Welcome to the Hip Homeschool Hop!
We are starting something new this week, hip friends! We will be featuring a post from a fresh blogger each week along with our popular link-up. In the spirit of getting to know one another we hope you enjoy this new addition to our hop!
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Spring probably looks different for many of you. Maybe you’ve had grass for weeks and already the flowers are blooming…maybe they never stopped. But here, the pussywillows have finally come out and the geese are flying overhead. We rejoice over melting snow and puddles that turn into lakes that create high arcing splashes when we drive through them faster than we’re supposed to.
After six or seven months of snow, we finally have springtime in Alaska. Hallelujah.
Forty-five degrees, fifty miles an hour. Whoosh. Oncoming cars whiz by on my left. I slow down for the stoplight, hit the turn signal as I pad the brake, look both ways, pause for a pedestrian, glance around for the all-clear while the light is still yellow, and turn right. It only takes a few seconds, but there is so much to be aware of.
A few years ago my oldest kids were studying pioneers, and I remember being in awe of these women who did so much that was unfamiliar to me. They traveled by wagon, gave birth by candlelight, and cooked over a fire. They made soap from ashes and a living from dirt. They were rugged, tough, and intrepid. But if they could see our multiple lanes of traffic, flashing sirens, and variable windshield wipers, they would give us some credit, too.
Where I live, we deal with mosquitoes in summer, minus-thirty degrees in winter, and moose all year round. Some people think that we must be tough. But I have to tell you that I have no idea what to do with ticks, a hurricane, or poison ivy. I’ve never dealt with a drought, I don’t know how to work an air conditioner, and everything I know about killing snakes I learned from True Grit.
So, there. You women are tough, too.
We tend to compare ourselves with others and we sell ourselves short, forgetting that our vision and giftings and interests are meant to be unique to us. We feel guilty because we don’t teach our kids A, B, and C just like the family next door does. But while the neighbors are learning A, B, and C, your kids are excelling at Q, R, and S, bilingually.
Maybe you are on the frontlines in a cause that needs you. Maybe you excel in math, are passionate about advocating for the homeless, and minister to teens while teaching your own how to milk cows and care for chickens. Or maybe you are more like me and excel in drinking coffee, are passionate about advocating for the unborn and the orphan, and teach your kids how to appreciate both Charles Dickens and irreverent Johnny Cash music.
We are not called to everything. There are standard values, yes, but the deep passions and callings are pinpointed for each of us. We are not called to fight every battle or teach our children every detail of scholarly perfection, and yet…
I can appreciate your focus on teaching ancient Roman history to your kids while mine spend most of their time on the history of Britain and America. The world needs scholars in both. I value your efforts for the children dying of AIDS in Africa, even though my own focus is currently on the adoption of children in Eastern Europe. One vision does not discount the other, because both are necessary. Our insecurities put us on the defense sometimes, when what we really should be focused on is making an impact for the Kingdom.
We forget that though we face different directions, we also have each other’s back.
It is the first rule children are taught when they are little and about to cross a road. Again, when they ride their bikes for the first time. And again, when they get that slick plastic license burning holes in their pockets, and they moved from the passenger seat to behind the wheel.
Look both ways, friends.
We need each other’s vision because we can’t see everything from where we’re at.
In the trenches of homeschooling, we are all on the frontlines in one way or another. The causes of the Kingdom are deep and wide, and while our fronts may face outward in many different directions, we are still on the same side.
But please don’t tell me how to kill a snake…I really don’t want to know.
Shannon is a happy, homeschooling, Alaskan mama of six kids, two of whom were adopted from Eastern Europe in 2012. She and her husband Vince have been married for 15 years and they love Jesus, hiking, Chinese food, sushi, and ridiculous amounts of strong coffee. Shannon reads Dickens, Austen, Lewis, and Enright (among many others) and can be found writing at Copperlight Wood.