When last we met I was treating you all to an article about the Knights of the Holy Eucharist from Hanceville, AL. (In the picture above, they're the five young men who are kneeling). I find it very interesting and exciting that six of the ten Knights were homeschooled. Speaking of homeschooling, we were just about to find out what they had to say about it......
What do these young consecrated men see as the benefits of home education? Freedom to study at one’s own pace; protection from many bad influences; a daily faith-filled atmosphere; Catholicism instilled throughout the curriculum; the focus on God and the things of God; the foundation for being open to a consecrated vocation; the fostering of strong family bonds.
Brother Michael was very involved in Scouting; an Eagle Scout, he was also a member of the Order of the Arrow and received the Vigil Honor. He commented, “Homeschooling really taught me common sense. It focuses on the complete development of the human person, not just on academics.” “Homeschooling instilled in me a desire to learn,” explained Br. Gregory. “It taught me how to be able to pursue knowledge, to know how to find the answer, to overcome obstacles. I could learn at my own pace—cover more ground—and our school schedule could be adapted to our dad’s work schedule. Homeschooling gave me more introduction to consecrated life: homeschooled friends joining religious communities opened the window to various communities and how religious life ‘takes place’.”
“Homeschooling helped me to be a better self-learner, which is important for college,” Br. Francesco affirmed. “Being part of our local Catholic homeschool group—composed of families who were really living the Faith—was very beneficial. Homeschooling made me more interested in the Faith and all things Catholic. It took me out of the worldly scene and prepared me to think about life from a religious standpoint, to be open to a vocation.”
What would the Knights like to say to homeschooling families? “Keep the Holy Eucharist at the center of your life,” Brother Juan advises. Try to make a daily or at least weekly Hour Holy before or after school. Remember that everything flows from the Eucharist. Help your children set their own goals and be goal-oriented; help them establish and maintain a goal-oriented character in understanding the Faith and in intimacy with Our Lord and Our Lady. Keep praying and fighting the good fight.” Brother David emphasizes that it is “very important to be disciplined about home education.”
Brother Philip counsels, “Keep homeschooling, focusing a lot on your children’s religious education. Focus on your ultimate goal, rather than just education for the sake of education. Also, have an appropriate setup for study so as to keep it orderly.” His brother, Brother Laurence, adds, “Make sure you try to get to daily Mass. Remember that, after God and the things of Heaven, the family is the most important part of home education.”
Another excellent point is made by Brother Gregory: “With homeschooling, you, the parents, have the ability to determine what your children learn and with whom they interact. To our benefit or detriment, we learn through our senses, so you can keep your children from having certain experiences they shouldn’t have. You can help keep your children open to God’s grace.”
“I know homeschooling may not always be the easiest route,” Brother Michael says with understanding, “but the sacrifices it entails are some of the sacrifices the world needs these days. It’s not only academics that the parents teach, but the Catholic Faith; it can’t be separated from everyday schoolwork—they need to go together.”
Perhaps many other homeschooled students or graduates are also, even unknowingly, in training as pages and squires before becoming Knights of the Holy Eucharist. The Knights would appreciate all readers’ prayers as they seek to fulfill the mission God has given them. And, of course, they will pray for you, too!
Brother Francesco sums it all up well: “Stay close to Christ. Catholic homeschooling is all about staying close to Our Lord.”
(For more information, visit the Knights’ website, www.knightsoftheholyeucharist.com. They can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; by phone at 205-795-5720, or by postal mail at 3222 CR 548, Hanceville, AL 35077. The Knights accept eligible young men between the ages of 17 and 21.)