This February, I have featured several homeschooling mamas as they share their "heart of homeschooling." This is the last in the series and I have Tina Rodriguez, mother of three and writer extraordinaire.
To read the whole series, click here. I hope this glimpse of our hearts inspires you to at least look into the beauty of homeschooling.
The seeds that were planted during that time have grown considerably, and we don’t regret heeding the call to nurture those seeds — the seeds of faith, hope and love.
My husband and I grew up as nominal Catholics at best, until we became members of a Catholic charismatic community for young people. By God’s grace, we were able to deepen our faith through the many activities we had and came to know Christ on a personal level.
Still, I sometimes wonder how my life would have turned out if my faith had been deepened and strengthened at a much younger age. I led a dark, “double life” for quite some time, especially as a teen/young adult — but that’s for another post! ;)
Now that I have kids of my own, it is my desire, and my husband’s, too, that they grow up knowing the riches and beauty of our Catholic faith — and of having a personal relationship with Jesus.
I know this is possible even if we weren’t homeschooling but I believe that it is made more possible by teaching our children at home. Furthermore, I believe that homeschooling is the way our family can grow in faith.
In this day and age, when almost everything we see on the news is chaos, despair, crime and tragedy, it can be easy to lose hope. It can be easy to just give up. It can be easy to think, “There’s no bright future for us.”
I don’t believe this though. And I don’t want my children to grow up thinking and believing it either. By educating them at home — the best way we know how — we want to instill in them that attitude of hopefulness.
We want them to always seek the good in everything and everyone; to believe that God has a bright beautiful future in store for them; to move forward in all aspects of their lives, with the hope that they can achieve their life dreams and goals.
I believe that, at least for now, homeschooling is the best way to give our children true, lasting hope.
As parents, I believe we are all called to love our children — and to teach them to love God and others. I also believe that we need to teach our kids that the ultimate goal in life is not to “do well,” but to “love well.” I believe that homeschooling is one of the best ways we can teach them this.
I’d like to quote from an article by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., titled, “The Teaching of the Catholic Church on Home Schooling — Parents For Eternal Life” (emphasis mine):
Parents’ responsibility to educate their children is primary. This means, it is their first responsibility. It is primordial; it is inalienable; it is almost impossible to provide an adequate substitute.
It is critically important to understand what the Church means when she says that parents have the primary right and duty to teach their children.
After all, there is a primacy in what the children are being taught.
- They can be taught how to walk and how to talk.
- They can be taught how to read and write.
- They can be taught arithmetic, and spelling and history and geography.
And what better way to train them for heaven than to train them to love? Above all, we want our kids to love and seek God with all their hearts, which is why we named our homeschool “The Kingdom-Seekers Academy,” from Matthew 6:33.
The Heart of Homeschooling
This, then, is the heart of our homeschooling: faith, hope and love.
“So faith, hope, love remain, these three;but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Tina Rodriguez is a Catholic wife and home educating mom by vocation, and a writer and editor by profession. She works at home three days a week and considers homeschooling as one of her advocacies and passions. She shares about “the riches of faith, family and life in general” on her blog, Truly Rich Mom.
Read the rest of the series: