IHM Conference Notes - Laura Berquist - ETERNAL Reasons to Homeschool

It's been a few years since Laura Berquist has been to the IHM National Catholic Homeschool & Parenting Conference.  I had missed hearing her speak.  Hers was one of my most favorite talks of the conference not just because I follow her Mother of Divine Grace curriculum but because of some of the things she said about the rewards of homeschooling.

Her talk was entitled ... 
Eternal Reasons to Homeschool
Homeschooling provides an excellent education, real socialization skills (as well as valuable life skills, especially family life skills), and provides, most importantly, more opportunities to develop a relationship with God. No other educational venue provides the same opportunities for excellent formation.
Here are my notes, the nuggets I wish to remember...

  • In the homeschooling lifestyle we have the time to address our children's formation, they are not away from us during most of their waking hours
  • Virtue is a habit of right action 
  • When children learn social respect in a classroom environment it may be out of desire to fit in, not from true self-control
  • Fr. Hardon said only heroic Catholics will survive
  • Learning the right thing to do - not what's expected by peer dependence
  • Often kids going to school develop an us vs. them reaction to peers vs. family, often in the teens years
  • This disconnect from family life and love/time with siblings does NOT prepare them for family life, rather it results in them leaving it, perhaps setting up an unhealthy pattern of family conflict = their disengagement and retreat!!! (Not the habit I wish to see as it could be a factor in the divorce mentality)
  • It is a virtue to live well as a family, to love one's siblings and a preparation to the highest fulfillment in life, one's family.
  • In homeschool family life we are there, there to monitor behaviors and conversations and redirect immediately.
  • In homeschooling we're together and with mixed ages, learning to get along. It's more un-natural to be with 30 other people our very same age (at school) and they likely don't share our values & family goals.
  • Obedience is no good unless you have their hearts, too.

This idea of a happy future family life being attainable (and successful) from the family life we instill today and the TIME we give to that goal was not a surprise to me. But often, when an idea like this is put into words and you hear and grasp it in a way that seems so clear and new, it is transformative.  It stays with you.

Yes! I recognize and believe that a happy family life and those intimate relationships are truly the measure by which people gauge the happiness of their lives.  Without loving relationships, other attained goals seem empty and missing something. And yes, I am so grateful for the love my children have for their siblings and I want a connected family life and believe homeschooling gives our family the TIME to work on that...together.

This idea alone may be the one that gives me the most encouragement from the 2014 conference as I head into my 9th year of homeschooling.

Mrs. Laura Berquista graduate from Thomas Aquinas College in California, homeschooled her six children through high school. They are all now grown up and successfully through college, some with families of their own. She has nine grandchildren. Mrs. Berquist is the founder and director of Mother of Divine Grace School, a home study program currently serving around 4200 students. Mrs. Berquist is the author of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and editor of The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum. Based on the philosophy of the classical Trivium – grammar, logic, and rhetoric – she developed a modern classical homeschool curriculum for grades K-12 that strengthens character and intellect, and reinforces virtue.


Christine said...

Thank you once again. I heard Laura Berquist speak at a conference a few years ago and she has so much wisdom to share.

Carlos Miguel De Villa said...

Laura Berquist's talk is 100 percent true I think. Homeschooling is really the best way to teach children the right way to live life and to prepare them to their family life in the future.Thanks for sharing this!

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