Monday, June 15, 2009

Graduation

A week or so ago I (Daniel) attended our home school group's year-end graduation ceremony. Teachers and students alike worked very hard to construct a wonderful ceremony for family members and other guests. I am not involved very heavily with the girl's education and on this night I learned much about the nature of the community they are a part of. I was overwhelmed first by the teachers themselves. Here they are below for a group picture (there's Jennifer third from right):I'm prone to wonder aloud even when unsought and unrequested: These teachers, mostly women as you can see, work by affection alone outside of monetary relations. Certainly I could have deduced the same from the very idea of a co-op school group but sometimes being in the presence of such a truth informs in ways mere intellectual deduction won't. I don't say monetary relations can't exist along side affection but it is a pleasure to watch the product of affection alone. These teachers commit days, evenings, weekends, resources, and much love to their students without any reparation save the life of the community itself. I was awed by the cheer, grace, compassion, leadership, and innovation on display this evening.

These folks operate autonomously, independently, without subservience to corporate, monetary, or government influence or help. Their actions are courageous. Their satisfaction in success all theirs. A note of thanks to the church, another voluntary, autonomous, and self-supporting institution, for sharing their space with this school group.

Jennifer works tirelessly both at home and with the home school group to educate our daughters and the other students. She and I find ourselves a pair of teachers and I could not be prouder. She is mother, wife, manager of home-life, and seamlessly, gracefully, and yet with full distinction and commitment, teacher. Below she narrates a shadow puppet performance on graduation night.


Honored to be her husband I was humbled to be their dad. You may have seen the video. It's probably equivalent to the difference between seeing pictures of Appalachia and walking its hills. I melted as they played. I note the courage, this branch of the Kruideniers is rather shy, the discipline, the excellence of tone and heart. I relish the sheer unspeakable and incommunicable joy of being a part of these two girls' lives. They absolutely stun my tongue. Words crumble in insignificance. Proud, yes but more. Humbled, yes but more. Imagine rain drops conscious and feeling. Imagine also as they cascaded through the sky and united collecting into pools and rivulets tracing minute geography their feeling grew. The union of drops forming a union of feeling. From rivulets to streams and mighty rivers. Now imagine all that feeling dashing over a cliff and falling freely into a great deep abyss. That's how I felt whilst they played.

A picture of the shadow puppet performance. Ellen acted the part of a crane in an ancient Indian tale.

The evening was full of teachers introducing students, and students reporting what they enjoyed in their learning this year. Some other students also gave musical performances and the high school age students performed a play written by one of the members of their screen-writing group. All had a wonderful time. The girls proudly accepted their diploma for completing their year. They as well as I left educated.

4 comments:

Kathy said...

Wow Daniel - what a beautiful, beautiful treatise on my beautiful, beautiful daughter and grandchildren! And on the wonderful art of homeschooling too! I loved your reference to courage when speaking of the teachers...I've always said Jennifer is the bravest person I've ever known. You really have such a wonderful way of expressing yourself and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and words with so many of us. I am profoundly proud of Jennifer for picking such an aware and loving husband who fully participates with and loves his family.
With love, MiMi

Kallie said...

Daniel- the words you shared about your family are so beautiful. I think there are few fathers that have such feelings of adoration for their children. It is very sweet. Congratulations on another successful homeschooling year!

William Kruidenier said...

I heartily concur with your estimation of your bride's contribution to your children's education. You have indeed found "what is good" in a biblical sense (Prov 18.22). While your daytime hours are consumed with work, and therefore not part of the formal education process at home, don't forget that the whole notion of homeschool is all-inclusive education. The thousands of hours you've spent reading to the girls, the nature and camping trips, the hours spent in the garden -- those are all part of their education, too. So don't sell your contribution short. You and Jen are the two sides of the educational coin that your girls will spend one day as they bear fruit and ultimately educate their own children -- to great profit. Three cheers for homeschooling!

Anna Morrison said...

Firstly, what a hot homeschooling mom! Not hard to pick Jen out of that line up!

I love the words you used in this post, Daniel. None of them were unlike you. I agree totally with your admiration for your wife and daughters. You are a rich man.

I am enjoying learning along side your family. Homeschooling isn't so tough in the company of your family.