Is there such thing as a Catholic Robinson Curriculum for Homeschooling?
Though I am not a pioneer in this philosophy, I have decided to use this curriculum for 8 of my 9 children that I am raising. My first born is already in a Catholic college at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. I have a 17 year old boy in 11th grade, a 16 year old boy in 11th grade, a 15 year old girl in 10th grade, a 14 year old girl in 8th grade, a 12 year old boy in 6th grade, a 11 year old in 5th grade, a 8 year old boy in 3rd grade and a 3 year old boy in K-3. A total of 8 children.
There are many Catholic homeschooling curricula in the market. I will try to write a short article on the strengths of each of this homeschool Catholic resources in the near future. But, for the purpose of this blog, I want to explain how I am implementing the Robinson Curriculum in the light of our Catholic faith.
If you have heard about the Robinson Curriculum, you might have passed it up for another curriculum in the past. I actually did that. But, for some reason, it caught my attention when I read that it won “First Place for Middle School and High School curriculum ” awards in the Homeschooling Parenting Magazine for consecutive years. I won’t pass up such a recognition so I decided to research on this curriculum in depth.
If you want to know about the Robinson Curriculum in a nutshell, here is my article entitled
I believe strongly in the educational philosophy of Dr. Robinson, a scientist who put together this curriculum based on his experience in homeschooling his children after his wife died. In college and graduate school, a student has an easier time navigating the ropes of the academic life, if the student has excellent reading skills, writing skills (essay writing) and math skills. The RC focuses on mastering these skills as a priority.
My family is a late bloomer in the homeschooling movement. After serious soul searching, my husband and I decided that we must live up to the ideals of our Catholic Faith. It is an important legacy that we will give to our children. Everything in a child’s life change dramatically around them. Our Catholic Faith is their stabilizing force. It makes them feel secure. It becomes the foundation of their moral values. It is the backbone of our family’s core values. It is the duty of each Catholic parent to provide a Catholic education for their children.
My father, a devote Catholic used to say this to his children all the time. I recall him saying “It is my duty to give you a Catholic education and it is my gift for you.” My father has Parkinson’s Disease right now. He cannot talk or walk. He is bedridden. However, his words resonate in my heart and I am grateful that he gave me the gift and the tools to know our Catholic Faith. Why? Because, I am Catholic not because I was born a Catholic. I am a Catholic because of the grace of “faith” and knowledge. I am not a silent Catholic. I practice what I preach. I try to be a model of a good Catholic woman to my children. I try to do God’s will in spite of my shortcomings and imperfections.
The Robinson Curriculum was formulated by Dr. Robinson, a Protestant. However, his educational philosophy does not contradict the Catholic faith. His philosophy revolves around the premise that the best way to learn is to acquire the skills of self-teaching. Thus, the education of the child lies primarily on the child. The parents are the “guides” for this is the scenario when they become young adults. We cannot make the choices for our children. We will watch our children decide for themselves on what they want to learn or do in their life. The RC curriculum trains our children to view their academic studies as their responsibilities. It trains them the natural consequences of being lazy in your school work and the sense of accomplishment one feels when they have taught themselves.
With the core reading list of 150 books, I add my own reading list of Catholic literature, doctrines, scriptures and catechism. As each child progresses in intellectual development, they reach out to their Catholic books to know about their faith. I encourage them to be “critical readers” to question their new-found knowledge and seek the answers to it.
God did not force His love on us. He gave mankind the choice to love Him. However, in giving us the choice, He never failed to let us know that He is around us. And, that we can always turn to him in life’s obstacles and challenges. This is the beauty of homeschooling, particularly a Catholic homeschooling curriculum. Your child is learning in his own pace about his or her faith. You see their eyes lit up when their Catholic traditions and beliefs make sense. You are there to witness it on a daily basis. You see them struggle on their math problems and they “offer it up to God”. You praise them for their good deeds for the day and they respond “All Glory to God!” You check their essays and on top of their writing work is an inscription “A.M.D.G” and sometimes “JMJ”.
AMDG for AD Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
JMJ (Jesus, Mary, Joseph)
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