Elizabeth Yank wrote a thought-provoking piece today at Catholic Lane titled "Why Do We Homeschool?" She opines that home-schooling educates "the whole child," focusing not only on academics but also, more importantly, on eternity.
Yank, a freelance writer and blogger, points out the need to educate not only children's minds, but also their hearts and hands. As St. Bonaventure said, "To know much and taste nothing — of what use is that?"
"We sometimes become so consumed with educating our children's mind, we overlook shaping their wills, teaching self-control of their drives and passions, training their hands, and nourishing their hearts and souls," Yank says in the article. "Anybody can accomplish school academics for a year. We want to instill a lifelong love of learning, a striving to be a saint."
Yank ultimately concludes that "[h]omeschooling is all about love." It is a place of love, a miniature church that leads children to love, which is as Blessed John Paul II wrote in his encyclical Familiaris Consortio, "the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being."
As a home-school graduate, this reflects my experience quite accurately. I was nurtured body, mind and soul, and I developed a deep love for my Catholic Faith as well as the "lifelong love of learning" that Yank encourages. Hard work, dedication, passion, patience, self-control, compassion, faith … all this and more were instilled through my education.
As the public school environment becomes more and more hostile to Christianity, is home-schooling becoming a more viable option? How important is it to find that balance between faith and academics?
Jennifer Rey is the web editor of Our Sunday Visitor Publishing.