Lately I've been considering more why I want to home educate, and so I've started writing them down. Thus far I've come up with several reasons which I will go through in due course. The reasons at the top of my list are related to my Catholic faith. These reasons are: the desire for my children to have a completely orthodox education, and the ability to attend daily Mass as a family. (Please note: any of the reasons I give are simply my reasons for my family. Every family must decide for themselves what is best for their family)
Most of the Catholic schools here receive public funding. The good thing about this is that it means the parents don't have to pay to send their children to that school; the down side is that it means the school must use the national curriculum. While there definitely are schools that retain their Catholic identity even with using the national curriculum, it is more difficult. I want the Catholic faith to permeate their education, through all subjects, and not just be tacked on in one class. Nor do I want their instruction on their faith to be watered down or compromised in any way. This is perhaps most obvious in sex ed classes, but isn't limited to that. I'll ensure they are exposed to other ideas, of course, but not in a way that will undermine their faith. I will also endeavour to ensure they are taught the "why" behind all we do and believe.
Related to the desire for them to have an orthodox education is the desire to take the children to daily Mass when possible. We often go to Mass during the week; Kieran asks to go daily, but I don't always get everyone ready in time. I've really no excuse for that, since we get to 8.00 Mass on Sundays, and daily Mass is at 9.00. Of course, we also don't eat breakfast until after Sunday Mass, which helps. I don't know of any of the parish schools that have the children attend Mass even on a weekly or monthly basis. A lot of that is just a matter of logistics: some priests oversee more than one parish and school, and many parishes cannot hold all the students at once, so they'd have to break it down by grade. I understand why it would be difficult for them to do it, so I don't fault them for it. However, it is something that I can do, and which is already a part of our routine.
OK, so why don't I send them to a private Catholic school? After all, they don't have to use the national curriculum and may perhaps be more likely to offer daily Mass more regularly. Well, one reason is that I can't afford that, but that is not the only reason. The other reasons have to do with my other, perhaps more general, reasons to homeschool, and those will be dealt with in other posts.