Mom-to-Mom Support/How do you find peace with your homeschooling choices?

How do you find peace with your homeschooling choices?

Mom and daughter hugging


How do you find peace with your homeschooling choices? There are so many wonderful Catholic choices out there (how wonderful). But I seem to have a difficult time narrowing down my choices and as a result, I try to do too much and become overwhelmed.

Since I am so new to homeschooling, I have a tough time making objective choices or trying to evaluate what best suits my children.

In addition, I feel pressure from family who oppose homeschooling to prove that my children can exceed their expectations, so I want to perhaps make choices to please them instead of my family.

I was wondering if you could share some of your beautiful words of wisdom. I feel that I finally found peace with homeschooling, but I need to find peace with the choices of materials that I use.

God Bless!

Dear Mom,

Isn’t it always true that we never imagined the depth to which we will love a child until that very moment we hold him in our arms and realize that this precious gift is ours to nurture and care for?

We are allowed the great blessing of being instrumental in a child’s life from the Father’s love for the child He created. Jesus loves us more than we can humanly imagine. Jesus loves the child that He gives us more than we can imagine. From the great love for the child that Jesus has, He gives the child to those parents that He knows can be His instrument of care for the child while on earth, until that time that Jesus calls the child home.

Parents who foster a teachable spirit, first in themselves, can foster a teachable spirit in their children. This teachable spirit is the very foundation of our being able to do the Lord’s will and to participate fully in the Lord’s plan for our lives and those of our children.

Many times the Tempter will use the distraction of confusion to lead us away from the comfort of the knowledge that Jesus is guiding us every step of the way. The Tempter wants us to think that the choices and decisions we must make are the burden of our own human understanding. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Jesus knows the decisions that we must make, and He willingly and lovingly involves Himself to the extent that we will let Him. The discernment process is vital in our accepting the guidance of Jesus and our feeling of peace in the choices that we make.

Does this peace mean that we will be burden free in our work? No. But the peace that passes all human understanding will give us such a comfort that despite the burdens and challenges, we will work joyfully and with our eyes on Heaven.

Your children are very young, and your prudence in thinking in terms of academics is inspired from the Holy Spirit. When children are young, they have a natural and nearly spiritual desire to attain new knowledge. They are, in effect, “learning machines.” Each new experience (and there are so many when you have only been alive on earth for such a short time) is an opportunity to expand your understanding of the world and your place in it.

Parents who strive to bring their children to the most important knowledge they can have (the knowledge of the love of Jesus for them and His care for their lives and the true reality of their eventual Heaven home) will be rewarded over and over again. Rewarded in that their will for their children is in direct accordance with the will of Jesus.

When children are young they need a foundation that enables them to build upon their great capacity for learning and their natural joy when doing so. To a child learning is not about academics but about discovery and the excitement of mastery of skills which will help them gain autonomy in the world.

Do you remember the first days when your dear little ones were learning to walk? They were consumed with the mastery of that skill. Many times children will lose a little weight during this time because they would rather learn to walk than take time to eat. Each day’s work in learning that skill was profoundly focused upon the task at hand. There was no limit to the number of times that they would be willing to fall on their little bottoms as they reached and struggled to pull up and eventually walk on their own.

An adult would think the work enough and be glad to rest for a year or two until it was time to learn a new skill. Hee, hee. But not a child. One day they walk and that very same afternoon they are striving to run and climb higher and learn more. This is our advantage in teaching the very young. We must make certain that the curriculum we choose is in tune with a child’s natural desire to learn and the child’s method of learning. This is the great beauty of a curriculum that offers flexibility and an invitation through that curriculum to experiment and discover for ourselves what works and what does not for our child. Creativity is a gift from the Lord which we can use to become better teachers.

In addition, young children are eager to learn many new skills, from bouncing a ball 10 times in a row to the art of reading. There must be room in the curriculum for the child to learn many new things at the same time or the child will soon become bored and find the rote work of formal schooling tedious and unprofitable. CHC’s curriculum for the young child is designed with the young learner in mind. The curriculum is written in such a way that the daily formal work is not burdensome and allows that there is plenty of time in a day for a child to be about the other work of learning (the adventures of being a child).

Foundational work through a curriculum that focuses on skills which will aid in reading readiness and comprehension of math skills is vital. Better to focus on these skills alone than to overburden a child with information that is soon forgotten and oftentimes repeated at different levels in the education process. Learning to read is fundamental to a child’s ability to capitalize upon their learning desire and ability to do so.

Whichever curriculum you choose, know that the Lord is your helpmate and works alongside you to teach your children. We must, through our witness, teach a child to yearn for the Lord. To yearn for something is to work for it and make it your heart. Jesus allows that all children learn so that they can yearn for Him.

I have had the great blessing of reviewing many different curricula, Catholic as well as not, and I can truthfully say that the majority of the curriculum that I have reviewed are complete and desirous of imparting information to students. The curriculum providers are sincere in their desire to offer an alternative to public education that is workable and doable.

It is no wonder that you may find the choice hard to make. For myself, I chose first and foremost a Catholic curriculum. You can be confident in knowing that CHC has been developed to be educationally sound and truly Catholic in approach.

Jesus has created your children and bestowed upon you the great blessing of being His instrument of witness in their lives. Pray about your choices and then rest in the choice that you make. Go forward into the work at hand, and when you feel your spirit becoming unsettled with regard to situations, first pray to be at peace. If peace follows then you are within the Lord’s will. Jesus promised that His Holy Spirit would guide and direct us every step of our journey.

Sending out a prayer,
Rita Munn

About Rita Munn

Rita Munn is a veteran homeschool mother of ten. For many years she was a popular speaker at Catholic homeschooling conferences. Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she can remember, and she loves to use her writing skills to share her homeschooling experience with other parents. Her “family journal” reflections are featured in CHC’s Educating for Eternity e-newsletter.