Local mother shares expertise at first Catholic home-schooling conference in Mexico

| November 4, 2014 | 0 Comments
Pamela Patnode

Pamela Patnode

A bi-lingual, home-schooling mom from Minnesota shared her knowledge and experience at the first International Catholic Home School Conference in Mexico City in mid-October.

Pamela Patnode, a mother of five who with her husband Dan are members of Holy Name of Jesus in Medina, delivered two presentations at the conference, held at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Speaking in Spanish to an audience of families from Mexico, Central America and Latin America, Patnode presented a summary of her 2012 book, “5 Steps to Successful Home Schooling: How to Add Faith and Focus to Your Home Education Program.”

Patnode said homeschooling in Latin America today is similar to where it was 30 years ago in the United States, with few laws in place, few resources, but “growing for the same reasons it is growing in the U.S. — parents want to be able to pass along the faith to their children in the midst of a secular culture that is trying to usurp the faith of the family.”

Patnode, who has homeschooled all of her own children and still homeschools the three youngest, has a son studying at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and a daughter who attends Providence Academy in Plymouth.

“We see the benefits of various forms of education,” Patnode said.

In her second presentation in Mexico City, she tried to ease parents’ concerns that their children’s social development would suffer by not attending traditional schools.

Studies show that there is no foundation for those fears, Patnode said.

Her sessions were two of many held over the three-day conference.

“It was fun to meet the families who came,” she added. Her 15-year-old daughter Kristen attended the conference as well.

The weekend was “rooted in prayer,” Patnode said, and included Mass and adoration at the basilica that was built on the site of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to a native man.

“It was a very beautiful event at a beautiful spot,” Patnode said.

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