Home and Family

Life’s little surprises

Last evening we had a bread baking class in our home.  Our new neighbor and her teen-aged daughter came over and we made bread, meal-in-one wraps, and cinnamon rolls together.  (Recipes for basic breads posted on 2/21/2013.)   Then we ate results of our labors in a shared meal.  While the cooking was fun and the food was seriously tasty,  my favorite bits were the unexpected moments.  Having a young woman really talk to me about life, school, and goals is something which hasn’t happened since my children grew up and left home.  Watching her mother’s face as she realized how much money she can save as she cooks from scratch was such fun; seeing how much her father enjoyed the food was even better.  (We’ll be cooking more together as school gets out for the summer.  I’m looking forward to that!)

Other unexpected events included our three-year-old grandson playing with their son, and keeping him busy.  Our five-year-old grandson who struggles with focus spending 40 minutes on a book of word finds;  I was blown away.  Even the 16 month-old twins were enjoying the meal and visiting.  It was surprisingly relaxing and we have a new family on the block who will be a tremendous boon to the neighborhood.  Who knows?  We may have just gained a baby-sitter, and willing hands for the garden.

The entire experience reminded me why we live in communities.  We are here to serve, share, and find joy in each other!  While I am not an extrovert by nature, I still feel gratitude when a sweet experience like this one happens.

May you have a great day filled with a pleasant surprise or two!

Home and Family, Homeschooling

Elitism rant

n. pl. elitea. 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.