Catholic homeschooling is the combination of a chosen homeschooling method coupled with the teachings of Catholicism. An example of this would be a family deciding that they like the Charlotte Mason style of schooling and then integrating it with teachings from the Catholic Church. For families that do not have a parochial school in their district, teaching at home is one way to provide a comprehensive religious-based education.
Catholic Homeschooling Methods
For many, Catholic homeschooling isn't just a method of teaching used during school time; it is a way of life. The traditions and teachings are used in every aspect of life, from the early morning to the late evening. It is a faith-based education that teaches the fundamentals of Christianity. Teachers who teach Catholicism often choose one of following popular homeschool teaching methods:
- Charlotte Mason
- Thomas Jefferson
These are probably the easiest methods to incorporate religious teachings into. However, any homeschool teacher can integrate religion into their chosen curriculum with careful planning.
Online Catholic Homeschool
If planning your own homeschool lessons is difficult, consider using a different method of homeschooling - that of online classes. This method requires two things: money to invest in the materials and an uncluttered schedule. These online classrooms operate on a schedule, usually a quarterly one. All testing and reports must be turned in on time.
Catholic Homeschool Resources
Incorporating Catholicism into lesson planning can be easy with the right online resources and books. The following are just a few of the many available to homeschool teachers:
- Our Sunday Visitor - provides a plethora of information for teaching Catholicism in the classroom. Some of the many topics covered include Lent, rosary and prayers, sacraments and confession. This site also has many downloads to use in the classroom, from posters to worksheets for children of all ages.
- Catholic Homeschooling Resources - this site helps parents decide how to choose between curriculums and how to organize a Catholic homeschool classroom.
- Love2Learn - if you're looking for ideas on how to teach subjects, this site has much to offer. This site includes information on topics such as creating a Latin calendar and handling college admission for homeschooled children.
- Catholic Heritage - this site sells a Catholic curriculum and also provides free support to homeschool moms and free printable enrichment activities.
Sometimes the most difficult thing about teaching homeschool is deciding exactly how to homeschool children. This can be challenging if a student has already attended a traditional school and needs to be unschooled. Some students find it easier to keep a strict schedule and follow an online curriculum, while others may find it stifling. For those that perform better in a less structured environment, creating a curriculum specifically for that child may work best. After all, that is one of the selling points of a homeschool education - the teaching method can be tailored to the student, not the other way around.For those new to homeschooling, they may feel adrift at first because suddenly they are no longer part of a traditional school environment. However, they really aren't alone. There are plenty of resources available, even in the most rural environments. Simply searching the web or visiting the public bulletin board at your church will provide interested parents with the names of local homeschool support groups and play groups for children of all ages. While newcomers may need to visit several different groups to find one that fits them well, odds are in their favor that they'll find people who share the common interest of using a Catholic homeschooling curriculum.