Welcome! The Catholic Homeschool Association of Omaha (CHAO) is an organization of homeschooling families who support and encourage one another through our monthly sharing in the Holy Mass and a variety of other educational, social and spiritual activities. In full union with Pope Francis and Archbishop George J. Lucas, we seek to be agents of the “new evangelization” spoken of so often by St. Pope John Paul II. Through our unity in Christ and our mission to minister to homeschooling families and those who wish to explore this option we support the renewal of the family within the Church and the world. Learn more about our history on the "Who We Are" page.
To register as a new family with the Catholic Homeschool Association of Omaha, Inc., please download the family registration form:
If you need more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are currently registered with CHAO and need to renew for the upcoming school year, please log in and download the renewal packet from the Forms tab.
Twenty years ago, I did not know homeschooling existed. Then God prompted us to consider homeschooling when we encountered several homeschooling families who inspired us by their depth of commitment to faith, family and healthy marriages. After research, I felt God calling us to make a leap of faith, and we have now homeschooled for 18 years.
The fruits and blessings have been abundant! The friendships and assistance I received from other families stands out. The quality family times we have shared have been precious! Another grace was how much deeper my relationship with God grew. I knew God would have to be in charge of our homeschool and help me to be able to do it well. He has used homeschooling to increase my trust in Him!
The challenges included consistently turning my fears and anxieties over to God and finding a balance for meeting the needs of our family. Sometimes, I grew weary with all the tasks before me. Always, the Lord was teaching me to surrender and trust in Him. Now I reflect back, smile, and chuckle about all the beautiful ways God did provide. There is deep gratitude to God. Each homeschool family has its own graces and gifts that are as varied as the number of homeschooling families that exist.
God provided friends and organizations to consult and to lean on when I was confused or needed guidance. When it was time for junior high, I wanted more support so we enrolled in the Mother of Divine Grace program. I received help with grading and could talk to a consultant to figure out what was best for each of our children and me as we continued toward high school. We have now graduated three children from homeschool high school by taking one day at a time!
The first prompting for us came from a homeschooling friend I admired after I had explained to her that I don't have the temperament and virtues to pull off homeschooling. She handed me a book to read that had inspired her, and that book awakened in me a desire for something different than I perceived was available in traditional, "brick and mortar" school settings, as good as they may be. Though my homeschooling didn't turn out to look like I imagined it would based on that book, the freedom to pursue "out of the box" educational opportunities for and with our children continues to be the reason we homeschool. We love that we can shape our educational approach according to our family's hierarchy of values and to the diverse aptitudes, interests and needs of each of our children.
Sharing and growing in the Christian life together and discovering the Wisdom, Beauty and Goodness of God in the various, interrelated school subjects are the most fulfilling aspects of homeschooling, along with just having a lot of time to enjoy one another and life in general. At the same time, the constancy and intensity of being together so much makes it impossible to avoid facing the poorness of our hearts and our profound need for God's love, grace and mercy. I've always said that homeschooling is a crucible, and that has been the hardest thing about it, but also the greatest blessing. The Holy Spirit is a kind and merciful Teacher and Sanctifier. :)
An additional challenge I'd mention has been just growing in my capacity to peacefully accept human limitations and be patient with growth - my own and my family members'. While it is important to have ideals and to strive to live them together, it is equally important to be humbly realistic, so that we don't yield to discouragement, resentment or despondency. We cannot be all we want to be, do all we want to do in every season of life.
"Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you...Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices." These words of St. Teresa of Jesus are easier said than done, but coming back to them continually through the years has been helpful to me, along with gradually redefining and simplifying my idea of "success". Setting aside time for prayer and spiritual retreats has helped sustain me and has enabled me to increasingly let go of "false imperatives" and inordinate attachment to standards that don't necessarily serve our ultimate goal of enjoying and embodying the True, Trinitarian Love of God.
Mary Lou's Testimonial
To be honest, we started homeschooling because we had no other good options. We could not afford private school and the public school was well known for several severe problems. Homeschooling was our last resort. Neither of us was overly excited about it, but we decided to do it until we could find something better. We didn't ever find anything better.
We have fallen in love with homeschooling. We love the freedom it gives our family. We love the closeness it has created with our children. We love knowing what our children are learning and being able to have discussions about a variety of topics with them. We love how they are able to see the requirements of day to day life by being home each day.
The biggest challenge to homeschooling is patience and avoiding perfectionism. We want our children to succeed, but we must always remember they are each unique individuals with individual abilities and talents. We have to work hard to help them become the best person each of them can become. Another challenge is parent burnout! The primary educator (most often mom) needs to make time to recharge each day, be that in prayer, over a cup of coffee, a fifteen minute break, a chat with a friend...Just one small thing each day can make a world of difference to the well-being of the at-home parent.
Prayer! Lots and lots of prayer. But also, remembering that each year is different. Each month is different. Each week is different. Homeschooling is flexible and because it is the danger of falling behind is present. We have to strive to stay on task but remember that we homeschool not only for education but for human formation. When one of those gets forgotten or off balance, the whole thing gets out of sorts. We need to constantly be reassessing what we are doing to make sure we are doing the best for our families.
As more testimonials are created we will post them here, so check back if you'd like!