Deep deep breath.
Listen. This is an educational choice into the fire hot topic time of the year. I get it. In fact, in some ways, I love it because it shows that we are passionate about the education our kids get. It also shows that we want our kids to become responsible awesome adults some day.
But, and here is where I am inhaling and taking the deep deep breath, but this also a time of year where our words, comments, quips and remarks at times lose site of the truth about all of us as a collective as parents because it’s easy to get lost in comparing and judging and missing truth.
The truth is that we love our kids.
The truth is we want the best for our kids.
The truth is that we all have different stories, beliefs and paradigms.
The truth is that some of us have freedoms that others simply do not have.
The truth is that education is a choice and that choice should never cloud relationship.
Here’s a fact: I homeschooled for twelve years – my oldest daughter all the way through except for a period of time where she went to a charter school and for half of kindergarten at a private school. She’s a sophomore in college now. And now, now my kids attend public school. In fact, today I put a post up about back to school shopping and the crazy circling that we do trying to check things off of the list. I have learned a bit about education in these years – and that that is that in every circle the parents love their kids.
They love them. They support them. They give for them.
But here’s a bit of more truth. I was worried that simple funny post about school supply shopping could get ugly. So I have been watching it all day because we have no time for ugly.
Because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen educational dogma cloud relationships. I’ve seen sarcasm lose site of feelings. I’ve seen people isolated and community lost.
And I’m having none of it.
Life is too short.
It’s way way too short.
So I’m asking you – can we just get along?
I know, it sounds silly, but it’s the truth. Instead of comparing and ranking yourself against what other moms (and dads) are doing how about we just focus on the fact that we love our kids. And we remember grace and kindness. Because the truth is that there are many many many in this world who do not have the luxury of multiple educational options and do the best they can for their kids.
The best they can.
And when they’re put in a world of judgments and expectations of utopian educational ideas and so forth it can be easy to take that weight and use it as a qualifier of worth.
Our kids are worth us not bickering.
Instead our kids deserve to see that we as adults support each other in the choice we make. And that we care about the other person more than being right. And that in it all we are working together to make this world better. Let’s not stop fighting for good education choices – no matter where our beliefs rest – keep pushing and fighting and believing and be proud of your choice. But let’s not overlook supporting those who choose a different choice because there is great power in support and not line in the sand drawing.
Let’s remember to pause.
Sometimes it means pausing before adding words to an update.
Sometimes it means loving first.
Look at the world.
Look at all the good.
All of it.
From people with a huge variety of backgrounds – homeschool, private school, charter school, unschool and on and on.
It matters. Invest in education. Invest in your kids. Push them to do their best. Push them to read. Believe in them. Don’t give up on your kids.
Love them. Support them.
That matters the most.
ps. Here’s the link to my Eleven Rules of School Supply Shopping that I referenced.
Good stuff as always, Rachel. I admire parents who care about education, whatever schooling method they choose. With special needs, I personally NEED that team of people at our public school. God bless them. But, I have always said if my beauties fail to thrive at any point, I will move heaven and earth till I find the right education method, homeschool included on the table. I think most of us feel the same. We just want what is best for our kids. In that, we find the common link. 🙂
We have been to public school. Right now – at this moment, we homeschool.
We are mainly around public and private schoolers.
Last week, I stood for two days in the lobby of two different public schools. I saw a lot of children receiving hugs from other parents, children, administration and teachers. It was beautiful.
Everyone has a choice to make. Everyone needs to make it based on where they are….
Like you – having ‘none of the bickering…’
Life’s too short. Respect others – share your thoughts and convictions with respect.
Thanks Rebecca. I appreciate your views very much.
It’s great to hear from you too.
Great post, Rachel!
If you think about it, the world will be a better place BECAUSE we’re creating a generation of new leaders who had DIVERSE educational foundations. I can’t wait to see how they change the world for the better!
Yes!! I love that indeed.
Can I please give you a hug?! Thank you so much for this. SO. MUCH.
This is one of my biggest struggles…comparing, judging, ….it’s so isolating and damaging. Mine are in public school, but I have many friends who homeschool or send theirs to private schools. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing this!
You are very welcome Callie. Blessings on this school year.
This is a HUGE struggle for me too — and I feel ridiculous stewing over it when there are zillions of legitimate issues to worry about!
Years ago, I befriended other stay-at-home moms who now mostly home school, while we send our kids to public school. I’ve been accused of not caring about my children, their education and their spiritual development (these are Evangelical Christians speaking). On the flip side, we send our kids to school, in part, so our family isn’t only surrounded by other Christian families. Sharing our faith in word and deed is of utmost importance, and I get upset that so many others choose to circle the wagons instead of putting themselves out there and getting involved in the schools.
I always say that different families do things different ways, but again and again wind up feeling shunned, disappointed and then angry. I think I need to read your article again . . . 🙂