Friday, February 1, 2013
An Old Friend and Good Memories
So this came in the mail this week and I feel like an old friend came to visit!
I have been subscribing to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine since it's beginning. I can't remember how long that's been, but I do know that I've been homeschooling my kids for 16 years and it seems that most of those years have been spent with this publication by my side!
I used to devour every page, every article, every ad, and always had dreams that I would be published here one day. (My dream did come true, which you can read about under the tab at the top of the page).
Needless to say.......I love this magazine!
However, as our technology has changed, so go the publishers and my old friend went to a digital format, which I now get on my iPad. Now, I love my little iPad, but I don't love The Old Schoolhouse Magazine tucked away in some file. I want the paper version, sitting on my desk or tucked away in my bag as we travel or on my lap while I sip a cup of coffee. In other words.....I want it in paper and I want to be able to touch it. I'm just old fashioned that way!
So this special volume they've printed for 2013 was such a joy to get in the mail, that it was my reading companion during dinner last night (I was eating alone, not ignoring my family:)
As I was reading through the pages, I kept having this feeling of nostalgia sweep over me and I realized I was missing the times when my boys were little. I have such great memories of always being with my kids at home - teaching, reading aloud, making notebooks or projects, drawing, learning the presidents by song, going to the library, going to the theater for morning productions, going on business trips with David, during the school year and so many other things that we've done together.
My oldest son Ted, who is now almost 20, happened to walk by and I asked him if he remembered the year that I wrote the Fruits of the Spirit on index cards, laminated them, and taped them up in the kitchen. I reminded him that every time I would catch him exhibiting one of the characteristics of the "Fruit", I would collect that card and by the end of the week, he would be rewarded with Fruit Roll-ups for his good behavior. He did remember and agreed that we had so much fun in those early years. (He then asked why he doesn't get "paid" for being good now, to which I just turned my head and kept reading my magazine:) I might buy him some Fruit Roll-ups this week, just for laughs!
As I continued to read, I continued to remember, and I just became overjoyed at all the good memories I have - all due to homeschooling. I know that if my kids had gone away to school all of these years, I would have special memories of family vacations, holidays and maybe weekends or evenings. But, because of homeschooling, I have hundreds of hours more to reminisce about, because we have spent countless days and hours together and it's been awesome!
Even my boys will say to me "I wish I were still little; I have so many good memories." That right there is worth every hour spent working on lesson plans, every frustrating moment of math facts, every day of wondering if I would ever have a moment to myself, or a house without Legos or a house that actually stayed clean for more than an hour.
The positives of having my kids at home, all day, every day, far outweigh the hard work that it takes and the dedication and the self-sacrifice.
Having my kids at home and educating them (and myself) has been the greatest blessing in my life.
I feel so thankful that my family and I share those memories of being together and they can never be erased. Those are the memories that I have built for my kids and I feel so blessed that those memories will stick with them, when they get older, when they walk along the way, when they tell others what their life was like.
So thank you, Old Schoolhouse, for sticking with me all these years! I appreciate all the advice, the encouragement, the suggestions, and the enrichment you've given me, so that I could pass it on to my kids.
And, thanks for helping me to remember why I have dedicated the last 16 years to walking beside my boys in this life, day in and day out.
I just can't imagine it NOT being this way!