Investing in the Next Generation

When grandparents invest their love, their time, and occasionally their money into the lives of their grandchildren, the blessing is without measure. The bond between you and your children grows, and you become a vital part of your grandchildren’s lives. You will be amply repaid with hugs and kisses!

From the moment that we had our first child, I firmly believed that a mother belonged at home, caring for her husband, her children, and her house. I allowed my conviction to be stolen away from me by a perceived financial need, giving up home schooling in order to take a job. I regret that I abandoned my garden of “olive plants around the table” and did not stay home to continue homeschooling our two daughters. I know now that children continue to need their mother at home, even as they grow into adulthood. And now I am discovering that our loving Father, the God of second chances, has given me another chance to home school. He has made it possible for me to “home school” my adult children by giving me the opportunity to advise and encourage them as they labor in their own “gardens.” Except for my husband, our daughters are my dearest friends now, and we share laughter and troubles, encouraging each other as we go about our daily tasks.

Giving advice only when we are asked (usually!) and checking with our daughters before we make purchases for them, my husband and I contribute what we can to making their home school experience more effective. I locate learning resources, provide guidance and mentoring, and become part of the “teaching team” when requested. Whenever possible, we purchase books, toys, and games for our daughters that will be part of a rich home-learning environment. I share my hard-earned wisdom about child-raising and teaching (Again, I try to do this only when asked!).

I have made frontiersman costumes and “coonskin caps” for the boys, which they have worn constantly, and I am sure I have many more costumes in my future that will provide hours of pretend play. I enjoy doing art projects with the children and going for “discovery” walks with them. I have been known to crawl around on the floor pretending to be a bear, join tea parties under the table, and gallop through the house on an imaginary horse.

Grandpa, with his incredible ability to spin a great cowboy yarn, has become a tremendous source of delight for the boys. Soon he will have to start dipping into his creative abilities to make up stories for the girls.

We often keep the children and allow our daughters to have a much-needed break. We have also made our home a “grandchildren’s house.” There are toys and games in the living room, art and cooking in the kitchen, puzzles and baby toys in the den, Lincoln Logs in the dining room, and books in every nook-and-cranny. The grandchildren love to run, jump, play, and read to their hearts’ content. Our house sits on several acres that provide plenty of running-around space. In fact, our greatest summer pleasure is sitting in the front porch swing, watching the children play.

If your grandchildren are being home schooled, they would be richly blessed by the special threads that only you can weave into the tapestry of their little lives. Your children, too, would be blessed by your encouragement and your help. If you do not live near your children, you can still be a part of their lives by purchasing books, art supplies, and learning tools.

If you are a home schooler and your parents are not able to help you, consider seeking out some “first generation” home schoolers who are willing to mentor you and come alongside to inspire and support you.

Titus 2:3-5 says, “Older women should be reverent and devout, as those engaged in sacred service … give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, so that they will wisely train the young women to love their husbands and their children; to be sensible, pure, homemakers, kindhearted, subject to their own husbands that the word of God may not be dishonored.”

It truly is a sacred service to be available to counsel and encourage our grown daughters who are building their homes on the foundation of the Lord and raising precious olive plants in their own gardens.