Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Is it Better to Turn In Finished Work Altogether or by Subject?


“Is it better to turn in completed work altogether or when a student’s individual subjects are completed?” Dr. Clark answers a frequently asked question.

My son has completed the 2nd Quarter work for all his subjects except for English. May I turn in his other subjects while we finish up his 2nd Quarter English?

That is no problem. We grade the assignments as they come in. You might consider spending a little more time on his English, maybe an hour over the weekends, to help him move along a little more quickly. Of course, you as the parent can make the best decision regarding how much he can learn in a certain amount of time.

Why don’t you have students memorize the catechism as you used to do?

Memorization, in general, has become somewhat controversial in recent years.

On the one side are those who say that memorization is a very important part of learning concepts precisely and so memorization should always be encouraged.

On the other side are those who say that memorization isn’t the same as understanding and that a student may well be able to repeat a memorized phrase without having a good understanding of the underlying meaning.

We at Seton still believe that students should memorize their catechism answers. Just like math and historical facts, the best procedure for remembering anything is to memorize what you need to remember.

On the other hand, we don’t want students simply to memorize and not understand what they are memorizing. Students should be able to answer, at least partially, questions from the Catechism in their own words. So we believe that the best way for students to learn is both memorization and understanding.

We also know that memorization is very difficult for some students. They understand the concepts and can answer questions about the concepts, but they have a hard time remembering the specific words and phrases as they are presented in a book.

We know it has been frustrating for students when they learn the material but still do poorly on a test for lack of memorization. For this reason, we are trying to be more flexible in that we still encourage memorization but do not require it. This leaves it up to an individual decision for parents on whether they want their children to memorize.

I have had trouble teaching the English lessons, which I never had in school. Can you help me??

You should take the time to go over the Seton lesson before you need to teach it. Seton has presented a large number of videos, by grade level, specifically on the various English lessons in our courses. Take the time to look at them before teaching the class. Students in the older grades also should look at them.

Notice how many diagramming videos we have, which help to determine the part of speech.

Diagramming is much more important than most people realize. Diagramming forces students to examine and to understand the logic of relationships, which is valuable in other academic courses.

Is it too late to register my daughter in your program in the middle of the school year?

We know that many parents want to make a change in the middle of the year, so Seton has always offered a half-year program. The half-year program covers two quarters, but these can be any two-quarters of the course. In some subjects, such as history and science, she can start at the beginning or in the middle.

In math, you would need to determine which lesson would be best for her to begin. If she has had no English grammar, she might need to start at the beginning of the lessons. Please phone one of our academic counselors to discuss an entrance test to help determine what she needs, subject by subject.

My daughter will not be going to college. Can you help her to take practical high school courses?

Seton has three high schools, academic counselors, to help you decide which courses are appropriate for your daughter. Just give us a call and ask for a high school academic counselor, and we will help your daughter take courses that would be best for her future needs.

In addition, Seton has partnered with a company called JobZology to offer a test to help students understand in what type of career they might excel.

The JobZology test and subsequent report are free for enrolled students and can be accessed through your MySeton page. If you determine a specific area of interest, your daughter might look into what courses would be specifically helpful for that career path.

What advice would you give me to help my daughter in her high school English course?

She needs to see what she is expected to know on her test, especially the essay questions. As she reads her book for her book report, she should underline or highlight a paragraph which she thinks might be helpful in taking the test. She might notice that our lesson plans are very thorough in directing students about what they should remember.

You don’t need to read the books yourself, but you can read the test questions and ask her what she intends to write as the answers.

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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