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Challenge: Back to School 2020


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Today our homeschool efforts had us piecing together a foam puzzle of the United States.

We sat piecing together the jagged edges just long enough for me to anxiously question my middle school geography memorization skills. With each new piece my daughter would ask, “which world is this, mama? And what about this yellow one, what world is this?”

I couldn’t help but think about the almost formulaic rigidity to that question. Frankly, our world is divided, especially now, into lots of different worlds. It doesn’t seem to agree on anything.

And though we are all living within the same pandemic, no two experiences are the same. No two states are the same. No two cities are the same. No two homes are the same.

Yet, I watched as she marveled at the different shapes and sizes of each state. “What’s this world like? What does it have there?”

And as we continued to connect the pieces together, she studied them more. We started to point to various places we wanted to visit, building adventurous plans for days to come.

I began to see her eyes widen as we neared the puzzles completion.

“They are all connected! We did it!”

And as I stared at the completed puzzle and the proud smile on her face, I couldn’t help but think of how those differences were what made this puzzle complete. The unique state lines that divide them, also connect the states together. The varying colors and terrains that make each state their own also make this country the beautiful collective land that it is; a land that we marvel at and want to explore more of.

The different people that inhabit this world—individuals who together have the power to celebrate differences, show kindness, be adventurous and make this world a truly beautiful place.


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