n. pl. elite–a. A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status: “In addition to notions of social equality there was much emphasis on the role of elites and of heroes within them” (Times Literary Supplement).
b. The best or most skilled members of a group: the football team’s elite.
This word is one I hear associated with home education generally, and classical education specifically. It never fails to create uneasiness in my heart when I hear it. Home schooling is not for, nor does it create, an elite society. We are all God’s children. Opportunities for learning, native intelligence, superior talents, and “the management of the creature” are all explanations given for the different levels in any society. I strongly disagree.
I recently read the counsel to “Never look down on the [less fortunate]. Serve them…Lose your life in service and you will become great.” Excuse me? Come again? What about allowing them to serve you? No one is so blessed that they cannot benefit from the service of others! Everyone has something to give, and each of us needs to recognize the worth in our fellow beings. We are not here to judge them. (Behaviors require we make judgment calls. People do not. That is God’s job.) We are not here to “enlighten” them. We are here to love them.
If, in the course of teaching yourself and your children, you ever find yourself turning away from your fellow travelers on this planet because you “just don’t have time” for them, might I suggest you make time. Spend a few hours with them. Talk to them. Learn more about them. And then allow yourself to learn from them.
If we are not helping create connections, we are destroying them. Teach your family to reach out, share, and accept people for who they are. Let them in. You may just be surprised to find what you didn’t know you were lacking. And you have opened the door for Christ to step in and teach you something.