Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

5 Simple Homeschooling Tips from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


Abby Sasscer starts her year with a pep talk for our heroic, homeschooling moms, looking to Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton’s beautiful words of wisdom!

It seems that summer has come and gone in a flash. We are slowly but surely gearing up for our fourteenth year of homeschooling this fall. We are almost done arranging books by grade, organizing school supplies and decluttering our classroom so we can start our new school year in a couple of weeks.

I had prayed and asked our Lord for something to inspire me on the fourteenth year of our homeschooling journey. In the midst of my decluttering, I found a piece of paper hidden between the pages of our family bible. It was a list of my favorite quotes from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. I thanked God for swiftly answering my prayer.

And what better way to give our heroic homeschooling moms a beginning-of-the-year pep talk than to look to Mother Seton’s beautiful words of wisdom!

1. “To rise as soon as I awake.”

This year, I will try to be better at rising up right away as soon as I awake. Making my bed, freshening up and dressing nicely for the most important work of my life gives the impetus I need to start my day sans caffeine.

Getting up right away also gives me a chance to add precious minutes to my prayer and quiet time with Jesus.

2. “To lift up my heart on all occasions, great and small, to Him.”

Making meals, doing laundry, homeschooling, cleaning house and any and every act of service, big and small, towards my family can constantly be offered up with love to our Heavenly Father.

Our daily acts of sacrificial love are nothing short of heroic in the eyes of our all-loving God.

3. “To be regular with the children in their lessons.”

What helps with being regular in the children’s lessons is to organize their books and supplies in a neat pile on the table the night before.

After breakfast, I don’t even need to remind the children to do their work. The pile of books does this for them. Once they are done with their workbooks, it gets put back inside their school boxes.

What also helps is that we follow a simple rule in our home: “Do what you need to do then you can do what you want to do.” The children know to do their core work first before they can engage in any passion-led or interest-led learning activities.

4. “To be gentle to children and humble everyday.”

This tip reminds me not to easily cycle into my children’s negative attitudes and behaviors during our school day. I have to remind myself to remain calm especially when they are not. This calmness not only helps me to be gentle but also models good behavior I want my children to learn.

The reality is that my children will feel frustrated with their lessons more often than not. But instead of getting frustrated myself and making the situation worse, I have to remain calm and give them ideas to express their frustrations appropriately. A simple, “why don’t you take a quick break and wash your face?” always does a great job diffusing escalating negative emotions in our home.

And when things go awry and I lose my patience, or worse yet, have a meltdown myself, I need to be humble enough to say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?”. In my opinion, it is no accident that Mother Seton writes about gentleness and humility in the same sentence :-)

5. “Not to speak of anyone unless to their advantage, nor of myself, unless of God’s goodness.”

It is easy to talk to the children about God’s goodness and how faithful He is in loving us. But I quickly forget that every time my husband and I converse about others, little ears are listening all around us. It is important that we model good behavior with our children by speaking only good things about others. When we do so, we give our children valuable lessons in charity, mercy and kindness towards their neighbor.

A Daily Reminder

I think it would be a good idea to type these beautiful words on a piece of paper and placed on our refrigerator door so I can see it every single homeschooling day. In addition, I feel the need to keep our relic of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton ever so close to my heart.

Her words of wisdom and her beautiful presence – two blessings I so desperately need to face a new day… and a new school year.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, pray for us!

Comment below: which of these questions inspires you most?

About Abby Sasscer

Born in the Philippines, Abby came to the United States in 1986. She is a wife, homeschooling mother of three, author, and speaker. In 2008, she founded Project Nazareth and continues to advocate simple living through books and speaking. www.projectnazareth.info | Meet Abby
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