You may have noticed during your homeschooling journey that a lot of your homeschooling friends are Protestant. The big conferences, the co-ops – all geared toward the Protestant homeschooling family. It's likely a lot of your homeschooling friends are also Protestant.
If you've converted to the Catholic Faith during your homeschooling years, there's an additional layer of conversion that takes place. And it has a direct impact on the children you're homeschooling. If you've previously taught the Protestant Reformation and you're now calling it the Protestant Revolt, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, “You've got a lot of ‘splainin' to do!”
Here are 5 tips to help you make the transition:
Get Real with Your Kids
If your kids have been involved in Awana and learning the famous John 3:16 verse, they may be confused about your conversion. To help them along, try to remember what it was like when you first began to ask questions about the Catholic Faith. Do you remember how many questions you had? They likely have some of those same ones. Find a way to share your own faith journey in terms they'll understand.
We can sometimes think that admitting we were wrong about something in our lives, especially regarding faith issues, lowers our children's esteem of us. But, in reality, you owe your kids the honesty. They don't need to see you as perfect as much as they see you as a human being in search of Truth.
Start at the beginning and share the nuggets of truth buried in Protestantism and how questioning long-held beliefs is a healthy thing to do. Explain how you arrived at your answer and how grace built upon grace during your conversion. This is especially important if you've been homeschooling for a long time and are now confronted with homeschooling teens.
Get Involved with Catholic Homeschoolers
There are tons of online resources to connect with Catholic homeschooling families. If you're active in social media, Facebook is a great tool. There are lots of pages and groups for Catholics there. Some great ones include:
- Today's Catholic Homeschooling Facebook Page – all things pertaining to Catholic homeschooling
- Catholic Homeschooling Facebook Page – great overall resource
- Catholic Homeschooling Moms Facebook Group – great one to ask questions and general hobnobbing 😉
- Catholic Homeschooling with Special Needs Facebook Group
- Catholic Icing Facebook Group – lots of activities for kids
- IHM Conferences Facebook Page – See? Catholic homeschoolers *do* have conferences! Immaculate Heart of Mary Conferences happen in 15 different locations across the country, including a larger national conference.
- Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families Facebook Page – Catholic crafts, printables, and other teaching tools. An extension of their website.
Read Catholic Homeschooling Blogs and Websites
Not only will reading catholic homeschooling blogs equip you as you homeschool, it will grow your own faith. Bonus! Find ones you like from the brief list here to get you reading and growing. Check out their Instagram profiles, too! I love watching their Instagram stories and feed for ideas on ways to incorporate the Faith into our day.
- Catholic Homeschooling Resources – tons of information on Catholic homeschooling for beginners to veterans
- Catholic Homeschool (dot) org – another treasure trove of Catholic homeschooling resources.
- Catholic City – page dedicated to all things Catholic homeschooling.
- Catholic Sistas – linked to their page, 10 Steps to Selecting a Catholic Homeschool Curriculum, but this site has a lot of great resources and it's a fun community!
- Michelle Quigley – planner creator, homeschooling mom, a joy to read
- Blessed is She – another community, not specifically homeschooling, but a lot of homeschooling mamas hang out here.
- The Kennedy Adventures – a blog about family and homeschooling.
You'll grow to love your own choices and I'd love if you'd shoot me an email or leave me a comment on any I missed!
Get Your Kids Connected with Other Catholic Kids
The most difficult about your own conversion to the Faith might be the fact that your kids are coming along with you. They may feel they are leaving friends and family behind. It's important to keep them in touch with friends they've made, but be aware of issues that are likely to come up. Friends and family who aren't converted to Catholicism may try to convert your children to Protestantism. They do this out of genuine concern for their soul. It's not meant to be a reflection on you. But, be wise to this and be prepared to handle this ahead of time. Handle all things with love.
One of the ways you can embrace your new Faith with your family is by participating in your parish sacramental preparation. This puts your children in touch with other Catholic kids. Do be aware of your parental rights regarding homeschooling and sacramental preparation.
You can usually find other Catholic homeschooling families at your parish (or a neighboring parish) to find out if there's a weekday mass for homeschooling families, any ways you can serve as a family, and any homeschooling mom meet-ups.
Be a Praying Mama
I can't stress this one enough. It's not an easy road to go from Protestant homeschooling to Catholic homeschooling. You're changing your tribe. You're probably super excited about the truth you've uncovered and want to share with anyone who'll listen, but not everyone will share your excitement. This is why you must keep prayer a priority.
Keep your rosary or chaplet with you and pray when you feel rejected, scared, tempted, or lonely. And you will miss the “old ways” sometimes and experience loneliness. If you've learned to deal with the disappointment, rejection, and loneliness you're better able to help your kids. It'll also help you empathize with them.
Let them see you in prayer! Take them to visit the Blessed Sacrament for family prayer.