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Learning to work is one of the many lessons we learn from our parents. Both my parents worked hard. Mother took in sewing at home. She was working when I got up and often worked until 9 or 10 at night. Daddy worked at his daddy’s grocery store ten hours on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, eleven hours on Friday, and thirteen hours on Saturday. Since the stores in our small town closed on Wednesday afternoons, he got off after just five hours that day. In the 1950s and 1960s, the store was closed on Sunday, of course, so Sundays and Wednesdays were our times to worship, visit, and play.

Since Mother worked at home, I could sit in the scratchy black swivel chair a few feet from her sewing machine and talk to her about anything–and I did. Because only a parking lot separated our yard from Daddy Leland’s store, I could talk to Daddy anytime, too. However, I not only got to talk to my parents, I watched them work.

In addition to her many individual customers, Mother hemmed pants and altered suits for a local men’s clothing store. I saw Mother receive pay from her individual customers during the week, and each Saturday night, she, Steve, and I walked to Reeks’ so she could “collect.” That’s what she always called getting her weekly pay. I learned a valuable lesson–paychecks are one of the rewards of hard work.

Mother also taught me that the paycheck was not the most important thing about a job. I remember her verbalizing that she could have made more money in a factory, but that she wanted to be at home with Steve and me.

Parents provide their children with essential playtime; they are also the ones who teach them about work. The first lesson is what they see in our example. As you “sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7), you are teaching your children about work.

As we celebrate this Labor Day, we live in a world where many people wait for the government to give them money that other people have worked to earn. Teaching the value of work as we parent and as we homeschool is one more way that homeschooling parents are making a difference in the world. Good job!

She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
Proverbs 31:13, NASB

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One comment

  1. Amen! I’m so thankful I learned a great work ethic from my mother and my grandparents. I’m especially grateful for my job that allows me to work from home all but a few hours a week, so that I can have the flexibility to homeschool my children while still earning a living. God is good!

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