Division. With the right perspective it can bring good or it can bring evil. My first encounter with division was math. If Molly has an apple and Jill has no apple, what do you do? The answer was always to divide it into two. A win for Molly and for Jill. Unless of course, Molly doesn’t want to share.
As a mom, I learned another side of division. Division was not for sharing; it was for excluding.
Natural childbirth moms vs. Caesarean Birth moms
Breastfeeding moms vs. bottle-feeding moms
Vaccination moms vs. Non-Vaccination moms
Stay-at-home moms vs. Work-at-home moms
After navigating the stormy seas of early motherhood I figured my life would be easier once we moved into those early preschool years. After all, we should be maturing at this point right?
Preschool vs. No Preschool
Organized play vs. free-style play
Gymboree vs. Garanimals
It was maddening. I stubbornly stomped my foot in defiance of the silliness. Ignoring the heart whispers that said what *I thought* was the right way, they were simply wrong. We began the journey into elementary school. I thought the mommy wars were over.
Modesty vs. Non-modesty
Rich vs. Poor
Soccer vs. Ballet
Zip code vs. Zip code
It was not just about being a mom. It was about who I was. Where I lived. What I used my resources for. I was sad as moms were excluded simply because they were on the wrong side of the freeway. Because they dressed differently. Talked differently. Parented differently. I felt so alone when I wouldn’t go along with the game.
Then we became homeschoolers.
If you want to find division, talk about education. Everyone is passionate about what is BEST for children in regards to education. ESPECIALLY in homeschooling. For every choice a homeschool mom faces, there’s someone telling her what choice she SHOULD make…must make. It’s maddening. Heartbreaking. Repulsive. Especially, when you find it in your own heart.
Christian vs. Secular
Public School vs. Home School
Classical vs. Unschool
Testing vs. No Testing
Latin vs. English
And on and on and on it goes.
I know what it feels like. Me. The outsider. Who has tried for four years to find a faith-based homeschool group that doesn’t require me to sign a statement of faith. I’m joining a co-op, not a church for Pete’s sake! But there it is. You either sign that you believe EXACTLY as we believe, or you are not welcome. Sadly, the two largest groups that enforce this, state they are followers of Jesus.
I question myself. Do I hold this standard? Do I refuse to associate with others different from me? It’s hard to look into one’s soul when you don’t want to see the answers.
With one simple online interaction I face what I know. Yes, I divide. I divide between who is and who is not a homeschooler. Based upon a legal definition. I am wrong.
The reality is that humans are by nature, homeschoolers. Homeschooling is not about location, learning style or curriculum. Homeschooling is embracing life, growing and learning. Book work just happens to occur at home.
If your learning is guided by a parent, guardian or yourself, you are a homeschooler.
At the heart of the matter, I no longer want to participate in behavior that divides me from another person, simply because my child learns differently. Divides because you go to a different church than I or don’t go at all. Divides because your family looks different than mine. Divides because there is no money in your budget for curriculum and there is in mine. No more. I’m crossing the line of division.
Virtual school mommas…Secular mommas…Lesbian mommas…Single mommas…Faith mommas…if you’re a momma and your child schools or unschools at home…you are a homeschool momma. That feels like a much higher, better standard than the one above.
Just my two cents worth today.