Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Help! My High-Schooler Hasn’t Been Truthful About Doing His Work. I Can’t Keep Track of Everything!

My high school son has not been truthful with me about doing his work. I am a working mother and cannot keep track of everything.

This can be a problem when a student is old enough to work on his own, but doesn’t really have sufficient supervision of his work. If you know another homeschooling family in the area, perhaps you might drop your son off at their house at least some days a week.  In the unfamiliar surroundings of another house, your son won’t have much to do other than his work. You could also try taking your son to the library on a few days, although since most libraries have Internet access, there might be many things to do besides schoolwork.

If you can afford it, you might think about hiring a tutor, even if only for half days. Your son would likely get more accomplished while the tutor is present, and she might give assignments to be finished by the next day.

Though you are a working mother and can’t be there all the time for him, it is important for your son to know that you are interested in his success with his schooling. He needs to know that you care about what he does. If you cannot keep track of everything every day, perhaps you can show interest in just one subject per day by simply asking him to show you what he read today or asking him to show you an assignment.

Home schooling is more about home than schooling. You need to show your interest in him and what he is doing. Once he knows how much you care, he may give more attention to his studies.

After talking with my home schooling friends at church, I would like to enroll in Seton, but my husband doubts my ability to do it.

If you don’t know already, you might want to pin down exactly what your husband thinks will go wrong.  Is it a question of organization, or of teaching ability, or of having a baby while teaching older children, or of keeping the house livable while teaching? You might even find that doubts about your ability are really concerns over the children’s future, such as getting into college or playing on sports teams.  Whatever the specific objection is, you might find a specific answer.

In general, encourage your husband to go on our website and take a look at a sample of our lesson plans. They are very detailed with day to day suggestions. Remind him that we have academic counselors available by Message Board, by email, and by phone. Also, tell him that your friends would be happy to help you get started, and even share tips. You and one of your friends might teach a class together on a difficult subject. Ask your husband to talk with the other home schooling fathers in the area. Most of all, both of you need to talk about it and pray together about it.

I find myself losing patience with my children sometimes. Maybe I am not “cut out” for home schooling.

If God sent you children, you are “cut out” to raise them. Home schooling is really just another form of raising your children.  Whether parents are “home schoolers” or not, parents are teaching children every day—sometimes by words and sometimes by example.  Home schooling makes the teaching and learning process more formalized, but that is merely doing more systematically what you are already doing all the time.

Not only are you helping your children toward heaven, but they are helping you toward heaven! The daily back and forth with your children is teaching you virtues, such as patience. Love for your children shows itself in your caring attitude and the time you spend with them.

Believe it or not, they do grow up! And when they do, you will be surprised how much they care about you and their dad, and about their brothers and sisters. Their best friends will be their brothers and sisters. In schools, siblings are separated every day for many hours. Not so with your children, not so. Your children love and care about each other, even though it may not seem so. Hang on. The best is yet to come!

Will my children be able to attend college if they cannot score well on the ACT or SAT which will be geared for the Common Core program?

We’re pretty confident that Seton students will not have any trouble on the ACT and SAT tests.  Regardless of whether the tests change somewhat due to Common Core, the tests will still measure student knowledge and ability in the areas of math, reading, and writing.  Since these are areas in which our students excel, we are not worried.

Remember also that Seton can help your child gain admissions to the college of your choice.  First, we offer an accredited diploma, which is backed by the same accrediting agencies which accredit colleges. Second, if an admissions office has any questions about a diploma, Seton is happy to call the admissions office and answer those questions.  Seton is one of the largest Catholic high schools in the United States, and the likelihood is that whatever college you are applying to has already accepted Seton graduates and seen how well they perform in college.

I notice that you are being accredited by a public school accrediting association. Can’t you find a Catholic home schooling accrediting association?

The thing to understand about accreditation is that the value of accreditation is only as good as the agency which is doing the accrediting.  Because Seton is accredited by the same agencies which accredit a large number of public and private high schools, Seton’s accreditation is widely accepted as valid.  That makes sense, because if a college values its own accreditation, it can’t devalue Seton’s accreditation.  There are many different accrediting agencies for schools, including some Catholic accrediting agencies.  However, accreditation through these agencies would not bring the same benefit to families as does our current accreditation.

Some parents are concerned that a secular accrediting agency would require us to change our curriculum to be less Catholic.  However, we have been accredited for many years, and we have never been pressured in the least to make any curriculum changes.  In fact, the accreditation examiners who have visited us have been very friendly, very positive, very helpful, and frankly, very impressed with our school. At the last Accreditation Association meeting in Atlanta in March, our two Seton representatives met with several of the officials who highly praised the work of Seton.

Please keep us in your prayers as we work to explain the Seton Home Study School apostolate to the AdvancEd Accreditation Association, which will give us an onsite visit in October.

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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