In 1931, the principle of subsidiarity was definitively pronounced by Pope Pius XI in his encyclical, Quadragesimo Anno. It simply states that a higher entity in the social order may not do for the lower order what it is capable of doing for itself. This principle is not relegated only to the social order. It must be recognized as the principle that guides all entities in the spiritual order. This is especially true as we perceive the presence of the Holy Spirit in our family life and spiritual culture.
With the strength of acknowledging the Holy Spirit actively participating in the life of the family coupled with the grace emanating from the sacramental union of marriage, the family possesses the most perfect macro organism for the education of children.
The simplicity of truth regarding the mother and father in the primacy of their role as the first and primary guardians of the faith and instruction of children resounds through the centuries. That primacy of the parent in the religious instruction of the child sees its best expression in the consistent statements by our Holy Mother Church. These statements may be seen in the Code of Canon Law, encyclicals such as Rappresentanti in Terra by Pope Pius XI and Gravissimum Educationis, of Pope Paul VI and more recently the words of John Paul ll.
The sovereignty of the home and the parent’s role in education was perhaps best laid before us in the words of Paul VI in his work, Gravissimum Educationis, “Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools.” This “true liberty” is exercised and witnessed everyday in the growing numbers of Catholic homes around the world with parents choosing the home for the education of their children.
It is the goal of Kolbe Academy Home School to encourage every home schooling family to be independent, self-reliant, and totally confident in the education of their children in the home. Kolbe Academy understands and appreciates that parents, in making the decision to home school, have chosen not to abdicate nor delegate their responsibility as the primary educators of their children, but to embrace that responsibility. The skills and talents needed to fulfill the role of educator is not granted in the issuing of a teacher “credential”. Rather, the charisms necessary come through the grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony and the giftedness of parenthood. Not all families, especially those who are new to home schooling, possess the confidence that permits complete independence and self-reliance. Kolbe Academy serves the needs of those families who want to be enrolled with a program and have their student grade records and cumulative folders maintained by that program.
Kolbe Academy offers parents a general framework within which they have the freedom and responsibility to make the day-to-day decisions in their children’s education. The principle of subsidiarity is at work as parents are free to adapt all Kolbe materials to suit their situation and are best able to determine the pace at which a student progresses.