Homeschooling vs. Schooling at Home
Teaching public school curricula at home directly as a parent or through distance learning online is vastly different from homeschooling.
Parents are scrambling to get a computer or tablet so their kids can school at home, with the packet (curricula) provided by their child's teacher. This is not homeschooling; this is schooling at home. It is important we name the difference because educators are already trying to claim parents aren't qualified to teach their children, and after the dust settles and if parents and students who had schooling at home forced upon them underperform or no-show, public educators will, in a massive show of inability to think critically and logically, will conflate that with “see, parents are not qualified to teach.”
Want to learn how to homeschool, for real?
reject public school packets and curricula. You know best what your child should learn, and if, like my wife and I fourteen years ago, you decide you want to exercise your right to be your child's primary educator, there are better places to start (see below for homeschool stats outperforming public and private school by a significant margin). This post has resources for starting to homeschool.
Connect with your pastor (by phone, video, text, email, social media, of course) and ask them to connect you with a family that homeschools so you can start a halo for homeschooling families.
Limit screen time only to family time. A fantastic way to dive in to homeschooling is to have conversations with your kids about the content you watch now, as a family, for only a small amount of time. Otherwise, no computers, phones, devices, video games. Pencil and paper promote learning and thinking. Cursive writing even more so.
Cultivate the mindset that everything is learning. Life is learning. Budget getting tight without income and “needing” to buy take out every day? Learn to cook, together. You'll fail, laugh, discover what went wrong, and change what you do next time, and that is learning. That is humility.
Pray together. Prayer makes great bookends to the day. We wake at 6am, read a family story for 20 minutes, one-note chant Lauds (Morning Prayer, from the Liturgy of the Hours), then at breakfast we follow the advice of Saint Benedict and read the day's Gospel and then commentary on it (Catena Aurea is excellent). Angelus at noon, and rosary at 8 for bedtime. Kids need structure, and prayer as bookends bring excellent structure to the day.
Homeschool is not easy, but it is simple
All things simple are hard. Homeschooling is no different. It takes two minutes to understand homeschool, a lifetime to master. Perseverance, humility, and kindness (most especially to yourself) are key.
Homeschooling outperforms public and private schooling
Why? The reasons are numerous, but kids thrive under personalized attention, and parents are best equipped to discern what that is for each child and provide it. Catholics are called to be their children's primary educator, and homeschooling is a beautiful way to achieve this. Homeschooling engages kid's natural curiosity and cultivates their desire to learn into ownership of learning. Homeschooling teaches kids how to think, not just absorb facts for a test, only to regurgitate and forget them. Homeschool educates the parents as much as the kids, and each helps the other learn and think better.
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