Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Fellowship

When I started out homeschooling, I was part of a Classical Conversations community (CC).  Matty was in first grade.  I thought he was so big.  Molly was in the nursery or in my arms.  We were so small.  We still are, really, but then again...a lot has changed.  The first year I was just a mom, a participant with babe in arms and child in class.  By the second term I was weary and losing the vision for why I wanted to educate classically in the first place.  Matty still wasn't reading well, and a public educator evaluated him and told me that he was "behind."  Fast forward to the second year, and I became a tutor--i.e. I was coaching a class on the memory work each week, following through with limited success with my second-grader cum genius who was still struggling with basics.  I ended the year weary and doubtful that the classical model was really worth it.  I took a year off.  It was the best decision I could have made.  We relaxed.  We did experiments, math problems, a little Spanish, grammar, writing, history, lap books...we read tons of books!  I read a LOT of Susan Wise Bauer's Books.  We read Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham.  It was the best year yet.  But we were a little lonely.  Okay, we were really lonely and feeling rather disconnected.  And then I remembered CC.

Today I finished the second day of a three-day CC parent practicum. I'm seeing a host of folks from the old campus, being greeted with "We've missed you" and "I heard you guys are coming back!" and "Wow!  she's grown and changed so much!" and I'm breathing a sigh of relief.  I realize that I can't do this alone, and I wasn't meant to.  I need fellowship, and with that comes the accountability to be excellent in this mission...CC will provide this.  But there is something beyond fellowship that I need that is difficult to articulate.  The vision of CC is "To know God and to make him known."  Nearly everyone connected with that community is committed to the vision of knowing God's truth and training their children in that truth.  I want and need to be connected to people like that.  It is worth the price that we pay for "tuition."

Best Friends
But as fellowship takes different forms for different individuals, the conclusion is the same.  Tonight, husband and I sat on the steps within earshot of our daughter's bedroom, eavesdropping.  Two happy voices from within talked and giggled as they played a game that they invented themselves.  It involved capturing "sili-bands" from each other and had elaborate rules about how to toss a band onto the other's piles, and whichever it landed on was captured.  Whomever had the most at the end won.  There were "enchanted bands" that got extra turns, and other rules I don't know about, but they were so involved, and so happy.  Tonight when we said prayers and asked what they were thankful for, Matty said, "For getting to fellowship with my sister tonight."  Amen.  He had been with other kids all day in camp, raved about how great the camp was and the new friends he'd made, but the thing he chose to speak thanks about was his fellowship with his sister.  No mom or dad could wish for better...

Fellowship with other believers fills us, refreshes us, makes us smile, and sometimes even weep.  It keeps us connected to like-minded others.  It comes from regular contact with relationships that we intentionally feed.  Fellowship keeps us grounded in what is real and what is true.  I need to be connected to others who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  My son's connection with his sister is one that is borne out of of a relationship of constant contact, deliberate nurturing, and intentional discipline.  It keeps him connected to the truth of family.  Fellowship is a thing that cannot be neglected, and must be chosen wisely.


  1. Wondering if we were at the same practicum...I signed up my two for camps, and they were great. Really great. Glad you are ready for a great school year. :)

    Angie in VA

  2. well, if you were there in Bristow the last three days, and it's the last practicum in VA this season...then yes, most likely we were. My kids LOVED the camps. they were sad that today was the last day. i feel inspired and refreshed.

  3. Yep! We were there. My dd was in the debate camp and my ds was in the public speaking camp. If you have a dd named Shayna (sp?) my ds is still talking about her. :)(All good, of course.)

    I tell you, that was money WELL SPENT. My dd learned a TON. Ds had a blast, but I fear he played more than he worked.

    At the next practicum, I'll look for you!

    Angie in VA

  4. Actually, no...i don't have a daughter named Shana, but my friend does, and she was in the public speaking camp! She is quite a dynamic young lady, and her mom is a good friend of mine. I'll pass the word along to her. My kids were in Geo draw (my son is 8, turns 9 next week) and my dd is only 5, so she was in play camp. Both of them LOVED it.

  5. What a small world, that I'd happen to read your blog and we'd attend the same practicum and you know the girl my ds talks about, still, everyday. He was one of the redheads in the class.

    Ah, GeoDraw. My dd still remembers what she learned in a CC practicum back in '05! (Leigh Bortins gave the talks for parents - wonderful!) I heard some of what they did in GeoDraw last week and it was great.

    I keep saying this, and I hope someone heeds it: CC does *NOT* have to offer those practica! But they do! And my family and I (and many, many others) are richly blessed because they do!

    Nice to "meet" you this way. Please do pass on my son's hello to Shana. :) His name is Matthew.

    Angie in VA


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