As a writer on Catholic matters, I’m often contacted by parents who tell me about the outrageous abuses and anti-Catholic activities taking place at their child’s school. Sometimes they’ll ask me to do some research or to write an article. I’ll then spend hours looking into the problem, making phone calls, sending emails, taking statements, making screenshots and generally investigating in the appropriate manner. Typically, I’ll be stonewalled by the Archdiocese in question or even dissuaded from reporting by a chancery employee, as happened recently when I was gathering information about a transgender teacher working in a Melbourne boys’ school. At the end of the process, I submit my article to be published and finally send the link to the parents. Usually, those parents express their gratitude, then …… leave their child in the school.
Despite knowing how bad things are, many parents persist in exposing their innocent little ones to an anti-Catholic environment!
This is a never-ending source of amazement and frustration! Despite knowing how bad things are, many parents persist in exposing their innocent little ones to an anti-Catholic environment! This is even after they have been challenged by this author to consider they will one day have to stand before God and explain to Him why they paid out thousands and thousands of dollars to have their precious children taught error.
Desperate times, as they say, call for desperate measures. The trouble is, many Catholic families just aren’t desperate enough. Well, they might be desperate for work after being fired due to a jab mandate. Or they might be desperate to sell their home for which the mortgage repayments have skyrocketed. But are they desperate to save their children’s souls? Desperate enough to homeschool?
There are three main objections raised by Catholic parents to home-schooling their children. There are firstly concerns about their child’s ability to gain access to higher education or future employment. Secondly, some parents worry about the capacity of home-educated children to integrate into society; and thirdly, resistant parents believe they lack the skills needed to educate their children. A fourth, less common problem, occurs when one parent wants to home-educate and the other does not. This is a real obstacle, but unless there is a valid reason why home-schooling is not possible, then the supportive parent needs to make a serious effort at prayer and sacrifice in order to gain the grace to home-educate. It is simply an evasion to dismiss the opportunity to protect one’s child without making a sustained, prayerful effort to change a spouse’s mind.
Apprehensions regarding access to university or employment are easily allayed when a concerned parent makes the effort to talk to families who have successfully home-educated their children. They will see that God always makes a way for faithful families. There are thousands of accounts of home-schooled children who have gone on to do great things, or even more humble things very well. When we ‘seek first the kingdom of God’, as we do when taking full responsibility for forming our children's souls, then more is given to us. Unless parents are (unjustifiably) worried about losing the prestige that comes with sending their child to an ‘elite’ school, then home-education presents no obstacle to either tertiary education or to finding a decent job.
Complete strangers have no scruples about approaching home-schoooling parents to suggest that their children are not being ‘socialized’ properly - usually without defining what is ‘socialization’. Perhaps a good response is to ask them whether spending 6 or 7 hours a day with young people who are aborting, consuming pornography and otherwise living as practical atheists is what they mean by ‘socialization.’
The second concern arises when parents are swayed by specious arguments regarding ‘socialization.’ For it appears that when it comes to homeschooling, every Tom, Dick and Harry suddenly considers himself a psychologist. Complete strangers have no scruples about approaching home-schoooling parents to suggest that their children are not being ‘socialized’ properly - usually without defining what is ‘socialization’. Perhaps a good response is to ask them whether spending 6 or 7 hours a day with young people who are aborting, consuming pornography and otherwise living as practical atheists is what they mean by ‘socialization.’
As a real-life example of the ‘socialization’ being provided by mainstream-schooled children, a social media contact explained his sad experience. He had allowed his two sons to join a school sporting team as a way of building the community in their town. After a particular session, the young people went out together for a meal. During that one brief contact, a female student from the school decided the home-schooled boys needed a verbal sex education lesson. Socialization? It’s more like a horror story. When it comes to ignorant, irrelevant questions, “What about socialization?” ranks right up there with others, such as “Don’t you have to be a qualified teacher?” [The answer to this is, “No, of course you don’t.”]
The third and by far the most common reason not to homeschool, at least in the experience of this author, is that the parents say they lack the patience to do so. Any Catholic parent settling for this excuse needs to take a long, hard look at the obligations set upon them by the Church, and thus by God Himself. A perceived lack of virtue is absolutely no excuse for intentionally exposing one’s child to heresy or immorality day after day. It suggests that God is not capable of transforming our selfish natures through the hard work of teaching and disciplining our families. It is also an insult to the dedicated home-schooling parents who have made the effort to deny themselves and who have stormed heaven for the grace to be able to persevere in teaching their own children.
We all know it is wrong for someone to say that he commits adultery because he is ‘a bit slack’, or for someone to say she often misses Sunday Mass because she is ‘too lazy’. But somehow when it comes to teaching their children, many parents give themselves a pass and instead throw their precious children to the wolves of the highly-secularized Catholic education system.
When the Freemasons realized in the 18th century that ‘whoever controls schools controls everything’, they set about influencing as many children as possible between the ages of 6 and 18, primarily through the school system.
A further justification parents make for resisting home-education is that their child’s school is ‘not all bad’. One would hope not, because a parent who subjected their child to a school which was ‘all bad’ would not be a fit parent! Parents are naive to think that Freemasons, Communists and gender ideologues are only dangerous when their presence is completely obvious. It is no secret that these groups have all engaged in the ‘long march’ approach to propagating their particular brand of error. They know that targeting schools by hiding errors inside a framework of truth is the ideal way to socially engineer a community according to their own immoral standards.
For example, when the Freemasons realized in the 18th century that ‘whoever controls schools controls everything’, they set about influencing as many children as possible between the ages of 6 and 18, primarily through the school system. The religious indifferentism espoused by Freemasonry and which has infiltrated Catholic schools due to its influence was specifically condemned by Pope Leo XIII in Affari Vos:
“Similarly, it is necessary to avoid at all costs, as most dangerous, those schools in which all beliefs are welcomed and treated as equal, as if, in what regards God and divine things, it makes no difference whether one believes rightly or wrongly, and takes up with truth or error.” [emphasis added.]
Similarly, when Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto called for ‘free education’, they knew that parents would leap at the chance, not realizing that Marxist teachers would ensure children were indoctrinated into left-wing political theory. Lenin even boasted that he didn’t need a child’s entire school-life to create a potential little Communist, saying, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown shall never be uprooted.”
Proponents of gender ideology have been equally subtle, moving first from schools’ ‘student wellbeing’ centers into their anti-bullying programs, then finally planting their ideas into the general curriculum.
The famous ex-Communist turned-Catholic convert, Bella Dodd, was well aware of the value of infiltrating schools, explaining to the US Senate how Communists used “every educational medium … from the nursery school to the universities,” and that using Communist teachers was essential to creating a “Soviet America.”
Proponents of gender ideology have been equally subtle, moving first from schools’ ‘student wellbeing’ centers into their anti-bullying programs, then finally planting their ideas into the general curriculum. Now there is basically no escaping gender ideology anywhere - it is ubiquitous to some degree in even the ‘best’ diocesan-based schools. Only a few independent Catholic schools have managed to escape gender propaganda - and even those tend not to be unaffected by other errors such as evolution and feminism. Thus, we ignore at our peril those anti-Catholic teachers who have either been specifically trained to corrupt our children, or who are merely poorly-formed - even in an environment that is ‘not all bad.’
As if the harmful academic content found in most schools isn’t enough to navigate, there may also exist devious state laws which make it spiritually, or even physically, dangerous to send our children to a mainstream Catholic school. In my state, for example, children can be prescribed contraception or given an abortion, or helped to transition to the opposite sex, without parental consent or knowledge. Also worrying is the ability, in some areas, of schools to administer COVID injections to those students who themselves express consent. We would all hope that our children have had enough formation to resist making these harmful mistakes, but realistically, there are always going to be children who stray, even from an early age. While home-educating families are obviously not immune from this possibility, detecting problems and protecting children from soul-destroying influences is far easier when they are schooled at home.
We do no favors to our children by making them endure harmful environments due to our own weakness or due to a misguided belief that they will be able to help others by their good example. Children who do somehow manage to escape becoming brainwashed by the targeted indoctrination will not be unaffected by the constant effort needed to filter out errors. We are basically forcing them to become jaded or cynical and mistrustful of adults. It is no fun for them to have to navigate the error-laced education given in school then to go home to deprogram with their parents. It is far better to take that burden from a child’s shoulders and grant him or her the relative freedom of learning at home.
No one ever said it was easy to home-educate, and in fact, if anyone finds it easy, then it is probably not being implemented in a conscientious way. Home-educators are not perfect Catholics with perfect children living in perfect homes. Home education can, however, be simple, and that is what most parents don’t understand. There is so much that can be accomplished, even with limited resources - and this refers to both finances and to the parent’s academic skill. God will not fail to provide either materially or through an increase of virtue, or even of intelligence, for families who put their full trust in Him.
When even the ‘best’ Catholic schools practice pagan ceremonies or hire ‘married’ homosexual teachers, then parents may be risking mortal sin by allowing their children to be exposed to such evils (and they certainly are if there is not good catechesis at home). It will probably not go well for us at our judgment, to have to tell God that we felt too impatient, too disorganized or otherwise ill-equipped for home-schooling the children He entrusted to us. It is far better to try, and to be able to face God knowing that we did our best to raise our children in the Faith, expending ourselves completely for His sake and for the sake of our beloved sons and daughters.
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