Traditional Catholic Homeschooling

My mother had her teachers credentials from Illinois, but only taught philosophy for a short time at Toronto University before she married my dad.  She also was trained in the Montessori school paradigm.  She strongly believed that each child learns differently and at a different pace.  She also did not believe children were to start studying till they were in 1st. Grade and that they would catch up very quickly when they are older.

IMG_4862A few of the 17 Children, 2 more were adopted after I moved out.  

Once she married my dad, she stayed at home and homeschooled us through grammar school, way before it was allowed or popular.  In order to not get in trouble in those days with the school district, since we were not in school, my mother would advertise as a private school and have other children come and study with us.  No one ever studied with us.  I then went to Catholic high school for 3 years and finished at the public high school.  From there I studied 2 years at Cabrillo College and graduated from Carleton University in Ottawa Ontario Canada.

Since there were 17 of us children to start with, and my dad was working, my mother had to organize all the studying, (and most of the time it was very disorganized).  We also traveled a great deal, (twice lived in Mexico building schools for the poor and another time in Fowler building a Catholic Church), so it helped that we were homeschooled.  Nevertheless, the routine was pretty much always being disrupted, as many on you who are homeschooling now see happen all the time.  Life is just one big succession of interruptions.  

We older children helped the younger children do their reading and math.  I remember a lot of homemade flash cards with math and vocabulary on them.  I also remember that I learned mostly on my own working in the workbooks.  So what I am getting at is that children survive fine in chaotic homeschooling environments because they are basically smart.  But that is if you will not allow them to waste their time on TV, Video games and computers.  They learn to play, but not to read, write or add.  We were never allowed this.Common-Core

Today, the morals, the immodest dressing, the homosexual agenda in and the common core curriculum in the public schools, makes Catholic homeschooling seem to be the only option, (other than a good Catholic school, which is very rare today).  But even there, many do not teach Catholic teachings and you also have the huge added expense of tuition.  1917 Canon law had that all parishes were to have parochial schools.

Many orthodox people do Charter School homeschooling because it is free, the books are free and they also get money for extra-curriculum activities.  There is also a limited amount of supervision by the charter school staff, so that the busy mothers do not have as much to do.  But the text books are from the public school and they will soon have common core as part of the education.  And in this system, there are no Catholic religion classes or Catholic material in the other areas of learning, like reading and history.

Many families avoid Catholic homeschooling because the programs and  books cost money and the parents have more of the responsibility to make sure their children are keeping up with the assigned school work.  But in these Catholic courses, there are religion classes, always going deeper and better with each grade.  They also have Catholic themes in all other subjects as well.  For this reason the Catholic homeschooling programs are the best option, as costly and difficult they may be.world

Many mothers are concerned about public schools and would like to homeschool their children, but are afraid to do it, because of all the responsibility and they feel that they are not educated or qualified enough to be able to teach their children.  Although they are rightfully concerned about the responsibility and their lack of knowledge, this should not stop them from homeschooling.  Many of their children are not learning to read or write or do math at their public schools right now anyway.  Many of the children in public schools are way behind.  Better save their souls than be able to teach them perfectly.

Finally what is of dire importance is to keep in contact with other homeschooling families.  Besides socializing at church, these children need to be able to make friends and not be too isolated.  What we started at St. Patrick’s in Escalon/Ripon, Calif. and is still working well, was a homeschooling cooperative.  All that meant was that during the school year, one day a week, the families would get together for some common classes, socializing, eating, outings and the Christmas program.   It is very loosely organized, has a year schedule and you do the best you can.

Another option, for those who can afford it, is to hire a helper who comes to your house and tutors your children in the subjects they are struggling with or that take more time.  And another thing that is working for my friend homeschoolers is to go to a teacher’s house, pay a small tuition, and she teaches all the children at once the common courses they all need.

7S43_All_Souls_School1I want to really encourage everyone to homeschool.  Yes, it is a big sacrifice.  Yes, it takes a lot of work.   Yes, it cost money.  But it is worthwhile.  Your children do not need to be super stars.  But they do need to get to heaven.  It is much more likely that they will have fewer exposure to sinful ideas at home.  Here is a simple link that tells you everything you need to know about Catholic homeschooling.  Catholic homeschooling resources.com

Here are a few of the most popular Catholic homeschooling vendors;

 

It may be extremely difficult, but we are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and to be able to form children into great christian people of the future world and Church.

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The great vocation of a Catholic Wife and Mother taken principally from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard, (Eucharistic Handbook).Mary, Mother of God (3)

Women, the Bulwark of Civilization. – In the 1600’s, Our Lady of Good Success foretold to Ven. Mother Marianna of Jesus that the 20th century would see a loss of faith, morals and good customs. Today we see her prophecies have come true. What remains of Christian Western Civilization is being attacked on every side and systematically destroyed.

Christian mothers must remember, therefore, that in every society, it has always been the faithful women who uphold the standards for good manners, customs and morals. These are values which mothers, more than any other, hand-on to their children; these are values women are able to elicit from men and society—simply by conducting themselves in a respectful and modest manner which demands reciprocation. Thus, the recovery of Christian civilization, so desperately needed today, will begin and be sustained by the Christian woman and mother, the heart of every family and home and country.

fatima4AT FATIMA, the angel depicted in the vision part of Third Secret repeated the request of Our Lady of Lourdes: Penance! Penance! Penance! With this penance performed, the heavenly Queen is depicted in the same vision as putting out the flames of God’s wrath coming upon the world! If we do our penance according to our duties of state, we will surely be aided by God’s grace in all our endeavors and receive the protection of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts against all dangers as well as help Our Lady in fulfilling the Fatima promises… In the end, My Immaculate Heart with triumph.” 

How happy such a good wife and mother will be when she goes before God’s judgment seat and is able to say: Those whom Thou hast given me I have guarded(John 17:12).

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The great vocation of a Catholic Wife and Mother taken principally from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard, (Eucharistic Handbook).BlessedVirginMary 2

Politeness. – These duties consist especially in receiving visits and in returning them. She should lend herself readily to them when duty or charity requires it. On such occasions, she should be known for her respect of the truth and love of charity, her motivation being the edification of her neighbors.  But in the interests of her religious duties and of those of her state, she should avoid as much as possible useless and idle visits, which dissipate the soul, weaken piety, and not seldom offend charity.

Business. – Prudence and simplicity should regulate the managing of her business. She should be prudent in the choice of means, calling into play all that God has given her in the way of intelligence, ability, and an honest industriousness to succeed in her work; that is the legitimate investment of one’s talents, spoken of in the Gospel. She should be simple in her business transactions, seeking only justice, acting only according to the truth, and trusting in God alone for success; a life that is based on faith need nothing further.

Carlow_Cathedral_St_Dominic_Receives_the_Rosary_from_the_Virgin_Mary_2009_09_03-640x367 As the praises of Solomon for the valiant woman in Proverbs indicates (cf. 31:10f.) a woman’s work in the home has immense economic value, although it is rarely remunerated monetarily or justly acknowledged. Nevertheless, none should ever belittle or degrade her work which is of vital importance for her family’s sustenance and economic viability. The virtuous woman will not lend an ear to worldly values and human respect, trusting that God Himself will repay her loving efforts a hundred-fold. Note too that society at large is better served when its citizens are raised at home by the loving care of a mother. Unless there is grave necessity, a mother ought not work outside the home.  A mother who places greater value on a professional career and earning income over the duties of her family and home places her own soul and that those of her family in grave danger.

Social proprieties. – The faithful wife and mother is occasionally obliged to take part in worldly festivities; her position, her family obligations, the demands of friendship make it a duty for her to do so. On such occasions, which are distasteful to her piety, the virtues of modesty, charity, and humility will be her rule of conduct and her safeguard. BlessedVirginMary

Modesty. – Modesty should be her chief finery, her Christian protest against the vanities of the world, and her powerful defense against its dangers. The Catechism teaches: “Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden… Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet… Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressure of prevailing ideologies.”

Pope Pius XII once said: “There is nothing wrong in being fashionable. But, fashion can never be the supreme rule of conduct. There is a limit beyond which fashion can bring about the ruin of a soul.” And in another place, he taught: “modesty foresees threatening danger, forbids us to expose ourselves to risks, demands the avoidance of those occasions which the imprudent do not shun. It does not like impure or loose talk, it shrinks from the slightest immodesty, it carefully avoids suspect familiarity with persons of the other sex, since it brings the soul to show due reverence to the body, as being a member of Christ and the temple of the Holy Ghost. He who possesses the treasure of Christian modesty abominates every sin of impurity and instantly flees whenever he is tempted by its seductions” (Sacra Virginitas, no. 58).

Charity. – Wanting what is best for another, the Christian woman should be gentle in order not to embarrass anyone, obliging in everything that conscience allows and truth is not violated, devoted to the very limits of duty. Virgin Mary Annunciate_ANGELICO, Fra

Humility. – In the presence of human glory and ambition, the humility of the wife and mother should shine in all its simplicity. She should step into the background and forget self in order to busy herself only with others; she should accept in peaceful serenity the humiliations inflicted on her vanity and self-love, knowing how to find God in the midst of the joys and pleasures of the world as well as its sorrows.

When she is modest, charitable, and humble, she can take part in worldly festivities without fearing its dangers. She will have done her duty and left behind her the sweet odor of the Christ, in whom she lives and for whom she acts.

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The great vocation of a Catholic Wife and Mother taken principally from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard, (Eucharistic Handbook).

Duties towards her neighbor. – The duties of the faithful wife and mother towards her neighbor fall into three classes: duties towards her relatives, duties towards her friends, and duties towards her social acquaintances.

Virgin Maria042-1Duties towards her relatives. – These duties are part of her Christian obligations. They are not always easy. Jealousy, self-interest, and the spirit of discord often make it difficult to keep the union of peace and charity. Thus, the faithful and duty-conscience woman should in all charity and prudence spend herself in furthering the bonds of love among her relatives, in reconciling minds at variance, in smoothing over hurt feelings without compromising the truth. She will always be successful in her mediation if she seeks only the glory of God and the spiritual good of her neighbors by setting aside her own interests and self-love. She will always be a bond of union if she is ever charitable in her words towards all, full of consideration and deference for their rights, and seeks rather to serve than to be served, to be ignored than to shine. This duty is often particularly challenging with in-laws, yet she may view this as a means afforded to her by Divine Providence for greater merit and growth in sanctity.

Our-LadyDuties towards her friends. – From a motive of divine charity, the wife and mother should not, as a rule, seek to have friends outside her relatives since her principle sphere of activity has already been defined by the family. If however, in that respect, she happens to be isolated, and God has given her friends with the same spiritual ambitions, let her love those friends as a sisters and count on them for strength and help. But she should not forget that detachment is the salt of friendship. This reserve or detachment makes the Christian woman always pure in her affections, always prudent in her confidences, always noble in her sentiments, always modest in her manner of living. She should, therefore, be discreet concerning her sorrows and difficulties at home. One imprudent word is enough to destroy union in the family, to irritate wounds only half closed and ignite the flames of discord. She should be reserved in revealing the defects of her own; honor and charity make this a duty, and prudence makes it a rule of conduct. A friend may not always be discreet.

If she is a mother, she should be judicious in the choice of her children’s friends. Friendship is the source of both good and evil among young people.eyck_ghent_virgin_close

Lastly she should be reserved in the pouring out of her heart, especially in moments of sorrow and sadness. It is difficult to find a friend who, in such circumstances, can truly console and strengthen in God a distressed soul. Happy the soul that is satisfied with God and finds everything in God.

Duties towards social acquaintances. – Due to the obligations of her state of life, the wife and mother is often required to have dealings with the world. These duties fall into three classes: those arising from politeness or good manners, from business, and from social proprieties.

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The great vocation of a Catholic Wife and Mother taken principally from the writings of St. Peter Julian Eymard, (Eucharistic Handbook).

The divine mission of the mother is one of faith, virtue, prayer, and suffering.holyfamily15

A mission of faith. – She must be the first to speak of God, of the goodness of Jesus Christ to her children; to foster the growth of the seed of faith deposited in them by the grace of baptism; to watch with a great care over their innocence and to make piety a part of their early training. It is the mother that must preserve and keep up the faith of the family by being very strict and guarding it from everything that may scandalize one of its members. Faith is the Christian’s most precious treasure, the pearl of great price. Through spiritual readings and pious conversations, she will help the faith of her children bear fruit.

Furthermore, parents are the first educators of their children. Pope Leo XIII once wrote: “Catholic parents should not confide the education of their children to schools that are not safe…” (letter to the Italian people, Dec 8, 1892). The Catechism says, this right and duty of parents is “primordial and inalienable” such that, “The role of parents in education is of such importance that it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.”vargas gonzales family 025-1Gonzales Family, from which came two cristero martyrs, Jorge and Ramon.

A mission of virtue. – A mother must instill virtue in each one of her children in such a manner as to make it agreeable to them. Virtue that does not spring forth from within will quickly be lost by a child through bad companions or upon leaving home. A mother will first of all apply herself to making her own virtue simple and easy so that her children may become, as it were, naturally virtuous through her example; meek and gentle – as was that of Jesus and Mary – so that she may win the hearts of all; strong, determined, and yet disinterested, so that she may always remain undisturbed in her trials and faithful to God in her sacrifices.

If the husband God has given her is more of the sinner than a Christian, to his edification and her sanctification, she will devote herself to his conversion with patience and confidence. Such a wife may find recourse and inspiration from St. Monica, St. Rita, Bd. Anna Maria Taigi as well as Bd. Elizabeth Canori-Mora.

In mission of prayer. – A Christian mother will best sanctify her family by prayer. Her prayer puts the finishing touch on what her words and examples have begun. God refuses nothing to the persevering prayer of a mother, as St. Monica proves. He has placed her power and victory in prayer. Prayer should then be the habitual food of her soul.

A mother will teach her children their prayers early. Inasmuch as she can, she will take it upon herself to have them fulfill this pious duty every day. She will especially get them into the habit of frequent visits to the Most Blessed Sacrament by leading them to church from their tenderest years.Virgin Showing the Man of Sorrows_MEMLING, Hans

A mission of suffering. – The title of mother is the fruit of suffering; God has willed it so. The title of spiritual mother can be acquired only on Calvary at the side of the Virgin Mother of Sorrows.

To obtain the grace of salvation for her children, a mother must then accept suffering and often suffer alone with Jesus and Mary: blessed sufferings indeed, since they beget children of God and citizens of heaven to the life of grace. The greater is her suffering and the more devoid she is of all natural consolation, the more a mother should rejoice in divine charity; for that is the sign that the hour of victory is at hand.

Happy the mother who possesses the wisdom of the Cross, the virtue of Jesus Crucified; all the sweetness and power of it will be hers. Let her then practice this crucified love without ceasing; let her earnestly pray for it as for the surest and sublimest grace of perfection.