Over the past 3 months, I have had the amazing opportunity to meet, e-mail or talk with over 100 homeschooling families. I LOVE stories and I love hearing how families have embarked on their homeschool journeys. Inevitably, as I talk with people, there are ‘small world’ connections that immerge. Either they know my family, I know of their family, they visited our church, we have mutual friends, etc. And in the coming months, I hope to meet more folks.
As I meet with people and meet with the ladies on our steering committee, each day refines the vision and goals that we have for this new cooperative. Of course, we started with what I call the ‘3 C’s’….We are cooperative and that means that each family participates in some way. The second is that we are classical and will strive to teach ‘stage appropriately’ (if this is foreign to you, please read Susan Wise Bauer’s book The Well Trained Mind) and to teach the ‘grammar’ of each subject in regular rotations. While many of our subjects have finalized curricula, we are still praying about science and history choices.
The third ‘C’ is the most important piece of what we are doing and that is the banner we hang the highest…we are Christian.
If someone were to ‘pin me down’ and make me choose just one of these to put as our mission or most important ‘piece,’ I would have to choose that we follow Christ first and foremost. To that vein, every decision, every worry, every challenge has been handed off to Him because He does ask that we ‘cast our anxiety upon Him (1 Peter 5:7). As this ‘idea’ of forming a 2-day a week cooperative began to bloom, it was obvious that God had created a pathway. Facilities were open to housing us, families were interested, resources abounded. But more than that, there is a need for solid Christian communities that ‘pull away’ from the noises of the world and can learn together, pray together and support each other in meaningful ways.
If you are not aware, this world is turning more and more toward dark and ugly places. Sin took a foothold in the garden, but has spread exponentially throughout humankind. We are all ‘prone to wander’ and ignore our ‘maker’s voice.’ We have all come through a particularly ugly political season and the media continues to surprise us with new zingers every single day. We watch as Planned Parenthood convinces the world that cells growing in the womb are not important. In addition to that, the traditional family is slowly becoming the ‘odd man out’ as divorce rates rise, families blend, same sex marriages become popular and now transgender families immerge. My pastor recently addressed this as humankind moving ‘inward’ for the answers of identity. We are each using our own ‘expertise’ to define who we are. And that, my friend, is the problem. We no longer look to our Creator to give us our identity, but we look to each other. That is going to get us into some serious trouble.
So, pin me down…why should we do this? Of course, we want to educate our children. We want to enhance our own thinking skills and find support. But, first and foremost, we should find solace in this community that is being created to focus on Jesus, our great redeemer and friend. And from that, springs the education we want for our children, as we seek to explain things in light of WHO created and ultimately purchased us for Himself.
But it doesn’t end there. We cannot just stay in our little community. NO WAY! We ultimately do this so that we can go out into the world and THINK, REALLY THINK about the messages that are hitting us. We must be able to recognize false teaching, fallacies and illogical thinking and know how to respond through thoughtful conversation and winsome debate. The world will NOT change because of who is speaking the loudest or protesting with the biggest, well-worded signs. It will change because people see Jesus in us, loving them, accepting them, but challenging them to seek their identity in the one who carefully knit us together. Won’t you join us as we seek to hear our ‘Maker’s Voice?’