Monday, January 14, 2008

Our Lady of the Rosary Homeschooling

CFN: What is Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc?

OLRS: Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc is an internationally recognized Catholic correspondence school for children in grades pre-kindergarten through twelve. Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc is more than just a school. however. it is an apostolate dedicated to saving the souls of children by giving them an opportunity to receive a truly Catholic education. Our mission is to help parents teach their children their Holy Catholic Faith in its entirety and we use academics to do it. We have been helping parents educate their children at home for over eighteen years. We provide parents with all the materials they need to give their children a sound well-rounded Catholic education. which will provide a thorough preparation for further academic growth and development in their own home. We furnish a highly integrated and Sequential Catholic curriculum, complete with lesson plans, teacher manuals and workbooks. But it doesn't stop there: we also provide: exams, teacher assistance by phone or on the Internet, counseling, teacher correction of exams, report cards, diplomas, grade retention as well as transcripts of student grades for college. When this material is placed in the hands of loving parents, the results are astounding.

CFN: How and why did Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc get started?

OLRS: There was a time when good Catholic schools were readily available to Catholic families throughout our land. These schools were the hope of our Church and the faithful. and the future of the Church was secure with this continuing instruction of our children in the truths of our ancient Faith.

Tragically. that day has passed, and many Catholics are greatly alarmed about the lack of concern for Catholic doctrine in our schools. For many years Catholic authors have not written Catholic textbooks. Catholic textbooks are no longer required in our Catholic schools and are no longer permitted where state or federal funds are provided. Parents are alarmed to hear their children quoting heresy or half-truths, being taught by Modernists who present their own interpretation of the Catholic Faith.

In response to this dilemma, a group of concerned Catholic priests, educators, parents, authors, and illustrators, spearheaded by William and Janice Smyth, came together to voice their growing opposition to this trend and to establish a program for the welfare of the children and the Church. Each of these persons had his own area of expertise in the educational environment and each is a devoted Catholic whose beliefs were based on the Faith as consistently taught by the Magisterium of the Church for over nineteen centuries. They established Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc in 1983, a nonprofit educational corporation, governed by a board of directors who are faithful to the teachings of the Church and whose primary concern is for the souls and minds of the students. This school and the governing body looks to the Mother of God for guidance in leading students to God the Father through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

CFN: What are the reasons most people choose to teach their children at home?

OLRS: There are many reasons today. Passing on the Catholic Faith in its entirety is the main reason. Academic and social reasons are also factors for many.

CFN: Does the reason a family chooses to teach their children at home have any effect on their success?

OLRS: The choice of homeschooling for spiritual reasons produces at least about a 50% higher success rate. In other words. the percentage of families who stick with it and see it through to the end are generally those who are doing it for the sake of their children's souls. Homeschooling is a commitment just like marriage and if the commitment is for spiritual reasons it will last. If it is not, then other things may become more important.

CFN: Do the spiritual reasons have to be Catholic?

OLRS: Yes. Our Catholic Faith is truth. In an academic environment it would be sheer nonsense to teach anything that was not truth. It will also make the difference between a good life here and hereafter.

CFN: Are you saying that the Catholic Faith is just as important as academics?

OLRS: If I had to choose between teaching the Catholic Faith or teaching academics, I would teach my children the Catholic Faith. Fortunately we do not have to make this kind of decision. We all know many people who are full of knowledge, or well educated by today's standards, and their lives are a mess. This is because they have only been half educated: the physical side was educated and the spiritual side was neglected or not proportionately educated. Truly Catholic education consists of educating both sides in equal balance. Our Lady of the Rosary School's curricula is based on this truth and the tremendous success of our students proves the point. We are not just physical beings. we are both physical and spiritual and to neglect either one is to court disaster here and hereafter.

CFN: What advantage does homeschooling have over classroom education?

OLRS: There are many advantages, but the biggest advantage is the fact that the student will be taught one-on-one. When this advantage is combined with good Catholic text books and a teacher that really cares for him, loves him and knows him better than anyone else, the combination is unbeatable. Another big advantage is that you know exactly what is being taught every minute of the day. Another advantage is that the Catholic homeschooled child will not be deluged with sex education, he will be taught his Holy Catholic Faith instead.

CFN: What about socialization?

OLRS: This is the first question everyone asks. Sadly, socialization in today's schools is probably one of the biggest problems parents face. Recent studies show that the homeschooled child is socially better adjusted than his peers in the classroom sector. This is because our schools are artificially age segregated environments and this type of environment exists nowhere else on earth except in the classroom. Our children are placed in this artificial environment and it is called socialization. They learn to socialize only with children of their own age group and suffer from peer pressure. Then they come home and won't play with their brothers and sisters because they are either too young or too old. In a homeschooled family, age is not a factor. They all play with each other because they don't know any different. Watch a homeschool family and you will see the children socializing with adults of all ages and children of all ages without any difficulty.

CFN: What effect does Catholic homeschooling have on the family?

OLRS: I can only scratch the surface here, otherwise I would be talking all night about the wonderful effects of truly Catholic homeschooling. Catholic homeschooling changes families for the better. It teaches them to work together and sacrifice for each other. It makes family members closer, especially with the parents. A bond is built between student and parent-teacher that will last a lifetime. Children and families become what God intended them to be, full of love for Him and each other. In fact, the family is the real beneficiary of Catholic homeschooling. Certainly the student will benefit because he will receive a loving Catholic education, but the effect of this on the family is beyond words. There will not be any so-called "generation gaps," nor will there be what I call "middle-school eruptions". All the maladies we now associate with childhood and growing up will be mitigated or nonexistent. Of course this depends on the amount of homeschooling the children have, and it is important to remember that homeschooling is a better preventive than a cure.

CFN: What is Catholic homeschooling?

OLRS: Catholic homeschooling is many things, but most importantly it is providing a Catholic education in the environment of a Catholic home, using good Catholic text books. Good text books are extremely important because this is where the education will come from. These text books must be doctrinally pure and contain examples of the Faith being lived. The Faith should flow through all the text books and all the subjects that are being taught. If it doesn't, it will be learned as just another subject and not as a way of life. The other major teaching area is the example of the parents in the home. This is where the students should see the Faith being lived and the fact that their parents love them enough to give them only good Catholic books is their first lesson.

CFN: Can an average parent teach a child at home?

OLRS: It has always been taught by the Church that the parents are the primary educators of their children. Parents not only have the right but also the duty to educate their children. God never gives us a duty without giving us the ability to carry out that duty. The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is the greatest untapped resource of our age. It is an immense, extremely necessary treasury of graces, including all the graces to educate our children. Our experience at Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc has borne this out. We have seen parents with very little education educate students who excelled in college. It is the grace that flows from the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and a good Catholic curriculum that makes this possible.

CFN: What about teaching multiple children?

OLRS: If the children have been homeschooled from the start, it is not very difficult. If they have not been home educated from the start, then it becomes more demanding. But it can be done in both cases. Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc can give you advice and much help from their years of experience.

CFN: How can a parent be sure they have a good Catholic curriculum?

OLRS: If parents are trying to design their own, it could be difficult in the sense that they will be "shooting from the hip", so to speak. The first criterion is to get good Catholic books, preferably in sequence, with all the supporting books. A sequential curriculum is much easier to teach and to learn. Secondly, do not mix books from other religions. If a secular book must be used in limited cases, because of the unavailability of a good Catholic book, use Catholic material such as encyclicals or other Catholic books to supplement the secular text, or at least to give the secular book a Catholic perspective. A Catholic child can easily be taught to differentiate between a godless secular book and a Godly Catholic book, but he will have difficulty differentiating between a book of another religion and a Catholic book. Thirdly, make sure that the Catholic Faith flows through all the subjects and is not taught separately or just in catechism form. Remember that we are trying to educate both the physical and the spiritual equally. This is very important. Printed words speak very loudly.

CFN: How do parents know if they have a sound academic curriculum?

OLRS: Again, this is difficult without knowledge of curricula design. Try to get books that are integrated, sequential and have supporting books that cross grades. It is easier to learn from books that are in a series, especially if the series continue through several grades. Don't be taken in by colors or pretty books. They may appear to be making your teaching job easier but they are really not. It always boils down to content because content is what is going to be learned. Good content in a good Catholic book will produce good results academically and spiritually. Plan ahead and have good lesson plans designed to produce the desired goals set for the day and the year. Test your children frequently to be sure that they are on track and are absorbing and understanding all that is being taught.

CFN: Are there resources to help parents through the decisions and choices?

OLRS: There are a myriad of resources on the market, all vying for your money and the minds of your children. Be careful.

CFN: What advice would you give to parent as they investigate the homeschooling market?

OLRS: I would have to say that first and foremost they should remember that they are Catholic and that they have a responsibility from God to pass on this "pearl of great price" to their children. "Do-it-yourself" books or programs that do not promote strictly Catholic materials or curricula should be avoided. I cannot stress too much the necessity of good Catholic books. If they are getting a complete curriculum, then it should be scrutinized to be sure that, first of all, it is Catholic, and second, that books from other religions are not being mixed with the Catholic books. Ask the supplier outright if they use books from other religions. They will probably tell you that they use only Christian books or used Christian books. That is not good enough. They must be Catholic or at least secular with Catholic supplements.

It is much easier to get a complete curriculum than trying to find all the books and series, as well as designing your own lesson plans, etc. It is also less expensive in the end when you compare book content with book content and price. The time, effort and expense involved in searching for good Catholic books, creating lesson plans, tests, exams, and all the other incidentals involved in creating a good Catholic curriculum can become very burdensome. Obtaining a complete Catholic curriculum also gives you the experience of the curricula provider in the design of the curricula which saves you the problem of having to use the trial and error method on your children.

Call or e-mail Our Lady of the Rosary School Inc and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have and help you in any way we can. We provide complete, integrated, sequential, truly Catholic curricula for grades pre-K through grade twelve, including lesson plans, testing and exams with teacher correction, counseling and input, report cards, grade retention, transcripts, teachers on call or on the Internet, diplomas, etc. We will be happy to explain our program or to answer any questions concerning homeschooling.

CFN: Does it matter when you start homeschooling?

OLRS: No. Parents may enroll their children with us at any time of the year. We operate on a school calendar that is compatible with the laws of all fifty states, but we are also very flexible. The first year of homeschooling is the most difficult because of the fears and apprehensions we all have and because it is new. But once you see the results of your efforts and the love that flourishes in your home you will be amazed at your ability, thankful to God for His help, and each succeeding year will become easier and better as you and your child grow in wisdom and grace. Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for Us.

CFN: One last question. How do parents contact Our Lady of the Rosary School?

Write to us at:
1010 Withrow Court
Bardstown, KY 40004

Call us at: (502) 348-1338

Fax us at:
(502) 348-1943

e-mail us at:

or visit our website:
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