Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I would stop homeschooling...

if the kids had the option of attending a school like Lumen Christi. A good friend of mine in Maine started a similar school, but after 2 years of very hard work she found that what she envisioned and the parents wanted were not the same, so she is homeschooling. The temptation to give in and send them to a diocesan school in NC next year is strong, especially for Will since he is such a social butterfly and doesn't have many friends. However, doing so would disrupt our entire lifestyle and I think I can make it a priority this year to give him more social outlets rather than just additional activities.
Edie Fitzgerald was a home-schooling mother of four when she heard a call from God. That calling was answered in 2002, she said, when she founded an independent Catholic school in Downtown Indianapolis. Students attend daily Mass -- primarily celebrated in Latin -- and learn what Fitzgerald describes as a Catholic core curriculum taught by a faithful Catholic faculty.

Q: Why did you start this school?
We were home-schooling our children and had sent two of our sons to high school and still had one at home. And he was lonely. We had been thinking that God was calling us to start an independent school, so I attended a conference, and realized that such a school could start very small.
Q: What do you feel is the mission of Lumen Christi?
A: Our mission is that we teach faith with reason, so that our students will know the truth and be able to act in virtue. We attend daily Mass. . . . The faculty is required to understand what concepts of faith they are communicating to students in lessons.
Q: What is the main difference between your school and a diocesan school?
A: We have the freedom to choose our own textbooks, books that best support our mission. We drew a lot from our home-schooling experience. We look for more traditional textbooks; for example, science books by Christian authors.
Q: What subjects do they learn?
A: Typical classes like music, art, math, but we also teach Latin. We take a number of field trips as well.
Q: How much does it cost to attend Lumen Christi?
A: Next year, tuition will be $2,200 (per student), but that is discounted for families with more than one child in school.
Q: How do you think your students respond to Lumen Christi?
A: I think children hunger for truth and that the heart of the child is really prepared to live the Beatitudes. The kids are a model to me of the child-like faith we are called to. When I am giving them a lesson, any subject, they are so excited to understand the concepts. They are just hungering for this truth. To watch that excitement confirmed to me that I am called to have the same level of enthusiasm.
Q: So your daily Mass is in Latin? How is that going?
A: The children stay very quiet, and if they can still their hearts and know that God is present in the Mass, their response is beautiful. We had some people who thought it was a bad idea. But I tell them to come and see the kids and how they respond. . . . In the Latin Mass, there is a presence of peace and grace they respond to, and it is beautiful to see.

1 comment:

Dana said...

Thank you for sharing...that sounds interesting. I don't know why, but it reminds me of a school I almost applied to work in. It is a small, private Christian school with the rigorous academic standards you would expect from any highly respected school.

The thing is, it caters to low-income families who cannot afford to pay tuition. The students would all qualify for free or reduced lunches. The school operates on donations, mostly from a former NBA player from the San Antonio Spurs.

That is always what I thought Christian schools should focus on...