The Des Moines chapter of Catholic Schoolhouse has offered families resources for creating a Catholic, structured homeschool community in a rigorous academic environment since its June 2011 inception. Its purpose from the beginning has been to support families and offer an alternative to the existing well-developed Protestant homeschool communities – meeting a significant need for Catholic families in our area.
When we first began, there was one other religious based homeschool program in the Des Moines area, Classical Conversations. With the growing popularity of homeschooling, as well as the classical approach to education, there are now several options for families, including Catholic options.
With the introduction of classical hybrid schools in 2019, our enrollment dramatically declined. Despite the fact that the Catholic Schoolhouse program continues to grow in the US and Canada, based on participation and interest in the Des Moines area, we have determined that the Catholic Schoolhouse homeschool program no longer meets the needs of the Des Moines homeschooling community. After serving central Iowa families for 9 school years, we have made the difficult and painful decision to disband our chapter.
We are so appreciative of the many people that supported our mission throughout the years, including Father Harris and his staff- Mary, Sue, Connie, and Jamie at All Saints Catholic Church, Kathy Bishop and the Johnston Lion’s Club, and Father Aquinas and his staff- Charles, Barb, Margaret S. and Margaret V. at The Basilica of St. John’s, and finally, Linae at the Urbandale Public Library. Without their “yes” it would have been nearly impossible to serve the number of families that we did throughout the years.
Catholic Schoolhouse will always have a special place in our hearts and memories. This program has been such a blessing to us and to our children.
In Christ- Michelle Cortlandt and Michelle Helm