Day 27: Why We All Need Our People, No Matter How We Do School

31 days final big button

Guys. We’re on the last week of the series. {Cue the coffee maker because I’m running on fumes at this point.}

We’re going to spend the next few days looking at a very important piece of the puzzle: community. This is the place where my heart beats strong. I’ve seen the issue of education shut down conversations, cause division in churches, and alienate those in the minority. Self-righteous attitudes pollute the air and poison relationship. This should not be, especially within the context of Christian community.

I’d love to say that I write from a place of blamelessness here. The truth is I’ve harbored my own self-righteous attitudes. I’ve silently judged others and also felt judged by others. In my zeal for the way I was doing school, I’ve overinflated its virtues at the expense of other perfectly valid educational paths. Please, please forgive me.

As human beings, we are so much more alike than we are different.

We are mothers who love our children and want them to thrive.

We are women in need of sisterhood.

We are insecure and desperate for assurance.

We doubt our worth and hunger for affirmation.

We feel alone on our journeys and need fellow travelers.

I truly believe we can all come together, despite our different ways of doing school and the day-in, day-out lifestyle differences we experience as a result. And we’re going to get to that issue later this week.

But first I want to talk about needing our people.

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The way we educate impacts our day to day in a big way. There are stresses for a homeschool mom that a public school or private school mom doesn’t experience and vice versa. Our specific paths and all that goes with us on the journey require specific community. From how to keep a house running while homeschooling to how to navigate our public high-schooler’s schedule, we need the collective wisdom of one another.

When you homeschool, you’re in the minority and you desperately need community and encouragement. It’s hard, it’s still sort of unchartered territory, it’s not “normal.” You need your people. And in some circles or certain churches, public schooling {or private schooling} can place you in the minority. You need community and encouragement too. Because it’s hard in a different way and you need your people.

For the nearly five years we homeschooled, I had my people. Oh I still had plenty of friends and acquaintances who were doing public or private school but for very practical reasons, our lives did not overlap as much. Homeschoolers, diverse though they are, all do that weird thing of not sending their kids to school and I was one of them. Being “weird” is what bonded us all.

Now that we do public school, there’s a whole new set of decisions. There are cultural struggles that discourage me, options that confuse me, and rules that feel silly. There are carpool needs and Wyldlife meetings, cheer meals and fundraising. I’m now bonded with the public-school parents that I didn’t do life with back when we homeschooled.

It’s easy for one group to look at the other group and write them off as cliquish. Especially when they are. {And we’ll get to that dicey issue later.} But what if we looked at them not as “cliquish others” but as moms and kids in need of community. Think of all the ways you need the encouragement and kinship of your specific community, whether homeschool, private, or public school. Why should it be different for anyone else?

Last week I had a meeting at my church and I walked through a sea of kids playing outside and groups of moms in conversation. They belong to a homeschool community that takes classes there two days a week. It was a sweet sight, all of these kids and parents living in encouraging community with one another. It made me smile and feel a bit nostalgic.

girls lake

If we’re prone to judge something as lovely as that, perhaps it’s time to look deep into the recesses of our own hearts and ask why. We may find insecurity, jealousy, judgmentalism, or loneliness. But we can’t be free from the dark thing that weighs us down and separates us from one another until we look it in the eye and call it out.

Be grateful for your people. Lean on them and learn from them. Encourage and minister to them.

And be grateful that others have their people too. They need them just as much as you need yours.

Remember that our common ground sprawls so much wider than our difference.

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How has your own community been a blessing to you? 

For all the posts in this 31-day series, go here.

For other posts I’ve written on this topic, go here.

I’m linking up with The Nester and her tribe of 31 Dayers.

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Comments

  1. says

    Yes, this is one of the things that has made our journey so difficult at times. My lonliest year was the one where my youngest was home schooled, my middle was at our neighborhood title one public school, and our oldest was at a charter school.
    Wait, what?
    I don’t know, its just how God led.

    Who is there to share a struggle with? The responce seemed to always blame the school choice. Not helpful.

    But the Lord met me there and refined some things in me. I oft quoted His words to peter to myself (when peter asked about the kind of death John would die, at the end of John’s gospel) “what is that to you? You follow Me.”

    Thanks for braving these waters.

  2. Marian says

    Melony, yes — it’s especially lonely when you feel like you don’t have a place to land. Having different kids doing different things can feel like living on the Island of Misfit Moms. And you are so right, it’s in Jesus that we find the deepest and sweetest community–though it’s often a hard road that leads us to Him in that way. Thank you for sharing.

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