Friday, October 31, 2014

The Mason Circle (L'Harmas posts)

Mr. Fixit and I, having watched all the Foyle's War episodes, have turned to the somewhat-related miniseries The Bletchley Circle.  It's about a group of women, formerly wartime codebreakers at Bletchley Park, who reunite several years later and solve crimes.  During the war, they felt like they were doing something real and important; since then things have been too quiet.

Behind a front of knitting and discussing Charles Dickens, the women of the Bletchley Circle come together to use their brains.  At first it's hard to persuade them to take risks, to act. At one point even the boldest of them says that they shouldn't be pursuing a murderer; that's a job for the authorities. 
What does that have to do with Charlotte Mason email lists and Facebook groups?  With little meetups to share nature notebooks and talk about Shakespeare? And with L'Harmas, a bunch of apparently nice, middleclass moms (and a couple of dads; men aren't excluded) spending a Friday night and a Saturday at a small-town Canadian church?  Or with other similar goings-on in the United States? And maybe someday in Australia?
Francis Schaeffer said that in God's kingdom, there are no little people, just people God uses. 
We're of different ages, from different countries. Some of us are still in the trenches, actively homeschooling.  Others are older, have found post-homeschool life a bit dull and are finding ways to branch out. We want to be challenged and we also feel a need to serve, help, brighten our corners. We think learning is something to celebrate. But like the Bletchley group, more things happen when we connect and work together...and sometimes play together.  We learn from each other. We learn to take care of each other.

And sometimes we shake things up, bypass the experts. Because, as in The Bletchley Circle, if they're not going to do's up to us. We begin by taking the risk of homeschooling, then by connecting with each other, by putting thoughts on paper, speaking to groups. Some of us find ourselves taking bigger risks, doing things we hadn't planned on: homeschooling through high school. Organizing communities, opening schools. Reaching out to more parents and children, looking beyond our families.
Maybe you could call it The Mason Circle. Because we don't want life to be "ordinary" either.