Friday, October 2, 2009

By the seat of my pants.

We all imagine our future. Like a Sunday School felt board, we place ourselves and others in a setting and try it out for a while to see how it feels or prepare ourselves for something.

I'm doing something I never....NEVER saw myself doing.

Homeschool Co-op.

Homeschooling, like any other encompassing pursuit, has its stereotypes that are rooted in a version of reality. And like other championed causes, it will, without fail, incite much debate and passionate conversation. That said....

*whispering because someone might be listening* I am not that passionate about it. I just don't feel I have the energy. And it already requires so much energy. But I am, in a sense, stuck with it. In a fantasy life where money is no object and there is no shortage of affordable Godly education, I would not be homeschooling. But, thanks ultimately to the fall of man and a few other things, here I am, somewhat unwillingly, diving into the all consuming task of homeschooling one little girl.

But that's not the point here, just the set-up.

For 8 million of my own, personal reasons I am homeschooling - by the seat of my pants. I'm freestyling to beat box. I'm doing improv. I'm playing music to a crowd without the sheets to the song. (aren't these all the scenarios of anxiety dreams? how curious.)

The Blow Off

Weeks ago, my incredibly gifted, Type A, nothing is impossible for her, organized older sister tells me about how she and another homeschool ('hs' from now on) mom are going to help each other out co-op style (in this case it means that all these middle school-age children are together and the moms take turns teaching a subject to everyone).

Me:"Neat, how cool for you guys."

Then she tells me that if these certain other 'hs' moms, with children my daughter's age and in middle school, wanted to join up, would I be interested?

Now, because she is the oldest and there are certain stigmas attached to that role for a younger sister; and her Type A demeanor can make her seem quite fierce and unrelenting (perfectly suited to task and accomplishment, I should add), I didn't scream and run in that very moment. I didn't want to spook her. But then, days later, I saw the state requirements that I must meet and keep records toward. In that moment terror overcame me again, I promptly passed out and then when I regained consciousness I called my sister to see if her co-op thing would work for us.

*to give my sister some credit (because she might read this) she wouldn't have been spooked. She probably would have let me simmer in my juices until I realized how beneficial it was. Which I did. Through the very shallowly stuffed terror.

Present Tense

5 weeks later there are a total of 5 moms and their 9 homeschool children coming together for co-op (with the 4 bigger ones working on their own). It has been quite the show. We are all, to use my mom's phrase, 'tap dancing as fast as we can'. And while each of us are coming together with an unsure, "this is all I can do", its actually coming together. Its a little messy and a little chaotic, but it also a flexible environment with just enough control to maintain structure but not be stifling. I'm impressed with what is being pulled off.


I feel like I must be seeing a heavenly definition of order or co-operation. Its too harmonious. Too symphonic to be just another obligation. Its kinetic and active. Its leading one moment and then flowing into serving the next.

I will be using this experience to define God ordained function - how it should be. Leading a small group in an explanation of primates and then quickly switching to support someone else while they explain and execute a craft to nine 4-13 yr. olds.

My sister initiated, the rest of us co-operated and lent our strengths for our mutual benefit. It also helps that we liked each other. And I can't help but notice that as I see each of them lead according to their anointing, I'm growing to love and appreciate them more and more. To me, that sounds like a working definition of marriage. And what is marriage but a covenant. Am I seeing a working definition of what covenant relationship looks like?

I'll keep pondering that one.

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