"Why I Homeschool"

Catholic Parents Speak Out

by John Vennari

From August 2 to 4, 1996, Our Lady of the Rosary Home School Center in Bardstown, Kentucky held its annual conference and graduation. Speakers at the conference were Cardinal Gagnon, Father David Przedweicki and Dr. William Marra.

Cardinal Gagnon administered Confirmation on Sunday and father Przedweicki celebrated a Latin Tridentine Mass for the Saturday graduation exercises.

Catholic Family News took this opportunity to interview parents in order to hear from their own lips why they homeschool. Some of the responses were predictable, some heart-wrenching, some surprising.

Sex-education in the schools along with the heretical and / or insipid catechism courses seem to be the most common reasons for parents to take upon themselves the enormous responsibility of home-schooling. There were other reasons as well.

It was not unusual to meet parents who started homeschooling because the local schools were usurping the parent's rights.

The speakers at the conference reiterated that it is the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church that parents are the primary educators of their children. Schools are meant to be helpmates of the parents and must respect the parents wishes regarding the education of their children. Now the reverse has taken place, and the educational "experts" will dictate what the child learns and whether the parents approve or not.

Some of the speakers quoted a recent Vatican document that reinforces parental rights. But sadly, when the speakers were asked if the Vatican intends to inaugurate any disciplinary measures against bishops and chancery offices that ignore or betray parents rights, the answer was that there are none.

Therefore, homeschool parents are still very much without meaningful support. They have an uphill battle on their hands since their stand will usually put them in opposition to local diocesan centers. However, most homeschooling parents possess the grace and courage to be undaunted in the face of this. One Kentucky mother, calm and smiling, neatly summed up why she makes the great sacrifices that homeschooling requires: "I do it to keep my kids Catholic." Enough said.