What Is Seton Home Study School?
Among the Catholic Home Schooling programs, the SHome School Seaton stand out as being one of the most popular. It is also one of the most controversial, being steeped in church dogma. While it is for parents to sort out this contentious issue and decide whether the Seton home school is right for them, it is acknowledged that this program is effective in promoting Catholic values not just among the children who study within this system, but in the family as a whole.
Home Schooling Seaton is a concept promoted by Dr. Anne Carroll. She founded a regular middle school that became popular both for its religious teaching and the academic results it produced. As its fame grew, so did the demand for admissions, which was beyond the school’s capacity. Although branches were set up, the demand could still not be met. Also, as the schools were quite expensive, there was a demand for education that was more affordable but which still imparted the same values and offered the same high standards. The outcome was the Seaton home school program, which Dr. Carroll promoted in 1980 and which has steadily grown in popularity.
The Seaton home school philosophy is that the parents are not just the primary care givers but also the primary educators of their children. The curriculum is based on the thoughts of the Magisterium or the official teaching authority of the Catholic Church. The idea is to provide the children and their families with a form of education based exclusively on the Catholic dogma and it either excludes or militates against that which is not acceptable to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Within these parameters, the standards are quite high and match and often exceed the standards of regular schools, both Catholic and non denominational. It has been found to be extremely effective in its college preparatory syllabus.
The Role of Parents in Seton Home School Model
The curriculum requires a great deal of parent participation as the religious aspect of the teachings, which begins from a very young age, requires that parents are involved, not just as mentors and guides but as living examples of these values propagated. Seton home school believes that without this the fundamental concept of home and family values cannot be successfully inculcated in the children’s minds.
An example of this is the reading texts that are part of the syllabus. The family is portrayed and a large one, based on the traditional concepts with both a mother and father present, frequently visiting grandparents and joy at the arrival of a new child, irrespective of the size and financial means of the family. Single parent families (other than in the case of widows and widowers) are rarely if ever mentioned and when they are, are treated as aberrations.
Family life as portrayed in the syllabus revolves around prayer and church attendance and contains many references to Jesus and the Saints.
While the fundamentalist approach to the Catholic religion has caused controversy, even among some Catholic families who feel that it is out of step with modern times, the parents who do use the Seton home school programs are happy with the values it promotes and the academic results it achieves.
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