The Church has long recognized that parents have the primary responsibility for passing on the Faith to their children. When a parent chooses to home-school religious education, it is the appropriate role of the Church to be a touchstone of cooperation to the parents and a source of information to support the parents’ efforts. Therefore, children home schooled in religious education should register as such through the Director of Faith Formation in order to receive the appropriate information.
Parents should schedule a preliminary meeting with the pastor to discuss their plans for catechesis. Meetings with the director of faith formation should be ongoing throughout the year to ensure adequate support to the parents and to avoid miscommunication particularly when sacramental preparation is involved.
Ideally, the materials used in home schooling will be identical to those used in the parish. However, parents may select comparable texts. All educational materials will be reviewed with the pastor and conform to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. St. John Paul II Parish recommends The Heart of Catechesis by Fr. John Riley as a thorough program for all ages. Click here for the program. (http://www.heartofcatechesis.org/)
Parents will be given age-appropriate Safe Environment material for discussion with their child, and parents will be invited to participate in parent presentations.
Parishes will include home schooling families with any informational mailings dealing with the sacraments and surrounding events.
Home schooled children are expected to meet the same standards as other students and to participate in service projects and retreats. The parents are entrusted to oversee the service projects and to make alternate arrangements for the retreats or to notify the Religious Formation office of their desire for the child to participate with the parish faith community.
It is the pastor, in collaboration with the parish catechetical team, whom the Church has called to work with parents, to determine a child’s readiness for reception of the sacraments. In preparation for the sacraments, the child shall attend rehearsals and where it is afforded by the parish, parents are encouraged to participate in catechesis to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the sacraments in the life of the Church and in their own lives.