Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources
Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family


Amy Bissonnette is a homeschool mom of five with a husband in the military. In their travels across the USA, here’s how Seton works well for them!

“O Lord of Wisdom and Knowledge, help me be focused from grade school to college. Help me to concentrate on my studies today, so then I may finish and go out and play.”

This prayer was written by our son, who just turned 12 and is a sixth grader with Seton. He wrote this prayer for one of his assignments; I like it so much that I pray it too.

Prayer and play are essential in our day as a homeschooling family. From the moment that they wake up in the morning, our five children are brimming with energy.

Our oldest son is usually up first, along with his brother, who is 10 and a fourth grader. They rise before the sun to exercise and begin their daily math lesson with their dad. Our twins, who are 6 and in first grade, wake up a bit later.

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

After getting dressed for the day, these two usually begin to play with their little sister, who is 4, until they are reminded that they have a dishwasher that needs to be emptied and a table that needs to be set. Daddy has already started the oatmeal (if our oldest son has not already made pancakes or eggs) and the morning is well on its way.

Where am I, you ask? I am upstairs preparing my heart and my mind for the day. There is a lot of prayer that is taking place, and hopefully some Bible reading too. A load of laundry is started and then down the stairs I go to face the day.

Welcome to our home! It is a busy, bustling place filled with laughter and noise from nearly the break of dawn each day. Mostly the kids want to play, but through our homeschooling journey we have all learned, “First we work and then we play.” It is one of the mottos we live by.

More importantly, though, we pray before we play.

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

As we all gather around the table for our first meal of the day, my husband, Peter, reads aloud our daily Mass readings and leads us in prayer “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen…”

Throughout our homeschooling day, I continue to plead with God to give me the strength and the grace that I need to lead the children through another day. Seton helps us to stay focused on our faith in God as we delve into the academics.

The role that our Catholic faith plays in our schooling and family life is central to the spiritual well-being of all of us. That is one of the reasons we chose Seton.

Not only is Seton an accredited school, but it is also an affordable Catholic school with books that teach and remind our children (and me) about what it means to be Catholic, and how we live our faith in a practical way daily.

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

Seton’s books bring to life the stories of saints who lived as Catholics in this world and the mark they made on history and this nation. Seton’s books inspire us to live accordingly.

We are a family of readers. Not only do we pray and play together, we read together…every day! Throughout the winter, it is not uncommon for either my husband or me to have to ask the children to stop reading around the fireplace in order to get them started on their lessons for the day (or to get back to their lessons)! Some of my friends have said we are lucky to have that problem.

By the grace of God, we have not had any difficulties with teaching our children to read. They each began reading at the age of four and from there the love for reading grew as we created an environment conducive to reading.

My husband and I decided to stop watching television many years ago through the inspiration of Catholic author and speaker Matthew Kelly’s “Building Better Families” talk, which happened to coincide with our decision to homeschool our oldest son, who was entering first grade.

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

While on our cross country road trip from Florida to California, we made the decision that would change our lives. We became a non-television-watching Catholic homeschooling family!

Instead, we began reading classic literature to our children. I am convinced that hearing stories from The Chronicles of Narnia and The Catholic Children’s Bible read by Daddy at night has also inspired a love of reading in our children.

Did I forget to mention that we are a military family too? My husband is an officer in the U.S. Navy and in 2012 he received orders to report to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.

We packed up our family into the minivan and off we drove from Jacksonville, FL into the sunset to start our journey across our great United States of America.

Our sons were 6 and 4 and our twin daughters were 1 ½ when we arrived in Monterey, where we began our homeschooling adventure. We have now homeschooled in California, Texas, and Tennessee.

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

Currently, we live on a Navy base and belong to a co-op for military homeschooling families that meets once a month at the chapel on base. Homeschooling with Seton inspires our children to share their faith, just like the saints, each time they attend co-op.

All the children are given time for recitation and each of our children usually chooses to recite Bible verses they have memorized to share their faith with their friends.

Seton has also helped me to grow in my own knowledge and understanding of the Catholic faith, as I learn alongside the children. There is always something new to discover about our Christian heritage in Seton’s courses.

I hope you were encouraged by something you read about our Catholic homeschooling military family.

We homeschoolers are not alone; Our Lord is with us.

Remember Philippians 4:13, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.

Now it’s time to go outside and play!

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

Prayer, Work & Play with a Homeschool Military Family - by Amy Bissonnette

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