Recently I had the blessing of a little extra time in our weekly science cooperative. Since the co-op meets at our house, I was also blessed with the added benefit of early preparation. One by one the children arrived, and one by one we began to talk about being thankful. As our conversation drifted to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I could see the children’s eyes glancing around my living room. They were wondering about the abundance of household goods piled on the couch and on the floor, but being the sweet kiddos they are, they didn’t dare ask why my living room was so messy. Our exercise in thankfulness was about to take them on a journey–a journey that would open their eyes to the things that are truly valuable. Now . . . hold that thought.
Many, many years ago a humble group of people set out on a similar journey. A journey to a new way of life that would result in true thankfulness. A journey of excitement in the anticipation of a new and wonderful world where they were free. The reality was 66 days of living in confined quarters full of grumbling passengers, hunger, and sickness. Although they still wanted the blessing of freedom, the journey to get there wasn’t exactly what they had expected.
When I asked my co-op kids to think about the things they could not live without, to my delight they replied, “Family, God, air, water, food, and friends.” I then instructed them to select items from around the living room and to pretend to set sail on the Mayflower, adding that they would need to fit their personal belongings, including their family, in a five-foot-by-five-foot square, just like the Pilgrims did. In small groups they each set up their temporary “home.” It was interesting to see the things they found important for their journey–what they found value in for their new life. I can only imagine the thought each Pilgrim family put into selecting the things they took with them, knowing that they would have such tiny living quarters and such large needs upon reaching their destination.
Every year in Texas new families embark on a journey called “home education.” Along the way there are “life” storms, sickness, a lack of confidence, and fear of what lies beyond the horizon. They look to their neighbors for assurance that the decision they made was a good one, and they hope that someone will walk with them toward their goal. There are calm, productive days when the excitement of success far outweighs the challenges. As a support group leader, it is always interesting to discover what families see value in: a field trip, a graduation ceremony, a volunteer opportunity, or perhaps a game of basketball. The needs vary, but the goal is the same: success. We are all in this journey together.
Our Mayflower is each and every support group, co-op, sports organization, and virtual group. It’s every Classical Conversations community and every basketball or football team. I am so thankful for the support group leaders who help their members stay the course. In our journey, the support group leaders are the captains and crews, and their member families are the humble group of people setting out on a wonderful, exciting adventure to a new land–a place where families are free.
It is our goal at THSC to serve and work with the various home school support organizations throughout Texas so that together we can help and encourage the home schooling community in our great state. Our goal is twofold: to help individual families connect to groups in their area and to assist support groups and support group leaders so that together we will see the home schooling community in Texas thrive. Encourage your members to join today!
There is an entire section devoted to support groups on our website. Please visit these pages and see what we have to offer. From these pages you can access the THSC Leaders’ Guide and update the contact information for your support group.
Please send an email to Kay Orr, our Leader Liaison, if you have any questions.
How can we help you on your journey?