Once upon a time, there was a nickname that applied to many homeschooling families--The Denim Brigade. Or at least, it was a nickname I've heard my mother use. While there are still Denim Brigade kind of home educators out there, I have noticed that I no longer can recognize a homeschooled kid simply by the clothes they have on...or the way they carry themselves.
When I was a kid "it takes one to know one" was pretty easy. Our clothes and demeanor told the tale for the most part. The first homeschool conference I ever went to was two years ago (shocking!) and while there I noticed something. The "uniform" no longer exists...not in the way I remember it at any rate.
I knew that some of those kids were homeschooled only because they were at the venue...they didn't look any different than the average public schooler. There was even the sibling contention and sass. Then, on the other hand, is the sea of maxis and four shirts plus a scarf. (No offense if that's your liking, I'm simply not a fan personally...partly because I'd look shorter than ever and I don't like to layer that much).
Here and there I spot kids in what I would have worn. T-shirt and skirt...or a jumper (though very few of those).
At anyrate, I'm not saying that the Denim Brigade needs to make a come back or that we were more "righteous" because we wore different kinds of clothes. It's just...it almost seems to me that there is an element of worldliness that has crept into the Christian Home Education movement. Or maybe I feel like I'm getting to be an old maid and I'm not as cute and perky and skinny and fashionable as these teenage girls in their often too clingy maxi skirts...and I'm stubborn and don't like to stretch. Then again...I'm pretty comfortable in my own skin. Who else do you know who'd go out in public like this:
Life may throw us a few curve balls in the next few years...I don't know, but that's what people keep intimating. How are the homeschoolers going to stand up to it? Are we going to knuckle under, weak and fearful? Or are we going to square our shoulders and press forward, trusting in our awesome, amazing, sovereign King come what may? None of life's curve balls are outside HIS control--each one is ordained for us. Praise Him that it is so! If it weren't I'd be so scared that I couldn't function. There is a great sense of peace in knowing that the Lord does all things for His glory and the good of His people (Rom. 8:28).
In conclusion then, my jumper isn't a status symbol. It's not worn to shame those wearing skinny jeans. It's not worn to make me feel like I live in the last century. It's worn because I like it, it's comfortable and practical. It doesn't make me more holy. It doesn't even mean that I believe that God is sovereign more than other people do. This really isn't about clothes, but the hearts of the next generations coming to age behind me and around me...and a longing to raise a generation who understand that clothes aren't the issue...but their hearts. Their love for God. Their obedience to the heavenly Father. Clothes don't make the man (or woman). Godly character does. We have no lasting identity outside of Christ our King. No...not even we "homeschoolers". We're just people and as "just people" we have an equal responsibility as any other person to bow our hearts before the Creator King.
I will cease now. May the Lord seize the hearts of the next generation of home educated children!!