One December, I found myself frantically planning for the running of my home and family while I would be recovering from an upcoming surgery. Grocery shopping, getting the kids to and from school, Christmas shopping. Heck, I even planned out the Elf on the Shelf shenanigans.
I had everything covered.
Well, almost everything.
A couple of days before my surgery, I mentioned in passing to my kindergartner’s Catholic school teacher that my mother-in-law would be picking her up from school while I recovered from surgery.
When I picked my daughter up the next day, her teacher greeted me with a warm hug. She had researched the patron saint for my particular ailment. She told me my name was on the class prayer intention board and she and the class would be praying for me.
In that moment, I realized what I really needed, more than casseroles in the freezer, was prayer. Anyone who has ever heard a group of kindergartners pray knows that they definitely have God’s ear.
Sometimes all you need is to have someone pray for you.
I was so thankful that day that we chose Catholic education for our children.
While building a strong religious foundation is an important reason why we chose Catholic education, it’s not the only one. People of all faiths should consider Catholic education. In fact, 1 out of every 5 students in Catholic schools is non-Catholic.
Here are some of the other reasons why we chose Catholic schools for our children.
Catholic schools instill self-discipline
According to a study conducted for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, Catholic school students fight and act impulsively less than their counterparts in public schools and other private schools. They are also more likely to control their temper, accept their fellow student’s ideas, and handle peer pressure.
Why? Catholic schools take self-discipline very seriously, a virtue that helps their students be successful with their studies and later in life.
At my children’s school, learning self-discipline starts in kindergarten with Mass. Every Friday, the entire school gathers to celebrate Mass, and for an hour (or longer), the students are expected to sit still, be quiet, and participate in the service.
A seemingly impossible feat for 5-year-olds who are used to their moms pacifying them with toys, books, and snacks at church.
Yet every year, within the first few weeks of school, the kinders are sitting quietly, focused on the service.
How? Teachers with the patience of a saint (to quote my grandmother) who consistently reward self-control and give the students plenty of opportunities to practice.
Catholic schools create communities for families
My youngest (and soon-to-be kindergartner) has grown up in her sisters’ school.
From the time she was born, she has been there at every school drop off and pick up. She enjoys the adoration of the legion of grandmas who volunteer at the school. She has been graciously included in countless school activities by teachers who know her by name.
She may not know her ABC’s, but she knows she is already part of the school community.
Our Catholic school creates a community for its families. There are countless opportunities for fellowship and friendship. We attend church together on Sundays. We form teams so our children can play together in the local sports leagues.
Catholic schools offer outstanding academics
99% of Catholic high school students graduate, with 88% going on to college. On national and standardized tests, Catholic school students consistently outperform their public and other private school counterparts by as much as 20 percentage points.
At our children’s school, the goal is to have every child working a grade level ahead in math by the start of the second grade (and plenty of assistance is given to help everyone meet that goal). 100% of our school’s 8th graders attend their first choice of high school.
Catholic education is an affordable private school education
One of the best kept secrets about Catholic education? It’s relatively affordable.
Catholic school tuition tends to be less than other private schools, sometimes substantially so.
Catholic schools affiliated with a parish receive financial assistance from the parish to keep costs low. Also, many Catholic schools offer generous tuition-assistance programs for families in need.
Finally, many Catholic schools, our children’s school included, offer a reduced tuition rate for families with multiple children enrolled at the school.
Have I convinced you to give Catholic schools a look? I’ll leave you with one more good reason…uniforms. Think of what you will save on clothes (and arguments with your kids).
Our contributors are sharing why they chose their school or approach to education, to help you find the best school for your family! Make sure to check out our Guide to Childcare & Schools in and around Dallas!