Someone, somewhere had to keep the home fires burning when the men went off to kill some meat for the proverbial table or fight invaders to protect the clan. Someone, somewhere had to keep the faith alive and the books of learning preserved when barbarians came and destroyed much of the known civilization. Someone, somewhere has to pass along the basic information of how to grow food, cook a meal, keep a home, and what we believe from generations past…and I am becoming more and more convinced that in today’s world it is homeschooling families who have taken on that mighty task.
Everywhere I go I see kids interacting more with little boxes than with other people, much less with the natural environment in which they live, and even much, much less with the supernatural world which exists all around us. The closest most kids get to supernatural reality is really supernatural fantasy…and that’s not very real at all.
But when I visit homeschooling family homes I often find things very different from the average homestead. First, I find a lot of people…kids, parents, friends, other relatives…all working and playing, talking and laughing together….often cooking or building something. Second, I find shelves and shelves, stacks and stacks of books…real honest to goodness books…books that have actually been read! Third, I find art work of religious beauty…paintings, statues, hand-drawn pictures, embroidery, pottery, words carved in wood and stone which inspire and encourage. I find pianos and violins, guitars and flutes and people who know how to make beautiful music…people who like to sing and can sing very well! Amazing. Fourth, I find gardens…flower gardens, vegetable gardens and fruit trees…and even the bees to pollinate those trees. I am finding more and more homeschooling families are raising bees because they care a great deal about our natural world and they aren’t overly worried about a sting or two. They also have a tendency to have a plethora of stray cats, dogs, rabbits, geese or what ever critter has come their way and made a home. Of course some critters are living there on more strictly utilitarian motives…but these families tend to know the difference between animals and humans and that can be quite helpful in a society which has become sadly confused at times. Fifth, I am encountering a quiet steadfast joy in these families and homes. That is not to say that these people don’t work hard, that they don’t get tired and that they don’t have problems. But rather that they seem to have held on to the solutions to those problems…which is something in the creative spirit of the human soul…our connection to the God who made us in His image.
I congratulate the flame keepers of this generation. You are alive…you are living a fullness of life many today may never have had the pleasure of experiencing. May you keep your flame bright and may your joy live on long after you….