Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Can Military Families Homeschool with Seton Wherever We Live?


Dr. Mary Kay Clark offers practical tips for military families homeschooling overseas, online courses, and fewer restrictions for homeschooling families.

My husband is in the military. Will we be able to homeschool with Seton wherever we live?

Yes. Seton has students in almost every country, many of them children of American military service men and women. Military families are generally not bound by the local educational laws of the country in which they are stationed. They are also not bound by the laws of any U. S. state since they are not residing within the state.

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reports that from time to time a base commander has attempted to establish educational guidelines on a particular base. However, base commanders do not have such authority and HSLDA has been successful in having such regulations rescinded.

The U. S. Department of Defense runs schools in foreign countries, but military families are not required to use these schools. The DoD recognizes that military families may legitimately choose to homeschool. Military families living within the United States are subject to the laws of the state in which they reside.

The situation is different for families living in foreign countries who are not military or diplomatic personnel. These families may well be subject to local or national educational laws, and should contact local home schooling groups who can help them understand the educational situation.

For more information on homeschooling while in the military, refer to HSLDA’s summary here: https://bit.ly/2E7xzLS

I like many of the Seton courses, but I would like to take only some of them, and do others on my own.

Of course, we’d love to have every student be fully enrolled with Seton. Our staff has spent untold hours developing the courses and structure we offer to our students.

We are also an accredited school, and students enrolled with Seton benefit from that accreditation. Many colleges are familiar with our program and recognize its strengths.

On the other hand, we’re happy to offer single courses at either the elementary or the high school level to families who want to make use of only a few of our courses for their children.

Only parents can make choices about what is best for their family, and we at Seton are here to help in whatever way we can.

Our online enrollment program at enroll.setonhome.org allows you to enroll in either the full program or in single courses. The online enrollment program makes it easy to compare costs as well.

My high school son is struggling with his chemistry.

Many students find math and science courses difficult. Chemistry and physics are two courses which are inherently challenging.

If you find that your student is having trouble with chemistry, you may be able to find a tutor or a mentor to help him. You might find a science major at a local college to help. Or, if you don’t have someone locally, there are many online sites offering tutoring services. (Of course, be careful with whatever tutor you choose.)

In addition, our high school counselors may be able to help. They are familiar with our courses and are happy to suggest the best route for each student according to that student’s education background and ability.

Is there now more freedom and fewer restrictions for homeschooling families?

For the past several years, homeschoolers have experienced greater freedom and fewer restrictions in regard to state and federal government. Homeschoolers comprise between 2% and 3% of all students in the United States. More importantly, compared to just twenty or thirty years ago, homeschooling is now widely accepted in our culture as an acceptable educational alternative.

But we must always be on guard against attacks on homeschooling. We are seeing, for example, more state regulations coming out of New York state. We must follow the regulations of our particular state and remain alert to any proposed changes.

While enjoying the freedom, we must never become complacent.

How important are the online videos for the high school English courses?

Good students can certainly be successful in their high school courses without watching the online videos. However, we believe that the video educators give excellent presentations to help our students understand their English literature assignments. The presentations offer greater depth on topics that can help students to gain a greater appreciation of great works of literature.

For our online English courses, the videos are integrated directly into the lessons, which we believe is optimal. For those taking the English courses offline, we still highly recommend that you view the English videos for deeper understanding of the English assignment.

Religion Lesson Plan Change

You may have noticed a change in the religion lesson plans for this 2018/2019 school year, and while we had the best of intentions in presenting these changes, it seems to have led to some questions among some of our families. Please accept our sincere apologies for any stress this may have caused.

A Request From Families

Over the last several years, counselors have heard from a large number of our families that the practice of memorizing the Baltimore Catechism and being tested on the memorization was not working for them and their children.

In response to these concerns, we redesigned the tests of several of the elementary religion courses, to allow for correct but not perfectly memorized answers. We have had a very positive response to these changes but some families have missed memorizing and reciting answers.

It was never our intention to take this option away from our families. We always have this option available, but we clearly did a poor job explaining this to you.

There are two sets of lesson plans and tests. Those families who prefer memorization will find those plans and tests are still available to them, and those families who want traditional memorization will be able to use the new lesson plans and tests. The textbooks for both lesson plans are identical.

Currently, we are sending the new lessons as the “default,” choice; however, if you wish to have the previous lesson plans sent, please use the “Courses” tab on your My Seton page to change the revision number. The tests and quarter report sheets will be available to you there. You may also, at any time, call a counselor for advice or to change your selection.

Seton is committed to providing the best possible Catholic education to all of our students, and when families let us know something is not working, we do our very best to fix it. Thank you all for your input and patience.

God bless.

About Dr. Mary Kay Clark

Director of Seton for more than 25 years. Dr. Clark left Mater Dei Academy and began teaching her children at home at seeing firsthand the opportunities and the pitfalls of private schooling. Meet Dr. Clark | See her book
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