Families Matter No Matter You Bubble

Devon Noel Lee
attempting a selfie at a
homeschooling conference

This summer I had attended a homeschooling conference. Despite the focus of the conference, I walked away inspired not only as a homeschooling mother but as a family historian as well. How is that possible?

At the home school conference, there were a variety of speakers. Some were definitely worth my time. They shared tips, strategies, and general inspiration for this unconventional education option. The entire presentation was focused and well delivered.

Some speakers were a flat out waste of my time, as it relates to homeschooling. Having studied the conference brochure and class description thoroughly, I attempted to pick topics that I really needed to hear. I didn’t necessarily want to only attend classes taught by the best teachers. Unfortunately, while in the class I soon realized the presenter was not only less than stellar but the material they covered did not match the class description.

Hmmm…. does this sound like any genealogy conference that you have ever attended? Great speakers delivering what you needed or expected to learn, but others drawing you into their class but failing to deliver?

Despite the quality of content related to my homeschooling interest, all of the speakers had one thing in common. They each shared stories of their families. As a family historian, I picked up on this even in the classes that were not helping me with my initial reason for attending their presentation. The liberally use of engaging family stories to discuss topics had me intrigued. Do other conference presenters also incorporate family stories into their lectures and workshops?

One speaker stood out among the rest. She is Crystal Paine, who runs the blog Money Saving Mom. She is a home school graduate now homeschooling her own children. In one of her classes, she shares the story of her mother pioneering homeschooling. Her mother taught her to be grateful and to record her blessings regularly. Those values inspired Crystal to create the Choose Gratitude blessings journal.

Choose Gratitude: Blessings Journal
by Crystal Paine available through Amazon.com

Crystal’s story of her mother and how the gratitude journal, inspired by her mother, is not touching the lives of many more than the homeschooling pioneer could have envisioned.

As I sat in Crystal’s class, I wondered:

Has anyone written down her mother’s story? 

Has anyone preserved the legacy of struggles, triumphs, and perseverance?

Has anyone written down the differing perspectives that Crystal and her multiple siblings have of their mother? 

Has anyone recorded Crystal’s father’s perspective about his wife and their difficult homeschooling journey?

A portion of the mother’s story is recorded as part of Crystal’s presentation, but is the story recorded outside of the speech where it can have more permanence?

Perhaps the stories were written down and she pulled key stories into her presentation. That would be great. But what about the family stories shared by other presenters? The same questions consumed my thoughts post-conference. What about those same stories for the thousands who staffed or attended the event? What about the family stories of the hotel and nearby restaurants staff?

Families matter, but have they mattered enough to have their stories captured?

At this conference, I heard so many inspiring stories of triumphs, faith, and perseverance. These stories are not only important for strengthening the homeschooling community but the families and communities where any of these individuals live.  How tragic it will be if these amazing stories are not handed down to the next generation because they were not preserved?

Take time to write a memory about your family heroes today. Then let me hear about your action in the comments below.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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