The letter “E” was a tough one this week. I was having such trouble coming up with something. Oddly, I had the song “Elegance” from Hello Dolly going through my head over and over: “We got elegance/If you ain’t got elegance/You can never ever carry it off.”
Aside from the grammatical errors, the song really made me think. If you are familiar with the film, you know that the characters of Cornelius and Barnaby are pretending to be successful, wealthy men in order to impress girls. Without money, it is difficult, so they convince the girls that doing less expensive things is what all the elegant people do. In a way, they are asking the girls to accept them for who they are.
I remember how much I wanted to fit in when I was in middle school and early high school. Three things stick out in my mind as status symbols: a Forenza sweater, a Swatch watch, and stirrup pants. Eventually–probably after they were almost out of fashion–I wore those things. I had a green sweater, purple and teal plaid pants, and a paisley watch with black “lace” overlay. Considering the frightening combination of those items, I hardly think I qualified as elegant. Or fashionable.
Unfortunately, the youth of today have new requirements to fit in. Besides trying to look like everyone else, a child can be asked to do dangerous or unethical tasks in order to be liked. The beauty of homeschooling is that there can be considerably less pressure to fit in. There is no dressing to impress, no bullying, nor bathroom rendezvous in a homeschool classroom. The student can concentrate more on his studies without such things to worry about.
With a variety of options available to them, homeschooling is the perfect system for teaching children to accept themselves. Parents can adjust the curriculum to their needs and abilities. In the sixth grade, I had a teacher who seated us according to grade average. A homeschooled child will never feel that kind of blow to their self-esteem. She will never feel embarrassed in front of classroom of peers. The whole experience will teach the children that they are important. And that is elegant.