Time to start writing a little more regularly. I have haphazardly been posting on my other blog www.xanga.com/macgrill but I think that I probably won't be posting there anymore since xanga has the rights to whatever you write – hence here I am.
Since my last posting we have had many life-giving experiences which I will not go into right now. The day before yesterday I opened a box marked "after G'ville" which to me meant after we left G'ville in late September which obviously did not happen. (We are on “assignment” in G’ville for now, possibly staying through May.) The box had books in it and they are treasures to us. Since hitting the road we do not own a lot of things but we do love books and when we pull them out, it feels like pulling out a little piece of home. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed reading together. Currently we are reading Brother Andrew’s “Light Force” which is about his experiences in the Middle East where he has met with Jihad and Hezbollah leaders, among others in order to dialogue with those in the Muslim world.
I opened the box and immediately came upon 3 books, one by Francis Shaeffer, one by Edith (his wife) and one by Susan (his daughter). Grace is almost finished reading The Tapestry, a book about the Shaeffer family. So we were blessed. The book I started to read is For the Children’s Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay. It was a book I had read years ago when our children were small and that book made Susan an encouraging friend. I am sure I have a copy back in MA somewhere (since we have books in about 4 different places thanks to my book keepers :-) but seeing it on the bookshelf for sale at McKay’s used bookstore for 2 dollars I bought it just to have on my shelf. I started to read it again. Mind you it is not for those faint of heart. It is meaty, right and true but it can be a challenge to those who have not changed their philosophy of education since being “a typical student” themselves. We continue to meet homeschooling moms who are burnt out on doing “school at home” and attempting to fill their children’s minds with facts instead of training them to become life long learners.
So as I started to reread this book, I thought about my most recent encounter with those who actually work in the government schools.
Santa Fe Community College, here in Gainesville offered a free workshop to any educator interested in the ACT testing available to all juniors and seniors across the country. Since, Grace will be taking the SAT’s, I thought why not check it out. I exchanged pleasantries with the woman beside me and then the woman in front of us turned around to join in. This “lady” was obviously strongly opposed to those of us that educate our children at home. As soon as I said that I educated my children at home she started raising her voice, pointing her finger at me and using “you” statements, I finally found something to help us laugh which put an end to what felt like 20 minutes but was most likely about 2. She then turned to the other gov’t. worker and started in on some shop talk, by and large a list of complaints. I found myself thanking God silently that we as a family have not had to deal with all that endless red tape. At first, I felt assaulted but soon I realized that it had nothing to with me personally. Her whole line of “shoulds” implied that I was depriving my children from all that government schools have to offer as if Dan and I do not have sole authority over the direction of our children’s education.
To many in the government schools, we are the enemy. I don’t see them as my enemy, in fact, as I sat there listening to these two women who are constantly swimming up stream, lacking creativity because the bureaucracy has tied their hands and I felt sad for them. As much as some public educators’ love children they can not and must not treat children as individual persons with different learning styles, strengths and weaknesses. They can not truly love them because they are forbidden to honor these dear precious lives.