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No. 2

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by MaryAnn Gaver
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Mary Ann Gaver
Mary Ann Gaver

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)

Thriving families, churches, and homeschools all seem to have one thing in common—unity. Unity involves working as a team with one purpose and having a strong sense of cooperation, appreciation, and harmony. As we aim to operate as a team in homeschooling, let’s consider a few key attributes of good teamwork by visiting a community baseball field to observe one of our favorite teams in action.

Picture a gorgeous spring day in Maryland. It’s a warm afternoon, and since the field is only a few blocks away, I suggest walking. Along the neighborhood streets, we’ll pass pink-blossomed cherry trees and beautiful green lawns. There’s a gentle May breeze and a ton of pollen in the air, but other than that, a great day for baseball!

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Sitting on the old wooden benches that serve as bleachers for the local fans (moms, dads, siblings, and an occasional neighbor meandering to the field after getting off work), everyone waits for the moment that the commanding umpire yells, “Play ball!”

Watching the action on the baseball diamond, we’ll see a few basic yet effective ways that unity is promoted and apply some of these principles to homeschooling.

They show up for the team—on time, ready to play at maximum effort. The guys warm up, run a moderately paced lap around the field (as one group), and then pray together.

They encourage one another. There are no disparaging remarks. The players are positive and encouraging, or quiet. Even if someone makes a mistake, they don’t emphasize it, realizing that everyone occasionally strikes out, drops the ball, doesn’t make the tag, or doesn’t exactly slide into home plate like a pro. The coach handles any corrections that need to be made.

They give credit to someone else for their success. The pitcher gives credit to the tight defense backing him up, the first baseman gives credit to a quick shortstop giving him a well-thrown ball, and so on. They don’t take glory for themselves.

They provide backup to each other. When a ball is hit, say to the infield, the outfielder strategically positions himself to back up his teammate, who’s poised and ready to make the catch.

As we teach our children, let’s remember to truly work as a team, cultivating that key component: unity. Oh, and just in case you’re wondering about that particular game last May—we won!

About the author

MaryAnn Gaver and her husband, Jay, have been homeschooling their twin sons for 11 years.

Share Your Tips

This column is designed to feature teaching tips, encouragement, and advice from homeschooling parents.

One of the great things about homeschooling is the opportunity to expose our children to beautiful music. Not only is music a joy to listen to, but it’s a nonverbal language that can enrich our school program in wonderful ways. How do you use music to enhance your homeschool and life? We’d love to hear your ideas! Send us your story in 150 words or less. Submissions may be edited for space. Mail submissions to:

Mail submissions to:

Attn.: Parent to Parent, HSLDA
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134

Or email us (include “Parent to Parent” in the subject line) at ComDept@hslda.org

Please include your name and address. Submission deadline is July 31, 2012.