Monday, April 02, 2007

WOW! Here is someone who really understands Homeschool Moms!

Home School Mothers: the Beatrice Brigade

John Mark ReynoldsEducation, Politics03.29.2007
Hilary Clinton is running for President and using her gender to raise money at every turn.
Recently, Geraldine Ferraro was brought back from the Land of Misfit Political Candidates to raise money for Hilary (!) by reminding us all that she was the first woman to run on a major party slate . . . if the Mondale candidacy sweeping its way through D.C. and Minnesota counts as major.
Hilary (!) is earnest as a tooth ache and determined to show all those smug boys from the fifties that she can win. She probably cannot, but it is depressing to watch her try. You have to pity Hilary (!) married to Bill and trying to look like she doesn’t mind . . . any of it. She wants to be a feminist icon, but if she gets some power in exchange for standing by her man she will be a story as old as Cleopatra.
When the women in the news are Anna Nicole Smith and Hilary (!) a traditional Christian can feel glum about the state of our culture. Both women have been exploited and both have tried to turn that exploitation to their own advantage. Both were obviously unhappy and now one is gone too soon . . . and the other has lonely eyes in a face with a jaw that seems hinged to pour forth platitudes like some sad muppet forced to repeat lines written by a handler.
Whenever I feel very bad, I make sure to speak to home school mothers. These women represent something new. They are not feminists, a phrase they most often reject with scorn. Most live in very traditional households where the husband is the head of the family. However, they are certainly not Donna Reed door mats waiting at home in pearls and high heels for their lord and master to arrive home. They are very strong and fiercely opinionated. They are incredibly well read, devouring more books a year, than most U.C. students read in four years. Book a talk with Plato scholar to hear about big ideas and they show up.
So what are they? They remind me most of the strong women of my great-grandmother’s generation in West Virginia, who could run a farm, fix the roof, write hymns for the church, and who had never heard of bulimia. They did not worry about their body image, because they were secure in the love of their strong men, none of whom would have been allowed a metrosexual makeover if they had wanted it. Those strong women could never have burned a bra, because they never bothered trying to wear pin up girl underwear. Ask those women what they thought and you heard more than you wanted to hear. I knew a few of these women, the last of the old pioneer stock, but only when they were old and tired.
The home school mothers of California are not old. Sometimes their brutal schedules may make them tired, but they are up for more in the morning. When I talk to them I quickly realize, they care more about idea than rhetoric. These women solve problems every day. They educated their children in highly creative ways, inventing curriculum, programs, and social events out of nothing but their talent. They are neither dowdy nor fashion conscience. Their dress is most often sensible, but feminine. They innovate, but within the bounds of tradition. What are they? God bless us, they are ladies, a group many thought had gone extinct around the time of the sinking of Titanic.
In one sense, their lives are a bloodless martyrdom. The media mostly forgets them except for the occasional condescending piece in the Times. They fit no stereotypes, being too numerous and too interesting, so they are ignored. They sacrifice for the well fare of their children.
Talents that could vitalize a corporate board room are turned to teaching children to read. Their children, of course, take such sacrifice for granted. Their mothers make it safe for them to be blissfully unaware of their blessings. So these strong women sacrifice everything our culture deems important. They have no resume inflating career. Yet they give new life and meaning to all the Victorian platitudes lodged, because they are true, in the back of all our minds. “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”
These are kitchen table Socrates. They don’t trust the government schools that spend billions to produce cookie cutter children. These women use cookie cutters on cookies not children. Like Socrates, they despise uniformity in education and people who teach for money and not love of students . There children are producing reems of stories, hours of music, original plays, and a whole new civilization. If our boys are overseas defending the West, these women are home renewing it.
Home school mothers are the heart of a traditionalist revolution that is driving life back into the homes. To these women, and the men blessed to be married to them, homes are no longer assets or places to share a microwave dinner at the end of an exhausting day of separation. Spreading like some beneficial virus, men and women are returning basic educational, economic, and social functions to home where they have always belonged.
A great poet was brought to see God through the example of one godly woman. Dante had his Beatrice and it was enough. It is harder for men in our materialistic age, so God has raised up thousands of such women. It is time to take a good hard look at what these heroes without epic poets are doing in quiet. I put very little trust in princes, whether elected or not. Rather, if the oldest stories are true the fate of the Republic rests more with these home school mothers.
There are now millions of these strong, independent, God fearing women in the United States. They ask nothing of government, but to be left alone.
These women are not impressed with stardom and glamor, many do not even own televisions. Their men work long hours in their own, often not very glamorous, businesses so that their wives can save the West. The men they admire get things done with decency and honor. They are often quiet men, but as sound as the state credit used to be. Their wives chose them for their virtues, not their muscles. Home school mothers are fiercely liberated and proudly traditional.
Seeing God in Beatrice allowed Dante to find his way back from darkness. Seeing God in these home school mothers could show any man the way back to decency and honor. I know, because I am married to a home school mother and she fires my imagination, gives me hope, and is educating the future of our line.
Mayhaps the West is in for difficult days . . . I could be wrong and Hilary (!) might win, but I would still bet the children of the Beatrice Brigade will prevail in the end. The sacrifice of such matrons cannot be for nothing . . . and there is more real life in one of their questions than I have ever heard in a Hilary (!) listening tour.
Take heart gentleman. They are out there, our Beatrice Brigade, doing the work of civilizing the next generation of culture warriors. My wife, I realized one day, was to me the Fairest Flower in all of Christendom . . . and so she is and so every Beatrice is to the one who sees her well. The land, every corner of it, are filled with such gentle souls . . fair flowers of Christ’s kingdom doing God’s work for God’s pay.
Thank you.
(Modified from an earlier piece.)

14 comments:

jennifer said...

An excellent post! More women should reclaim their homes, their lives and their God given roles. Our country would be so much better off!

Jackie said...

My favorite line is: "They ask nothing of government, but to be left alone."
So true. Leave me alone about schooling, socialization, vaccinations, birthing, etc. Let me do my job, and mind your own business! :p
Excellent article!

Jungle Mom said...

Makes me proud to be one! We are important and we are ding God's work.Thanks for sharing.

Ashley said...

"The land, every corner of it, are filled with such gentle souls . . fair flowers of Christ’s kingdom doing God’s work for God’s pay."

I love this quote! Women are supposed to be "fair flowers" of Christ! Yet, so many times they try to be Bossy Brutes and don't even seem like what God created a woman to be! I'm so glad they're still God fearing, lovely, strong Christian women for me to look up to and model after in my life!

Abouna said...

I have the utmost respect for all homeschool moms. If more moms were able to home school their children, or even form homeschool groups so that they can take turns homeschooling the neighborhood children, then just maybe there would be fewer messed up children in the world today.

I raised four of the greatest adopted boys by my self and I had often wished that I could have homeschooled them, but for a selfish reason, I would have loved to have been able to spend more time with them. I do thank God that they all turned out great.

Shortly before I was ordained as an Orthodox priest, I left the monastery to marry (which we Orthodox are allowed to do) after which my wife and I adopted four boys, three from Vietnam and one from Laos. I then returned on weekends to the monastery to finish up my studies and was then ordained. A few years later, due to my wife's addiction to drugs and alcohol (which I did not know at the time we married), I was forced to seek a Church annulment and a civil divorce. I was granted custody of the boys and raised them myself and if I were able to, I would adopt another 10 just like them, except my age and health will not allow it. However, being a grandfather to seven grandchildren more than makes up for it.

My sons are doing what I couldn't, they are all homeschooling their kids. They won't have it any other way.

Pat said...

Several faves:
"They innovate, but within the bounds of tradition. What are they? God bless us, they are ladies, a group many thought had gone extinct around the time of the sinking of Titanic."


"The media mostly forgets them except for the occasional condescending piece in the Times. They fit no stereotypes, being too numerous and too interesting, so they are ignored. They sacrifice for the well fare of their children."

"They don’t trust the government schools that spend billions to produce cookie cutter children. These women use cookie cutters on cookies not children"

"Home school mothers are the heart of a traditionalist revolution that is driving life back into the homes."

AND JACKIE's FAVE:
"The land, every corner of it, are filled with such gentle souls . . fair flowers of Christ’s kingdom doing God’s work for God’s pay."


N O O N E loves my children more than me nor desires that they succeed in life with character and a dogged determination to serve the Lord, their God!! Thus, the challenge is simple, it is mine to be the highest called---their Mother and their teacher!!



THANKS FOR THIs POST PAM!!

Tiany said...

Amen, wonderful Article!! I loved a handful of quotes! :-) A nice shot of inspiration and encouragement! :-) Thanks for sharing!

Kitty said...

I loved this post SOOOO much!! I would LOVE to homeschool my children. I can't because their dad won't allow it. WHY are some people so opposed to a mother wanting to be WITH her children, instead of sending them out for the biggest part of the day? Even if you ignored all the other benefits of homeschooling and focused only on the quality of the academics, it seems obvious that a mother could spend so much more time focusing on each of HER individual children, than a teacher could spend on 30 strangers. I help in the kids' classrooms, and there is SO MUCH idle time while the teacher is working with one group of kids. Oh, this is such a sensitive topic for me, I could go on and on and this would become a terrible rant. All I can do is PRAY that somehow, my older four children's dad will have a change of heart and let me teach them at home. I keep telling myself that God will make it possible if it is HIS will!!!

Just Theresa said...

I'm,,, I'm speechless?!

Thanks for that post. I hope you don't mind me e-mailing this to all my homeschool friends.

Thanks again.

CONNIE'S THOUGHTS FROM THE HEART said...

Pam, that was a great post. It is a testimony to home schooling Mothers everywhere and they all need the encouragement. They do such a wonderful job. I am so proud of them. connie from Texas

Yekwana Man said...

Awesome Blog Sister-in-law!!!

I love the cookie cutter line. Of all the nieces and nephews that are home schooled I can say that each is truly unique. their limits are the sky before them. And I am the proud husband of a miracle working homeschool Mom!!!!

Mishel said...

Woohoo! After reading this I am proud to be a homeschool mom and even more thankful to the Lord for allowing me the blessing of staying home to care for my family. Thanks for an excellent post!!

(Oh...and you had asked on my blog if I had ever heard of Fortuna. Yes, I have and we have relatives in Eureka.)

luvvom said...

Public schools just are not working educationally or for truth learning. It seems that public school is being used only for indoctrinating our children with the evils of this world. I thank God that there are families who are not putting up with these schools and are teaching their own children!

Abouna said...

As far as Hillary being used or exploited by Bubba, I don't feel the least bit sorry for her, because she has done her fair share of using and abusing people her whole life.

All these people that fawn all over her and her husband and proclaim how intelligent they are is sickening. There is nothing intelligent about either one of them. The only thing they know is how to con people.

I have nothing against a woman president, but there are plenty of more deserving women who should be considered.

I know that if Little Ms. "It takes the Village Idiot to raise Children" had her way, she will jump at the chance to outlaw homeschooling. She know that the more parents who opt to homeschool their kids, it is that many less kids that the government has control over.