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Basic Skills

Tip of the Week: Give Up Your Big Ambitions? Pause and Reflect.

My wife and I are native Californians. As young adults and new Christians, we grew up in Orange County, a densely-populated part of the state filled with mega churches and a continuous stream of end-time teachings and rapture frenzy. We wanted to re-locate. We wanted to find a simpler and slower pace of life.

We chose Oregon.

Our first home in Oregon, situated in a town of 5,000, was bordered by a creek. I subscribed to Mother Earth News, bought books on hydroponic gardening, bee keeping, edible wild plants. We got raw milk from a neighbor and dried fresh fruits we picked from local farms. We ground our own flour and purified our well water with a filtration system. We cut, split and heated our home with own wood. We eventually added goats, chickens, ducks and an assortment of dogs and cats. We were living our dream. But, slowly and after time, it seemed to slip away.

Some of this for me was pure romanticism. I’m not a builder, and I don’t have the patience to weed and keep pests out of a garden.  I’m also afraid of bees, so I’m content to buy my honey at the local market. I no longer drink raw milk after an episode of salmonella poisoning.  Sierra Springs has replaced our water filtration system, and the wood we use to heat our home is dropped off each spring, split and ready to go. The animals are all gone except for one aging, disobedient dog.

Recently I came across a video, The Wooden House Project, that was posted on a website, northman.com (clickable link: http://northmen.com/en/about-us/who-where-and-why).  This short video documenting the building of home from start to finish in forested Latvia is stunning to watch. While it could ignite or reignite a desire to “get ourselves back to the garden” as the classic Crosby Stills and Nash Woodstock tune puts it, it could also make a parent wonder if maybe they’ve missed something along the way of raising children.

Is the pursuit of our goals driving us too fast? Have we lost control? Can we/should we slow it down? Are the big things in our life crowding out the little things?  Do our children, when they think about home schooling, think of a never-ending assignment checklist that’s “new every morning?”

Once this school year is over and you can relax, find some time to think things over. What do you want your home school to look like next year? Or, maybe you won’t home school next year. Maybe you want to go a different direction with your family. Maybe it’s time to change things up.

Pause and reflect. That’s the tip of the week!

Curt Bumcrot, MRE

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