Not this time.
EDITOR NOTE: This post is taken from an article submitted within the Illinois Valley News, Cave Junction, Oregon
This year my wife and I will be sharing the duties of home-schooling our three children. We’ve selected and purchased a reputable and accredited Catholic home schooling program, spoken with counselors, completed placement tests, received curriculums, collected needed materials, constructed new desks and bookcases, and (according to my aching back) rearranged our entire home–as well as our lives.
Perhaps, it was the length of summer combined with the busyness of our preparation, but the full realization that our three little ones would no longer be attending Evergreen Elementary School somehow escaped me until this week when I walked into the office with transcript request forms.
From my study of the pros and cons of home/private schooling vs. public education I’m aware of the strained relationship which exists between the two in these modern times of ours, due largely in part to the prevailing secular vs. religious differences and philosophies played out so often in what’s been termed the “culture wars”.
The crux of the problem, I believe, is rooted in our understanding of ourselves. From both a healthy Christian and secular human perspective, education consists essentially in preparing man for what he must due here below with his or her own life in accord with society and the common good. But, for Christians, there is more in regards to man. In order to attain the sublime end for which we were created it is necessary for true education to also be wholly directed to man’s last end.
This, of course, according to catechism 101, is the meaning of life for all souls as human beings created in the image of God. But, it shouldn’t be forgotten either, as is sometimes the case in these so called culture wars, that its impossible to love God and at the same time fail to love ones neighbor.
This explains I suppose that twinge I felt within my heart after visiting the school office this week, as well as, again tonight after our family conversation about our fine local school on River St. In years past, we as parents shared the responsibility along with the teachers and staff of Evergreen Elementary in preparing our children as citizens of society and directing them, hopefully, toward serving the common good of all.
As a religious education teacher from St. Patrick of the Forest Catholic Church I will continue on, (as last year), with leading the Bible release students from Evergreen school to St. Pat’s on Tuesday’s each week. But, it won’t be the same…
Knowing this, my wife and I, along with our children, would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all the wonderful teachers and staff at Evergreen Elementary whom over the years have helped us with our educational needs. I would like to name them all here (and they truly deserve it) but space does not permit—you know and we know who you are. So, with one long tip of the hat in recognition of Evergreen Elementary School and its service to both our family and our community, we just want to tell you each that we are most grateful for all your help here below… Have a great school year!
The Evans Family,
Jim, Dea, Andrew, Gabriel, and Hanna