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Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

When is the Best Time to Call a Seton Academic Counselor?


Is there a better time to call a Seton counselor? Should my child do every lesson in his workbook? How do I balance teaching my children and keeping our home tidy? Seton Home Study Director Dr. Mary Kay Clark answers these questions and more to improve your homeschooling experience.

When is the best time to call a Seton counselor?

Now is the best time to call.

I have said this often; make use of Seton’s counseling services. We are here to help you. Don’t let small problems turn into big problems. Please don’t hesitate to call or email. The counselors’ email addresses and phone numbers can be found at

Remember that if a student is not able to solve a problem fairly quickly, waiting often frustrates the student.

Summer is upon us. I’m concerned about finishing the school year on time.

Remember that there is no “on time” set by Seton. There is no fixed date on the calendar by which you must be finished with your homeschooling year.

Families have a full twelve months to complete their course work. If needed, the academic year can even be extended for a small fee.

It is important to give your children adequate time to learn the material. A great benefit of homeschooling is that the school “year” can and should be adjusted to accommodate the time needed for a child to learn.

Some parents find that their students move along quickly and consistently in some subjects but need more time in one or two subjects. For instance, if your child seems slow in learning his math, continue the homeschooling lessons in math during the summer.

That being said, there are certainly some ways in which you can progress more quickly. For example, you may want to do more oral work. For younger children, you may want to cut back on some of the workbook exercises—as long as you are sure the children are learning the material adequately.

It sometimes helps high school students to focus exclusively on two courses for a while. That way those courses can quickly be completed, and the student can move on to two more courses.

There are many more ideas which might help in your situation. If you would like advice specific to your family, e-mail or call a Seton counselor.

Does my 7th grader need to do every lesson in every workbook?

No, and this applies to all grades. You can assign whichever lessons you think are best for your student to learn the material. If a perfect score is made in the first spelling exercises, without looking up the spelling, then the other exercises in that chapter can be optional. To be sure that students can obtain a perfect score for the end of quarter test, give the most important exercise for each lesson, especially for the Math workbook and the English workbook.

What is the benefit of attending your conferences?

One of the benefits of attending is to review the books and lesson plans first-hand, and not just settle for a description in a catalog or on the Internet.

However, from what we hear, one of the greatest benefits is meeting other homeschooling moms and talking over ideas. Sometimes a successful homeschooling mom can offer encouragement to other moms who are struggling.

Catholic college representatives are often at our conferences, which gives parents an opportunity to discover what might be best for their children’s future education.

For many, the highlight of Catholic homeschooling conferences is the chance to hear inspiring talks on a variety of topics. Since many of our conferences occur near the end of the school year, parents mention getting that extra bit of encouragement helps them to complete the current school year or to build up enthusiasm for the next year.

You will find the complete list of this year’s Catholic Homeschool Conferences at The list gives you the locations and dates when Seton will be attending conferences.

How do I balance teaching and housework?

Limit your housework to what is absolutely necessary. Give the children daily housework assignments, such as putting in a load of wash, making beds, setting the table, taking out the trash, even cooking meals, and so on. Schedule these between classes whenever possible. This is important to provide daily exercise as well as to finish the chores before the school day is over.

There are many books and Internet sites that provide helps and suggestions for keeping your house clean and tidy, such as Ginny Seuffert’s book Home Management Essentials, which is available from Seton Educational Media ( or as an e-book for the Kindle and Nook. Find a system that works for you and try to stick with it.

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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