02 December 2013

the right kind of sheltered

We all like to laugh about "sheltered homeschoolers," and homeschoolers probably laugh hardest. Nothing beats a little self-deprecation.

Though a child of the nineties, I never heard "Hit Me Baby One More Time" before my freshman year in college. And I still can't differentiate between 'N Sync and The Backstreet Boys. Truly a homeschooled innocent par excellence (or maybe not: I could pick Luke Skywalker out of a police lineup).

Sure, my cultural ignorance set me up for teasing. But it was worth it. I don't regret "missing out" on the slop served up by Seventeen. More time to read Shakespeare! Not that he's so squeaky clean himself . . . codpieces, anyone?

Emmie and Her Child, Mary Cassatt
Now, although my daughter is only eight months, I spend a lot of time thinking about what she hears and sees. I wonder what I will try to protect her from. And remembering my own experience, well, I don't care if she knows who is topping the charts or if she is "ignorant" about the antics of her generation's starlets.

That kind of sheltering's fine by me.

I do want Ellie to know, though, about the truly important things in the world. We sponsor three children through Covenant Mercies, and I want her to understand why they need help. She needs to realize that many people in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Zambia go hungry. They don't get education or medicine, and they may never hear the Good News.

We will do our best to protect Ellie from experiencing the filth floating around her. Shield her from reality, though? From knowing that the filth exists? No. Creation groans as it waits for deliverance. We won't pretend otherwise. We will hold her hand and introduce life to her slowly, but ultimately we want Ellie to grow up into a woman. Not a girl, but a woman, who can face the dark world without being thrown-- one who has a backbone and a solid anchor in Christ.


  1. Your post essentially answers a question that someone left on my blog about homeschooling and cultural literacy. I like your point that the "sheltered homeschooler" who is involved with the real world (and not the pop world) is the child who is truly in touch with reality and truly ready to help others.

  2. I love this!!!! Yes.

  3. Exactly. I definitely agree with the opinion that "sheltered" does not mean "ignorant", but "protected until ready to face the world on their own". And that readiness is exactly what you described; holding their hands and showing them reality.