Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

Seton Gives Us the Resources to Stay on Track


Seton teaches us so much about the richness and beauty of what we believe and why and gives me the resources I need to stay on track.

In a world where educational choices often define the trajectory of a child’s future, the Thomas family’s story stands as a beacon of determination, faith, and success. Jani Thomas, a single mother driven by a desire for stability and a quality education for her children, recounts their remarkable journey with gratitude and conviction.

“I’m a convert and came into the Faith after a long journey. Although my parents were schoolteachers, I knew I didn’t want to send my children to public school,” says Jani Thomas, mother of Seton grads Cole and Joy and Seton tenth grader Judith.

Considering her options as her children entered their school years, Jani chose a private school using the Waldorf method for her children’s early education. She explains, “With Waldorf, the same teacher stays with the class from Kindergarten through eighth grade.”

Keeping the same teacher year after year seemed to give a level of stability to education that the traditional model of a new teacher each year could not achieve.

We’re Going to Homeschool!

“I was a single mom and in the process of joining the Church.” Jani had an epiphany, realizing that as a homeschooling mom, she could be the teacher who stayed with her children through each grade level. “I decided that we were going to homeschool.”

Isn’t it funny how God opens doors and leads us when our hearts are open to his ways?

She created her curriculum with faith and courage, and they began their homeschool experience. All would not be easy. With the demands on her as a hospice nurse and going through a “disjointed time” in her life, Jani needed to put homeschooling on hold and enrolled the children in a private school for three of their early elementary years. But she always wanted to return to homeschooling.

Working full-time on-call as a hospice nurse on the weekends allowed Jani to homeschool during the week. “When I returned to homeschooling, I used some Seton materials. God sends certain things into your life, and your path widens. Through the encouragement of friends enrolled in Seton, I decided to enroll with Seton when Cole was in the tenth grade, and we realized this was really good. I should have done this years ago.”

Another Door Opens

About this time, daughter Joy decided she wanted to join the Army after high school. Providentially, another door was about to open for the Thomas family. Jani was in line getting her driver’s license, and in a conversation with the man in front of her, an Army recruiter, he explained that there are six Senior Military Colleges in the U.S.

Think of them as a “mini–West Points.” The six colleges are the University of North Georgia, Norwich University in Vermont, Texas A&M, The Citadel in South Carolina, Virginia Military Institute (VMI), and Virginia Tech. All six colleges offer full-time Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) training for commissioned United States Armed Forces officers.

“Joy chose North Georgia for its generous scholarship program. After receiving the required nomination from our state legislator and going through multiple interviews, Joy was accepted into the Corps of Cadets on full scholarship.”

Prepared to Succeed

Through the application process, Jani learned that the Senior Military Colleges “love homeschoolers.” They find homeschoolers are disciplined, get their work done, are independent, and their writing skills are “heads above” other applicants. Notably, they recognized that Seton’s rigorous program created students who were prepared to succeed.

Joy graduated cum laude as a commissioned officer and in the top 5 of her logistics class at Fort Gregg-Adams. She graduated from Airborne School and was deployed during her second year of law school at the University of Detroit Mercy. She has recently returned and will be completing her third and final year of law school.

Son Cole attended the Catholic University of America as a violin performance and music education major. “We credit his Seton education for his generous academic and music scholarships, which covered his tuition. At CUA, he played at the Papal Mass for the canonization of St. Junipero Serra, an experience he considers the highest point of his music career. After CUA, Cole taught and played music, and, after the pandemic, he was inspired to follow a U.S. Armed Services track like Joy. He enlisted in the Navy, graduating second in his class and is currently stationed in Guam, serving as a sonic tech on a submarine. He recently was promoted to Petty Officer less than two years after joining.”

Aim High

Currently enrolled in Seton’s tenth grade, Judith has set her sights on entering the United States Air Force Academy. Gene McGuirk, Seton’s Head of Academic Counseling, is always ready to assist Seton families in exploring military careers and Service Academies and offered his help. “Gene was so helpful and insightful.”

Judi aims to be a linguistics officer and has taken Russian and German with Seton. She has been active in the Civil Air Patrol and plays cello in a local homeschool orchestra. She is also a competitive fencer.

A Solid Foundation

In reflecting on why they have been so blessed, Jani shared, “We have an active prayer life, beginning each day with prayer, because we’re only as good as our foundation.”

She also vigorously credits Seton for supporting their accomplishments, adding that its accreditation “was huge” when applying for college. Seton’s reputation and academic vigor marks an applicant as a good student.

Jani added, “Seton teaches us so much about the richness and beauty of what we believe and why. The material has everything we need with the flexibility of being the parent as the teacher. Seton gives me the resources I need to stay on track.”

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