Thursday, September 30, 2010


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Data base for HS Group taken at the meeting held on 26 Sept 2010:
Valentine Coelho(16 July)Anna (9 Apr) Nadisha(29 Dec) Nimish(18 Jan)Amish(13 June)Avinash(29 Sept)Shaheen (23 Sept)
Alves Almeida (23 Feb) Maria(20 May) Avinash (15 Dec)Ravi (14 May) Anuj17 Feb)Alisha(23 May)
Nigel D’souza(28 Apr)Varenka(28 July)Yashwyn(2 April)Rinald(3 April)Yelena(13 Sept)
Lewis Sequeira(24 Nov)Zenita(24 Jan)Luke(3 July)Jerome(11 Feb)Maria(5 Oct)Clare(30 Dec)
Glenn Ribeiro Sa(20 Aug)Auriel(26 May)Kirsten(7 Nov)Aaron(30 Oct)Nathan(17 Nov)CharisAnn(18 June)
Milagres Pereira(6 Dec) Violet(24 Apr)Esmee(11 Nov)Ethel(11 Nov)Euban(24 Oct)Evely
(16 Dec)
Michael Pereira(23 May)Twinkle(8 Oct)Hansel(29 Aug)Zivel(24 Sept)Lisel(9 April)

Saturday, September 25, 2010


90% chose it in order to protect their children from evil influences in the schools, Catholic and otherwise, which are pulling their children away from God, away from the Catholic Church, and away from their own family.
More and more parents are choosing home schooling because of the renewed push for explicit sex education. Some have done so because of the broad range of false and immoral ideas propagated by books, teachers, classroom discussions and peer pressure in schools. Some have chosen home education because of the lack of academics being taught in the schools. The main problem heard from parents regarding this is that children are not learning to read. No matter which method is currently in use, if it is not phonics, children will not learn to decode sounds to read words. If a child cannot read, grades in all subjects will plummet quickly.
Wishy-washy Catholic schools can hardly produce a generation of saints. The Charter of the Rights of the Family, issued by Pope John Paul II in 1982, declares that parents are not to send their children to any school which sets itself against their moral and religious convictions.
But what if every available school goes against your religious convictions? The answer is simple: Home school.
We must bring the children home to the family and teach them the truths of the Catholic Faith. Home schoolers are independent thinkers. They are not pressured to agree with the group or with an authority other than God and His representatives, their parents.
Catholic home schooling means raising cradle Catholics. A cradle Catholic is a person born into a Catholic family who is taught the culture, the traditions, and the faith of the Catholic Church by words, actions, songs, Sacraments, and sacramentals. Catholic children trained at home in a complete family catechetical program, can be, and will be, effective leaders in restoring the Catholic Church. Their devotion to daily Mass, their love for the Blessed Mother and the Rosary, their prayer and lighting of candles – all these indicate the authentic Catholic lifestyle, a deep love and understanding of Jesus and His Church.
Catholic home schooling is a family apostolate in the forefront of the spiritual battle to preserve the Catholic Faith and the Catholic culture and traditions. When homosexuality, a direct attack against family and children, is accepted as an alternative lifestyle, one can no longer pretend to live in a Christian world. The only answer is to bring the children home, keep them close, and teach them in the inner sanctum of the domestic church, our Catholic homes.

BENEFITS OF HOME SCHOOLING for the Catholic Family

• For the student: They tend to be innocent and retain their childhood at a natural pace without being thrown into conversations and discussions beyond their natural interests and maturity level. They are shaped by the family rather than by hours of interaction with others at the same level of immaturity. Another benefit is social development at different stages of maturity. Thus children learn about the needs and interests of the elderly from grandparents. They learn about the helplessness of babies and their need for protection. They learn to forgive those who disregard their possessions as they deal patiently with little brothers and sisters. Home schooled children learn to serve others as they hep younger siblings with their studies. Obedience and respect for authority are learned as parents respect grandparents, as children respect and serve parents.
• For the mother: It provides the opportunity to fulfil her responsibility in the marriage vocation to educate her children. It provides a maturing process for a young woman as she dedicates herself in service to youngsters who look up to her with loving eyes for direction. Many home schooling mothers have said that their education was wasted on them when they were young, but now they were enjoying relearning everything from how to diagram a sentence to learning about the earth to discussing the French Revolution!
• For the father: The father can see, provide, and protect his family in his home. He can share in the very joys for which he is providing because he has more opportunities to spend time with them on account of their easily adaptable schedules. If the father thinks that being at home with the children is important, you bet that these children will be at-home fathers with their children. He will lead, but also respect, and even depend on the support of his own children, especially as they grow into young adults. He will grow to understand what fatherhood means as he sees the dependency of his children who look to him for guidance, rather than to their peers or teachers. The Catholic home schooling father is likely to grow in his own spiritual life as he becomes more involved in the lessons which are permeated with Catholic beliefs.
• For the Church: Home schooling families are responding to God’s will to be open and charitable regarding having children. They have more opportunities to give good example in living the authentic Catholic life. They are supportive of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.


A Catholic curriculum is one in which every subject taught is permeated with the truths of the Catholic faith. It is not a standard curriculum that simply includes a religion class. Every class is to incorporate Christ’s teachings.
• Arithmetic: Use of Biblical stories & real-life situations like going for Mass, field trips with other home school families, visits to shrines as a family, picketing abortion clinics, etc. in word problems. Foe eg., measuring the floor at the parish church, gas mileage on the way to a rosary rally, working in a Catholic book store, purchase of religious articles, and so on.
• Art: Craft ideas for special days like feasts can be developed. Learning about Christian artists and their works, the architecture of churches, paintings of the saints, etc.
• English: Almost any passage from the Bible or books on saints, Church Fathers, etc. can be used to teach vocabulary & grammar, book reports on the lives of saints, or books written by Catholic authors (G.K. Chesterton, for one), compositions on many Catholic topics.
• Handwriting: Use of Psalms and other books of the Bible can be used or any passages on saints, sacramentals, etc.
• History: History books recognise that the central event in history is the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. Try to incorporate Catholic achievements and missionary work in the lessons. Link time with what was happening in the Catholic domain alongside secular world history.
• Music: Music is important for children as a means of learning the Christian message, as well as giving children the opportunity to express Catholic beliefs in song. Teach music used earlier in Churches like the Gregorian chant and classical music used.
• Phonics: Use sentences from Bible.
• PE: For example, St. Paul compared spiritual life to running a race. ‘Stand tall and defend the faith’, ‘This exercise will help strengthen the stomach muscles God gave you’.
• Religion: Baltimore Catechism (CCC) includes Q & As, fill-in exercises and Bible references.
• Science: For Example, while teaching about heart and blood, we can conclude with information of the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano. See God’s hand in creation of nature. Wind reminds us of the Holy Spirit. Pro-life issues can be dealt with.
• Spelling: Words from the Bible or other Catholic texts can be taught in addition to other words.
• Vocabulary: Passages can be taken from the Bible, meanings of unknown found and sentences can be made.

Home schooling is primarily a commitment to God, and secondarily a commitment to family. Ask for the grace to know what you should do, for the courage to make the right decision, for the strength to carry it out. Make a nine-day novena, pray to the Blessed Mother for wisdom. If you finally decide after nine days of prayer and fasting that you should home school, but your spouse remains against it, wait for him/her to commit or ask if (s)he will allow you just one year as a trial.
How to tell your husband: Consider taking your husband to your local support group meetings, particularly when you know that other fathers will be present. Ask him to read up on home schooling and become more informed. If he refuses to read, then you should read and discuss the ideas with him at the dinner table or whenever you can.
Before you start, put in writing the reasons why you want to teach your children at home. Be sure to discuss this thoroughly with your spouse if possible.
How to tell the children: If your children are older, you can have a family conference. Both of you should explain to your children exactly why you believe so strongly that you should teach them at home. This will head off complaining and bitterness later.
Statement of Goals: List specific goals or objectives. Religious goals like going for daily Mass, Confession once a month. That at least once a week certain activities should relate to the liturgical calendar. Character goals like good manners, learning to be gentle with younger siblings, appreciation of parents, etc. Academic goals like finishing a standard or syllabus in a prescribed period, or completion of learning a particular skill by the prescribed period, etc. Having specific goals keeps you and your children on track. Unless you write down the goals, you will never reach them.
Post a list of the disadvantages of sending your children to public school where you can see it to remind you of why you have chosen to home school.
Parents who are home schooling their last children should make notes about the effects of school on their older children.
Neighbours: It might be a good idea to keep your children in the house during school hours. It is not a matter of hiding as much as a matter of not causing your neighbours to be reminded every day of what you are doing. Consider moving to a location where there are home schooling families.
Withdrawing from the school: Try to make the change at the beginning of a school year, or at the semester break, or during a long vacation. It is best not to have your children talk about leaving a school while they are still attending. Notify your school principal in writing, unless you have good personal relations with the school personnel. State simply that you are transferring to a new school and need the leaving certificate. If the school asks why you wish to home school, be sure to present the positive reasons without maligning the school. Say that you are going to try this alternative for a year and see how it works out.
How much Time?
It depends from child to child and from grade to grade. A boy usually needs to study his spelling longer than a girl; a girl often needs to spend more time on math than a boy. Math and reading should usually take about an hour a day; while spelling and vocabulary can usually be done in 20 minutes. English, religion, history and science are usually 30-40 minutes classes. High school classes are 50 minutes each for most students. Extra reading for
book reports can be done in the evening and should take an hour or so daily.
Parents also need time to prepare for the lessons especially with higher grades. You should figure an hour or two a week to look over what you need to do for the following week. Most students coming out of schools do not have good study skills and they need parental help whereas those who have been home schooling for several years can practically do all their high school assignments without help. However, it is important to discuss their schoolwork, esp. religion, literature and history in order to convey proper Catholic perspective.
Arranging the Home: Shaping an extra room out of some area of the house is required to create a special place for the home schooling material to be kept permanently. Some create a classroom in the basement, others in the garage. In some homes, the family room is the classroom. Others have built a small outdoor house on the property as their classroom.
It is difficult to use the living room/dining room as the main classroom. There needs to be a permanent place where books, encyclopaedias, and desks can be kept. Limit the number of items in your kitchen for you will need room for science projects and art projects. Add an altar or a holy picture in the room. Decorate the walls with maps, display boards (one for each child, if possible), etc. You should decide whether it would be easier to reach the children all together in one room, or have the children working in different rooms. Maybe, they could be separated for Math and English but could assemble for religion and music.
Working out a schedule: Most children like the most difficult subjects in the morning, with the easier subjects in the afternoon. Ask the children to outline their weekly schedules and post it near their desks.
Before you begin to home school, purchase whatever you need to set up a schooling or learning area. Make your own blackboard with plywood and black paint or paint part of one wall with paint to use as your board. Alternatively, you can paint separate areas of the room for each child to use as their special writing area. Visit other home schooling families and see how they decorate their ‘classroom’ to give you some ideas. Display your children’s special talents or hobbies prominently in the room.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hi Homeschoolers.
I got this article from archives. This is a testimony report of our pioneer homeschooling family whose photograph is in the FELLOW HOMESCHOOLERS section of this blog. Hope it will inspire and motivate you in your quest for a better life for your kids.

The 40th Session of the Friday Balcao on July 28 at the Goa DESC was addressed by Anna and Valentine Coelho, from Socorro in Bardez, who besides being involved in other social activities, particularly the Marriage Encounter Movement, have adopted home schooling for their children.
The children do not have to go to school every day, in sun or rain…they don't have to go for tuitions. The parents need not prepare the kids every morning for the school or reach them to school and go to collect them when the school closes, if the kids are too small to manage by themselves. The children don't pick up vices from their peers and get lot of time for play and other creative activities.
Vally, an electronics engineer, and Anna, a trained nursery teacher, were both brought up in Mumbai and moved to Goa only in 1992. Though living in nature's green grandeur at Socorro is a pleasure, their disadvantage was the lack of a good school close by. Totally "disillusioned" with the changing educational pattern in Goa, they evolved a golden mean of a non-formal education based on the pattern followed by the Salesian schools.
In this system, the children have to appear for public exams in the VI Std and the SSCE. "We took the risk. Our friends and family supported us in the venture. Of course, sometimes the elders felt that our children too should go to school like other children," Anna said.
They knew about parents, who were teaching their children at home but they were getting the books and programmes from the USA. They would post the assignment and get the feedback from there. This process was too costly. So they found out whether "it was possible to teach the children at home or whether there were rules saying that we couldn't teach them at home, and what would happen if our children wanted to appear for the X Std exam."
They use all the Goa Board books as per the syllabus and other books for reference. For the 10th Std they have the Open School syllabus, and the exams offer a choice subjects and wide options, and can be offered only after a student completes 15 years of age. They have been inspired by a lovely book called "Catholic Home Schooling", written by Mary Kay Clark.
They concede that it was no easy matter and that home schooling can hardly be recommended to other parents. The system suited their special circumstances. Of course, it involved a lot of sacrifice and special efforts, to be parents and teachers at the same time. They had to study the lessons thoroughly, patiently before they could impart instructions to their children. Now their children study on their own and consult the parent-teachers only in case of difficulties. They have already adapted themselves to the new type of schooling.
Being Catholic kids, they are never at a loss where peer group and social mixing is concerned. The children have the opportunity to meet at the Church, at catechism classes, and in the village itself. The parents take them to the Sports Authority of Goa for sports activities. Vally said, "We took them to the Bal Bhavan so they could mix with other students", and where they learnt music, dancing and other things.
"If they did not like something, we tried to change it and make it a little more interesting. We make them realise that they have to learn certain essential values, particularly religious education," the Coelho couple claims. The other advantage of home schooling is that the children don't have the tension to rush to school and are better prepared mentally to absorb what is being taught. The classes are five days a week.
Anna said, "Being a teacher myself, I was aware that sometimes teachers are not good examples to children. There are teachers who used bad language, smoke in front of the students, while we tell the children that these are not good things. Teachers should set a good examples to students at least while they are at the school premises."
Since Anna is the mother and teacher rolled in one, the children receive adequate care and attention, which is not possible in a classroom packed with students and the teacher unable to cope up with the unruly lot, while having to ensure that the prescribed portion is completed in time.
The results of Anna and Vally's endeavour in the "learning experience" reflects in the fact that Nadisha, the eldest child, has already completed X Std at the Open School examination level. She will carry on with the same system for Std XII. She gets enough time in between study and this time is being spent effectively to learn courses in Shorthand, hairstyling, etc. Nadisha, who represented by the Bal Bhavan twice in creative writing competitions at the all-India level, however, says that she would have preferred a normal school and be part of the student community, particularly, because of "competitions. I can work better under pressure". Nimish, their son is 12, loves computers and is obsessed with writing programmes for computer games.
Their home school is also a curious place, where even the grand parents form a part of the overall "learning experience". The Coelho kids watch various people at work too in their home, which prepares home-made traditional, Goan sweets. The family has grown to two daughters and three sons, and in the congenial, joint family environs they learn to adjust, care and love each other. The rare experiment is extended further; periodically, the entire family-from the youngest to the oldest-joins in a family programme, where each one of them have to perform some item or other.
Homeschooling is a family -based learning. It was started in the United States first and spread around the whole world later. According to the Americans, homeschooling is ’Learning in Freedom’. Today
more than one million homeschooled children in the United States and tens of thousands of other learners around the world are learning outside of school. As a teacher by profession, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts with you on this concept of learning.

Homeschooling has it’s own pros and cons. Here, parents need not bother about getting their children admitted in a good school, buy uniform, shoes and other stuff related to attending a regular school. They need not worry about the safety of children while going and returning from school. They can take care of their children’s lunch, snack very easily. Children get full attention unlike a classroom, where the teacher cannot give individual attention to every child. Here the parental interaction is more, as children learn to read at home.

I have a cousin sister living in United States with her family. She has four children, ranging from age 7 to one year old child. She is giving them all homeschooling, the reason being she is unable to send them all to school. All her children have very little age difference . It is really difficult to get them all ready for school in the morning. She wants to send her children to regular school after they grow a bit. That’s a good idea. When children are very young, they can be homeschooled and then admitted in a regular school.

Homeschooling children miss out many events held at school like Sport’s day, Founder’s day, picnics, class study tours, visit to a place of interest etc.

I understand, there are special books for homeschooling students. There are many children, who have successfully finished their homeschooling and have entered Universities for higher education. This is due to the fact that parents have taken sincere effort in homeschooling them.

When you talk about schooling in a private or public school, children begin to learn many other things apart from just studying in the school. They realize they have to get up early in the morning, to get ready to go to school. There is an order in their lives, which is totally lacking in homeschooling. Children may take their own time to get ready for learning, as they are going to be taught just by one of their parents. They take the parents for granted, where as if it is a school, children will learn to respect the teacher.

Children become more independant, when they are exposed to the outside world. They can achieve this only by attending regular school. They learn to tackle problems, and to get along with their friends. They are disciplined in many ways.The regular school has a counsellor, to whom children can go for any moral help.

I don’t think homeschooling has become popular in India.I have heard of parents standing in a long queue to get admission for their children to get a place in kindergarten class.

I feel,a home with parents is always a school for children at any age. They learn many things from their parents. Actually, they look up to them as their role models. So, children should be sent to regular school for regular studies since after returning from school they have enough time to learn many things from parents. They may get bored eventually, if they are with parents the whole day.

When children mingle with other people like their teachers and friends there is a growth in their personality. My advice would be to have children homeschooled, when they are very young and need parent’s help and then admit them in a proper school after the age of six or seven.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dear Homeschoolers,
If possible and also if you wish, please send me a testimony of your homeschooling life, why you decided to opt for it and how you are faring now. Will poat on the blog. Thanks. Also send me a contact blog/email address which I can put under heading Homeschool United in the blog. ALSo a family pic. Check what I have done so far and do follow the blog. If you have more logos of homeschool, send to my email address and I will put them too in succession. The pic of Mother of Good Counsel will be permanent but I can add a gadget for saints. Do comment on the items so anyone else reading will get feedback. God bless.
(PLEASE put subject as HOMESCHOOL)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dear Homeschoolers,

I will not know if anyone is reading this blog unless you follow it. So please do so. We meet regularly to review and discuss how we are faring. I have not yet begun homeschooling but am keen so I attend the meetings. I also read and research a lot to get myself better informed. Homeschool is a new concept and most parents would not want the added responsibility. This is for those who are committed to education with a difference. So keep reading this blog and also search for info on the net.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Making a different choice gives you the opportunity to live a different life. – OPRAH WINFREY

The Right to Education (RTE) Act 2009 states that ‘Every child between the ages of 6 to 14 years has the right to free and compulsory education.’ This is stated as per the 86th Constitution Amendment Act added Article 21A. The right to education bill seeks to give effect to this amendment. The government schools shall provide free education to all the children and the schools will be managed by school management committees (SMC). Private schools shall admit at least 25% of the children in their schools without any fee. The National Commission for Elementary Education shall be constituted to monitor all aspects of elementary education including quality.
Now, with the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act, which stipulates eight years of formal education for all children, parents in favour of homeschooling are confused about whether the Act has scope for their mode of education.
A writ petition to this effect was filed in the Delhi High Court in March this year by 12-year-old Delhi girl Shreya Sahai, who decided to go for homeschooling as it would allow her more flexibility to pursue her interests — music, photography and painting. In April, the PIL, which said the RTE infringes on the freedom of parents and needs to be amended to accommodate homeschooling, was heard by a High Court Division Bench. While the Bench dismissed the petition, it gave the petitioners eight weeks from April 13 to make a representation to the Ministry of Human Resouce Development, asking for their vision on homeschooling. In April after the court’s advice, a group of parents who either send their children to alternative schools — there are about 100 such schools in India — and those who homeschool their wards, met in Bangalore to draft a presentation for the MHRD. The homeschoolers also drafted a letter to be sent to Minister of MHRD Kapil Sibal asking him to accommodate homeschooling in the RTE Act or clarify its stand on homeschooling and alternative education.
What is home schooling? And why are many parents opting for it nowadays? Can a homeschooler join the mainstream or is his future bleak? What sacrifices need to be made by the parent and child in order to make homeschooling a viable option? Homeschooling is the education of children at home, typically by parents but sometimes by tutors, rather than in other formal settings of public or private schools. It was started in the United States first and spread around the whole world later. Parents cite numerous reasons as motivations to homeschool, including better academic test results, poor public school environment, improved character/morality development, and objections to what is taught locally in public school. It is also an alternative for families living in isolated rural locations or living temporarily abroad.
Lets look into the pros and cons of this method of education.
Pros of home schooling:
• No buying of uniform, shoes and other stuff related to school.
• There is no worry about the safety of children while going and returning from school.
• Parents can take care of their children’s lunch, snack very easily and provide nutritious meals whenever needed.
• Children get one-on-one attention unlike a classroom where one teacher has to give attention to 40-odd students.
• Parent-child interaction is more which leads to optimum bonding. Thus peer pressure is reduced to the minimum.
• For children with learning disorders, homeschooling is a better option as they are not understood by teachers and ridiculed by peers.
• Self-learning is promoted and, as children are encouraged to figure out things by themselves, they find pleasure in learning new things.
• The biggest advantage is that the timetable is flexible. The child can learn what he wants when he feels like it. He can go as in-depth as he wants. He learns it at his pace, the way he wants. The stress on the child is zero. Of course, this will not work for a child who wants to take it easy.
• A school is crammed -- be it in curricular or extra-curricular activities. In a family, it's a more relaxed environment and therefore more conducive for learning.
• Homeschooling takes less time because there is no wastage of time in disciplining the class or when time is lost at the change of teachers every period.
Cons of home schooling:
• Cost of homeschooling varies. At times, it can be more expensive than sending the child to regular schools. It depends on the child's learning needs and the study material supplied by the parents in addition to the basic texts, notebooks, etc.
• Children miss out on many events held at school like Sport’s day, Founder’s day, picnics, class study tours, visit to a place of interest etc.
• Children may take their own time to get ready for learning, as they are going to be taught just by one of their parents. They take the parents for granted, whereas if it is a school, children learn to respect the teacher. Also, they may get bored eventually, if they are with parents the whole day.
• Children become more independent, when they are exposed to the outside world. They learn to tackle problems, and to get along with their friends. They are disciplined in many ways. When children mingle with other people like their teachers and friends there is a growth in their personality.
• The regular school has a counsellor, to whom children can go for any moral help.
• Homeschooling is not recommended for any child who lives in a flat without good interaction with neighbours.
• Parents need training on teaching methods, and on how to create a conducive environment, how to instill discipline and so on.
Let me now refer you to the case of a pioneer couple from Porvorim, Vally and Anna Coelho, who are successfully homeschooling all their five children. Totally disillusioned with the changing educational pattern in Goa, they evolved a golden means of a non-formal education based on the pattern followed by the Salesian schools. They use all the Goa Board books as per the syllabus and other books for reference. For the 10th Std, they have the NIOS syllabus; these exams offer a wide choice of subjects and can be offered only after a student completes 15 years of age.
They concede that homeschooling is no easy matter and that it involves a lot of sacrifice and special efforts, to be parents and teachers at the same time. They had to study the lessons thoroughly, patiently before they could impart instructions to their children. Now their children study on their own and consult the parent-teachers only in case of difficulties. The results of Anna and Vally's endeavour in the "learning experience" reflects in the fact that Nadisha, the eldest child, has already completed M.Sc. (Home Science) in Human Development. Nimish, their eldest son loves computers and is obsessed with writing programmes for computer games. He is now pursuing a B.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering. Amish will be appearing for his SSC exams through NIOS this year, as is Avinash, a budding businessman who supervises the family business of making jams, pickles & sweets for festive occasions. Shaheen, the bubbly baby of the family is at the Std IV level and uses the NCERT books for her studies.

In a nutshell, then, homeschooling is an opportunity for parents and children to seek an alternative to the present formal education recommended and enforced by the RTE Act. It is my earnest appeal to the Government of India to make provision in the RTE Act to include homeschooling, thus giving interested and educated parents an opportunity to implement it as per the stipulated guidelines without infringing on their individual freedom. Democracy enshrines this philosophy and our esteemed Government therefore ought to uphold and foster it. (1,324 words)

Thursday, September 2, 2010