What is

Keeping It Catholic?


All About KIC 

A Positive Reaction Called Catholic Homeschooling

An Interview with Marianna Bartold


 Keeping It Catholic (KIC) is an international network of homeschooling parents, theologians, priests and laymen, chaplains and directors of Catholic home study programs, and many Catholic publishers.

Keeping It Catholic refers constantly to the Church's timeless teachings on marriage and the procreation and education of children.

There are no dues and fees to join KIC. The services offered via the internet are completely and totally free of charge. We offer a free online newsletter "Keeping It Catholic in Your Heart and Home," and we will soon be offering an extensive review work on home education materials.

The KIC site also supplies national updates on Catholic homeschool issues, articles, reviews and almost 200 pages of information pertinent to Catholic family life and homeschooling.

Marianna Bartold, a wife and homeschooling mother of six children, is the founder of Keeping It Catholic. She incorporated and edited the homeschool section of Sursum Corda Magazine (now found in Latin Mass), published The Catholic Family's Magnificat, served as the homeschool moderator to CRNET (now EWTN Online), is a charter member of the Round Table of Catholic Home School Leaders, and also founded three Catholic homeschool organizations - the Mary Network of Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Home Educators, and the Catholic Homeschool Network of America (CHSNA). Her various articles have been published in the Wanderer, Catholic Family News, Mothers Watch, and the online magazine Domestic-Church.com Many of the original Magnificat articles are archived at EWTN Online.

Mrs. Bartold's contributing writers included Fr. John Hardon, S.J., Barbara Barthelette (editor of Garbriel's Trumpet, Rialto, CA), Laura Berquist (Mother of Divine Grace) Dr. Ann Carroll (historian and director of Seton School), Dr. Mary Kay Clark (director of Seton Home Study), Ellen Kramer (Catholic Homeschoolers of PA), Carol Egan (Intermirifica), Phil Lehan, Vicki McCaffrey (Towne Book Fairs), Catherine Moran (CHSNA), Virginia Seuffert (CHSNA), Robert Spencer (Kolbe Academy), homeschooling parents Fae Stuart, Kathy Wagner, and many others.

Keeping It Catholic Is a Positive Reaction to "It."



But What Is It?


It is Catholic homeschooling--Protestant style. Or ecumenical style. Or secular style. Anything but true, authentic and pure Catholic education - homeschool style.

It is the easy acceptance of fundamentalizing the Catholic faith, Catholic education and Catholic history. It has gained the endorsement of a number of today's well-known Catholic homeschool advocates and has hidden itself under popular homeschool book titles. It is comfortably entrenched in the Catholic homeschool world, and only Keeping It Catholic (KIC) -the Faith, Family and Home Education Network is willing to address it.


It's time for parents - homeschoolers and those who are still sticking it out in the parochial schools - to band together and say Enough!


The truth is many of today's Catholic homeschooling parents pulled their children from either parochial or public school systems because they didn't want their kids dumbed down in both faith and academics. The problem that has worked its way into the Catholic homeschooling movement is denying that, for the most part, Catholic schools are no longer are worthy of the name. At the same time, the phenomenon of Catholic homeschooling - Protestant style is making fast inroads.

This is purposely said to make Catholic parents think. It is not meant to be an offensive statement, though we are sure - in fact, we know - many will be offended. It hurts us to say it, but delicate feelings don't matter when so many souls are at stake.

Please remember that the Church teaches what a Catholic education is, and it is not "catholizing" a series of Protestant or secular books, or very weakly Catholic text.

If we are homeschooling to keep the faith, why are we using so many anti-Catholic Christian books? Why are there certain prominent homeschool advocates who encourage the use of such books? Why do these same people also claim they are not homeschooling as a negative reaction against anything?

Keeping It Catholic has the following comment to that kind of statement:


Yes, parents are homeschooling in reaction, and it's a wonderful, courageous, positive reaction. We are reclaiming our God given duty and right and there is absolutely no shame in saying so. If we must admit that our schools fail in their duties to assist Catholic parents in transmitting the faith and in providing an excellent Catholic education, why deny that failure? What would be the purpose? Denying such an important truth would be wrong.


Even further, the problem has accelerated with the promotion of supposedly Christian resources tin the homeschool hat do not uphold the Catholic faith.

(Continued below with "An Interview.")


An Interview with Marianna Bartold

"In most cases, the abundance of homeschool resources come from anti-Catholic but otherwise proclaimed 'Christian' publishers. These resources are not truly Christian, and their materials have already heavily influenced Catholic homeschooling parents and thousands of children," states Mrs. Bartold, founder of Keeping It Catholic.


Mrs. Bartold, a homeschooling mother who founded The Catholic Family's Magnificat Magazine, claims, "There's no doubt that Catholic education via homeschooling is being watered down, and many parents don't even realize it."


To counteract this rising trend and to sound the alarm, Mrs. Bartold has founded Keeping It Catholic - the Faith, Family and Home Education Network (KIC). She is also in the process of writing and editing a complete Catholic home education review book.


"KIC prays to reverse this watering down effect by first referring to, sharing, emphasizing - and even explaining, when the need arises - the Church's constant teachings on marriage and education, " says Mrs. Bartold. "It's time to once more bring these most edifiying teachings on education to the attention of Catholics."


To prove her point that, within the homeschooling movement, the definition ofo Catholic education is in a state of flux, Mrs. Bartold uses the example of her first article in the Heart at Home Online Newsletter, How To Keep Your Homeschool Catholic.


"That first article expounded on the definition of a Catholic school, as taught in Christian Education of Youth. The topic generated a discussion which soon turned into a debate. There were insinuations from some participants that keeping one's home life and home teaching in strict accordance with the doctrines and dogmas of the Church exhibits a holier-than-thou attitude," she recalls.


"These parents were objecting to the idea behind Keeping It Catholic because, unwittingly, they did not understand the Ordinary Magisterium."


 Did the outcry deter Mrs. Bartold and her members from their Keeping It Catholic work?


"Absolutely not. Knowing that other Catholic parents have been kept ignorant of such an important Church teaching only proves to us how important Keeping It Catholic really is today," she answers. "It spurred many of us forward. It's not really the fault of those objecting parents that they don't know the truth."


"Besides this," she adds, " there were many more homeschooling parents who were thrilled to learn of the Church's teachings through our Hearts at Home Newsletter."


Mrs. Bartold explains that when many parents today were children themselves, they were the victims of modernist-infilitrated school catechesis and CCD programs. Much of that was due, she says, to parish politics and the faulty interpretationsand understanding of Vatican II.


"Fortunately, many of the popes' encyclicals and allocutions direct us to the truth. For example, Christian Education of Youth provides us with four hallmarks to a Catholic education. Each of them are clear markers ensuring wholesome Catholic training and tutelage," she continues.


"Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has also written Letters to Families and Charter of the Rights of the Families. From the ancient writings of the Church to the early years of this century and to this very decade, these encyclicals and allocutions of the popes prove that the Church has always known, taught and upheld the rights, duties and obligations of parents."


A good number of homeschoolers wonder if, by authentic Catholic curriculum, Mrs. Bartold is advocating the sole use of Catholic home study programs.


"If parents were to choose any of the numerous programs available, I would first recommend the long-established full service Catholic home study programs like Seton Home Study School and Our Lady of the Rosary, " Mrs. Bartold says. "There are newer ones in recent years, and in all cases, Catholic home study programs must follow the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium which declares, 'Religion must permeate all subjects.' "

"Should parents feel that choosing one of these programs is not an option, for whatever reason, then the next step is to build one's own Catholic curriculum. I've done this for years, and one of my intentions in founding the network and in writing the book is to share how to do just that," she reveals.


What is the cause of the educational controversy in Catholic homeschool circles?


"False ecumenism," Mrs. Bartold quickly answers. "That's the heart of the problem. There's the prevailing nonsense about unity in diversity and an ongoing "dialogue" process. Catholics are encouraged to embrace all this in a misguided effort to be charitable. For homeschoolers, that means Catholics are using Protestant materials because those materials bear the name Christian."

"Many Catholic homeschoolers don't know yet that most Protestant homeschool publishers refuse to even recognize Catholics as Christians," she further reveals. "Those allegedly Christian resources deny the true Faith, deny Tradition, twist historical facts and glorify the Reformation. That's unacceptable for any Catholic because denying the truth has nothing to do with ecumenism."

"The true and lofty aim of ecumenism is the evangelization and conversion to the Catholic Faith, not Catholic tolerance of false doctrine or respect for false religions. When it comes to parents teaching their own children at home, these parents have a solemn obligation to know the difference. Using Protestant educational materials in Catholic homeschooling is the first step to losing the fruits of a real Catholic education," emphasizes Mrs. Bartold.


In addition to education, the Keeping It Catholic Family and Home Education Network reports on any events which are either in or out of accord with the Church's teachings on marriage, parental primacy, sacramental preparation for children and teens (especially homeschoolers), and other issues that affect the rights of the family within the Church.


 "This kind of network is long over-due," affirms Mrs. Bartold. "KIC welcomes the opportunity to work with other Catholic organizations that are not only willing to admit they are members of the Church militant but who will act as brave soldiers of Christ."

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