God planned for children to be born into families composed of people of different ages. Since God made us that way, it must be okay that children spend time with people who are different ages than they are. When we were homeschooling, our children spent time with younger children, with elderly folks, and with peers. Here are a few examples:
- Our older daughter was able to be with little children when she volunteered at a church’s mother’s day out program.
- Our younger daughter volunteered in the second grade classroom of a friend who was a teacher.
- All of our children taught church Bible classes for kids.
- When our church’s senior citizens went on a day trip to a tourist site, Ray and I went along sometimes and took our kids.
- For one school year, the children and I went to the home of an elderly man in our congregation on Wednesday afternoons, and he showed us slides he had taken on his many trips to places around the world. What an amazing educational experience!
We found that the best way for our children to be with peers was when our family spent time with other families. Being with people of varying ages is how the rest of life is after the school years anyway. Why not start learning to be with a variety of ages from the start?
When members of our family went to the Tennessee Maneuvers Remembered festival on Saturday, our group included people ages 70, 69, 39, 11, 9, 6, 4, and almost 2. The adults participating in the festival were a variety of ages, too, as you can see.
Red Cross Worker and Sergeant
A Member of the Press
Ray was particularly interested in the display of items from the war’s European theater, since that is where his dad served. The following four pictures show items in that booth. I didn’t know exactly what everything was, but notice the instant coffee. I do have a coffee story from Granddaddy Wes. In the first days after his unit arrived in Normandy, France, on June 7, 1944, they didn’t have much to eat. Officers explained that shipments of ammunition were much more important than food, so the ammunition would have to come first with rations coming later. Ray’s dad and his companions survived on food captured from the Germans. Their meals consisted of pickled pig feet and green coffee.
Display of Items from the European Theater
Books from the European Theater
Notice A Prayer Book for Soldiers and Sailors. I am sure that this title was a comfort to many. It must have been frightening to receive If You Should Be CAPTURED These Are Your Rights. Notice the French Language Guide. Ray’s dad received a pamphlet explaining the differences between British and American English.
I was happy to see the blue paperback entitled Useless Cowboy. I am not familiar with this particular title, but I have listened to When Books Went to War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II, which tells the story of this type of book. Military personnel were desperate for reading materials. Nazis banned and destroyed books, but American librarians collected donations of books to send to soldiers. Later, American publishers began to print small, pocket-sized editions that soldiers could carry easily. They greatly enjoyed these pocket-sized editions and passed them from soldier to soldier. It was exciting to see an example of those books.
In the next photo, Ray chats with a gentleman who was helping in the European theater booth. The man’s father was also in the European theater, so he and Ray enjoyed swapping stories about their dads.
The man explained that he wasn’t a collector himself but that his son was and that he was there to help him. This is a good way for this father and son to spend time together. A special bond comes from family members of different generations sharing tasks. Last night our nine-year-old grandson and I worked together on the mural that I began painting behind our church building last year. It felt good to work on the project again and especially good to do it alongside our grandson.
I am grateful for what homeschooling taught me about appreciating the generations of my past and training the generations coming after me.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly
beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
to all generations forever and ever. Amen.