Sunday, January 16, 2011

Catholic schools, weak?

Tracy Lyn and I are at a crossroads or at least a roundabout -- which in many ways is even more confusing than a crossroads.  It's decision time for Teresa's schooling for this Fall.  We need to decide by January 30th if she is to go to an expensive Catholic preschool or to the free public alternative (enrollment deadline: this Thursday).  But, like I said, this is a a roundabout... maybe we should hold off on four year old preschool and wait until kindergarten or perhaps enroll her in some other classes instead of preschool -- dance, music, art, etc.

Okay.  If money wasn't an object (or obstacle), I think the natural choice would be the Catholic school option.  Thing is, they are pretty expensive, especially compared to free public schools.  $1125.   Another thing is, are they truly Catholic?

I went to Catholic everything through high school.  But despite this Catholic schooling, I wasn't well schooled in the most important part of a Catholic education, the Catholic Faith.  High school was even a little New Age-y.  Sad.

What's the main difference in the curriculum between Catholic and public?   In Catholic Pre Teresa would be read Bible stories, taught Christian moral values, have prayer and basically be able talk about God.   Now to me, that kinda thing is priceless.  But is it worth $1125?

Most of our Catholic friends don't send their kids to Catholic school and if they had, they thought it really wasn't significantly Catholic enough... that teachers not being Catholic themselves or teaching things quite contrary about the Faith.  And I understand that we cannot simply leave Teresa's formation up to her teachers.  First and foremost it is our responsibility as parents.

Is the answer homeschooling?  Not for us.  Tracy Lyn is pretty sure that's not her calling.  And I ponder if all the well-formed parents pull their well-formed kids from the deformed Catholic schools, we won't have any Catholic schools left.  Case in point, the Catholic grade school I attended has since closed down.  Now they rent out the classrooms to the public school system.

I think you can tell my bias.  I'm leaning towards the flawed Catholic school system if we can possibly swing it financially.  I think being able to pray and talk about God in school is worth the steep price and as Catholic Christians we must expect to make sacrifices.  Hard ones.  If our Faith is worth dying for, it's worth paying for, even dearly.

The final decision is going to take more prayer and discernment... there's no doubt about that.

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