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Catholic Weddings

Will you send your kids to Catholic school?

Why or why not?

Brought to you by a discussion I'm reading on another board bout public vs. private vs. boarding.
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Re: Will you send your kids to Catholic school?

  • I would like to. Most of the places we could be stationed are not known for their stellar public schools. I love the idea of Catholic school and being immersed in Catholic culture regularly. Plus, little kids are stinking cute in those uniforms. We can afford to send DS to our parish school here because tuition is crazy low. I hope we can still afford it when we move next.
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  • Well, its canon law to send kids to catholic school.

    Of course there are very generic phrases about being "unable to do this" which I suppose can mean lots of different things.


  • We hope to. We have a daughter already and hope to TTC our second (and last) right after the wedding. FI went to Catholic school for 12 years and I went to public school. I didn't really care either way (assuming we move into a good school district) but he was pretty adamant about it. We've already started a small savings account for DD's tuition and hope to be able to do the same with the second. We live in Maryland and have an amazing public school system, so it will really depend on where we end up settling down and if FI continues to move up in his job. I only work 10-15 hours a week so I can be home, and once the kids are in school I might go back to work full time, which would really help with tuition. 
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  • As a public school teacher, I have always been a huge advocate of public education.  However, I have leaned a little more toward not just wanting to send our kids to Catholic school, but I also check the websites of the local Catholic high schools pretty regularly for job openings. 

    I was a little put off by my former district's incredibly politically correct response to all thing religion (as teachers, we were told we could be asked to not wear crosses or other religious emblems if they "made a student uncomfortable;" there was a lawsuit a few years ago after some children were forbidden from handing out candy canes with Christian messages attached; and lots of other Christianity = bad, everyone else = good).  I understand why they did it.  They're one of the largest and most-sued districts in the region.  I never felt like I was discriminated against, but I knew they wouldn't back me up if there was a problem.  Because my faith plays such a strong role in why I feel I was called to teaching and why I keep doing it, it would be nice to work somewhere where I felt I could express myself freely.

    As for our kids, I think it will depend on the quality of the Catholic schools vs. the quality of the public schools.  I've heard that some of the Catholic schools in the area (especially the lower schools) will sometimes use already-hired teachers to fill open positions, so you end up with teachers who are not necessarily qualified teaching some subjects.  It makes the teachers uncomfortable and it definitely makes me uncomfortable.  We're fortunate to have lived in areas with a pretty wide selection of Catholic schools, though, so hopefully we will be able to find a place that suits our faith-education and academic expectations.
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  • I don't know... even at some of the "good" schools, I occasionally hear about kids being taught things that are just wrong. DH went to a "good" Catholic grade school, and he remembers being told by one of his teachers that "abortion could be ok in certain circumstances." Sigh. If we are spending all this money and supporting the Catholic schools, then I expect better than that. (And I don't see it getting much better anytime soon.... There are a LOT of unqualified and not-fully-in-agreement-with-Church-teaching people teaching in Catholic schools.) Personally, I'm inclined to homeschool, but I think DH would like to Catholic school.
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  • You'll run into that at most religiously based schools, Lala.  A lot of them don't require the teachers to belong to the same religion (or even certified, in some cases!).  In some cases, I don't think it would bother me to have a teacher who isn't Catholic (again, I'm a public school teacher).  But if part of your job includes participating in my child's faith formation, you'd better know what you're talking about.
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  • MedStudent13MedStudent13 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited January 2013
    Where we are currently there are lots of good public schools, so I would be comfortable sending them to the schools in our area. Honestly, there actually aren't any private schools in my city, let alone Catholic ones. The closest is 30 min away.
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  • MedStudent13MedStudent13 member
    Third Anniversary 100 Comments
    edited January 2013
    Correction: there is one, but it has been known to be particularly anti-Catholic in the past
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  • While yes, Canon Law says "Can. 798 Parents are to entrust their children to those schools which provide a Catholic education. If they are unable to do this, they are obliged to take care that suitable Catholic education is provided for their children outside the schools." It *also* says "803 §2. The instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life." I guess part of my point is, since it's so hard/impossible to find a school where the teachers are truly *outstanding,* Canon 798 doesn't exactly stand.

    But you know what I'm starting to like more and more? "Homeschooling co-ops." And I think they're growing in popularity, not just among religious people, but also among the general public. Like where a group of families get together and hire "tutors" for all the specialized subjects, so the kids meet together like 3 days a week and have "classes" but the other days they study at home. From what I've seen (and I've been close to one of these in two different cities,) it seems really well-balanced, with good teachers (haha, I admit I'm one...) and for example for mine, they are really careful to only get "loyal" Catholics; we all had to publicly take an oath of loyalty to the Magisterium! (Um, why wouldn't every Catholic school require that???)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_will-you-send-your-kids-to-catholic-school?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:3f30a618-9c80-4d02-b8cf-89abe44386e3Post:94fd6210-ad8c-403a-9c8b-72a270c2cfcb">Re: Will you send your kids to Catholic school?</a>:
    [QUOTE]While yes, Canon Law says " Can. 798 Parents are to entrust their children to those schools which provide a Catholic education. If they are unable to do this, they are obliged to take care that suitable Catholic education is provided for their children outside the schools." It *also* says "803  §2. The instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life ." I guess part of my point is, since  it's so hard/impossible to find a school where the teachers are truly *outstanding,* Canon 798 doesn't exactly stand. But you know what I'm starting to like more and more? "Homeschooling co-ops." And I think they're growing in popularity, not just among religious people, but also among the general public. Like where a group of families get together and hire "tutors" for all the specialized subjects, so the kids meet together like 3 days a week and have "classes" but the other days they study at home. From what I've seen (and I've been close to one of these in two different cities,) it seems really well-balanced, with good teachers (haha, I admit I'm one...) and for example for mine, they are really careful to only get "loyal" Catholics; we all had to publicly take an oath of loyalty to the Magisterium! (Um, why  wouldn't every Catholic school require that???)
    Posted by lalaith50[/QUOTE]

    Many of the families in our parish participate in a homeschooling co-op that has been growing every year. I would consider something like this if we weren't comfortable with our Catholic schools/public schools.
  • If at all, I might send my kids to Catholic school for K-5... and that's only if public schools in my area are mandated to brainwash kids any sort of social engineering agendas that I'm not allowed to opt my kids out of a la Massachusetts.  I had some not-so-great bullying experiences in a local Catholic school growing up and my parents pulled my sisters and I out and sent us to public school instead!  Most of the people I know who went K-12 through Catholic school no longer practice their faith and are anti-catholic/atheist/agnostic.  I'd consider homeschooling... but only if we have no other options... the public schools in my area are pretty good overall and I think that the religious education of children is still primarily the responsibility of the parents.  When it gets foisted onto a parish or parish school, it's just one more thing that the parents don't think they need to reinforce at home.
  • I doubt we will - the Catholic schools network in our area has pretty expensive tuition now, and I can only imagine that it will be even more expensive by the time we have kids.  The public schools in our area our pretty good (from what I know and have heard from others, haven't had a need to research it very much at this point) so I'm not concerned about that.  We will definitely send them to CCD/RE though, so they will still be taught on the Catholic faith.
  • Also I've heard from several people that a lot of the kids in the Catholic high school here end up being the biggest partiers/trouble-makers, like they're trying to rebel from stricter school rules or whatever.  Obviously that could change by the time I have kids in high school, and it's up to us as parents to teach our kids to make the right choices, but I certainly wouldn't want to set them up for being subject to even more peer pressure by sending them to a school that's known for that.

    I will say that all this information is hearsay/heard it through the grapevine, so we'll do our own checking into schools once we actually have kids, to make sure we're making an informed decision.
  • We would really, really like to for any number of reasons, but so much depends on finances and the number of children we have and where we end up living that right now, nothing is off the table or settled. We should be making a long-term or permanent move just before C starts kindergarten, so we'll make some serious decisions at that time.
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  • I've heard from a few priests that you should always go speak to a priest if you cannot afford to send your child(ren) to Catholic school. They've said they would always figure out a way to make it work. Obviously, not all priests are the same, but it's worth a shot!
  • I would also add that I would do some real research about good/bad schools, kids, education, etc., and go with your guts/values/instincts/knowledge of your kids. I truly believe that there are good schools and bad schools of every type (public, charter, Catholic, private).

    There are lots of stereotypes about "Catholic schools" that people love to perpetrate, like so many things about the Catholic church. For example, I remember someone telling me about how there is a "drug problem" at a local Catholic school. I pointed out that there is probably the same problem at the local district school and several other schools in the area that would be considered comparable in various ways. The person with whom I was talking agreed that her "sources" (HS freshmen) were facing the same struggles at that district school. Just my 2 cents. :)
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_will-you-send-your-kids-to-catholic-school?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:3f30a618-9c80-4d02-b8cf-89abe44386e3Post:bdb48475-daee-467c-a5a3-ecdd07bca126">Re: Will you send your kids to Catholic school?</a>:
    [QUOTE]<strong>I would also add that I would do some real research about good/bad schools, kids, education, etc., and go with your guts/values/instincts/knowledge of your kids. I truly believe that there are good schools and bad schools of every type (public, charter, Catholic, private)</strong>. There are lots of stereotypes about "Catholic schools" that people love to perpetrate, like so many things about the Catholic church. For example, I remember someone telling me about how there is a "drug problem" at a local Catholic school. I pointed out that there is probably the same problem at the local district school and several other schools in the area that would be considered comparable in various ways. The person with whom I was talking agreed that her "sources" (HS freshmen) were facing the same struggles at that district school. Just my 2 cents. :)
    Posted by bibliophile2010[/QUOTE]

    Ditto this... it really is an individual thing.  You need to find out more about the specific schools in your area, not just base it off of "well, it's Catholic" or "well, it's public". 

    I would love to get a job at a Catholic school, and would love to send my kids to one.  I didn't get that one Catholic school job I interviewed for a little while back :(

    But I'd also have to know more about the specific schools in my area before I made that decision.

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  • Regardless of where you send your kids, the parents have to play a first-hand role in the formation of the kids -- faith-based or academic.  I consider myself to be strong intellectually because my parents made that an emphasis in our home.  While it's not impossible for a student to arise from less-than-ideal circumstances, if a child is raised in a home where education/religion/you-name-it is not valued and modeled, that child is going to learn not to value the education.

    Too many parents send their kids to school, public or otherwise, hoping that the teachers will fill in the holes the parents can't.
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  • Amen to that, Professor.

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  • It is really important to H that our kids attend Catholic school if financially possible. He went to Catholic school through grade 3 and then his parents couldn't afford it anymore. I was educated in a very good suburban, but public school district.
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  • I sent my 3 kids to the local public school.  It was a highly rated district and I could not afford the Catholic schools.  I did, however, take them every week, every year through Confirmation to CCD (as it was called then).
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  • My experience in Catholic school was a good one , and I would like to send my kids to Catholic school.  There are what I like to call "Catholic public schools," by which I mean a school that calls itself Catholic, but is really quite secular in most ways other than the uniform.  You definitely have to do a bit of research to determine which type a particular school is. 

    I think that even just the access to sacraments is so good for kids that that alone is worth it.  I had Mass twice a week, holy hour once a week, prayers before each class, etc.  You can't replace that with anything.

     

  • if i had them, definitely catholic or private.  i personally would never put my kids in a public school for a variety of reasons.
  • A lot of people who "can't afford" Catholic school just don't think they can afford it.  You can rework your budget.  Plus, many Catholic schools offer discounted rates to subsequent siblings, offer scholarships, and offer tuition assistance. I know a lot of families who aren't wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, and sent their many children to Catholic school.  If it's a priority, you can make it happen.

    I would also consider homeschooling, but wouldn't want to homeschool past elementary.  I wouldn't want to hold my kids back in curriculum, and I'm just not qualified to teach higher math and science, or foreign language.  So perhaps I'd do homeschool for the first several years, and then send them to Catholic school.

     

  • resa, youd be amazed at the homeschool groups out there that pool parental knowledge and resources.  my sister's group is full of well educated parents who assist each other on teaching hte subjects they are strongest in.

    i agree, tho, that on your own, it would be hard to teach stuff like math and science unless that was your background.
  • Both of my kids are enrolled in Public School. I considered Catholic School before we had our second child; right now, we just can't afford it with two kids plus our Public School System is not so bad.
  • This is definitely something we've discussed but haven't decided on yet.  Our public school system here is actually quite great and from what I've heard, the Catholic schools aren't as strong.  As long as my children are getting the faith formation they need, I won't hesitate to send them to the public schools.  But that's still at least 5 years away.
  • If we stay in the town where we are at now, we will consider sending them to Catholic school. However, if we move back to my hometown we will be sending them to public school as there is not a Catholic school within a 30 minute drive. 
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