Homeschooling offers an alternative way of teaching for Catholic families

Friday, Jan. 31, 2014
Homeschooling offers an alternative way of teaching for Catholic families Photo 1 of 2
Homeschoolers attend a monthly activity, which is an ice skating outing at the Gallivan Center. They are from left: Nate Dodge, Sophie Dodge holding Adam Dodge, Anika Burrus, who is holding Evan Dodge, Grace Thacker, Elly Ann Thacker, Teresa Callon, Nicole Burrus, Jacob Burrus and Daniel Callon. Courtesy photo/Deirdre Teodosio

PARK CITY — Deirdre Teodosio and her husband decided to homeschool their children after moving to Utah eight years ago to teach them the Catholic faith and also so they would have consistency in their schooling.

"My husband’s career is in sales and when we were first married, we moved every year and a half," said Teodosio. "I thought if that was going to be the trend, I did not want to uproot my children in the middle of the school year and have them have to start over making new friends."

Teodosio began homeschooling her oldest son using the Seton Home Study Curriculum. "It wasn’t working well for us because we discovered when he was in the second grade that he was having a difficult time reading," she said. "He was tested and we found he has dyslexia. He was tutored for three years in reading using the Wilson Method and it was very successful. We then changed to the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum, which had a different approach and better fit his personality."

Teodosio’s second child is now in kindergarten and is a different type of learner, she said. She uses a combination of different curriculums to teach him. "I want to have some input in my children’s education, and I see this with the other homeschool families, they want to have some input into what their kids are being taught. Every child is different and every child has a different learning style."

Two days a week Teodosio meets with another homeschool mother who has four children and uses the Institute for Excellence in Writing and also teaches science, art and religion. Teodosio teaches math, history, and religion. Teodosio teaches all the subjects to her son in kindergarten.

"Once the kids get a little older they can start to learn on their own by listening to a CD and using a work book," said Teodosio, who grades their work to make sure it is correct.

There are support groups for homeschoolers in all 50 states and the homeschool curriculums are accredited so students can graduate from high school and go on to receive a college education.

Johnny Masek was homeschooled from sixth through 12th grade, and then graduated from Ave Maria University in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in economics; his brother, Michael, was homeschooled from the second grade on and is currently a junior at the same university.

Donna Masek, Johnny and Michael’s mother, has homeschooled her children using the Seton Home Study Curriculum for the past 16 years for a number of reasons, she said. She and her husband began homeschooling while they were living in California because they were impressed with the homeschooling families in their area and their ability to attend daily Mass as well as spend time together as a family, Masek said.

Two of the Masek’s six children easily transitioned into a traditional school setting after being homeschooled, Masek said.

The benefits of homeschooling for the Masek family has been to increase their knowledge in the Catholic faith, "because our faith is instilled in every Seton course," said Masek. "The family has become in a sense its own community; we have meals together, pray, go to daily Mass and study together. We have the same schedule throughout the day. It also teaches the family organization. In order for homeschooling to work, the family has to be organized and from that comes self-discipline."

There are now 26 homeschool families in northern Utah, said Teodosio. They get together the first Friday of every month for Mass and an activity such as ice skating or visiting The Leonardo.

For information, call Deirdre Teodosio at 435-729-0369.

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