This past Friday was my children's last day of the 2012-2013 school year. It wasn't even a full day at that. There was Mass and awards and then we took them home. Summer vacation has officially begun, and emotionally, we....are....ready! The past week has been full of all kinds of
sassiness emotions. I have shared with many that we have been in marathon mode. There has been field trips, class picnics, end of year projects, recitals, altar servers training, Kindergarten graduation, and one sick child. My kids "checked-out" about a week ago. Their schedules have just now caught up. I welcome this break with arms wide open.
Our children attend a parochial school outside of our district. It is 20 miles from our driveway to the school parking lot. I have been making this trip, at least twice a day, for the past 6 years. The drive doesn't phase me as it has become apart of my daily routine. If you've read previous posts, you know how much talking and sharing goes on between my Love Bugs and me in our van on these trips to and from school. I also use this drive time to pray. I find it time well spent.
Monkey and I get asked frequently why we take our kids so far away to school. The schools in our district have won national awards and are arguably the heart of our community. A few years ago, Monkey and I were told by an individual, to our faces (in a public school forum we were invited to), that we were anti-education because of our choice to send our kids to parochial school.
My dad was a public school employee at one point in his life. My sister is a public school teacher. My brother drives bus for the district. Both Monkey and I are products of public education. We are not anti-public education. We made, what we believe, is the best decision for our children and for our family. So instead of focusing on why we don't send our kids to public school, I want to share why we do send our kids to Catholic school.
The school year begins and ends with the celebration of the Eucharist. The kids attend Mass every Friday and Holy Day during the school year. They start and end each day with prayer and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead of holiday parties and Secret Santa's, they have Advent Angels and learn about God Emmanuel. When two of the school faculty were diagnosed with cancer last year, the school assembled in the gym to pray the Rosary. Classes often participate in Lenten projects in order to prepare their hearts for the Resurrection of our Lord. Classrooms have a crucifix above their whiteboards and there is religious artwork hung throughout the school. There is an Adoration Chapel in the High School. Prom began with Mass, as did Kindergarten Graduation. Class sizes are small. The school's motto is, "Partnering with God to Create the Whole Student."
We send our kids to Catholic school because it is an extension of the Domestic Church: the family. The values we are trying to instill within our children are reinforced by their school. We take the education of our children very seriously, especially in the handing on of our faith. Our school supports us in this effort. Is it perfect? No. But it is the right "fit" for us at this time.
Each night as our family gathers for prayer, we thank God for our school and the education our children are receiving. We are thankful for the freedom to have a choice in education. Although we cannot protect our children from everything in this life, we have faith that we are giving them a firm foundation.
|Field trip to Mill City Museum. Grades K-6 attended and I was able to chaperon. It was a great trip and the Love Bugs and I want to go back.|
|4th Grade Science Project - a wearable model of the six systems of the body. The tie represents the esophagus and the bike helmet the brain.|
|Sweet Potato and Gummi's last piano recital of the season. They both received Superior Ratings at Junior Festival.|
|Honey Bunches receiving his Certificate of Completion for 3rd Grade.|
|Cucumber's Kindergarten Graduation.|
|Fr. Paul, Fr. Tony and Fr. Patrick with Cucumber. Fr. Patrick is from Nigeria and has a very thick accent. While he was proclaiming the Gospel during Mass, Pumpkin whispered in my ear, "he speaks really good Spanish."|