Letter to Homeschooling Families
Thomas More College is proud of its tradition of having homeschooled students enter our program of studies every year. This should be no surprise. Our patron, St. Thomas More, personally oversaw with loving attention the education of his children. His household is a model of balance between faith, learning, and ordinary human affection that comes to those who seek the very best for their children. It is also a model for joy and sacrifice. More’s household allowed an education in which, as he said, “learning” was “joined with virtue.”
We know that a parent’s choice to homeschool is driven by the desire to see to their children’s sanctification, moral formation, and intellectual development. Parents are filled with the hope that by offering such an education, their children, like St. Thomas More’s, will “raise their minds also to heaven.”
I write this note, not from some theoretical acceptance of homeschooling, but from the real knowledge of the sacrifices that are made to ensure children can be educated at home in a manner befitting young Catholics. I write as the parent of five children who are homeschooled by my wife and me.
This experience is common to the faculty of the College. Prospective students to Thomas More College can rest assured that they will find a significant number of their peers coming from homeschool backgrounds, and professors are alive to the unique nature of their formation.
The admission team of the College is always mindful of the diversity of forms and experiences in homeschool. In our review of a homeschooled applicant, we recall the natural methodology that will occur in good Catholic families, where the Faith in all its integrity is taught through reading, conversation, and living out the virtues. The big questions about life are raised and answered by parents and children not just in books, but in a prayerful and wholesome environment. As John Paul II said of the natural teaching that occurs at the hands of spiritually and intellectually responsible parents:
The fact that the truths about the main questions of faith and Christian living are thus repeated within a family setting impregnated with love and respect will often make it possible to influence the children in a decisive way for life.
Finally, I believe firmly that parents are the first teachers and counselors of their children–and their recommendations and comments on their child’s formation and education are indispensible to our evaluation. We always ask that parents never hesitate in writing or contacting us with insights that you have about your sons and daughters.
In Christ the King,
William Edmund Fahey, Ph.D.
President, Thomas More College