406 | Reflections of an Honorable Man: Things My Parents Taught Me (Janice Campbell)
Which life lessons matter most? Join me to learn from my late father-in-law memories of things his parents taught him. You'll leave encouraged, knowing that the most important things you can give to your children are not things.
Janice Campbell, a lifelong reader and writer, loves to introduce students to great books and beautiful writing. She holds an English degree from Mary Baldwin College, and is the graduated homeschool mom of four sons. You’ll find more about reading, writing, planning, and education from a Charlotte Mason/Classical perspective at her websites, EverydayEducation.com, Excellence-in-Literature.com, and DoingWhatMatters.com.
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Janice Campbell Hello and welcome to The Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Janice Campbell and I'm one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Each week we bring you an encouraging conversation from this busy and blessed journey of educating our children at home. While the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions, we don't pretend to have all the answers to all the homeschooling questions. It is our hope that this podcast will point you to Jesus Christ that you may seek his counsel as you train your children in the way they should go. Parents, here's a riddle for you: Homeschoolers love them, enemies of freedom hate them. What are they? It's the Tuttle Twin books. With millions of copies sold, the Tuttle Twins series helps you teach your children about entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, the Golden Rule, and so much more. Get a discounted set of books with free workbooks today at TuttleTwins.com/homeschool. And now on today's show.
Hi, once again I’m Janice Cambell and because I’m recording this at the end of the year I’m looking back at the events of this very busy year. Like most years, it brought a mixed assortment of happenings — some were happy and quite a few were sad. It seemed as though we attended more memorial services this year than in the previous five years put together.
The most meaningful memorial for us was the service for my dear father-in-law, Garland Campbell. He was one of the most good and honorable men I have ever known, and I’m grateful for his presence in my life. After his passing, my husband found among his possessions two handwritten pages entitled “Things I Learned from My Parents.” Before I share those simple reflections, let me tell you a bit about his life.
Garland was born in 1934 on a small farm with no indoor plumbing. It was located in the hills of Virginia, and he remembered riding with his father in a wagon, taking corn and grain to be milled. He also remembers hunting, trapping, and fishing with his brother for food and furs — things that were hard to come by back in the hills. And also courting a pretty redhead named Lottie Mae who became his wife of 68 years.
It wasn’t an easy life — three of his siblings died as children — but he was able to graduate from high school and began a career at the DMV that lasted nearly five decades. Garland loved music, and spent many happy hours playing the guitar and harmonica and singing gospel songs with family and friends. At church, he enjoyed sharing stories from the Old Testament, with very simple applications.
Stability, faithfulness, and generosity marked his life and influenced those around him. Since Garland’s passing, we’ve heard countless stories about his life — from friends, neighbors, and coworkers — and the inevitable result has been thinking about the kinds of stories we hope our children will one day hear about us. But what was it about his childhood that helped Garland become the man he was? Here in his own words are some of the life lessons his parents taught him.
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The paper was entitled Things I Learned From My Parents:
“Early in life I was taught to be honest, truthful, and polite. I was taught to respect authority and to respect the property of others. I was also taught to be punctual. The following are some of the things I was taught, mainly by my father. He assured me that hard work would not kill me. No matter the season, dad always found work to be done. He did not like for his sons to have idle time. I was taught how to care for the farm animals and poultry. I was taught what to do and what not to do and to recognize what things in their environment could be harmful or fatal to them, such as certain weeds, trees, shrubs, and predators. I was taught how to prepare the soil for planting and the proper time to plant and harvest. I learned how to build and make repairs to the many implements used in agriculture. I was taught how to use a firearm safely. I was taught how to catch trout fish and the correct bait to use, though I did not get to do this very often. My dad taught me how to build box traps and how to set a snare to catch rabbits. But back to farming. Sometimes on the farm you learned through trial and error. The result of learning by error didn’t go over too well. I was slow in learning how to load the hay wagon properly (had to reload once). It had to be loaded properly so as not to lose the load while traveling over rough and hilly roads (sometimes unpaved) for a couple of miles. Another difficult task was to create a neat and straight hay stack around a 20’ pole in such a way that would shed rainwater in order to preserve it. I am thankful for the things I was taught by my parents during childhood. They have greatly benefitted me throughout my adult years.”
These old-fashioned life lessons of hard work, self-discipline, and consideration for others bore so much fruit, not only in Garland’s life, but in the lives of those he touched during his 89 years, including his sons. I’m grateful to have become a part of his family, and I hope that this little glimpse of an honorable life will be inspiring for you as you raise your own family.
To me, it has been encouraging to be reminded that the things of lasting value that we offer our children aren’t really things — they are mostly attitudes, habits, and ways of being. Cultivating those things in our children means cultivating them in our own lives, too, which can be the biggest challenge if we didn’t grow up with such teaching. Thankfully, we are blessed with the opportunity for learning and guidance from scripture, books, podcasts, and other resources. I have especially benefited from books by C. S. Lewis and Charlotte Mason, but there are so many more.
I hope that in your homeschooling journey you will also find friends who encourage and uplift you and can share the joys and difficulties of this life. I wish you joy in the journey through homeschooling!
Thank you for joining us this week on The Homeschool Solutions Show. You can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. Don't forget to check out my friends at Medi-Share because you deserve health care you can trust. To learn more about Medi-Share and why over 400,000 Christians have made the switch, go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/MediShare. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast and while you're there, leave us a review. Tell us what you love about the show. This will help other homeschooling parents like you get connected to our community. And finally, tag us on Instagram @HomeschoolingDotMom to let us know what you thought of today's episode. Have you joined us at one of The Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year, offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topics, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the US. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. I hope to see you there. Finally you can connect with me, Janice Campbell, at EverydayEducation.com where you'll find my Excellence in Literature curriculum, transcripts made easy and more, as well as at my blog DoingWhatMatters.com and my literature resource site Excellence-In-Literature.com. I wish you peace and joy in your homeschooling.