Teaching Our Kids

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By Rebecca Teti

Fridays: Education

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

Whether your children attend school or are homeschooled, this is the spot to ask questions about curricula, religious education, parent-teacher relationships, or academic concerns of any kind.

Please join us!

Rebecca Teti


  • Should we put our kids back in public school if our Catholic school has become lax on many important teachings especially respect and discipline?

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 5:36 AM by Mom

  • Do you prefer lax Catholic teaching or no Catholic/Christian teaching (its a real question)?

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 7:45 AM by Jen

  • Response to Mom. We have never sent our six kids to Catholic school. We have found the local Catholic school to be not really very Catholic. We know many parents whose children attend the Catholic school. Some are very good friends and true Catholics. Others no more Catholic than others (meaning 1.8 kids and bragging about how they won't be having any more ever). Some have pulled their kids out saying it isn't worth the cost and not much Catholicism is being taught. We find it comes down in many cases to just snobbery, keeping their kids in Catholic school because they don't want their kids associating with "those" kids. "Those" meaning poor or different race. Very sad! Luckily we have a good public school that to some people is still somewhat politically incorrect (as in very conservative sex ed). For example, a nationwide pro-homosexual rights group was pushing a "diversity day" last fall. The only school that celebrated it in the county was the local Catholic elementary school. Teaching a child to be Catholic starts in the home. We'll keep our kids in public school for now, if things change, we'll start home schooling.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 8:27 AM by Greg

  • Mom, Are you assuming that teaching respect and discipline are taught in the public schools? And by respect, I mean true Christian respect/charity...not so-called "tolerance/diversity"...meaning that everyone has to agree that everything is acceptable and anything else is considered intolerant or discriminatory. Just a thought...

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 10:41 AM by wondering

  • I have a two-week-old daughter, and my husband and I are considering when to get her baptized. We would like my sister to be the godmother, but she doesn't plan to be in the area until August. Do you think it's okay to wait until 5 months, or is it important to do it sooner, even if it means selecting a different godparent?

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 11:30 AM by Miranda

  • Catholics are only 3% in our county. My question was more of our Catholic obligation to send our children to Catholic School. We started out in public schools and switched because we felt it was our faith to do so. We are very very involved, well known, and visible in the church and school. Administration has and continues to change. The structure has become lax as well as many things I dot want to waste the readers time getting into. I am just wondering if our disappointment and unsatisfaction with school is a just reason to go back to public school as the cost is a huge sacrifice to our family. Just wanted thoughts on this. Thank you all for your comments.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 11:57 AM by Mom

  • Mom, I think your dissatisfaction with your school is a legitimate reason to look to other schools. It sounds like one of your reasons for trying the Catholic school was to make a statement that your faith is important to you and to support an institution that you want to see succeed. You can do those things without sending your kids to the Catholic school. Continue to stay involved in your parish and in your parish's religious ed program, but choose the school that's best for your family.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 12:23 PM by MR

  • Miranda, I like to get my children baptized right away. It is possible to be a godparent by proxy, so perhaps you could talk to your priest about that if she is truly unable to attend an earlier baptism.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 12:24 PM by Alice

  • Two responses in one: Miranda, I think waiting until August is probably not a great idea . . . God forbid but bad things do happen in our world. Having said that, as a military family many times our godparents couldn't attend the actual baptism so we had "stand-ins" who answered for them. This has worked out really well for us. Mom: I don't think you have an obligation to send your kids to the local Catholic school if they are not doing a good job. I hate to see our Catholic schools go away but I would rather see kids go to public schools and know that it is the parents responsibility to teach the faith completely then to continue with the (many but not all) schools that are "Catholic in name only."

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 12:27 PM by Lisa

  • Mom, I worked for a Catholic school that went from being a warm, loving, faith-nurturing environment to a cold, hostile place with a change of administration. If I had had children in the school, I would have put them in the (very good) public school and plenty of good Catholic parents did when they realized that the administration wasn't going to change. From what I understand, the priest has finally caught on and the administration is changing, but I think it would have been bad for my children's faith had they had to be there through these years. My oldest will start at a different Catholic school this fall and we hope that there are no sudden administrative changes. The local public schools tend to change depending on the administrators as well, but at least in public schools the administrators aren't speaking for the Church.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 1:08 PM by Alice

  • Mom- I struggle with this too! I have recently been thinking about it this way....What is the purpose of school? Answer: To get an education and get socialization, discipline etc. I think that it is not the responsibility of any school to teach faith. That is our job as parents. I have met many great Catholic parents who have their kids in a variety of schools - Catholic, private, Protestant private, public, homeschooling. What makes their children's faith strong is how strong the family's faith is - not where they go to school. It sure is nice when the kids are learning about their faith at school but I don't necessarily think that just because you go to Catholic school, a child will end up with strong faith. So, if you feel as though your Catholic school is not doing it's jobs as an educator for your children, it's OK to look somewhere else. You know your kids best!

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 2:27 PM by JM

  • Thanks for all of the input! It is a hard decision and as with everything, we will pray about it.

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 8:38 PM by Mom

  • Miranda, Congratulations on the birth of your precious daughter! What a blessing! I pray that you are adjusting well to life with a newborn! :) Please do not wait to have your child Baptized, it is too important to put off. As others have mentioned, a proxy can stand-in for a godparent who is unable to be present for the Baptism. Her Baptism begins her life of grace, her adoption as a child of God, her welcoming as a member of the Church, the purification of her immortal soul...such an exciting & important event. May God bless you all!

    Posted on Mar 15th, 2013 at 11:22 PM by Patricia

  • Just my .02, your faith "obligation" begins and ends at your children's salvation. The school can save itself if it chooses to. IMHO, as a mom who has done 1 year of public school, 1 year of Catholic school and MANY years of homeschooling who is now being forced (financially due to a NON-mutual separation) to put her children in public school, a good public school is better than a Catholic school where your children will be taught things contrary to the faith, or worse apathy about faith, with the weight of the Church behind those teachings. It is more horrendous, imo, to have a Catholic teacher teach your daughter that "if the Church had its way women would all be barefoot and pregnant all the time" (yes this happened at my children's former Catholic school) than to have a public school say nothing at all on the issue.

    Posted on Mar 16th, 2013 at 7:11 AM by Becky Le

  • JM, beautifully stated. I know many wonderful children, and even many wonderful priests, who attended public school but truly are products of families who sincerely live their faith. I also know many wonderful children in Catholic school whose parents rarely take them to mass and haven't touched a rosary in years. It is sad that these children won't experience a Catholic childhood half as much as their public school counterparts because their parents rely on the school to "teach them Catholicism". It is the family that is the Domestic Church, not the school. As parents we have a grave duty to educate our children, or engage others in assisting in that education. At no time do we have an obligation to support a school that is teaching with the weight and authority of the Catholic Church if its teachings are in error. That puts our children in immortal danger.

    Posted on Mar 16th, 2013 at 7:20 AM by Becky Le

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