With Hat in Hand

Here’s another old idiom. Do you know it? It means to go before someone in humility, removing your hat out of deference to the superior position of the other. You might go into the bank hoping to borrow money from the banker with “hat in hand”. Or you would most certainly go before the King with “hat in hand”.

Homeschooling often finds us “with hat in hand” as we ask for help from others. Sometimes we’re asking for wisdom from those who’ve gone before us on this remarkable homeschooling journey. But other times we’re asking for practical, hands-on assistance from people around us. It’s one of the best ways I know to bring your homeschool classroom to Life.

It’s great to find an older war veteran and honor them “with hat in hand” and ask if they’d be willing to talk with your children about their experience in the war. World War II vets are now all now in their 80’s or 90’s. If you’re fortunate enough to know one, NOW is the time to talk with them. You won’t have many years left. Korean war vets are in their 70’s now and Vietnam war vets are in their late 50’s to late 60’s. Perhaps it’s an uncle, a great-grandfather, an older man at church or an elderly neighbor. Go “with hat in hand” and ask them to help you in your homeschool venture.

But that’s just 1 of 1000 ideas. Who else do you know that can bring Life to your homeschool this year? A farmer (if you’re in the city?) Or a city businessman (if you live on a farm!) A rancher, welder, auto mechanic, wildlife manager or disc jockey; a retired science teacher, postman, restaurant owner, policeman, veterinarian, firefighter or pilot. The list is endless of people who can help bring your homeschool to Life. Most are DELIGHTED to be asked- if you go with “hat in hand” and honor them for what they know and all they’ve accomplished in their life. A little humility goes a long ways when asking for a favor! Make a list of people to ask for help during the upcoming school year.

Talk with your children about the phrase “hat in hand”. Since we no longer routinely wear hats (and remove them when a lady or someone else of importance enters the room), ask them what are other ways we express humility when approaching others. Perhaps they’ll think of saying “please” or looking down, of bowing as is the custom in Asia, or of standing up when a lady or someone older than us enters the room.

Follow this link and have fun making a Dr. Seuss “Cat in the Hat” hat for a craft project today: http://bit.ly/4gyNtI

Now have fun play-acting ways of honoring one another and showing respect by taking your “hat in hand” when entering the room, by rising from our seat when others enter the room, by bowing slightly, etc.

Look over these verses about showing honor to others and walking in humility and talk with your children about them…

Isaiah 60:14

Proverbs 11:2

Proverbs 22:4

Philippians 2:3

1 Peter 5:5

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sheri said,

    Love this. We talk about respect so often and I doubt I have ever mentioned the old phrase “With hat in hand”. They know about rising when someone enters the room (if only due to my love the Jane Austen movies). As always Steve, thanks for sharing and offering advice.

    Sheri (With hat in hand)

  2. 2

    Debbie said,

    Wow, Steve, great advice. It reminds me of the time we were in McDonalds and this old guy that was sitting by us starting talking to us. He was a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge! The kids were in awe! So were the parents!


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