All the days of the poor are evil: a secure mind is like a continual feast. ~ Proverbs 15:15 Douay Rheims
The world needs better teachers not better programs.
In all my travels through education I have not found a better pedagogy than confidence. Whether it's a public school classroom in a big city or a small rural catholic school, the best teachers are masters.
When a family considers homeschooling, which most of us do within Catholic tradition, I suggest we consider the necessary "professional" development that must occur to create this "master" teacher.
Similar to the analogy of putting ones mask on first, before helping others when a plane's cabin is depleted of oxygen, we must contemplate the subjects and substance of what we teach before anything else.
To be clear, this is not a perusal of available curriculums or programs regardless of their efficacy. What I am implying here is that you as the teacher (both Dad and Mom) must realize and commit to growing your own mind by serious effort.
This serious effort will forge an intellect capable of a real and catholic education of youth. As a study in human experience and human creativity this effort will be a challenge, but one that will find inspiration, nearly everyday, especially if endured as a family. (spousal collaboration is key)
You must secure your own mind in these evil days to offer anyone else any hope of an education. To do so as a teacher-parent, I suggest you read Good Books, the Best Book, and any book by or about a Saint.
If you are struggling to start, get a copy of this book if you can, it goes out of stock very quickly. You will not regret it.
It will take an effort to stay ahead but in the struggle, the homeschool anxieties will fall away. You won't worry so much about what materials you use with your students, or what programs even, although I don't disparage the use of them.
Instead, you'll realize just how simple educating your child actually is.
Your vision will clear. Your mind will lighten. So will your mood.
The humanities become a journey of discovering every character that has ever graced God's Earth. The good, bad, and ugly. It will end in the comparisons and contemplation of the One Best Man.
Science becomes the classification of God's creation and ultimately points to the most important characteristic of a creature, that it exists in the first place. Science will eventually reside within the greatest of all sciences Theology.
Math becomes the exploration of the perfections God.
A boughten curriculum can't do that. But a teacher sure can.
We need better teachers not better programs.
"Perfect Content" Nicol, Erskine 1825-1904 c/o Victoria and Albert Museum, artuk.org
Blessed Karl, Servant of God Zita and family - relaxing, pictured. ca. 1919, c/o Times of Malta