In honor of St. Cyril’s winning their freedom for at least a year, something my high school (St. James) wasn’t allowed to do, here’s a blog of one of my favorite arguments.
Grade school is probably the single-most important thing in a child’s learning development. Most of the things they learn in the first two grades are with them for the rest of their lives. I want my children to not only learn these things that they will need in life, I also want them to learn intangibles as well: discipline, respect, and a love for learning. I think the best place for my child to learn this is in Catholic school.
I’m sure there are many great public schools around. I’m sure that you think Catholic schools are over-rated, but standardized testing data says otherwise. I just think that when it comes to teacher-student attention and expectations on a student to succeed, Catholic schools just come out on top. As with anything else, where are you going to get better service, from a private company or a state-run company? There’s no question.
My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t see the same need as I do for it. I think her main point is money. She just does not want to make the sacrifice to send our kid(s) to Catholic school. My parents made the sacrifice. They didn’t have a lot of money, but still got a loan to pay for my high school education. They knew how important a Catholic education was in terms of learning and discipline. There are less drugs and fewer teen pregnancies in Catholic schools. Her other point is the whole religion thing. I guess she thinks that the school will turn our kids into mindless drones preaching about God at the dinner table, and telling us how Sister Bethany told them to reject satan. This is just not the case.
Everything I learned in life is somehow connected to my time spent in Catholic school. Would I have to same education in public school? I doubt it. I’m not saying they teach different things, but if I didn’t have the fear of getting in trouble with the nuns for not doing my homework or for fooling around, I probably would not have paid attention as much and learned a lot less. If I didn’t have to memorize 20 vocabulary words a night or have to know every kind of structure for an English sentence, I would probably not have the communication skills I do today. My high school was an all-boys school. I couldn’t imagine if I went to a co-ed public school when I was teen – I would get lost in a girl’s cleavage every day!
I’m sure many disagree with me, and that’s fine. I only know from my own experience. Many people who go to Catholic school can’t stand it, but I think they have instilled values in me that I have to this day. Some people just hate the uniforms, but you realistically have to look past that. I’m not saying that my kids should go to a Catholic high school, but certainly they should go for grades 1-8, then they can decide which high school to go themselves.