Opinions and Debate Wanted

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Opinions and Debate Wanted
Mon, 02-02-2004 - 7:56am

..I may have shared this before but I am going to repeat myself here.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 02-02-2004 - 12:22pm

I just signed up my daughter for a Catholic school, after much reflection. Three main reasons:

1. There is a lot to learn about Catholicism, and I want the backing of having it taught to her daily, at school as well as at home.

2. I wanted values and virtues to be explicitly taught.

3. I have taught in at least five religious education programs in my life, and in my opinion, none of them did an adequate job of teaching the facts and the joys of our faith. If I had more confidence in the religious ed. programs, the decision would have been more difficult.

Our parish school has a strong academic program, strong music and arts programs, and I think a decent sports program (I didn't investigate that last one much because she seems to have inherited my lack of coordination! LOL!) The have a program for gifted students, as well as one for some types of learning disabilities. My daughter doesn't appear to have any special needs, so I didn't need to worry about the school accomodating that -- if she did, that would have influenced my decision. The tuition will require some sacrifices, but isn't astronomical.

So, that's the short version about a decision it took a year to make!


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Mon, 02-02-2004 - 6:55pm
I made the decision that my kids would go to a Catholic school before they were even conceived. And it wasn't so much that I wanted a Catholic Education for them, so much as I wanted a safe environment. I teach in the public school my kids would attend for middle school, and I have seen too much of what goes on there to want them there. I wouldn't describe it as "good".

I attended Catholic school for K-8 back in the 70's and while the academic curriculum was quite good, the Catholic education was really lacking. So I wasn't really thinking about the faith part for my own kids. However, I have been quite pleased with the religious instruction that they've been getting. I have learned things even from their 1st grade religion books (sad, but true).

Both of my kids have special needs in that they are ADHD and have had some reading issues. I was so afraid at first that they would tell me we would be better off in the public schools, but they have been willing to work with us.

My 2nd grader has one kid in his class that has suspected Asperger's syndrome, and my 1st grader has 2 boys in his class with "autistic tendencies", so they do accommodate special needs to some extent.

I am happy - about a 9 on a 10 point scale with the school they attend. I think sometimes their homework is a little over the top, but no school is perfect. I also think their class sizes are too large, but you can do more with 28 kids who behave than you can with a class of 20 with 2 of 3 behavior problems.

I'll be forking out my $600/month for a long time to come. Money well spent, in my book.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Tue, 02-03-2004 - 5:38pm
Ok, you asked....

DH and I send our youngest to Catholic preschool. Next year we will send both ds and dd. When the time comes we will be sending all 3 kids to Catholic school at the cost of over 7k/year. Needless to say this is a sacrifice but one well worth making.

We chose to opt out of public education for many reasons. 1. I am sickened by the secular humanist curriculum shoved down kids' throats. 2. I am sick of the fact that they can "study" Ramadan, Hinduism, etc. but any mention of Christianity or Judaism is strictly forbidden. 3. I find it ridiculous that in any serious study of human history the most influential person (Jesus) and the most influential book (the Bible) cannot be mentioned except in the negative context of the Crusades. 4. Schools are increasingly a police state governed by Zero Tolerance Policies and administrators who are more concerned with CYA legally than educating children. 5. Public schools are measured by standardized tests which have nothing to do with the "real world" and whether or not a child can think and write critically and creatively. 6. Classrooms are overcrowded and overburdened with behavior problems and "inclusion" of students who, let's be honest, would be better served in classes designed for their special needs. Average kids get left behind. 7. The amount of time wasted in public schools dealing with above mentioned issues is absurd.

We chose Catholic schools because we believe strongly that our children should grow up in an environment which supports their beliefs and holds them morally accountable for their actions. We believe Catholicism should not be practiced at home and on Sundays only but something they should feel free to celebrate and practice in ALL aspects of their life, particularly in their formative years.

There's more but dinner is burning.

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Wed, 02-04-2004 - 9:05am
Short addendum which sums up my feelings against public education. From James Young in the Potomac News (www.potomacnews.com):

"....the attacks on the faithful are rampant throughout our society, from the continuing efforts of Michael Newdow to take "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, to public schoools which punish children who dare to make expressions of their Christian faith in assignments, to those who demand acceptance of homosexuality with mandatory "diversity" training--really just reeducaation in the best Stalinist tradition--in the workplace."

"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have. The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases." - Thomas Jeff

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 02-04-2004 - 1:52pm
We send our kids to public schools, and both DH and I attended public school. Now, he is more or less agnostic, so he would have no bias towards Catholic school, anyway, but I am Catholic and, given my experience both growing up and in our area, I have no bias towards sending my kids to Catholic school, either.

Where I grew up, there were few Catholic schools, I didn't know anyone who went to them, and they were inferior to the public schools. In our current location - the suburbs of NYC - nearly every parish has a school. However, there is no way to compare the Catholic school students' performance to the public schools, since they are not required to take the NY State exams that the public school kids do.

What I do look at overall is what kind of experience will my kids have, and I see no advantage to sending them to Catholic school. In our parish school, the classes are larger, the teachers less well-educated, the extracurricular activities are nearly non-existent, there are no computers in the classrooms, no real playground, no music or drama program, no programs for gifted kids, few sports, etc., etc. There is nothing to recommend the Catholic schools from any academic or social perspective, and I consider the academic perspective to be the primary reason for choosing a school, inclusive of developmental programs such as theatre, science clubs, photography, etc.

Just my reasons for my family.


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 02-04-2004 - 5:49pm
I should also add. . .

It's not a tough decision in our area. There are relatively few "safety" issues. My 6th grader rides the bus with high school kids, and her only complaint is that the bus is noisy - she is introverted, and to me the fact that she LOVES school speaks volumes about her ability to feel safe there.

Further, the general population in our area is about 70% Catholic. All teachings about other religions at the elementary school level focus equally on customs, not beliefs. My DDs have received books as Christmas gifts from teachers that are specifically religious, since the teachers know we are Catholic. DD#2 brought in a small statue of the Blessed Mother for show & tell in first grade, and I know other kids have brought in religious items as well. Kids who attend after-school CCD at the parish most heavily attended in our district are actually bused there after school! So our area is extremely tolerant about religious expression.

I also feel that my kids get a much broader view of the world than if they were seeing it only through Catholic eyes. The "secular humanist" curriculum is the only viable option if public schools are truly to teach all students. Maybe because DH is agnostic, I feel this is much more representative of the real world than if they went to a Catholic school. I don't need the school day to reinforce being Catholic, which to me is something that's got to be lived among everyone, not just people like them. And we have a fine religious ed program, so their weekly religious ed teaches them in a more structured manner what I forgot to teach in my role as primary teacher.

My answers might be different if we lived in a place with poor schools, unsafe environments, religious intolerance, and so on. However, I suspect I would never have chosen to live someplace with poor or unsafe schools. One of the reasons we live where we do and refuse to move is because of the quality of our schools.