As we creep upon the beginning of a new school year, my mind wanders back over many years to the 1930’s and 40’s. Mother would take me and my two sisters to the J.C. Penny yardage store where we would choose pretty yardage, lace, rick rack, buttons, and ribbons for our new school dresses. She would sew all summer but wait until the last week to hem them so we would not wear them as she wanted them to be new for the beginning of the school year.
So, what is on your mind today as you plan for your child to begin a new year? What must we teach that will help them to make a difference in this world beyond their clothes and ribbons in their hair?
The education system as well as homes lives have changed considerably since I was a student, a teacher, and an administrator. I am almost 90.
There are children in Christian schools, charter schools, home schools and public schools. Curriculum, discipline, and expectations have changed. We must prepare tomorrow’s leaders to impact our community and the world. May we infuse in our children knowledge, understanding and the love of God through a study of the word of god and his creation.
As parents, we have the primary responsibility for our child’s education. Deuteronomy 6:5 and 7 tells us a close home school relationship is vital. Proverbs 2 and 3 (NIV) gives great direction for making wise children. God prioritized the order of instruction as follows:
I have five grandchildren and five great grands. Their ages range from 44 to 2. I have watched them grow up in all types of schools. Some are still in preschool while others have received their masters.
My 65 year old son, my oldest two grands, 44 and 42, and my 29 year old grandson spent time with me over the past two weeks. I listened as they conversed. Three of them are in leadership positions. Three of them have children. They remembered and shared some wrong decisions they made. They discussed, at length, strengths and weaknesses in those with whom they work.
It was informative for me and a joy as one asked me to make his favorite dish, chow down chowder, of which I made when he came to visit as a young boy. He is now 43. Remember, you are making memories.
I will share just a few things I remember from my childhood.
Attentiveness and participation…my parents met with my six siblings for dinner where we were usually asked a question by my dad and were required to listen as each of us shared.
During World War 2, one question we were asked was “what did you do for the war effort? We varied in ages. I had a brother 6 years older and a sister 13 years younger.
My dad had several phrases he used over and over. “You must get along” was one of them. When the six of us were in our 70’s and 80’s, we would laugh and tell stories of our experiences. One evening my sister and I were to do the dishes. We were arguing about who will wash and who will dry the dishes. My dad came in and heard us. He said, “obviously you girls have extra time on your hands.” When you finish the dishes, Fran you go iron 17 pairs of khaki pants. Joyce, you will wash all the woodwork in our house which was four bedrooms.
I was taught honesty in a way I will never forget. During the depression, I stole a mickey mouse watch from another first grader. After a lengthy discussion, my dad took me across town in the dead of winter at night, and I was told to ask forgiveness and apologize. I was so embarrassed and cried. My dad said, “I will be with you” and kept his arm around me as I spoke to the entire family. He said “I will buy you a watch when I can afford it. Eight years later, when I graduated from the eighth grade, he gave me a beautiful Bulova watch. I still have that watch, and I have told the story to many children, parents, and teachers.
When the six of us were in our 80’s, we met for reunions and shared many of our learning experiences.
We learned many different character traits. Some of these I will list with a scripture:
Forgiveness COL. 3:13
Honesty 2 COR 8:21
Obedience 1 SAM 15:22
Patriotism ROM 13
Respectfulness 1 PET. 2:17
Responsibility ROM. 14:12
Reverence PS. 89.7
Thriftiness PS. 112-5
Work ECCLES 9:10
Continue to be present to lead your children, and they will remember it. Another school year is an opportunity to make memories in the midst of the daily work.