Sunday, July 19, 2009

Common Objections to Homeschooling Part 1

I would like to address reasons that parents give to not homeschool. I think there is a common misconception that they are incapable of homeschooling

First of all, when God calls parents to disciple their children, he gives them the grace to do it. In Pope John Paul's "Letter to Families" he states, "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents." In the CCC# 1641 it states, "By the reason of their state in life and of their order (Christian spouses) have their own special gifts in the People of God...By this grace they help one another to attain holiness in their married life and in welcoming and educating their children."

In this light I will address common reasons to not homeschool.

1) I don't have the patience. How does one develop patience? First of all, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. We can pray to ask Him to increase patience in us. Then we practice patience.

As I have grown, I find myself less apt to fly off the handle when I have a child who just doesn't get a concept, or who acts in a disobedient or defiant manner. I find a creative way to reteach the concept, or impose immediate calm discipline. I pray to my child's guardian angel and to mine - along with our patron saints (All Saints - we need a lot of help.) God does not fail to show me the way.

2) My children do not listen to me. This is a fault that needs to be addressed. When I sent my older 2 children to school, I found it easy to avoid the unpleasant. Since I only had to tolerate misbehavior for a few hours at a time - I could handle that. Consequently, I hated summers. Then I had to be around my unruly kids who sorely tried my patience.

Since my husband and I knew God wanted us to formally homeschool, I knew we had to try it, but I dreaded being with my children all day, every day.

On the last day of school before summer vacation, I told myself, "Well, I had better make the best of this since I will be with them full time from now on." I worked on addressing their misbehaviors, setting aside my most selfish desires, and planning interesting activities with the kids. I was shocked to find that we had a great summer. I realized I had an attitude problem. I had to learn to love my kids. And love means sacrifice.

A great resource for improving parenting skills is Dr. Ray Guarendi's book, You are a Better Parent than You Think, and his "The Doctor is In" radio program on EWTN radio.

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