FAQ

The Irish Constitution recognises the parents as the primary educators of their children. Article 42 of the Constitution of Ireland reads: “The State acknowledges that the primary and natural educator of the
child is the Family and guarantees to respect the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according to their means, for the religious and moral, intellectual, physical and social education of their children. Parents shall be free to provide this education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognised or established by the State.”
Therefore you have a constitutional right to educate your children at home. You do not need a formal teaching qualification to teach your child. You do not need to follow the national curriculum but you must ensure that your child receives a ‘certain minimum education’. You can choose a suitable approach based on your child’s learning needs and appropriate to their age, aptitude, and ability. (Source: citizensinformation.ie)

Mater Dei Education is the only Irish classical homeschooling curriculum available. No other programmes provide teaching and learning designed for homeschoolers in Irish language, history, and culture.

Yes, you are welcome to start with Mater Dei Education at any point during the year.

A classical education trains the child to think instead of teaching the child to answer test questions. It is just as suited for scientific-minded children as for children who prefer languages and the arts. It provides an excellent education in all subjects. Regardless of the subject, the child is encouraged to think. Even the greatest scientists need to be able to communicate and convey their findings! Please look at our curriculum page for more information.

Mater Dei provides each of your enrolled children with a daily lesson plan where the daily work is written and pedagogically explained. Older children can do most of the work on their own. It is important to take one day at a time.

Mater Dei Education provides also homeschoolers and their parents with Programmes to help them in their homeschooling journey.

Yes, absolutely. Consider taking a 4-week break from homeschooling after the birth of the baby and go back to homeschooling after that. The main advantage of homeschooling is the flexibility it offers. The homeschooling mother can rest in the afternoon instead of going to several school pick-ups with a newborn.

Homeschooling with Mater Dei Education is gentle but of a good academic level. Our lesson plans are for four days a week only.  The children can work at their own pace and independently starting from First Class. School is finished in 1 to 2 hours for Junior Infants to 2nd class. From 3rd class to 6th class, the child will need 2 to 3 hours to finish his or her work and to go through the corrections.

 

For more information regarding a typical homeschool day, read An Introduction for Homeschoolers in our bookshop.

Keeping a schedule is important for both parent and children. The children will keep motivated because children are natural learners and they will enjoy learning so much. Mothers and fathers will be kept motivated by seeing their children learn and enjoy learning.

For more information regarding a typical homeschool day and tips to stay motivated, read The Introduction for Homeschoolers which is free in our bookshop.

Mater Dei Education offers a 32-week, four days a week programme at the primary level. The free fifth day a week enables parents to supplement the Mater Dei programme with music, art, sport, and outside observations such as nature studies, growing vegetables or looking after animals, etc.

School is finished in 1 to 2 hours for Junior Infants to 2nd class. From 3rd class to 6th class, the child will need 2 to 3 hours to finish his work and go through the corrections. Typically, mothers or fathers spend on average 30 to 60 minutes with each child to do the corrections at the end of the day. Most of the work is done independently by the child. Mater Dei Education is designed by busy homeschooling parents for other busy homeschooling parents.

If your child has followed the Mater Dei Education programme in primary school, he or she is ideally prepared to enter Mater Dei Academy. If you are planning on following our second-level programme from 2022, Mater Dei Education will provide a seamless transition from sixth class to first year.

If you plan on moving onto a public school, Mater Dei Education can provide the standardised testing requirements (STen, MICRA-T) where requested.

Yes, and we are happy that you consider Mater Dei Education for the schooling of your children.

Latin is started in 1st year for two reasons:

  • Irish children need to prioritize the learning of Irish in the primary school because it is part of our culture and heritage.
  • Latin cannot be learned without knowing grammar and how to diagram a sentence. There is a strong focus on grammar in the fourth, fifth and sixth class of the Mater Dei Education curriculum. By the time the student has reached first year, the Mater Dei Education student is well equipped to learn Latin and modern European languages. French is introduced at second year in the secondary school programme.

It is often remarked how mature and developed homeschooled children are compared to other children. One reason for this is that the child in national school only gets to socialise with the same-age peers, whereas the homeschool child gets to interact with adults, grandparents, siblings of different ages, and children of different backgrounds and ages. Homeschool children have more time to invest in extra-curricular activities and will get more chances to socialise with different people from different backgrounds. The homeschooled child is often better equipped for real life where you need to speak with and interact with a broad range of people.

Unless you prevent them from living in the real world, homeschooling does not mean isolating your children. It only means schooling your children at home. Your children will have a lot of interactions with the real world in their extracurricular activities and through the activities of your family

What you have experienced is not homeschooling but crisis schooling. You and the teachers did a phenomenal job but it had nothing to do with homeschooling. Nobody was prepared, everyone was scared of the virus, and no interaction was allowed with the surrounding community. Homeschooling is a positive experience of schooling where children can blossom and explore in their free time. They read and learn a lot about their surrounding world. They meet with their friends, play sports, music, and drama and travel to discover the world around them. Crisis schooling should not be compared with carefully planned and organised homeschooling.

No, definitely not! As a registered charity in Ireland, Mater Dei Academy depends upon revenue from Mater Dei Education as an important income stream to support its activities. All Mater Dei Education material is strictly protected under the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000. Copying or distributing digital or paper copies of Mater Dei Education materials or books is strictly forbidden and illegal.  Would you steal from your local charity shop? Well, help us make Mater Dei Education a success by supporting our work and sharing your experience, not your copied materials, with other parents and teachers.

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