Our philosophy reflects the excerpt from Familiaris Consortio.
We enhance and support parents in their roles as primary educators of
their children. Seton Home Study School provides parents with a
curriculum integrated with truths of Our Catholic Faith set forth by the
Magisterium, the official teaching authority of the Catholic Church, and
by our Holy Father, the Pope. The students and families of Seton Home
Study School have the unique opportunity to partake of the fullness of
Catholic truth as they experience the beauty, freedom, and peace that
comes from Catholic moral formation.
The challenging curriculum in the elementary grades is designed to
prepare students for the demanding college-preparatory syllabus offered
at the high school level. The staff of Seton Home Study helps parents to
develop a high quality of spiritual formation through the daily lesson
plans. We encourage parents to utilize their time with their children to
teach spiritual values throughout the curriculum.
At Seton Home Study School, we believe that the emphasis in home
schooling should be on the home. Though our program is academically
challenging, the basic reason for home schooling for most parents is to
teach traditional family values.
Our reading books, for example, have family stories with a mother and
a father. They portray a traditional family setting, rather than a
modern aberration. The family consists of several children, and everyone
is happy when God sends a precious gift of another baby. Grandparents
often visit, and they share experiences with the grandchildren.
The Catholic home life is pictured with family prayers and regular
Church attendance. Parents and teachers tell stories about saints and
In the upper grades, the reading books teach children about pioneer
and immigrant Catholic families traveling and working together to make
America a better country. Stories of sacrifice to bring priests and the
sacraments to families are very common in the Faith and Freedom
Reading day after day about good Catholic family life, and discussing
it, home-schooled children can come to appreciate their own family.
Parents who teach their children at home find a respect from their
children which many parents do not have today. Children develop an
understanding of their brothers and sisters, and help each other learn.
Dad is not left out, either, but becomes a special teacher, who is an
integral part in the upbringing of the children.
Home schooling will definitely bring about a change in your family
life. Most of us find it a special joy which is difficult to describe.
We know for certain, however, that home schooling is not a last
alternative, but God's plan for the best in Christian family life. Once
you start, you'll never want to give it up.
The religion program includes the Baltimore Catechism and the Living
My Religion series, God and His Moral Law, Bible History,
Story of the Church, Following Christ in the World, and
several encyclicals. Books on the lives of the saints and homilies of
Pope John Paul II are also read and studied.
As much as possible, Catholic texts are used in the subject areas,
such as the Faith and Freedom reading series, and the Voyages
in English series. The curriculum also includes Catholic history,
music, and Latin texts. In addition, the Seton staff has written
well-received Catholic histories and science books for the first and
second grades. Catholic handwriting books, Catholic reading
comprehension workbooks, and Catholic spellers have also been completed.
Seton offers grade placement tests and yearly achievement tests,
quarterly exams, progress reports, permanent records on file,
transcripts (for transfers or graduation), and a diploma from Seton
School. Counseling is available six days a week, usually from 8 AM to
midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
To enroll, please complete the application for admission and send it
to Seton with the application fee. When these are received, Seton will
send a Tuition Contract, a placement test, a Parent Information Guide,
and a request for records, if this is necessary. When the Tuition
Contract, Registration Fee, and test is received, the Director may phone
or write parents for further consultation. All books, lesson plans,
tests, and quarter report forms are shipped usually within 3 days of
receipt of the Registration Fee.
Parents are expected to send tests to Seton for grading, along with a
quarter report form which includes the parent's grades for weekly
assignments. A standardized achievement test in Language Arts and math
is given at the end of the school year.
The Home Study staff strives to maintain a cordial, cooperative
relationship with parents, and relies on frequent communication with
parents to achieve the best in individualized instruction.
Parents are sent day-by-day lessons, which are welcomed by most
families who do not have the time to work on curriculum scheduling.
However, these lessons are recommedations or suggestions. Some children
may learn more quickly, some may learn more slowly, some may learn one
or two subjects quickly but have trouble with other subjects.
Home schooling at Seton provides the opportunity for flexibility. At
the high school level, students may even "test out,"
especially for a subject they are repeating. Our motto at Seton is:
Adjust the program to fit the child, not the child to fit the program.
Parents Are the Best Teachers
All too often parents hesitate to try home education because they are
afraid they won't be able to do it. They think that teaching is
something so professional that it should be attempted only by a
certified graduate of a teacher's college. Nothing could be further from
Parents are the best teachers of their children, and not only in
religious matters. According to Pius XI, "... the obligation of the
family to bring up children includes not only religious and moral
education, but physical and civil education as well." According to
the official teaching of the Church, the sacrament of matrimony provides
the graces which empower you to teach your children. You can do it.
A teacher in a public school might have a teacher's certificate, or
might have been teaching for 50 years, but what does it matter if he is
teaching secular values? What good is a teacher's certificate if it is
simply used to add authority to error?
We have found that the level of education of parents has little to do
with the education of the children. Standardized test scores prove that
parents with a high school education can do a great job teaching their
own children. What really matters is the dedication, concern, and love
which the parents bring to the matter of their children's education. No
school teacher could ever hope to match your love and concern for your
children. This is why no school will ever be better than home education.
Home education is God's plan. If you are willing to accept His
graces, He will not allow you to fail.
What Parents Say about Seton ...
From a N. J. family ...
Thank you for your time and efforts you and the staff at Seton take
to help Joe and me with our questions and problems that arise in working
with the children.
From a Minn. family ...
Thank you for your flexibility in allowing us to alter your course to
our needs. We really don't know what we would have done without it this
From an Okla. family ...
We have a lot to be thankful for this year due to home-schooling. Our
7th grader has shown dramatic improvement.... Best of all, our
relationships are all what I'd always hoped they would be.
From a Penn. family ...
We notice that (the children) have a more positive attitude towards
themselves, their siblings and us. We feel so fortunate to have you
folks ... to help us give our children a good traditional Catholic
education. Many thanks!
Our director is Dr. Mary Kay Clark. She has been on the Seton Home
Study staff since 1983. She received her B.A. in English from Ursuline
College, and her M.S. in Library Science from Western Reserve
University. She is the former principal of Mater Dei Academy in
Columbus, Ohio, and is the Founder and past Secretary of the Home
Educators Association of Virginia.
Father Robert Hermley, a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de
Sales, received his B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in American History
from Catholic University, and an M.A. in Guidance Counselling from the
University of Michigan. Fr. Hermley has over 27 years of teaching
experience at the high school level. Father has also served over 10
years as a parish priest.
Mr. Kenneth Clark, Esq., is the Staff Attorney of Seton Home Study
School. Mr. Clark received his B.A. from Christendom College and
received his Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America. He
has extensive experience in Constitutional Law issues, especially First
Amendment and home-schooling cases.
Sister Mary Gemma, of the Visitation Order, is an Educational
Consultant and Counselor. Sister holds a B.A. in history and Master's
degrees in History and Theology. She has taught in the Catholic Schools
for more than twenty years, at both the elementary and high school
Mrs. Cathleen Gould is Seton's learning disability specialist. Mrs.
Gould earned her B.A. in Education from James Madison University in
1977, and her M.A. in Education with endorsements in Learning
Disabilities and Emotional Disturbance, from George Mason University in
Mr. Kevin Clark is the Newsletter Editor and Computer Systems Manager
at Seton, as well as president of his own computer software company. Mr.
Clark earned his B.A. from Christendom College where he graduated magna
Mr. Michael McShurley, who taught in Catholic High Schools for more
than 12 years, and who has Master's degrees in English and Theology, is
responsible for Curriculum Development.
Mr. Rob Jones, Director of Educational Services, a certified teacher
and former businessman, is in charge of the operations of the Teacher's
Department. Mr. Jones received his B.S. in Education from Eastern New
Mexico State University.
Mr. Robert Wiesner, a former teacher and graduate of Christendom
College, is Assistant Director of Educational Services. Before joining
Seton, he taught at Colorado Catholic Academy, Franciscan High School,
and Seton School in Manassas.
Other teachers at the elementary level include Gabrielle Tuttle
(Testing Coordinator), Donna Bedwell, Peggy Cochran, Claudia Remby,
Laura M. Clark, Lisa Clark, Karen Delaney, and Jacinta Sauer.
Teachers at the high school level include Michelle Peters (Theology
& Spanish), Bruce Clark (History, Government, Spanish), Sister Gemma
(Government, Religion), Mike McShurley (Religion, English), Dr. Mitchell
Kalpakgian (English), Lisa Clark (English, Spanish), Laura Logie
(Algebra), Walt Winnard (Algebra), Joseph Remby (Chemistry), Art
Zoeberlein (Chemistry), Dr. Gregory Townsend (Physics), Maggie Ciskanik
(Biology), Laura H. Clark (Biology), Kathy Rich (Geometry), Dr. Ed
Macierowski (Latin, German), Dr. Douglas Flippen (German), Dr. Maureen
Flippen (French), Jane Elliot (Religion).
Other departments: Barbara Plaugher (Admissions), Tom Ciskanik
(Bookkeeping), Charles Hibl (Shipping), Brian Delaney (Processing),
Hannah Strayer (Secretary), Debbie Midkiff (Mail Department), Bridget
Evans (Registrar), Bruce Clark (Collections), Illeen Reninger (Writer),
Jacqueline Lynch (Writer), John Clark (Computer Asst.), James &
Timothy Clark (Shipping Assts.), Anita Crane, Lisa Ratigan, Carl Rich
Starting Off with Math, Student and Teacher's Manual;
Off with Phonics, Student and Teacher's Manuals;
Catholic Music: Children Sing! I am a Child
Religion — My Jesus and I, My Rosary
Coloring Book, The Catholic
Child Coloring Book, Leading
Little Ones to Mary, I Follow Jesus; My
Grade School Curriculum
Religion: Living My Religion Catholic series, supplemented
with Baltimore Catechism. Additional titles: Gr. 1: Jesus
& I; Gr. 2: Our Lady of Fatima; Gr. 3 to 7: Bible
History; Gr. 7: Confirmation Review; Gr. 8: Story of the
English: Loyola Voyages in English series, text &
workbook. English supplements: Gr. 6: Library Skills; Gr. 7: Reference
Skills; Gr. 8: Warriner's English, Report Writing, Reading/Writing
Handwriting: Gr. 1 to 6: Art of Writing for Young Catholics
Phonics: Modern Curriculum Press, Grades 1-5
Reading: Catholic Faith and Freedom series, Reading/Writing
Skills Workbook, Reading for Comprehension; Catholic
Comprehension series Gr. 6 to 8; Catholic biographies for book
Spelling: Catholic text/workbook, Gr. 2-8
Vocabulary: Gr. 3 to 8: Wordly Wise
Arithmetic: Christian series, traditional math; Saxon math available,
History: Gr. 1 & 2: Seton series; Gr. 3: Christian; Gr. 4 to 7:
Catholic series; Gr. 8: Seton's Catholic World Culture; Map
Skills: Gr. 2 to 6
Science & Health: Gr. 1 & 2: Seton's Catholic series; Gr. 3
to 8: Christian series, except Gr. 4, MCP
Music: Catholic series
Art: based on Catholic liturgical year
Physical Education: weekly exercises, skills
Parental Aids: Answer Keys, Quarter Report Forms, Quarter Tests,
Parent/Teacher Plan Book, Daily Lesson Plans
High School Curriculum
Refer to High School Catalog.
Catholic Leaders on Seton
Father Robert J. Fox Author, Leader of Fatima Youth Retreats
Too often children are not being taught authentic Catholicism in
parish schools, but if the parents put them in public schools, the
atmosphere will be much worse. Years ago I could offer them little
comfort. Now I can suggest home study courses such as Seton School
I would say to parents deliberating a decision for home study,
"Courage, God will give you the necessary graces to perform your
duty as primary educators."
Bishop Jean Francois Arrighi Vice-President, Pontificium Consilium
Pro Familia, Rome
May I congratulate you, and the founders of Seton Home Study
School, on the Catholic content and vision of the courses you provide.
This Pontifical Council for the Family will be interested to follow
the future development of your programs, especially in the way they
reinforce family life.
Father John Hardon Author of The Catholic Catechism
Seton Home Study School is in direct response to the concerns of
Our Holy Father and the Holy See. It is in the forefront of the battle
to preserve the Catholic Faith and Family Life, aiming not only to
teach children their school subjects permeated by the Faith, but also
to help parents themselves grow in the Faith as they teach their
children, and accept their responsibility as the Church wishes.
I firmly believe that if parents enroll their children in Seton Home
Study School, they and their children, in the church of the home, will
be strengthened in the faith and in their family life.
Damian P. Fedoryka Former President of Christendom College
We are living in an age when parents are systematically being
dispossessed of their children by public and private schools. My wife
and I chose home education in the realization that we cannot give our
children to God unless they first belong to us.
Seton Home Study School offers Catholic parents the opportunity to
exercise responsibility for their children's academic formation and
prepares them for college.
James Likoudis President, Catholics United for the Faith
The Seton Home Study School represents one of the most promising
developments in modern Catholic education. Catholics United for the
Faith, as an international association of Catholic laity vitally
concerned with Catechesis is pleased to commend Seton Home Study
School for its efforts to assist parents with the intellectual and
spiritual formation of their children.