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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources
John Tuttle - 4 Areas of Education Least Explored by Homeschooling Families

4 Areas of Education Homeschoolers Should Explore

3 minutes

Summary

John Tuttle reviews four groups of homeschool activities essential for children to grow strong in their faith and be able to function properly in society.

We all know that homeschooling, especially as Catholics, is often difficult for the parents of the homeschooled children.

After all, the parents have the responsibility of teaching their sons and daughters about their faith, the world, and life in addition to a basic education. Thus, the adults in their lives have a lot to pass down to younger generations.

But even the most engaging and loving of parents cannot provide all of the socialization needed for their children. It’s true. Kids need healthy relationships with their peers of the same age range.

The interaction and conversation between them will be on the same general level of experience. They will be able to relate more to their fellow children. They will make friends. They need engagement with people outside of the everyday surroundings of the home.

You love your kids and are disheartened to see them grow up and leave the household, but you have to understand that this is best for them. Your child should never become a homebody. NEVER.

Even if you have a kid with disabilities, there are numerous out of the home activities that you can accompany them to or drop them off at. You want the best for your son or daughter. You want them to be strong in their faith as well as be able to function properly in society.

Here, I am going to go over the four major groups of homeschooling activities that are essential to a child’s social life, faith life, and simple functionality know-how.

1) Technology

My parents were quite restrictive in what I was exposed to in my early development. I was pretty sheltered from modern technology, particularly the internet. I didn’t even really know the capabilities of the web until I was in my teens! There was really no huge need for it. As a student of a Christian homeschool co-op, I knew next to nothing about the potential benefits within my fingers’ reach.

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I did all my research the old-fashioned way, using books. (This is not a bad skill to know by the way.) But when I started taking college courses, I was overwhelmed with how much time I had to be spending on the unfamiliar web and an unfamiliar website layout. This was particularly the case for classes like English and math.

In a way, I am thankful for an initial lack of internet knowledge. We know the web is loaded with trash that’s not age-appropriate or appropriate period. (This mainly arises through social media.)

But what I am trying to get across from the story is that parents need not completely deprive their children of modern technology. The world is full of it, and it’s what makes our world go round.
So it is helpful that the next generation knows how to use it. Some people even learn information best or quickest via visual and audio tactics, which include modern multimedia like videos. Videos, since they are composed of visuals and audio, are often immensely beneficial to visual and auditory learners. Don’t deprive young minds of this valuable learning aid.

2) Sports

The necessity of sports seems like a no-brainer, but I still want to put an emphasis on it. Physical education is crucial for muscle development as well as a whole host of other healthful issues. Whether it be soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, bale, tae kwon do, karate, or any other bodily-involved sports, it is a good thing for a child to experience.

For one, it helps people stay physically fit. Participation in sports requires young people to be pushed to and beyond their limits. It will teach children to expect the best of themselves in their endeavors in life. In addition to that, sports can also teach your kid about discipline and about being able to work in a competitive team environment. Also, at least as far as boys are concerned, sports can almost act like therapy for young men transitioning through puberty.

3) Church Youth Group

Our Lord said, “‘For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them'” (Matt. 18:20). Your parish youth group is capable of opening the doors to Christ’s graces into the lives of young men and women. On a much larger scale, as a teen, I even attended huge collective Catholic youth gatherings such as the annual Steubenville conferences. This particular retreat is inspiring as youth see thousands of their peers trying to grow in their Catholic faith.

But even at the local meetings, your kid will learn more and likely grow in their spiritual lives. They ought to be around likeminded people going through similar struggles as themselves and who are willing to place their trust in God. It can be a powerful, moving, and transformative experience. Like sports, the local Catholic youth group aids in general socializing, helping to generate friendly, long-term relationships.

4) Other Out of the Home Classes

Though many parents are unaware of it, there are typically many opportunities for kids to learn and have fun on a local level. For example, several times a year, the public town library where I grew up offered free arts and crafts events specifically for homeschooled students. Museums, the community college, and other institutions of the area held science and history classes for preteen kids.

Such affordable classes are good in that the children enrolled in them are put in an environment to which they are unaccustomed. This should be looked at as a positive experience. If you are unsure of where to go to look for such events as these, simply ask some friends.

See if they had children, relatives, or friends take any similar course of action. Homeschooling parents would benefit from paying attention and being involved in these four educational categories.

Homeschooling parents would benefit from paying attention and being involved in these four educational categories.

As I said, all of these activities will help children to grow in knowledge, skills, and virtue. They shall provide a firm foundation. And hopefully, it will bring them closer to you, their friends, and our Lord.

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