The mission of the Tampa Bay Catholic Schoolhouse Chapter is to serve as a ministry for homeschool families and grow in our Catholic faith by providing our students with a safe and nurturing environment that promotes Catholic values and academic excellence by placing Christ at the center of all learning and striving to encourage each other in our own unique paths to homeschool.
To grow in our faith and knowledge and evolve into the finest schoolhouse for serving the needs of our Catholic homeschool families throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Co-teaching with our parents as partners and providing a stimulating educational climate that strives for academic excellence. We strive to inspire students through the teachings and the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church by living the Gospel message of love, mercy, and compassion.
Our Parents and Students
We have over eighteen families participating in this year’s class with thirty-six students ranging from Kindergarten to Grammar Level (elementary) to include Upper Level Dialectic (middle school) and Rhetoric (high school) students. Many of the families commute from throughout the Tampa Bay Area to meet three Friday’s a month at St Anne’s Catholic Church. We are blessed to share the facilities on their campus which provides the necessary classrooms and equipment for a wonderful morning of learning and fellowship as a Catholic Schoolhouse community.
A Typical Schoolhouse Day
The classrooms open at 8:30 am as students and their parents begin to arrive from their morning commute. Tutors use this opportunity to unload their supplies and set up their respective classrooms while students begin to gather in the auxiliary room for the bible movie under the supervision of volunteer parents and Upper Level students from 8:45 – 9:00
From 8:45 – 9:00 parents and tutors meet in an adjoining classroom for fellowship, announcements and a discussion of the day’s activities. It’s an opportunity to identify any special requirements for the day or adjustment to the schedule as well as reiterate the goals for the day.
At 9:00 am all the students, parents and tutors convene in the main classroom for prayer, pledges and dismissal to classes. This is an important start for the student’s day and we place emphasis on appropriate decorum throughout the morning prayer, The Pledge of Allegiance to The Flag and The Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible. We also invite the Grammar students to participate in this important occasion by having one student hold the Flag and another the Bible during the respective pledges. Students are dismissed at approximately 9:05 and again this is accomplished in an orderly fashion with tutors leading their students to the respective classrooms.
From 9:05 to 12:30 the students are in class and follow their assigned schedule:
- Grammar tutors use the Tour Guide (memory items) to introduce the children to the weekly topics with a variety of fun activities, songs, writing, drawing, Montessori techniques, stories, and games. During this time the children learn to raise their hands, take turns, and address one another respectfully. The topics introduced provide a framework and great springboards for further study at home as well as hooks on which the students hang future learning. Exposure to the classical music at snack time rounds out the morning.
- The Upper Level (Dialectic and Rhetoric) students follow the same general sequence as the Tour Guide, with a deeper scope. This is accomplished through relevant book discussions, Socratic seminars, memorized speech selections, and writing assignments that grow students’ communication skills in a fun, interactive environment. Additionally field trips, and discussions around the dinner table can continue to include the entire family. We also have an opportunity to provide Rhetoric students with high school credit by providing additional studies in Economics and other related subjects.
We all convene at approximately 12:30 in the main classroom and following closing prayers are dismissed. We traditionally meet at the local park at 13:00 for additional fellowship and an opportunity for younger students to interact and establish friendships.