What Will Our Children Remember?

Now and again, we find someone with whom we “connect.” Through her immense love for children, which is evident in her writing, book reviews, and dedicated homeschooling efforts. A fervent follower of her blog, I’ve come to trust her book reviews and have gained insights on helping children learn. Incorporating some of these techniques into the children I attempt to pour into has achieved great results. As we reach the end of our school year here in Texas, I thought it the perfect time to share her article with all y’all.

Please give a big Cross-Dubya welcome to my guest this week, Mrs. Sally Matheny.

God’s blessings,

Now, here’s Ms. Sally’s article. I pray it blesses you as much as it did me.

What Will Our Children Remember?

For many students, it’s crunch time. As end-of-grade testing approaches, we wonder what the children will remember this year.

My state of North Carolina requires end-of-grade testing for homeschoolers as well. We don’t stress about testing. But, what our children remember is important to us. The academics—yes. But, there are other significant things we want them to learn by heart.

Recall the Steps of Faith

We want our children to recall the brave steps of faith taken by people in the Bible, and throughout history.

In addition, we want them to witness people moving forward in faith today, especially within our home and our community.

Our first two kids were ages two and four when I left my full-time job teaching kindergarten. The oldest daughter was barely old enough to remember that year, much less the two-year-old.

So, throughout their lives, they’ve been told, on more than one occasion, how much I loved teaching kindergarten. And, how their dad and I had begun talking with contractors about building our growing family a house.

Then, one day, God allowed me to overhear a conversation in the teacher’s lounge. A teacher said, “I’m stuck. We just moved into our new house. I love it, but now, I’ll need to work for the next thirty years to pay for it.” Her dejected tone sunk into my heart. Her daughters were just two years older than mine.

For days, the conversation percolated my thoughts. Finally, I told my husband I felt like we should postpone building a house. Instead, I should leave my job and come home and be with our girls.

Since we were already living paycheck-to-paycheck, his initial response was something along the lines of: “Are you crazy?”

But, he agreed we’d pray and talk more about it. We read Larry Burkett’s book, Women Leaving the Workplace (Moody Publisher, 1999) and practiced living on one income for several months. We sold our car and got one that was less expensive.

I’ll never forget what our oldest daughter said when I told her we may have to do without some of the extras. She said, “Oh, that’s okay, Mommy. All I want is you.”

Five months later, I left the job I loved for a greater love. For several years, I kept my teaching certificate updated. I thought I’d return in a few years. But, God had other plans.

Remember When Things Didn’t Go As Planned

We want our children to remember how God has worked when things didn’t go the way we thought they would.

After leaving my full-time teaching job, I worked part-time for a church as an administrative assistant. When the girls started school, it felt like we returned to the fast-paced race—rushing  to our jobs, scuttling them to school and after-school activities. Then, hurrying home to get homework finished before dinner so we could spend a little time with them—which quite often included counseling with them on the troubling things they’d encountered at school. Exhausted, we’d all fall into our beds, so we could begin the routine all over again the next day.

Once again, we had to step back and reevaluate. Rather than swishing through life, we craved slowing down and savoring our time together. We longed for more moments to guide our children’s tender hearts and minds.

And, so, we decided to do something I said I’d never do—we chose to homeschool.

Our girls, then ages 6 and 8, completed their year in the public school before we began our homeschooling journey. So, this time, they were old enough to remember our family’s scary/exciting step of faith. And, it wouldn’t be the last one!

Over the years, our children have heard true stories, not just from us, but from their grandparents and others of the amazing ways God has worked in their lives. This has encouraged them to trust in God and bravely take steps of faith as well.

Homeschooling turned out to be a wonderful fit for our family. We’ve been at it for twenty-four years! It hasn’t been perfect by any means. Some days have been really, really challenging.

But, one of the beauties of homeschooling is having more time and space to fully address these moments when they occur. God has certainly used many homeschool days for our sanctification. We have seen Him work time and time again, and often in ways we never imagined.

He continues to show us mercy, compassion, and great love. His goodness overflows as He provides for our needs, walks with us through deep valleys, and guides us every step of the way. These are the things I want our children to remember.

Sometimes, it’s easy for me to get busy and forget to tell them. But, then I am reminded when I see in my Bible the underlined words of one of my favorite Psalms.

What the Bible Says

I encourage you to read the entire chapter, but for this post, I’ll just share the first four verses from Psalm 78 (ESV):

“Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children.
but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD,
and His might, and the wonders that he has done.”

Who and Why Should We Tell?

Whether you’re homeschooling, or not—whether you’re a parent, or not—the Lord wants us to tell others about Him. The next generation includes not only our own children, but also the children we encounter each day. Consider the kids who live next door, or those at church, similar to those in the AWANA group whom Mr. J.D. teaches at his church.

Furthermore, the next generation is not necessarily young children—it may be the new coworker, the teen bagging our groceries, or the young couple living down the street.

Why should we tell them about the wondrous works the Lord has done?

Psalm 78:6-7 (NASB) tells us one reason:

“That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments.”

So often we allow our lives to become overloaded with distractions and fears. By sharing our praises for what God has done, and is doing, our memories and testimonies will not fade away in silence.

It’s crunch time. The next generation is listening.

What will you tell them to remember? #TeachTheChildren #ShowThemGod Share on X


About Sally

Motivated by the power of story, history, and His Story, Sally Matheny’s passion is telling the next generation wondrous things.

Her nonfiction writing appears in worldwide, national, and regional publications including AppleseedsClubhouse Jr., Homeschooling Today, and The Old Schoolhouse.

She and her husband live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and are blessed with three children, two sons-in-law, and armfuls of grandbabies.

Connect with her on several social media sites, but her favorite hangouts are at SallyMatheny.com and Pinterest.

67 thoughts on “What Will Our Children Remember?”

  1. J.D. Wininger

    Thank you for the blessing of being a guest here on Around the Cross-Dubya this week Ms. Sally. As school is ending this week for many in our area, including a great many homeschooling families, your post reminds us that “learning doesn’t stop when school lets out.” In my life, the things I remember most isn’t what I learned in school, but what people taught me. Especially those people who invested in my life. God’s blessings for the sacrifice you and your husband made of putting your children’s needs ahead of your own desires for career and material things.

    1. It is my pleasure, and to God be the glory for the things He has done. You made a good point for us to remember when you said, “In my life, the things I remember most aren’t what I learned in school, but what people taught me. Especially those people who invested in my life.”
      Thanks, Mr. J.D., for all the time you invest in the next generation.

    1. Hi, Connie. Usually, there’s no salary involved for homeschool parents, so we’re prayerfully banking on those eternal rewards! Glad you enjoyed the post.

    2. Thanks Ms. Connie. Like you, I have great admiration for parents like Ms. Sally who make the sacrifices needed to ensure their children are getting a quality education.

  2. I revel in remembering conversations with my children and grandchildren, one most recently this week, about what they remember from our times together. Homeschooling or not, good and bad, these memories are cords tying our souls together.

    Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing, JD and Sally. God bless!

    1. You’re so right, Nancy. Anyone who takes the time to invest in a child’s life, especially with meaningful conversations, is braiding a tie that binds hearts together.

    2. Absolutely Ms. Nancy. I believe that our children learn more at home than they ever learn in school. As someone who teaches/administers at a Christian school, I’m sure you can appreciate a parent’s desire to not see their children indoctrinated but educated, as you strive so hard to do. I have dear friends in New Braunfels, TX who operate a Christian school, and the struggle is real ma’am. God’s blessings.

  3. Thank you Sally for sharing these significant experiences with us. I’ve been in a grandmother’s prayer group, so your post resonated with me as I think of that generation and how we influence through prayer.

  4. Thanks for this beautiful post of faith, Sally. Your story can encourage other parents in their decisions for their children. Thanks, J.D. for inviting Sally to share. Blessings to you both!

    1. The pleasure was all mine Ms. Barbara. I’ve long admired all the hard work Ms. Sally pours into her children. Such a blessing to observe from afar. Her lessons of faith resound loudly with me.

    1. Wasn’t that powerful Ms. Gail? So few parents, it seems, make the time to be there for their children. Satan has done a masterful job of making everyone so busy seeking the idols of this world that they miss the most important things in life.

  5. Marjorie Hill

    Thanks for sharing. I admitt choosing the best way is not always easy. In fact, usually it seems impossible. But with God nothing is impossible and oh what an amazing journey He provides! Blessings for choosing His way!

    1. Well said Ms. Marjorie. I suspect that the real payoff for Ms. Sally and Mr. Matheny will be that day when their children are grown and have families of their own. That’s when the lessons they learned will show up the greatest. I applaud the sacrifice the Matheny’s have made for their children.

    2. Hi, Majorie. While the past 24 years of homeschooling our children have been a joy, there were many days when one or more of us struggled with something. It may have been a challenge physically, mentally, or spiritually. Sometimes it felt like all three! But, God used those difficult, almost impossible moments to teach us about His great love and mercy. And, you nailed it when you said “what an amazing journey He provides” when we simply lean on Him and not our own understanding.

  6. As a mom and now a Mimi, I appreciated this article. “By sharing our praises for what God has done, and is doing, our memories and testimonies will not fade away in silence. It’s crunch time. The next generation is listening.” Praying my words will not fade away in silence but instead root deeply in the hearts of my children and grandchildren. Thank you both, J.D. and Sally for sharing this article!

    1. You better know it Ms. Joanne; the next generations are listening, and we need to be speaking and living God’s truth out before them. The enemy is working hard to disrupt, divide, and distance our children and grandchildren from us. He wants them to be more interested in the world than in searching for faith. The legacy of faith we live out before them may be their only hope.

      1. You’re right, J.D. I think the “faith we live out” has to be so authentic that they’ll desire to learn more about it.
        And, Joanne, I’m sure your words will grow in the hearts of your children and grandchildren because you’re rooting them first in prayer.

  7. This resonates so much in me. I am the mom of 3 and now grandmother of 6. I raised my children almost 40 years ago. My husband was a public school teacher and counselor so my children went to public school. However we decided before we married that I would stay home with our children and he would do whatever was needed to support us. We lived on a pretty strict budget for many years but I wouldn’t trade that time with my children for anything. And with the crazy things happening today I pray even more for protection for my grandchildren.

    1. My guess is that the lessons you taught them at home meant far more to them than those learned in school Ms. Ann. I salute all those who sacrifice convenience and desire to invest in their children instead.

    2. Ann, so much has changed in the past forty years, haven’t they? One thing has not changed and that’s the God we continue to pray to for the protection of our children and grandchildren. Keep praying!

  8. Thank you Jim for having Sally share her life commitments to her children and her desire to encourage others. Homeschooling may not be for everyone, but as the grandmother of my own children and now some of my grandchildren homeschooling, for our family it has been a blessing and a great reward. I know many families that have chosen this and all of them say no sacrifice was too great for the investment in their children’s life. I thank the Lord for Sally’s sharing with us. May the Lord continue to bless her as she helps others along the journey of raising their children.

    1. Thank you Ms. Judy. I’ve seen the results of your and Ms. Mindy’s commitment to homeschooling the children. I’m proud of the accomplishments of each one. It’s so true that homeschooling or being a “stay at home” mama is truly a sacrificial investment in the family. One that I believe pays huge dividends. Something you didn’t point out in your family’s homeschooling experience is the socialization of the children through homeschool sports leagues, dances, etc. I can’t say if it’s true any longer or not, but there used to be a stigma about homeschooled children that feared a lack of social and communication skills. That’s hardly the case with the “McKim clan.” 🙂 Thank you for commenting ma’am.

      1. You’re right, J.D. There used to be a misunderstanding about homeschoolers “missing out” on social activities. There are so many homeschool group activities, field trips, co-ops, clubs, and more in which students can participate that we can easily fall back into a lifestyle that’s too fast-paced for us. Periodically, we have to step back and reevaluate what’s the healthiest option for our family. But, there is no shortage of opportunities for social engagement for homeschoolers.

    2. Judy, thank you for your kind words and for your sweet prayer for God’s blessing. He is a good, good God. May He continue to bless the homeschooling efforts in your family.

  9. Thank you, J.D. for introducing me to Sally, and thank you, Sally, for an inspiring and encouraging reminder to consider what we’re really passing along to the next generation. Having watched a few generations come and go, and looking at what our educational system has become, I am astounded at how easily we let our responsibilities to teach our children, or to at least examine what they were being taught by others. My wife and I are blessed to have watched our son and daughter-in-law make the challenging decision to home school their firstborn, and then to continue through the next two. We just attended a graduation ceremony for their youngest and for his mom. He completed his high school curriculum and his mom completed a home schooling mission that covered some 26 years. God bless you, Sally, for your faithfulness both to teach your children and then to add to that by instructing others about the challenges, benefits, joys, and multi-generational fruit that awaits those who take God’s admonition to the level that you did.

    1. Your daughter-in-law and I have much in common. We graduated our two oldest (who I began homeschooling in grades 1 and 3). Then, this weekend, after homeschooling for a total of 24 years, we graduated our “baby” who has been homeschooled all twelve years. We had a wonderful ceremony and I’d love to hear more about your grandson’s. I’d like to write an article about homeschool graduations since I did not find much information out there about them. Tell your daughter-in-law I’d love to hear from her! And, congratulations all around on a job well done!

  10. It is so wonderful to meet you, Sally, here at J. D.’s place today. Like you, I used to be a teacher; since I was the only consistent parent in my children’s lives, I didn’t have the option to homeschool, but not a day went by when I didn’t wish I could. I did the next best thing by being totally invested in my children’s well-being, day-by-day, even if it meant curtailing activities centered around me. I’ve never regretted that sacrifice and the lasting bonds it created between us.
    God bless you!

    1. I love that Ms. Martha. Making the sacrifice of self for the good of your children is indeed a noble act ma’am. One that, I believe, has proven to be well worth your sacrifice ma’am. Thank you and God’s blessings.

    2. Martha, homeschooling isn’t a requirement for being a great mom. The sacrificial love and guidance you gave day in and day out surely blessed your children! And how wonderful to hear you and your children have a close relationship. Not everyone is blessed with that. May the Lord continue to bless you beyond measure.

  11. We were blessed for me to be able to stay home with our three as well. I hope and pray they remember not only the truths we told them, but the God we tried imperfectly to share with them.

    1. I am certain they do Ms. Barbara. What a difference and involved parent makes in the lives of their children. I will always remember the time my adopted parents took to talk with me and show me how to walk with God. Thank you for sharing ma’am.

    2. Barbara, I’m so glad you were able to do that. I pray all the beautiful seeds of truth you planted in their hearts will continue to grow and flourish.
      I love how you mention how you “tried imperfectly to share with them.” That’s an honest, yet encouraging reminder to us all.

  12. While I am not a parent, homeschooling seems to be the answer to many parents these days in regards to finances, schedules, bullying, and pure out education. I applaud parents willing to take on the hassles of homeschooling. And I especially applaud parents like Sally that incorporate a spiritual component in the process.

  13. Esther M Bandy

    Thank you for this powerful and important message. I’m so thankful we chose to homeschool our son. All children need to know how much God loves them, and they need to understand the gospel so they can have an opportunity to trust in Christ. May the Lord continue to bless you as you faithfully share His Word.

    1. Hi, Esther! I’m so glad you were able to homeschool. It certainly gives parents more time to teach the important things in life. I’ve heard homeschooling also referred to as “heartschooling.” 🙂

    1. Amen Ms. Melissa. It’s so vitally important that we live out our faith in front of our children and grandchildren. You are creating a legacy for your grandchildren that is going to serve them very well down the road. Thank you ma’am.

    2. Hi, Melissa. You’re right. And, even though the next generation may not initially respond the way we hope, they’re still listening. So, we keep praying for wisdom and discernment of what to say. And, we pray for courage when it’s time to say it.

  14. Thank you, Sally (and J.D.) for sharing this inspiring message of your homeschooling journey. You’ve reminded us that it isn’t all about the need to have two incomes to support the lifestyle we want, it’s about what’s best for our family. Your message is encouraging for those who think homeschooling isn’t an option.

    1. Well said Ms. Katherine. As an educator yourself, I know you can recognize the benefits of having a stable home life where parents are engaged and responsive. Not sure that “sacrifice” is the right word for that, but in today’s world, it sure seems to be what’s required; giving up oneself for the betterment of those they love.

    2. Hi, Katherine! I’m glad you emphasized that point. For years, I never thought homeschooling was an option. One, because in the 1990s, it just wasn’t a topic I heard much about. I didn’t know one person who homeschooled until the year before we began in 1999. The Lord sent us a pastor who homeschooled.
      And two, I totally didn’t think it was financially possible. Even though we did some things to cut back, it was still taking a big step of faith. We were amazed time and time again at how God provided. I tell stories of those times to our children in hopes of encouraging them to trust God when they sense His leading. When He calls, He will provide.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Thanks Ms. Debbie. I’ve always been amazed at how when I’m in alignment with God’s will, He’s always provided for my needs. My wants are still often for worldly things, but I’m learning to want what He wants, not what I want. God’s blessings ma’am.

  15. Yvonne Morgan

    Wow, I admire you for your dedication. Thank you for sharing your story Sally and all the wonderful encouragement.

    1. J.D. Wininger

      Right there with you Ms. Yvonne. It seems rare these days to find young parents who put their family first. I’m sure proud of Ms. Sally and all that she is accomplishing in her family, with God’s help.

  16. Sally, I’m so glad J.D. featured your blog on his site this week. You and I have some things in common. I, too, had a career that I gave up after trying to “have it all” to have the best — parenting full-time. The reaction from hubby was similar, but God provided. Then God led us to homeschool our kids after a couple years of public school. And I love that passage from Psalm 78. When I lived in Raleigh over twenty years ago, I started a homeschool group called Generations based on that Scripture. I also write articles about homeschooling and parenting as well as a book that contains many anecdotes from my homeschooling years (From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome). Thanks for sharing your insights here, and I hope to connect with you in the future.

    1. So great I could connect you two Ms. Annie. I saw a lot of similarities there. I pray you and Ms. Sally can connect, share, and grow. Thank you so much for responding. I love that line, “… to have the best – parenting full-time”.

    2. Hi, Annie! We do have much in common. I noticed on your blog you mention having two grown children and one at home. Same here.
      Also, my dad is an Air Force veteran and I see your husband also served in the Air Force. And another “funny” thing is I began a Jr. Historian club based on Psalm 78.
      Hello, sister! 🙂

  17. A great post, on your family’s homeschooling journey. How brave you and your husband have been! And what great memories you’ve made with your children and instilled in them a love for God.

    1. My thoughts also Ms. Kathy. In addition to making investments in eternity that will lay up great rewards in heaven for herself, her investment in her children will long be remembered. What a legacy!

    2. Thank you for your kind words, Kathy. I tell you the truth, it’s essential for all parents to ask for courage and wisdom from the LORD, whether they homeschool, or not. As my husband says, “Parenting isn’t for wimps.”
      We could not do it without God’s help. Homeschooling, or parenting!

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