This is Mrs. Gore, coming to you today not as the preacher’s wife, or as Mother Hen, or as an opinionated (and unpaid) editorial writer.
For on September 6th, 2012, I will bear a new title, one that I have been looking forward to enjoying since I first felt the flutterings of human life in my womb.
On Setptember 6th, 2012, I will become…
Get it? Schoolmarm + Marmee (the famous mother from “Little Women”) = Schoolmarmee?…see, this is why I should never be a comedienne. My jokes take WAY too much explaining…
Even though that’s not really a joke. I’m really going to make my kids call me that when school is in session.
Anyhow, I digress.
On September 6th, 2012, I will put on my fake glasses, I will ring my giant school bell, and homeschool classes at Gore House will finally be in session.
To say I am beside myself would be the understatement of the school year. I LOVED Kindergarden and I’ve been trying to get back there for 25 loooong years.
The only thing that gives me pause in my excitement, however, is this little white elephant in the room. (I have the distinct feeling I didn’t get that cliche right…it’s just “elephant in the room” isn’t it? And a “white elephant party”…meh. Whatever.). And I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed it…
Have you ever felt that little thread of tension that seems to be all wrapped up in discussions on education, especially among believers?
Let me explain: It seems at times that homeschoolers can’t mention anything that takes place in their school life without being met with unsolicited opinions and questions concerning homeschool in general, especially on the hot mess that is Facebook. On the other hand, I think many public schoolers feel judged by the homeschooling community for not keeping their kids at home, which might lead to a lot of these sometimes-heated-but-more-often-than-not-passive-agressive-in-nature discussions.
And so before our very special first day of school comes, I thought it might be nice to put together a little somethin’ that might bring a little peace between the home schools and the public schools and the private schools and the charter schools…
A Peace Treaty on Education, written by a Homeschooling Mother
Let us love one another and spur each other on to love and good works, even when it comes to our choice of schooling. I promise to cheer for your child to win the public school spelling bee if you promise to “like” the picture I share on Facebook of my child making a homemade bird feeder.
Let us be kind in our speech about the “other side” even when we are surrounded by our closest friends who happen to share our convictions about schooling.
Let us keepeth our opinion to ourselves, unless asked for it.
Let us not challenge or argue with one another on social media unless we are brave enough to have those same discussions or ask those same questions face-to-face. And if we are that brave, let’s just not do it, anyway.
Let us always assume the best, and refuse to jump to conclusions that we or our children are being judged when someone mentions “an advantage” to their particular choice of schooling.
Let us remember that how someone else chooses to raise their child is very personal and private and does not need to be dissected by someone else, nor is it deserving of even an offhand comment.
Let us remain involved in each other’s lives regardless of how we view education. Every parent has different convictions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate and support one another and show interest in the lives of each other’s children.
Let us be quick to listen and slow to speak, and keep an open mind whenever we do happen to engage in discussions concerning education; sometimes we might be surprised at how our convictions can change. This is, after all, what happened to me!
Let us pray for and encourage all schoolteachers, whether they are teaching a classroom full of 3rd graders or a daughter and a son in their kitchen.
Let us acknowledge that strange and socially awkward children come from home schools, public schools and private schools, as do the most influential and likable and sensible and charismatic in our society.
Let us refrain from turning an educational preference into a war of Christian faithfulness, and look at the entire scope of a person’s life before we decide whether they are or are not evangelistic or devout.
Let us not allow our personal convictions and opinions to prejudice us against children from any school, but determine to make them feel included and loved and encouraged, no matter what.
And most importantly, let us always bear in mind that the outside world will know we belong to God by our love for one another. If we lose that love and kindness over issues of education and parenting, we have also tragically lost the gospel.
Dost thou hereby pledge to adhere to this most peaceable treaty on education? Pass it on!