We just spent the day doing what is, and has been for the past ten years, the highlight of our week. What, you might ask, would that be? After all, you are a homeschooling family. Did you wear your fancy P.J.s and have school on the good placemats at the kitchen table? NO! We spent our afternoon with our PAJCH family. “What is a PAJCH?” you say. Well, according to my children it is the best group of friends anyone could ever ask for. However, according to the legal documents, it is the Putnam and Jackson County Homeschoolers, INC. It is not just a “homeschool group”. It has become so, so much more. (note the usage of the word FAMILY)
You may be where I was many years ago on this whole “homeschool group” debate. You may be of the mindset that homeschooling is just that, schooling AT HOME. You see, it took a very good friend to help me realize that I DID need to be a part of a homechool group.
By nature, I am anti-social, so being at home ALONE with my children played a huge role in the decission making process to leave the teaching profession and focus on family. I was just as content as could be to stay at home the first few years of our homeschooling journey. I guess if I had a theme song at that time it would have been, “I Shall Not Be Moved.” Against my better judgement, I decided to “sacrifice my comfort” because obviously, my friend really needed this socialization. Boy, did I have a lot to learn!
We need each other!
“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm;
But how can one be warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Eccles. 4:9-12
This truly conveys the value of a friend. In PAJCH, we work together, play together, laugh together, and cry together. My children and I have made friends that are closer than a brother or sister. We meet once a week to recharge our batteries with people who really get “who” we are because they ARE “who” we are. The strength of that threefold cord is comforting and reassuring on many fronts.
We Help each other!
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:2
Sometimes, we just need help. If we isolate ourselves, this help isn’t always readily available. I have been amazed at the diversity of gifts that are available to be drawn upon in our group. Where I am weak, someone else is strong, and vice versa. I never have to live in fear of not reaching my homeschooling goals because I have friends at arm’s reach that can meet my needs and help me overcome my shortcomings. We also see this willingness to assist and aid among the children. The older children mentor and teach the younger children, and the younger children have role models that they adore. Now, that is my idea of no child left behind!
We Love Each Other!
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
In PAJCH, you never have to wonder about how we feel about one another. It is evident very quickly, we LOVE one another. My father in law compares the relationships to his days in the one room schoolhouse. We are more than assosiates. We are family, and families love one another.
I guess by now you have realized who was the better friend. (hint: It WASN’T me!) My friend could see what I could not see at the time. We need to be surrounded by people who love us and are always willing to help. Am I blessed, or what? Surround yourself with these kind of people. I can promise you, you WILL NOT be sorry!