Catholic Education: Homeward Bound

Book cover: 'Catholic Education: Homeward Bound'
Kimberly Hahn
Mary Hasson
Ignatius Press
Number of pages: 
400 pages

I know a number of people who decided to homeschool based on the information provided in this book. The authors have done a very impressive job of outlining the positive benefits of homeschooling, in a non-threatening fashion. Because many of the reasons they give for homeschooling focus on practical and "natural law" reasoning they can be easier for some people to handle than arguments that focus on Church teaching (after all, you have to start somewhere =). The authors cover the benefits of having your children at home with you, concerns about the academic aspects of homeschooling, socialization, the role of the father, and spiritual advice for busy mothers. I was especially impressed with the nearly forty pages devoted to homeschooling highschoolers. Unlike other books which seem to treat all teens as rebels (which I have found disappointing as a former homeschooled-teen), Mrs. Hahn and Mrs. Hasson discuss ideas for making the most of the high school years through homeschooling. Also included in the teen section is a lot of information about homeschoolers preparing for and getting accepted into college.

Remember that you shouldn't treat any of the Catholic homeschool books as a perfect and complete guide. (This is why I recommend reading a number of them for the sake of balance.) This book has a bias toward putting together your own program and doesn't portray the benefits of using a structured program particularly well.

The resources section in this book is extensive, but is certainly not its strong point. Several of the resources used by the two authors are considered problematic by some Catholic homeschoolers. In terms of the lifespan of the Catholic Homeschool movement, this book is already quite old (published in 1996). We should be grateful that there are many more excellent choices, in terms of programs, books and other materials, for Catholic homeschoolers today than just a few years ago.

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