Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Raise your Children so They Want a Catholic College

Thomas Aquinas, reading.
A real liberal education is very different from most college educations, and one in a Catholic setting is even more formative. I credit TAC with saving my soul in many ways. 
Recently someone asked me how my parents managed to get me to want that.

I think there are many paths to places like TAC, Wyoming Catholic, UD, Christendom, UST, Benedictine, and Steubenville. Some of my classmates (especially professors' kids) went to liberal arts grade and high schools. They heard philosophical discussions at home and heard about these colleges from a young age. Some of them got a "leg up" from this approach, but I could tell that others were a little tired of it.
 Other classmates were nontraditional, coming to liberal arts after a more typical college education, or being sent there by a religious order to discern whether they were called to marriage. 

I and most others had a middle road. My parents were confident that their faith was the truth. They discussed objective truths and common sense at dinner in ways I found normal, not schoolish. My parents were strongly involved in the pro-life movement. Even though I was involved in secular sports and hobbies, my parents helped form my opinions when groups went awry (like the Girl Scouts) or when movies were inappropriate.

Most importantly for me, my parents helped me read. We had so many books! We had fiction and nonfiction for every kid's taste. My parents read to us and we read to them. I devoured secular science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction (everything but romance). There were also bibles, encyclicals, and books on the saints on the shelves, but I went to truth via fiction. It was a short step from the Chronicles of Narnia and The Man who was Thursday to Mere Christianity and Orthodoxy

But each child is different. I have a sister who went to truth through logic. She loved to read, too, but she loved arguing and problem solving. I have a sister who didn't like to read as much, but loved to play and spend time with people. My fourth sister loves to write, and my parents were good listeners. 

Finally, it comes down to love. If you can show your children that there is love and that there is an objective truth, they can want to follow you on the good path. It may not even matter if they get a liberal arts education--hundreds of saints were uneducated, and most of my siblings are getting or got traditional college degrees. 


  1. Hi! I emailed you with a question about medical school. I am a medical student myself. Is there a good email to reach you at?

    1. Yes! I just checked my spam and I will reply right away.