Trust The Children

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Reinforcements Are Coming!

Have you ever watched the movie "Gettysburg"? On a whirlwind trip of 9000+ miles in 27 days, we found ourselves traveling north from Washington DC, into Pennsylvania toward Gettysburg. We had purchased the VHS tapes of this movie and were watching it in the motorhome as we were driving. (Actually I was doing the driving and watching it in my mind as the kids watched it on the two TV's we had in the motor home) A scene I have watched over and over again is about day one.

The Union Calvary has advanced to the town of Gettysburg. The main body of the Union army is too far behind them. In the meantime the Confederate armies are also converging there and must be stopped. The army that arrives first obtains the "high ground" giving them strategic superiority over the battlefield. Union Brigadier General John Buford risks deploying his meager force of 2000+ mounted calvary along two major roads, in an attempt to lure 9000+ confederate soldiers into battle. If they fall for the trap, it would divert them from the primary objective of gaining the high ground. It is a calculated risk made by Buford that if he can create enough confusion and rile up the Confederates they will chase his troops back through the city. If the Union Army shows up soon enough, they have the chance to get to the high ground, for the battle advantage. Buford has no way of knowing how soon they will arrive, so the risk is great. It may be an effort that is all for naught.

As the battle ensues, in the movie, Buford positions himself on the high tower of a church in Gettysburg. On one side of the tower, he observes the battle, then moving to the other side of the tower he searches frantically with his binoculars for the Union Army Reinforcements who are still not in sight. At one point when the battle is turning very very badly for the Union and the overwhelming forces of the Confederate armies are chasing his forces as they retreat, he sees the first column of the Union Army coming online. It means that reinforcements have arrived and that the Union can immediately position themselves on Big and Little Round Top, and other high places with complete command of the main battlefield. This left the Confederates only one good option and that was to try and flank the Union forces, since a move up the middle would now be very difficult if not impossible. And the rest, is as they say, "is history". The Union won the battle of Gettysburg.

I remember as we drove into Gettysburg proper and I played out in my mind, the battle that had just played on the TV.Tears ran down my cheeks in empathy for Buford and his calvary. Brave men, risking everything, with impossible odds, hoping to buy enough time for reinforcements to come. They did come. The Union won the Battle of Gettysburg because of the courage of a few.

The home schooling battle is in many ways not as dire as this battle was. Yet often the months of January and February can feel as bleak as war for home schooling parents. Sometimes we need a "pick-me-up". A reminder of why we do this. Well, we got a pick-me-up" today. Our oldest daughter, the Fulbright Scholar, who is finishing her second masters at the University of Chicago, felt the need to blog about her experience as a home schooled child which led to her experience as "not a home schooled child" which then led to her returning to finish her "High School experience" as a home school child again. Her written memories of that time, reflect the learning curve we were going through as parents in the home school process.

I am so grateful that Allison on her own, finally landed home where the high ground is, instead of in the system where for some kids, the battle is often much like "Picketts Charge" on day three at Gettysburg, a disaster.

Here is the link, take a look for yourself. Public School teachers often encourage one another when their job gets bleak. This is our attempt to encourage you. Enjoy!

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