We Owe Her So Much

“Noooooooo!” was the cry you would have heard from me last night if you had been anywhere in the proximity of my house. My husband and I were enjoying our new pergola space when word came down that Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away. What a horrible announcement to hear at the end of a discouraging week!

Those who are far more eloquent than I am are waxing poetic about the life and times of the great lady affectionately referred to as RBG. Although small in stature she is a larger than life figure for women across the nation. She and the influence she wielded, will be sorely missed. I propose that she is the perfect role model for all of us who are homeschooling today.

Some of you may feel that since we are not out in the work force breaking glass ceilings, RBG is not for us. You may also disagree with some of her political stance, and therefore be tempted to dismiss her.

Please don’t!

RBG is for all of us, for women and men alike. Her groundbreaking career as a devoted wife and mother, lawyer, and finally Supreme Court Justice is an uplifting story that everyone can benefit from. If you want to learn a snippet of her talent listen to Radio Lab’s repost of the podcast from More Perfect called “Sex Appeal.” (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/radiolab/id152249110?i=1000428283259) It will be worth your while, I promise. There is so much to glean from this great woman’s life.

I think RBG offers us an example of striving for excellence. This is something that homeschooling women need to keep in the front of our minds each day. What we are doing is making sure that we pass on a basic body of knowledge so that down the road our kids will be prepared, so that they will have choices.

We cannot ever think that what we are doing is unimportant or trivial. Each lesson, every day builds upon the next until we have laid a fine foundation for our children to construct a life on. This is serious business.

I have heard countless homeschool mothers talking about how the academics aren’t as important as ( you fill in the blank here: their belief in God, their athletic endeavors, their character development).

This is simply not the truth. The single most important thing we do each day as educators is to get through that school work. (It is a given for me that I keep God as my number one priority, this is expected behavior as a follower of Christ. This in no way diminishes my responsibility to ensure my children’s academic success.)

This is not sexy work. It is mind numbing at times to teach and reteach simple concepts. It is hard work to keep our students on task, and engaged. The everyday business of homeschooling is frustrating and can seem endless. There is no monetary reward for what we are doing, we just know it is the right thing for now.

When we are overwhelmed it helps to think of Ruth, how she went to Harvard Law School while caring for both her young daughter and her husband who suffered from cancer early in their marriage. She made it through some incredibly trying times, ( and lived to do something productive afterwards) we can too.

I am grateful for her example of strength but also that she plainly showed us that we women can really do anything, that we are up to the task at hand. This is the message that I want to pass on to my daughters.

My oldest two daughters, Emily and Katie are teachers in our local public school system. They are fighting each day for equality for their students. They strive faithfully to impart their knowledge. They join committees, make phone calls and protest when necessary to garner support for those they serve. All of this is exhausting work, yet they toil on, with low pay, because they know it is the right thing to do. Message imparted!

My daughter Betsy is still in college. I encourage her, every chance I get, to dream big, believe in herself and to make her way. She is becoming a very talented writer who is able to defend herself and others through the power of the printed word. The pen really is mightier than the sword! I am pleased to see her self sufficiency and academic success. Message imparted!

Kris is still at home with me for this last year. I am a particularly demanding teacher of 8th grade students. I feel like it is my duty to prepare her well for the rigors of high school. Our curriculum is strenuous and challenging. It takes a great deal of effort on her part to get through all of the work, and on my part to make sure she does it to the best of her ability.

I want her to be confident in her abilities in the classroom, so that she can transition easily to high school next year. I want her to pursue her interests and follow her own path. It all started long ago with learning her letters and numbers. Here we are at the culmination of our time at home, pushing foreword and polishing the edges. Hopefully the message will be imparted. She can be anything she chooses to be.

In paying tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and all of the progress that she made in her lifetime, we as homeschooling women should be encouraged in the day to day work we are engaged in. Nothing is more important than the work entrusted to us. We are up for the task, qualified to pass on this body of knowledge.

Cheers to RBG and her many and varied accomplishments and cheers to all of the homeschooling women out there striving to do what’s best for your family. To RBG and all Homeschooling Women, I salute you!

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