HDYDI: Choosing the Right Educational Path for Your Family

This is the introduction to a three-part series about choosing the right school for your children. Click on these links to read Part I (Catholic school), Part II (public school) and Part III (homeschool).

I think this is a hot topic no matter your religion, region of the country, socio-economic status or race.  Educating our children is important and I believe most parents want the absolute best for their kids.  But when it comes to the great debate of public, private or homeschool, folks start shuttling themselves into the respective corner pretty quickly.  We hear things like:

“Oh, I would never send my kids to public school. Have you seen the news lately?”

“Private schools are only for rich kids.”

“Those homeschool kids have NO social life. They live in such a bubble.”

I’m here to tell you that as a Catholic mom and the daughter of a public school teacher, the educational path we decided for our children was personal.  We put it to prayer, evaluated our resources – financial, emotional and spiritual – and made the choice that was right, for our family.

This week, I’m honored, and very humbled, to host three guest bloggers here at Team Whitaker.  Each one of these women made a different educational choice for her family.  Each one put it to prayer.  And, each one is a rockstar Catholic mom.  Each of them will share why they chose a specific educational path and how she’s living out God’s call as mother to her children.

It’s my hope that as we begin the “back-to-school” dance, we each take a look at our own families.  Are we doing what God asks of us? Are we infusing faith into our children’s education? How are we modeling a life of servant leadership? Are we called to make a change?

Tune in tomorrow morning when our first momma debuts on Team Whitaker!


  1. Stacy Woodruff on July 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Travis starts school next month, and I am absolutely terrified. He will just barely be three. But he also ages out of ECI when he turns three, and as a kid with autism, it is critical that he not lose skills and services, so he will be going to PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) even though I am scared to death. It’s so hard to know what the right choice is. What are y’all going to be doing about Luke when he turns three? I know he is just a month or so younger than Travis. Are y’all going to be doing private therapy, or does he qualify for PPCD or the equivalent?

    • Kathryn on July 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Luke turns three in September. We are continuing with private therapy through the end of the year and then will likely cut back some of it. I’m hoping he tests out of it! We did not have him tested for PPCD and he is no longer in ECI – long story 🙂 I’m happy with his cognitive progress, most of his challenges lie in gross and fine motor skills, as well as eating. Those are well suited to private therapy.

  2. Meggan on July 23, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I am so excited to read the guest posts this week! We are still a ways off from having to worry about school, but we’ve already started a dialogue about it. Can’t wait to hear the various perspectives from other moms.

    • Kathryn on July 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      I hope they all gave you some good information to think and pray about, Meggan!

  3. Dianna Kennedy on July 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Aww — I love you. Thanks for talking me up as a ‘rockstar’.

    I ADORE that picture of JP. Beautiful.

    • Kathryn on July 23, 2012 at 11:12 am

      That’s an old school photo. It’s Will as a kindergartener! I guess the kids look the same from the back, too 🙂 And, you are a rockstar!

  4. Suzi on July 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I am really looking forward to these posts! Child #1, currently 22, participated in all three venues. 7-12: homeschool.

    The next 2, 13 & 11, have always been home for school, with last year participating in a co-op and mostly the same grade. Mr. 13 year old has learning challenges. (reading = spelling) he has recently become very attached to serving at Mass as often as possible and has no desire to be in a class room. He disliked co-op.

    Miss 11 year old is a bright sanguine and would love the opportunity to be on a class room. We are considering a small chater school that just rented space at our parish. We may be a split house.

    Will truly look forward to what others have to say!

    • Kathryn on July 23, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks for coming by, Suzi! It should be a great week.

  5. Michelle on July 23, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    I can’t wait to read it! As a Mom of 5, I’m a firm believer that almost no school/educational path is right for every child. We do the educational “buffet” around here: one charter/online homeschool, one now private Catholic school, and one public school. Add in there various tracks (“high ability,” “typical,” IEP/504 “special needs” and we’ve almost – though certainly not completely – done it all.) Tough on momma sometimes? Yes. Worth it for us? Absolutely! All three seem to be working well for each individual child and all three excel, as well as have their challenges (kids and schools). Kudos to you for bringing different viewpoints to the table and for opening, not closing the dialogue!

    • Kathryn on July 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      I was just tired of the argument and decided to open wide the door. Every family really is different and how blessed are we that we have so many different, and worthy, choices!

  6. Christy Songy on July 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I look forward to these posts as well. If you had told me five years ago that I was going to homeschool I would have laughed myself sick. I get asked constantly if we’re going to do it “forever” and my answer is always “Until it stops being the right thing for our family”. Public, private, or homeschool, if your children are learning and your family is happy then more power to you!

    • Kathryn on July 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Christy, your response is perfect. I love it and I hope the posts were just what you were hoping they would be!

  7. […] series about choosing the right school for your children. Click on these links to read the introduction, Part II (public school) and Part III (homeschool).“Learning is a treasure that will follow its […]

  8. […] series about choosing the right school for your children. Click on these links to read the introduction, Part I (Catholic school) and Part II (public school).The following is a guest post from Dianna […]

  9. […] series about choosing the right school for your children. Click on these links to read the introduction, Part I (Catholic school) and Part III (homeschool).It wasn’t until Kathryn invited me to blog […]

  10. […] Actually, I say that about many things in life. While no money tree exists (sadly) there are so many things you can do to make Catholic schooling affordable, doable and manageable. Two summers ago, I invited three Catholic moms to blog about the educational system they each chose for their family:…. […]

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