But there was also a group a children playing nearby, children of the audience members. The children weren't so interested in the man's songs. The children weren't so interested in the woman's songs. The children were tired after a long day and just wanted to play and have fun and be a little noisy, as children often want to do.
"Shhhh!" said an audience member, "We can't hear the singing!"
"Hush!" said another, "You need to be quiet!"
"Be quiet!" said another, "And sit still!"One by one, the audience members, some of them parents of the noisy children, tried to quiet the children. They shushed them. They frowned at them. A few whispered to others nearby, "If those were MY kids, I'd punish them and make them be quiet."
"Those children should behave!" whispered another.
Nothing the audience members did quieted the children, who, rather than growing quiet, grew increasingly loud instead.
But before things got out of hand, before audience members had time to dream up too many punishments, before the man's songs and the woman's songs were drowned out entirely, something magical happened.
The singing man beckoned to the children. "Come forth," he said, "I need help with this song."
The children went forth. They didn't go quietly, and they didn't sit quietly, but they went. They clambered onto the stage and gathered at the singing man's feet and they waited to see what he wanted.
"Let's sing a song," said the singing man. And he began to sing.
And so they sang. They sang loudly, they sang quietly, but all of them sang quite enthusiastically, with arms swinging and feet tapping and mouths open as wide as mouths could open.
And the audience sat back and listened to their beautiful music.
Pat Montgomery, homeschool advocate, founder of Clonlara, and one of my heroes, once said, "All you can really do for your children is model."
Today's unschooling question: Will you be the audience or will you be the singer?