I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through grade 13 (in Canada we used to have an extra grade before you could attend university). I even went to a Catholic college after university! So, after 18 years of Catholic education you would think I would be pretty knowledgeable in my faith. Right?
I am almost embarrassed to admit that I did not know FUNDAMENTAL things about my faith. I did not know that the four gospels were actually the same stories told by different people. I did not know that during the mass the bread and wine actually becomes the body and blood of our Lord. I didn't even know what any of the prayers meant...but I could recite them all.
Now, looking back, I can't imagine that these facts were not taught in school. Perhaps they were and they just meant nothing to me so I discarded them? But, am I alone in this? Can it be that after 18 years of Catholic school, I was no further in my faith than if I had gone to public school?
It wasn't until my mid twenties that religion changed for me. My room mate from college took me to adoration. For anyone who doesn't know (of course this included me at the time), adoration is when the consecrated host (the Eucharist) is displayed for people to pray to. Slowly after that, the Holy Mass became something I loved. Something I actually needed in my life, instead of somewhere I had to go on Sundays.
Sometimes I look at faithful Christians (and yup Catholics are Christians) and I admire the great love they have for Jesus. For me, it is a slow (but steady) relationship I am trying to develop. When I talk about Jesus to my children, I talk about Him with such excitement and joy because I want them to grow up with that love of God I admire in other Christians.
This is my primary goal for raising my children.
Honestly, they can learn academics anywhere...whether in Catholic, public, or home school. What I can't afford to let them miss is learning about our faith. I want my children to have the kind of excitement of being Catholic that will evangelize others they meet!
In a special document titled "Letter to Families" Pope John Paul II writes "Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents. You are the first and best role model for your child in these growing years. Your role as parents to love, teach and lead your child to Jesus is a remarkable and noble vocation"
So in the coming weeks, as I plan my first year of homeschooling, I am going to keep in mind my primary goal for raising my children so that they learn what I didn't in Catholic School.
Wife to an amazing husband and mom to three beautiful girls. We are a Catholic family raising our children in the faith. We will be beginning our homeschool adventure and look forward to sharing our journey on this blog!