SummaryNicole says two things to love about Seton Homeschooling are the efficiency of the program and incorporation of Catholic identity throughout the curriculum.
On the third day of our old-fashioned road trip from Sugar Land, Texas to Washington, D.C., we decided to detour through the picturesque rolling pastures of Front Royal, Virginia to visit Seton Home Study headquarters. We received a warm welcome, toured the office, and had the honor of meeting Dr. Clark.
I am a ’95 Seton graduate and am now carrying on Seton’s legacy by homeschooling my children. During our visit l finally had the opportunity to thank Dr. Clark in person for all the benefits that Seton’s education has afforded me and my children. Now, and I say this jokingly, Dr. Mary Kay Clark could not resist tasking me with a writing assignment after I graduated over 20 years ago!
I consider it an honor to be asked by Dr. Clark to submit an article for Seton Magazine. I would like to share my insights reflecting the impact of Seton’s education on my family’s life, including my children’s current homeschooling years and my life since I graduated high school homeschooling.
My parents were always willing to help me find the best educational fit. Over the years, I was enrolled in Catholic school, public school and homeschooled through Seton Home Study. Prior to homeschooling, I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with my mainstream education. Many classes were not challenging, subject matter was contrary to my Catholic beliefs, and my peers seemed immature or made bad choices.
In the early 1990’s there were few homeschooling options and Seton’s accreditation made it a very appealing choice. Transitioning to Seton in my junior year was not an easy task. I did not have years of rigorous writing instruction to build upon in order to reach Seton’s high school writing standards. However, I found the depth of Seton’s curriculum enriching enough to balance the increased expectations.
Seton prepared me well for college. I attended the University of St. Thomas in Houston, aced my theology classes, and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems. I interned for executives at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company. Then I pursued a full-time career in information technology at other large companies, including becoming a certified Oracle database administrator at Texaco.
During my early career days, one Sunday after mass in the crowded vestibule of church, I met the man of my dreams, Mark, a Naval officer. Mark and I got engaged and married a year later in the same beautiful historic church where we had met.
We are now blessed with three children ages 17 to 11: Brendan, Kevin and Kristen. After the birth of my first child, I chose to quit my full-time career to be a stay-at-home mom.
It took years of searching for the “right fit” regarding our children’s school choices before we selected Seton Home Study. Among our three children over the past 17 years, they have attended public, private and Catholic school. Mark and I served years on a school planning committee to start a new Catholic parish school in our community.
Currently, one of my high school sons attends a 3-day a week program where he enjoys the flexibility and added responsibility of a non-traditional schedule. Ultimately, enrolling our other two children in Seton Home Study has brought us much peace in our decision to homeschool. It is the right fit at the right time, and here’s why…
Room to Grow Their Talents
Homeschooling has allowed my children to grow their talents in ways that they could not have if they were in a typical classroom setting. Eleven-year-old Kristen has been homeschooling with Seton the longest. She has used the flexibility to participate in FIRST Lego League competitions, Houston Museum of Natural Science classes, Houston Museum of Fine Art classes, swimming, and tennis.
My 15-year-old son Kevin takes private tennis lessons on his off-school days and participates in a weekend tennis league. And my 17-year-old son Brendan is our newest Seton enrollee. He has excelled in his computer talents. He placed as regional winner for North America and in the top 12 out of 17,000 contestants internationally in IBM’s Master the Mainframe 2017 contest. IBM featured Brendan at their 2018
THINK conference in Las Vegas this year.
Two things that I love about Seton specifically are the efficiency of the program and incorporation of Catholic identity throughout the curriculum. First, the structure of the Seton curriculum is such that the lesson plans are very clear and streamlined. I find it very efficient to be able to pick up the lessons and work with my children without needing hours of training to provide my children with a quality education. We also utilize Seton’s online grading system and tests whenever possible.
Second, incorporating our Catholic faith throughout the curriculum helps my children grow in their faith as they learn in every subject. Seton’s curriculum ensures that my children are mindful of God’s presence and have a deeper appreciation for Catholic influence in art and culture, and are aware of where it is lacking.
On a lighter note, I highly recommend that homeschool families have a pet. Our giant-breed Shiloh Shepherd named “Admiral” helps break up our day, and he is always available for a belly rub on breaks. We cannot look at him without breaking into a big smile. He is also a bit of a celebrity.
His picture next to the statue of the metal man has won a couple of photo contests, including the “city art” category of the City of Sugar Land’s 2018 photo contest and inclusion in the 2018 International Shiloh Shepherd Alliance breed calendar.
It is my experience that Seton has consistently provided homeschooling families with access to high-quality education that is flexible, efficient, accredited and authentic to our Catholic identity. Seton was a refuge for me during my high school years and now, decades later, is steadfastly here for my family.
With God’s grace it will be there for future generations.