SummaryIn this interview, the Mayrose family discusses how Seton and its Special Services department enabled their son to overcome challenges and excel in his studies.
Why is homeschooling important to your family?
Homeschooling is important to our family because it gives us the flexibility and freedom we need to excel in our careers, do charity work, travel, attend sporting events, concerts, Boy Scouts and still give our son, Will, an excellent Catholic education.
What made you choose Seton Home Study School?
My husband and I researched all the homeschool options available, during Will’s sophomore year of high school. We decided that Seton Home Study School met all of our criteria (and we have very high standards).
What sold us on Seton is that there is a Special Services division. Will was struggling in his traditional Catholic high school because he is severely ADD. He could not keep up the pace. We decided to make the change to Seton because the curriculum accommodates Will’s needs.
With Seton, Will has the extra time he needs to complete tasks and school work. Given the extra time, Will has not only met our academic expectations, he has exceeded them.
How has Seton Home Study School benefited your family?
Seton has brought us closer together as a family. The stress and pressure we all felt in regard to Will’s education has virtually vanished. We have all learned better time-management skills.
As the parents of a 21-year old daughter, Madeleine, and Will, who is 17, it is easy to lose touch. Since Will started his education with Seton, it has sparked us all to get involved. We end up discussing the work with Will, once he completes it.
We have a great time! The lines of communication as a family are open and everyone hears and listens to one another.
Is there an educational challenge that Seton Home Study School has helped your family to overcome?
Yes! Seton has helped Will to overcome time-management problems. Since he works part-time, he has learned to prioritize tasks. If he is running short on time, he does the easier work first and then blocks out more time for work that is more difficult. Seton’s curriculum allows for this.
If Will doesn’t understand a concept, we don’t move on until he thoroughly understands that concept. Will’s self-confidence is through the roof now. The frustration and anxiety he used to feel is gone. No child can absorb and truly learn if he or she is frustrated or anxious.
What do you like most about Seton Home Study School?
We like that Seton has a Special Services division because of the flexibility and freedom the curriculum allows. Even more so, we like that Will does not have to keep up with anyone else. He is only in competition with himself, to do his personal best.
We like that Seton’s curriculum is challenging, but fun and interesting at the same time. It is straightforward. What could be easier? The curriculum is all laid out for us. All we have to do is follow it to a successful conclusion.
Will has never been happier. He is interested in his school work again. When Will is interested, his ADD seems to disappear like magic! Will is able to focus so much better and for longer. The results are clearly shown in his grades from this past year at Seton.
What role does your Catholic faith play in your schooling and family life?
Our Catholic faith is extremely important to us. Will was so excited to be confirmed this year. Will was ready and anxious years ago, but our archdiocese pushed the age back to the junior/senior year of high school.
Will wanted a homeschool where he could practice and continue to learn about his Catholic faith, just as he did at his traditional Catholic high school. We were already familiar with many of the religious textbooks that Seton publishes, so we knew we couldn’t go wrong!
Will takes many of the things he has learned in his Seton religion classes to CYO and shares it with others. Will has learned why we are Catholic and why we say and do the things we do. His Catholic faith is so much more meaningful to him, since Seton.
How does a homeschooling day go in your family?
We are all up between 6 and 6:30 a.m. daily. Will and Madeleine know that it’s their responsibility to feed our two dogs and 3 cats before they feed themselves!
School starts immediately after breakfast and goes until 10 a.m. Then everyone goes to work. Our homeschooling session works for us because we all work, including Will. He works part-time on the maintenance staff at a local football stadium. Will also works as a stagehand, as needed in the evenings for local shows and events.
We start up again with school work around 2 p.m. and go until 5 p.m. Then we will pick it up after dinner and finish whatever work did not get done. School is also in session for a few hours on Saturday mornings and we review religion on Sundays, after Mass.
Do you have any beginning-of-the-school-year habits or rituals?
The first thing we do at the beginning of each new school year is to buy all new school supplies. It gives us a clean slate. We start fresh. We don’t dwell on school life before Seton or any past mistakes. We clean Will’s room, especially his desk. We make sure that everything he needs is within easy reach. We believe that if you set yourself up to succeed, you will. A positive attitude is the key to a successful school year.
What is one piece of advice you could give to other homeschooling families?
If you get behind, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Don’t panic. Just keep calm and go back to the work. Break it into smaller chunks if you have to. Sometimes children are overwhelmed when they see all their work before them at one time. “Slow but steady wins the race!”
I always ask the kids: “How do you eat an elephant?” They chime back with “one bite at a time!” We have gotten behind many times during the school year and have had to regroup and start again.
The important thing is that we do regroup and start again. We don’t give up when the going gets tough.
We are thrilled that Will excelled with Seton his junior year. He went from a “C” student to an “A” student (with the exception of one B). He is looking forward to his senior year in high school. Our only regret is that we didn’t discover Seton earlier.
He has never had so much fun learning before and the whole family has had fun along the way.