian responsibility, and, with docile reverence toward God, will make decisions by common counsel and effort. Let them thoughtfully take into account both their own welfare and that of their children, those already born and those which the future may bring. For this accounting they need to reckon with both the material and the spiritual conditions of the times as well as of their state in life. Finally, they should consult the interests of the family group, of temporal society, and of the Church herself. The parents themselves and no one else should ultimately make this judgment in the sight of God. But in their manner of acting, spouses should be aware that they cannot proceed arbitrarily, but must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself, and should be submissive toward the Church’s teaching office, which authentically interprets that law in the light of the Gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love, and impels it toward a truly human fulfillment. (GS 50)
    Jim Blackburn Category: Morality Keywords: natural family planning procreation children birth control fertility Humanae Vitae