The Semi-Annual Peace at co-op Letter

I can mail this out again after I’ve apologized to most of the co-op and regained some cred. This year’s first day of co-op was trying. We are adding a board now, a co-ordinator is not enough. (That means it’s too big for just me now.)

Dear co-op,

Even though we are all self confessed Christians, hurtful things can happen at Co-op, for instance; our children might embarrass us, another parent might be impatient with our child, or a child might tease our kids a bit too much…

Here are 5 things we can do to be gracious and prepared:

  1. Pray for our co-operative effort.
  2. If someone bothers you in co-op, either forgive them without mentioning it, or obey

    Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you…

    If we discuss our problems with other people (other than for coaching on how to deal with them), or if we don’t speak to our friend about it, we are disobeying the Lord. (YIKES!)

  3. Prepare your kids to mind another adult…but no brainless
    obedience, we don’t want to put them in that situation. I
    mean something like this,

    “Respect and obey your teacher; unless
    they tell you to do something wrong, (which probably won’t happen) or you have some important information that they don’t know; in that case appeal to them tactfully.”

    You may need to practice what “appealing tactfully,” sounds like with them!Why do we need to tell our kids this? It may not be obvious to
    them. I once asked a young homeschooled teen to explain to me
    why some of his acquaintances at a function would not stand in
    line and wait for my attention, no matter how often I told them too, especially as they were usually so docile. His response was, “Oh, We have to obey you too? I bet they thought it was optional.” Why was I not going to the kids directly? I forgot about Matthew 18 and I was hopping mad. But back to my point, how many other homeschooled kids truly don’t know
    that non-parental adults must also be respected? I wouldn’t
    obey a usurper either! So, lets alert our own kids that a co-op
    adult is not out of line to give them instruction, and warn them that disobedience will have repercussions.

    Summarizing point 3, let’s make things easier on each other by
    prepping our own kids to be respectful and co-operative. Help
    them to practice appealing to authority winsomely. If another co-op parent or hired teacher lets you know that your child did misbehave, make sure appropriate consequences occur, aside from a
    reprimand here and there, we will NOT be disciplining each other’s children. But since we are all on the campus, parents can discipline their own quickly.

  4. Insist that any child under your supervision at co-op treats
    the other children respectfully. (If they don’t, let their parent know.)
  5. Let other parents know what your expectations are of their
    children while you are supervising them, so that we put up a
    united front.

Will these 5 guidelines work? Well, no, that would be legalism. James tells us where fights and quarrels come from, besides miscommunication, early lunch, missed nap time, Friday-itis, growth spurts, and maybe even refined sugar! It’s our job to faithfully lay out the rules, enforce consequences, teach our kids that they are sinners in need of a savior, and pray for them. All these problems are opportunities to glorify our Lord by our obedience to him in trouble…and if we are all on the same page, there may not be much trouble in the first place!

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