It’s been on my heart lately to encourage homeschoolers to support each other in their efforts. When homeschoolers unite, families are blessed.
I recently read a talk by Chieko N. Okazaki entitled “Baskets and Bottles.” The central message of the talk is the oneness we share in the gospel of Christ.
I absolutely love the powerful imagery she uses. She relates, some cultures may hold peaches in bottles while others hold papaya in baskets, “but the content is the same: fruit for a family.” The way we use our various gifts to share the fruits of the spirit with our families may differ. But it all comes from God as an offering in love.
This really struck me.
We could all benefit by focusing more on our commonalities than our differences. Homeschoolers unite!
Let’s not read too far into the metaphor, but hear me out.
The homeschooling world has a tendency to separate into groups and subgroups. Often, the goal is to create communities that will exactly match our family’s intentions for education and life. I am all for being intentional with our lives. And it can be a joy and a comfort to be surrounded by like-minded people.
But sometimes forming groups with the intention of bringing people together has the effect of driving people apart.
Trying to find your place when you’re new to homeschooling can be intimidating.
What philosophy of education do I Identify with? Classical? Unschooling? Charlotte Mason? School at home? What curriculum should I use? Something “open and go”? Child led? Video based? Workbooks?
Internet information overload and the number of resources available can easily lead to overwhelm.
Then after sifting through endless books and blog posts and finally settling into something that feels good, the doubts come. You listen to a group of moms chatting about their homeschools and realize they are clearly bottles of peaches….and you are a basket of papaya.
We shouldn’t be quick to jump to the conclusion that one way is right while the other way is wrong.
Each family comes with a unique background and family culture. Each mother comes with gifts and personality traits in a distinctive combination that make her an individual. Every child does also.
Offer friendship and community to everyone: the bowls of bananas, the cartons of raspberries, the bags of cherries. Don’t feel like you have to change for anyone, but don’t be afraid to add some variety to your fruit. There’s nothing like a carefully prepared fruit salad to brighten your day.
Decide you don’t care for raisins? Pick them out! But if another mom serves her children raisins, you can still be friends. And if you decide a few cherries would bless your family, go ahead. Sprinkle them in.
I am a firm believer in the innate ability of mothers to know what is best for their children. And it may not be the same as your neighbor.
But we’re all vessels. And it’s all fruit. We’re all doing the very best we can to give our children what is best for them, in love.
Remember to be kind.
Thanks for listening, friend.
Read about how a heart-based education can benefit your family.