Friday, April 04, 2008

On Being Anglican Or Why I’m Thinking Seriously about Home schooling Again Or Why This Blog is Called ‘Undercurrent of Hostility’

It’s that time of year: Time to figure out what on earth to do this year with the kiddos to educate them and bring a swift end to their barbaric and ignorant ways.

E, all this year, has been in a wonderful and nice Baptist school in a small class with an excellent teacher (you like all my superlatives? Too tired to leave them out). But, well, it’s a super long bus ride for her every day. And she’s gaining that assured Baptist feel to her. In other words, she’s getting all the great Baptist theology with none of the sensibility. And yesterday she came home over tired and weepy from missing us (and, to be frank, she’s anxious about us loosing the house and the church. Being an obsessive little creature, even though we don’t really talk about it and its not playing a role in our daily lives, she’s chewing on this possibility like a dog with a bone).

Meanwhile, for A, we’ve been considering a very wonderful Catholic school with a lovely preschool teacher and a nice bright room and lots of structure. There he would get none of the theology we like and all of the sensibility.

So we’re applying everywhere and praying hard and doing every kind of research. And I’ve been thinking quietly to myself about Why I’m Anglican, that small sub-slice of Christianity.

Because truly and honestly, I couldn’t possibly be Catholic, or Baptist. For all the beauty of the Catholic Church and all the things it Does Right, I think it is fundamentally and inescapably wrong on the Matter of Salvation and the Work of Jesus. The cry of the Reformation is in my bones. On the other hand, the bare plain assured approach to the Word and “Sacraments” (the approach being that there are none) in the Baptist Church leaves me hallow and hungry.

In boarding school, rotten rebel that I was, I refused to carry my Bible to church, even though it was required, and instead carried my prayer book (which looked sort of like a Bible, though suspect) and read the 39 articles during the sermon. And when I had to write, in Bible Class, an essay on what comprises a church, I was seriously marked down for naming my church after a saint, instead of after the Bible or First Street, or whatever. Meanwhile my mom and dad would visit every few months and fuel the fire of my small hostility, bolstering my resolve in Being Anglican against all odds. It was the sweetest and most satisfying rebellion I could have undertaken.

But then I came back to America and discovered a church hollowed out and empty. All kinds of sensibility, love for the hymns, all the identity of being “Anglican”, but there was nothing no substance, no theology, no Bible, no belief.

So I have found myself, without meaning to, in opposition to various Institutions—my boarding school, the Episcopal Church—ok so only two. But I am now, more than ever, in deep opposition to the idea of my children not knowing Jesus. And I don’t want to send them to any place that will make it difficult for them to know God, a place that will put up stumbling blocks to their salvation. So I’m circling back to the idea of keeping them home and teaching them Latin.

But for today we continue to watch and pray and rejoice with those who are rejoicing.


Kerry - A Ten O'Clock Scholar said...

From one Anglican homeschooler to another Anglican contemplating homeschooling - come on in, the water is FINE! :)

Check out "Home Education Week" on Principled Discovery ( )- lots of good encouragement. But I'm not biased or anything.

ottorinophc said...

well, good shepherd could always start its own school :-)

that'd bring justin and katy back, too!

Geri said...

Are you really in danger of losing both your home and church. Somehow I had the idea that the change in jurisdictions was going to be a "friendly" one. Has that changed?

Geri said...

Sorry I missed the question mark at the end of the first sentence. That's what happens when I don't take the time to proof something.

Jill C. said...

Anne, if you take it one day at a time and try it for just a year you might be pleasantly surprised. But you have twice as many kiddos as I did so I probably have no room to talk. I'm sure you've given it lots of prayer and thought and read everything you could find on home education and all the various options and methods, so . . . go with your gut and do what's best for your family.

Anonymous said...

Sigh, I do miss Binghamton. (At least the people anyway. And Wegmans). This is kind of off topic, but I just wanted to say Good Luck with the Iron Shepherd! I wish I could be there to see you win!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. It accurately described my dilemma about churches. I too am an Anglican even though I attend an Episcopal church because Anglicanism is the fully rich "middle way" between Roman Catholicism and Calvinism. The tragedy in the Episcopal Church is that it has lost its way, is no longer Anglican, and therefore this "middle way" is no longer a viable choice for many in the US. I fear our children will have to choose between RC and the various other denominations in order to be Christian.

Liz Forman said...


We are going back to homeschooling next year....for two reasons: 1. A Christian based environment and 2. Classical education...inclduing Latin. I encourage you to read Susan Wise Bauer's THE WELL TRAINED MIND or visit her website .

I never thought I could homeschool ...but I did, and quite well, too! We didn't start until 4th grade and I cannot tell you how much I wish we had started earlier...

At A Hen's Pace said...

Not to disagree with the previous commenter, but just to give another perspective...

I personally feel that homeschooling grows more important as kids age. If you're overwhelmed by the thought now, while you have so many little ones, and you have good options to delegate their early education to until you're ready to take the plunge--then don't do it until you're ready. I am shocked and amazed sometimes at how little my kids remember from our first few years of homeschooling! (when I had the most energy and passion for it.)

Now I'm thinking that in order to go the distance, so to speak, it might not be such a bad idea to let my two younger ones go to school for the first few years, when it's so fun and they love it (and it's not so interesting to me)--and pull them out later when they grow tired of it, around 3rd or 4th grade.

(Don't hold me to that, though! So much depends on what our educational options are once we move.)

Just the thoughts of a pro-homeschooling but TIRED mom...