Motherhood, Truth

A Slow Clap For Our Differences

It is the quintessential millennial mindset of learning. Colorful Montessori-inspired blocks, wooden train sets and organic beeswax crayons fill living spaces and dining tables, setting the pace for peaceful development. There are backyard gardens and colorful flags hanging from tree branches. You can almost hear the crackling of the fire and smell soy eucalyptus candles as they burn, situated atop a stack of astronomy books.

 

 

Families are exchanging their homes for travel trailers, and study desks for open spaces. These singular and collaborative efforts to build educational units for the wholeness of their children is admirable. A friend of ours is homeschooling her high school daughter, one middle school son, one elementary-aged son, and one preschooler. All in the same house, may I mind you! Their focus is holistic in structure. If their middle school son cannot focus on his Presidential chapter book, he can garden outside or study woodwork in the garage with his grandfather. 

We have other friends who pay for private school education because for them, this is their best option. Some of my dear friends send their children to multi-lingual elementary schools because of where they see California heading. Other friends of mine have children with special needs and their school days are split between the traditional classroom and one-on-one aides, followed by monthly IEP meetings and reviews. There are friends who moved their family to an urban city for 6 months for basic cultural learning. Others travel every summer for missions or remote getaways. Some of us won’t dare fly with children yet. Some swear by camping and getting kids in dirt, while some prefer poolside gazebos. 

You know what I’m learning from all of them, and from all of our different ways of parenting? I’m learning that it’s ok. It’s ok to parent differently. Unless I missed something, we were created differently because our world needs different. Yes, we are created equal in the heart and purpose of God. And glory, hallelujah for that! But if we were all made to be the feet, how would we shake hands or hug or see eye to eye? We’d just be walking in circles, going nowhere.

Before Izzy started school, I had so much anxiety over what to do. Which route would be best? Are others looking at me, judging me for these choices? Get some paper and a grab a pen, write down your justifications and recite them when asked why. Booooooo. I thought maybe I could too, settle in to this rhythm. I do like candles and I’m wicked good at coloring and reading aloud. Maybe we could afford the private school. I mean, I went to a private school at one point and it was beneficial for me then. But what Eric and I agreed on what a public preschool in our district. And as it turned out, it was the perfect choice for Izzy. She is punctual and works well in structure. She was jonesing to learn but I couldn’t give her that attention because I had another toddler and a newborn. We needed the structure that school provided and are so grateful, looking back, that we made that choice. 

 

 

A sweet friend of ours who is homeschooling their children was in near tears over the harsh comparison and opposition from a handful of traditional-schooling mothers in our small community. As she shared her sadness with me, we found ourselves laughing at such a silly antic of comparison. To think that all of our mothering and parenting needs to look the same is blasphemy! When did we stop appreciating the differences in one another? When did it become a cardinal sin to disagree? I can come along side my friends and their children with special needs to offer dinner after their long day of meetings. I can learn empathy from them. I can appreciate the differences in their children and see how wonderfully created they are. I can admire the hard working, full-time homeschooling mom, while also admitting my joy come mid-August when I arise with the glorious sun, prep lunches, pack backpacks and drop my children off at their charter school. Sayonara! I’ll see you at pick-up.

Who says we have to all parent the same? I find incredible relief as a mom of 3 girls to know that there are so many different angles to come from and resource to for them and for myself. If time-out discipline isn’t working, there are thousands of other books to pull ideas from. Amazon has over 60,000 books on parenting. Not one of them are the same. If your budget doesn’t allow for organic, grass-fed everything, you are certainly not being judged by the Greater Force. If you feel led to homeschool, you rock it mama! Line up those dry-erase lettering tablets on your kitchen table, light that candle and settle in. Moms, lets stick together. There are enough dividers in this world and we don’t need to play their games. Here’s my slow clap for you today.

xo

8 thoughts on “A Slow Clap For Our Differences

  1. (Accidentally posted before I was finished)
    I want to add my slow clap to your’s. This is exactly what moms need to hear! We personally have multiple education plans among our kiddos because they need different things. Thank you for an encouraging article♥️

  2. Ohh Em…..we do need one another. Diversity is a great teacher 💖 and opens our minds and our hearts. Thanks for your inspiring words today. 😘

  3. Emily, thank you for sharing your heart! Thank you for listening to your calling, and for being such an encourager of moms.
    It is looking more and more likely that we will be homeschooling this next year (preschool for Cadence & 1st grade for Lucas) and the part I have been struggling with the most is what others will think and say. As if it truly matters.
    God has been gently nudging us in this direction for a few years now, but His nudging has become much more insistent these past few months. And coupled with the increasing concerns we have about the school (admin), we are actively reworking a new Plan A, with “traditional” school now as Plan B.
    But I have momentarily talked myself out of homeschooling 100 times, easily, because I’m worried about what others, mainly other moms, will say.
    Isn’t that silly?! It’s like, “So, I hear what you’re saying, God, but have you heard what Karen is saying?!”
    Anyhow, this post spoke to me, cut through a lot of silly noise and calmed the storm in my heart.
    Can we do coffee soon and attempt to talk while wrangling children?!

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