“Yeah, Diane couldn’t have done it without Sally’s help.” Duane slurped a little hot tea. “I’m thankful to both of you for helping us get started in home schooling. The kids finished earlier than they would have in public school, and we can already see the difference in how they behave.”
“That’s wonderful,” Sam said. “We found home schooling our children to be a rewarding experience in many ways.” He turned to me. “John here is finished with home schooling, too, now that his son graduated a few days ago.”
“Sorry I missed the ceremony,” Duane said. “You know how busy things are this time of year. One of Diane’s distant cousins got married.”
“No problem,” I said.
“So, what does it feel like to be finished?” asked Duane. “We’re just starting our adventure. What’s down the road?”
Sam put down his fork with deliberation. “Not only is home schooling a fulfilling experience for parents, but there are benefits in the reactions of others as well. A good example is the reaction of the commencement speaker at last weekend’s home school graduation ceremony for our local home schoolers. He’s a retired Marine Lieutenant Colonel who speaks to public school groups often. He was truly impressed by the group of home school graduates after seeing their exhibit tables in the hall and brief biographies in the printed program.”
“He came back to my son’s table because he said he was drawn to it for some reason,” I said. “We don’t know what he saw in particular, but it was an honor to have gotten his attention.”
Duane’s brows went up. “You want the attention of a career military guy?”
“That’s not the point,” Sam said. “You never know who’s going to take notice. The Lieutenant Colonel said in his address that he sees a lot that’s missing from public school students, and he saw things he thought were right in the group of home schoolers. He expressed the wish to see more of that kind of character and achievement.” Sam sipped his coffee and went on. “This demonstrates a Scriptural principle. Proverbs 18:16 says, ‘A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.’”
“So, eventually our kids may get noticed in a favorable light by important people?” asked Duane.
“Very possibly. And this may be beneficial for their very survival as well.” Sam said.
Duane grinned. “I was wondering if you might bring survival into the discussion somehow.”
“Think of what employers are looking for,” Sam began. “They want people who are faithful and diligent, among other things, and if someone has a particular talent or skill, that’s so much the better. One of the young ladies in the home school group of graduates bakes and sells bread. She’s certainly making a way for herself.”
“No kidding,” Duane said. “I’d buy some homemade bread in a heartbeat.”
Sam continued. “There are accounts throughout history of how an individual’s skill has saved the life of that individual or those around him. Perhaps you’ve heard of prisoners in concentration camp settings who performed plays. It helped them keep their sanity in a tough survival situation among their adversaries. The Lieutenant Colonel who spoke at the graduation referred to the unique skill of the Navajo code talkers who broke Japanese code in World War II. They proved their usefulness in a difficult situation. Who else could have done what they did?”
Duane put down his glass of orange juice. “Yeah, I’ve heard of them.”
“Having a specific skill or vocation, or developing one, could be a key to survival,” Sam said. “I was speaking with someone the other day about the job market and changes that have taken place in our country over the past couple of decades. We agreed that, even as jobs are lost in many sectors, young people with good character may be able to find jobs at supermarkets or pharmacies. Wages may not be the best, but consumers always need groceries and medications.”
“Doesn’t sound very glamorous,” Duane said, “but I guess we’re talking about survival in tough times, not getting rich.”
“One of the home school grads is becoming an emergency medical tech, so he’s finding a place for himself, too,” I said. “I hope others in the audience at the home school graduation might be inspired to consider home schooling. It’s not too late to make preparations for next school year.”
“Diane wants to do some educational activities over the summer so the kids don’t go stale or lose interest.”
“Good idea,” Sam said.