I’m thrilled to be guest blogging at Hip Homeschool Moms. I have a confession though, which I probably should have divulged from the get-go. I’m not very hip. Truth be told I’m more crunchy than hip; I live in an old farmhouse, garden organically, and read so much I see bi-focals in my future. To be totally, brutally honest with you, I’m just a plain old, mostly happily married, middle age housewife who is developing wrinkles faster than the speed of sound, with more than the average number of kids in my care, living in a house full of books and ideas, homeschooling, and working out my faith with fear and trembling. Some days I tremble a lot.
We didn’t get to this place easily, except for the wrinkles. We had great plans of fame and acclaim but the more we sought after Righteousness, the more His plan wooed us, despite our own dreams. Homeschooling seemed to be part of God’s master plan for the life of our family. It has shaped and defined us as individuals and as a family more than we could have asked or imagined.
At this point I’ve homeschooled long enough to realize that I am raising a tribe of idiot savants. They are brilliant in some areas and challenged in others. These people that I’m raising just won’t fit into any neat category. They are hip some days, crunchy others and plain nerd or red-neck in-between. I vacillate between thinking that if my kids were in public school they would all be in the gifted program… that, or Special Ed.
We also know our kids and the system well enough to know that if they’d have been in an institutional setting they would have been categorized. One of our kids would have been the teacher’s pet and slacked academically, one would have been in the LD program because of a processing disorder, the teacher’s would have begged us to drug our gifted child who can’t sit still and our know it all, impulse control-challenged little Dash would have irritated the beejeebeez out of any teacher trying to maintain control in a group setting.
By homeschooling we’ve sheltered our kids from, among other things, labels. They don’t understand themselves as gifted or disabled, they don’t call themselves popular or jock or loser, nerd or red-neck. They know themselves as our kids, each others siblings, the legacy of their tribe, and most importantly, as children of the One True Living God. They have had enough freedom and privacy to know that He is real and knows them by name. There are competing voices, sure, but it’s not an hours on end constant cacophony of electronics and people and position. Often times, during their day, it’s them and their family, and Him. They have enough time and room to hear what He is calling them to do; such as homework, chores or being gentle to a sibling. They have enough time in the day to hear what He is calling them to be: a child of the Maser of the Universe.
We often hear comments that our kids seem “younger” and “older” than their peers. I wonder if it’s not because they are not jaded. They’ve never been kissed, trashed or inked. They seem young, perhaps because they are innocent in the ways of the world, and old because they are mature, in comparison, in who they are in Christ. They haven’t done labels, and as a result, they are difficult to label. In writing this I am not saying that they are perfect and other-than-homeschoolers are evil. I’m just making an observation.Over the years of being home and homeschooling I’ve changed, too. I’ve gotten more free from the labels and constraints I grew up with and assumed were normal; to be and do what He is calling me to rather than what the world demands. It’s less and more at the same time; more freedom, less constraints; more walking in trust, less knowing what I control; more trembling.
Walking in faith, homeschooling, they are both uncharted paths. There’s often no sign-post, no map, no post-card that says, “go here, find the treasure, spend wisely.” It’s the discipline of daily seeking after a new way, trembling in the face of perfectly normal challenges. It is being all that we were; hip, crunchy, nerd, jock, slacker… whatever, and being defined as more.
Lisa and her intrepid husband have homeschooled their 5 offspring for over 2 decades. Lisa is passionate about Jesus, her family, and the power of education. She writes about it all at her blog, Golden Grasses, is a contributor to the Homeschool Village and Heart of the Matter on-line, as well as other publications. She fills her days with teaching, writing, reading, gardening, re-building her house and drinking copious amounts of coffee in the far north while secretly dreaming of life on a tropical island. You can also find her on Twitter @laughinglioness and Facebook at Lisa Nehring.