As you know, if you have been following the progress of Frederick East Classical, we are built on 3 ‘C’s.’ We have talked about these at various points in describing mission and purpose. Those three C words are Christian, Cooperative and Classical. We are first a Christian endeavor, seeking to glorify God in all that we do. We are also a ‘cooperative,’ in that we all pitch in in some way to make sure that things run well. Finally, we use a ‘classical’ model of education to provide a solid educational foundation for our children.
But, as I have been thinking about Frederick East and how we have grown, there are some other “C” words that come to mind. These words break out into concepts that I would like to see us grow in over the coming year.
The first new ‘C’ word is ‘Community.’ This group has grown to be a large group really quickly. With 70 families involved, striving to become a community will be a big order to fill. But I am encouraged by little things that I already see happening. Several folks have already initiated getting together and there is a PREK facebook page to create communication. We are working toward a second ‘social’ event in the coming weeks and some folks have started to get kids and families together to build friendships. Once school begins in the fall, I am hopeful that there will be ‘pockets’ of friendships grow. I would love to see moms gathering for prayer, discussion and encouragement. But this is only the ‘surface’ of community. Down deep, in all of us, and in all of our families, there are hard things happening. Some of us have sick children, some of us moms or dads are sick. Financial problems loom for many homeschool families where mom stays home to educate the children. Many of us have aging parents. This fallen world has many challenges but God has given us opportunity to work together to help each other. I would encourage you to consider how you may be a ‘solution’ to a problems that are around you. Sometimes the little things are SO meaningful to hurting families. Consider swapping child care with a mom so that each of you gets a little break each week. Or take a meal to someone who has had a hard week. I love to make a HUGE pot of vegetable soup in the winter and then split it to bless a busy family. There will be sick children this year, babies born during the school year, moms who are struggling with difficult marriages or emotional issues with children. Ask the hard questions and get to know one another…this is how we will grow in community.
The second new ‘C’ is ‘Commitment.’ As we begin this new adventure, we may experience frustration. There are times when communication isn’t clear, expectations are not clearly given, students become frustrated with a new teacher. We WILL have problems as we grow. Anytime you stick a bunch of people together, problems emerge. Things are new and exciting right now and we all have tremendous expectations of what this could be. But when we hit October, some of us will feel like bailing out. The work might be hard or long, children may be dealing with their 3rd cold in as many weeks. The days will grow shorter, the temperatures colder and the stacks of papers to grade (if you are a teacher) could be getting higher and higher. I don’t want to scare people away, but this is a reality that we should face. The Frederick East concept is new for almost all of us. This is 2 days a week and is all day. And while there is great structure, great education and great benefits, there will be hard days. But, just like a marriage, commitment to family or to a church, sometimes we have to fight through difficult times. Let us make a commitment to one another to work through the difficult times. It will be important to voice your frustrations and to talk. That is where we can work on solutions. I don’t mind being ‘yelled’ at, so feel free to come to me with issues as they arise.
And that leads to the last “C”…conversation. We will be learning to converse this year. We will converse with men and women of old through great literature. We will converse with teachers, with each other, with young children, with older children. We will have multiple generations joining in the conversation…several grandparents will be teaching classes, many moms or dads will teach and there will be some teachers who were once homeschooled and now want to give back. God created conversation…He began the GREAT conversation by speaking everything into being. He then furthered the conversation by sending His son to provide a solution for our biggest problem…sin. So, when things seem hard and impossible to sort out, we must remember that the work has already been done. We must now engage in the conversations with our friends, our children and our community.
So, as you prepare for the fall, consider these three new ‘C’s…Community, Commitment and Conversation. And begin to consider how you can silently serve others…it might mean a cup of coffee for a fellow mom, a bag of sweet treats for our office administrators, or a beautiful piece of art work from your little one to a favorite teacher. I speak from experience when I tell you that these little gestures are HUGE and often get me through difficult days. Start to plan now how you want to bless the people around you and look for sad or overwhelmed faces. You could be just the person to bring a smile to a very overwhelmed mom!