The Wake County School Board has been making changes; should you?
Just what is the parent’s role in the education of children? Are parents overwhelmed with educational choices, with media input/output, or with parenting altogether?
Take back the reins, parents. That’s the message the newly-elected County School Board is sending. You are the first teachers of your children, spiritually and otherwise. Have you abdicated in favor of the state? The question may not be “Do you know where your children are?” so much as “Do you know what they’re being taught?” If not, find out today. If you don’t like it, do something about it. There is no time like the present—you will not get the time you wasted today put back into your life again.
There are a variety of Christian, Bible-based schools in Raleigh. Catholic high schools are Cardinal Gibbons and St. Thomas More. Catholic elementary/middle schools in Raleigh are Cathedral School (pre-K-8), The Franciscan School (K-8), Our Lady of Lourdes School (K-8), St. Raphael School (K-8). In Wake Forest, the schools are St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School (Pre-K-8) and St. Catherine ECC. Cary has St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School and St. Michael’s ECC (Pre K- and K); and Apex’s Catholic schools are St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School (Pre-K-8) and St. Andrew ECC. www.dioceseofraleigh.org.
What schools should you consider for your child? You are preparing them for their role in the world—their role apart from you. You’re preparing them for the role Jesus wants them to take here and in the world to come—never lose sight of the preparation for ultimate goal. You lay the foundation—your child builds the house and lives in it.
Our Catechism spells it out: Parents’ respect and affection are expressed by the care and attention they devote to bringing up their young children and providing for their physical and spiritual needs. As the children grow up, the same respect and devotion lead parents to educate them in the right use of their reason and freedom.
As those first responsible for the education of their children, parents have the right to choose a school for them which corresponds to their own convictions. This right is fundamental. As far as possible parents have the duty of choosing schools that will best help them in their task as Christian educators. See http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7U.HTM
If you choose to continue in secular education, learn not only from your child but also from her teacher, principal, and applicable websites what is being taught. See, for example, www.ncpublicschools.org, North Carolina Essential Standards, Social Studies: Civics and Economics Course (Public Schools of North Carolina) , and draft proposals for curriculum changes, such as http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfmstoryid=5269 and Phase II 1.0 Draft Essential StandardsPublic Schools of North Carolina) .
How do you know which school is right for your child? Ask questions and do research. Monitor your child’s behavior and the curriculum, and do what’s best for your child and your family. Families are the primary social unit of society, and school is a society. Therefore order must be established for teaching and learning to occur. This should be a given in your child’s learning environment.
However, if you discover that your child is needing too much discipline, the teacher or school may not be a good fit for your child, either educationally, religiously, spiritually, or psychologically (and yes, there are exceptions to this statement). Take steps to uncover what’s going on; your child cannot learn in a hostile work environment (one where he is mocked, put down, not encouraged, and not allowed to do his best work).
While all agree church and state is separated, be alert to times when that mantra is used to mask information inappropriate or contrary to the teachings of your home. Education should equate to learning of truth, and school curriculum and classrooms at all times should be open to parental involvement, input, and aid.
If you consider Catholic schooling for your child, here are the stated objectives:
· Grow in personal faith response through prayer and worship
· Learn Catholic tradition and current Catholic teaching
· Develop a functional moral code based on recognition of one’s God-given dignity
· Acquire the knowledge and skills that will equip students to be active, participating citizens in technological age
Respond to the needs of others through service to school, Church, and community
· Gain the information and values necessary for an appreciation of family life and human sexuality
· Demonstrate social responsibility and awareness of global interdependence
· Understand and appreciate various cultures by growing in the understanding of social problems concerning race, poverty, and religion
· Recognize the responsibility to be good stewards of the environment
· Experience the joy of learning
· Develop creative expression and appreciation for the arts
· Acquire and apply the knowledge and skills necessary to promote intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth
· Learn and use basic skills in all areas of the curriculum
· Apply critical thinking skills
· Develop both cognitive and affective communication skills
· Develop interpersonal relation skills in an environment that encourages responsibility and appreciation for one another
· Learn through relevant materials and situations that recognize and address individual learning styles
Remember you are doing God’s work; in cooperating with God’s creation of His children, in rearing them to know Him, when educating them as moral citizens of this country and His kingdom, you fulfill your vocation.
For related articles, see Raleigh Headline Examiner “Wake County Public School Assignment Online–Parents Given 1 week to Decline…”; see Family and Parenting Article dated Dec. 15 2009–Family Activites Examiner ; and see Raleigh Top News Examiner article Dec 2, 2009 “Swift Changes by New Wake County school board.”