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7 Ways Homeschooling Can Prepare Your Child for the Religious Life - Amanda Evinger

7 Ways Homeschooling Can Prepare Your Child for the Religious Life

3 minutes

Summary

Homeschool life and religious life can have some surprising similarities. Amanda Evinger reflects on how homeschooling can nurture a religious vocation.

When I entered the cloister, I knew I was entering “another world.” It was a heavenly world on earth, brimming with graces and afire with lights of the Holy Spirit.

It was a place where the worship of Almighty God was vibrantly alive, little tasks were done with immense love, and the clatter of fleshly concerns was quieted.

I knew it was indeed a beautiful, beautiful life, and that no other life, in a sense, could hold a candle to it.

But after several years in two different religious communities, I soon found out it was not the life Jesus had chosen for me.

Now that I am a mother, I love to look back on my years in religious life and reflect on the ineffable splendor of religious life itself. I love to draw from my experience and share it with my children, and I do love to pray that some day God will mercifully choose one of my children to embrace such a life.

And, I love to think that by homeschooling my children with an authentically Catholic, academically challenging curriculum, I’m preparing them well for their vocation in life, whatever it may be.

I like to see each day of homeschool as one step forward on the jewel-ridden path of their life’s mission; one more day during which they can realize their unique and precious identity as a child of God, created for a glorious purpose on earth and beyond.

As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta once said, “A vocation is like a little seed – it has to be nourished. you have to keep looking at it. It cannot be forced. It comes from above.”

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I believe there are many ways that homeschooling can indeed “nourish” this seed, and prepare a child for the religious life.

1. Preparation for Community

Homeschooling prepares them for life in community, which is the heart of religious life.

By being with their family members and other homeschooling families day in and day out, they are learning to get along with others – not run away from those they don’t like, or form cliques including only those they prefer to be around.

A religious in community expresses their love for God continually by showing charity towards everyone He places in their path.

2. A Life of Continual Prayer

It accustoms them to a life of continual prayer.

When I was in the Carmel, one of the nuns told me that it had been easy to adjust to the praying of the Divine Office seven times a day in Latin because at home, she had prayed it a couple times a day in English with her parents. How beautiful!

Although she did not know Latin, she understood much of the Divine Office because knew many of the words of the Office by heart.

3. Get Used to Being Misunderstood

It gets them used to having a unique place in the world, and therefore, not always being understood.

Religious are often looked down upon by people who don’t understand their lifestyle, or feel they are “wasting” their talents. They live an incredibly gorgeous life close to Jesus – but it is a secret life, one that is not hailed by passers-by.

Many homeschooled families experience the same misunderstanding by others. By being homeschooled, a child will understand the value of sticking up for one’s beliefs and being committed to the calling God has chosen for them, whether or not they are being praised by others.

4. Train them in obedience.

A homeschooled child has to learn to obey their parents well, or they will never get their work done.

Obedience is the main tenet of religious life, and by raising a child to love obedience, a possible future religious vocation can truly be protected.

5. Learning to Live in Common

It fosters a love and understanding of the communal life.

In religious life, they will face the great challenge of living in common and learning to work together with others in very trying ways.

Homeschooled children live a common life with their families, and they learn to work together with others in order to make learning happen gracefully.

6. A Love of Learning

It teaches them the love of learning, especially about spiritual things.

A true Catholic curriculum will integrate religious truths into its texts in many ways. This will teach the child to honor God in all areas of life, which is basically what the religious life is.

When a child is homeschooled, they often grow to love learning because they have time to pray peacefully and develop their personal talents.

7. Teach them to be frugal.

Homeschooling families often struggle to make ends meet, surviving on one main income. Being faithful to a vow of poverty may come easier to a child who was raised watching his parents make financial sacrifices for the greater good.

Homeschooling is a great gift given to our families from the hand of the Creator Himself.

Homeschooling is a great gift given to our families from the hand of the Creator Himself.

This summer, let’s reflect on just how special it really is, and how it can prepare our children to serve the Church in remarkable ways!

Header photo CC daynamore | adobestock.com

About Amanda Evinger

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Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Amanda Evinger now lives in rural North Dakota with her husband Michael and their three young children. Together, they have two home businesses, keep a bountiful garden and care take St. Clement's Oratory. Amanda is passionate about being a Seton homeschooling Mom and dedicated homemaker. She also works from home as Senior Writer for Catholic Stewardship Consultants. Although raised Calvinist, she became Catholic in 2001, and then spent several years living with Blessed Mother Teresa's sisters and the Contemplative Sisters of St. John. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Hope College in Spanish and Theology with minor studies in Creative Writing.

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