Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
I'm making the big jump to homeschooling. If you'd have told me five years ago that I'd be teaching my children at home I'd have asked for a drug test. For you and me.
But it's come to it. And I'm nervous and anxious. AND COMPLETELY IGNORANT!!!! I'm used to being ignorant but nervous and anxious are new to me.
So here's me tale of woe. My kids went to our local parish school and we loved it. The faith formation in that school was excellent; so excellent that I was willing to overlook the fact that sometimes the teachers weren't the best and I had to do some of the heavy lifting at home. I really was fine with it.
But then we were regionalized. (Cue the impending doom music.) Regionalization is when three or four Catholic schools become one big Catholic school. One of the biggest problems I see with the regionalization of Catholic schools is that when you have many pastors in charge, you really don't have any pastor in charge. Even when you tell one pastor about issues you're having, he may have to convince three, four, five or even six other pastors about this problem being a reality. And if they haven't heard the same then it's tough to get any traction.
The academics at the newer school weren't much better and I didn't believe that the faith formation at the regionalized school was anywhere even close to our old school.
So I'm making the jump. I'm going to homeschool my youngest three who are going into second, fourth, and sixth grade. I've already read a few books and read a lot on homeschooling mom's blogs and websites. (Note: Some of these moms should write about their bad days sometimes because reading them can be pretty intimidating in that every day seems like a glorious adventure of militarized ((yet holy)) brilliance. I suspect our school days will fall short of perfection.
Here's what I know. I know I love my kids and I want them to love and understand their faith and I want them to enjoy challenging themselves academically. I honestly feel I can do that better at home.
My mind is swimming with information and I'm still making sense of it all. I don't even know what curriculum we're going to use yet. But any words of advice would be good for me to hear. I'm jumping in. Hope that water's safe.