Why This Video Was Made
In 2007, my husband and I were touring the country, giving a series of parenting/homeschooling seminars called Building Your Homeschool Together. As we were putting together the sessions, we wondered why people should give us any credence, or attend. We were strangers to them, after all.
One reason they might, of course, was that Scott was a respected homeschooling attorney, and had been a state leader in New Hampshire. Part of it was that we had six children, and had been homeschooling for fifteen years. But, not all leaders have good fruit in their own families, sadly. Did anyone know our children? Not where we were headed, they didn’t.
Like Paul in 2 Corinthians, we wanted people to have a sense of who our children were, for they were the fruits by which we should have been judged as speakers on parenting and homeschooling (which, after all, is parenting concentrated). Paul wrote in chapter 3:1-3:
Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
We knew that our children, though not perfect, were “good fruit” of our parenting efforts, by God’s grace. We also knew that we couldn’t take them on the road with us. Now young adults, they were living full and busy lives of their own! So, we conceived the idea of filming a video of candid interviews of our young adults that we could show at our seminars.
How This Video Was Made
As the project got started, we decided to ask each of our six children to sit in front of a video camera and answer a series of questions candidly. Each one answered the same questions. I sat behind the camera and asked questions, mostly about the homeschooling years:
- What do you remember about our lessons?
- Our family rhythms when homeschooling?
- What do you remember about our family culture?
And so on. My initial goal was to get them to share memories of some of the methods we had used in raising them so that audiences at seminars would have confidence in our teaching. But I was in for a surprise.
What This Video Revealed
I ended up entitling the video What Do They Remember? because, in filming our kids, what came so clear was that they did not at all remember the academic parts of their rearing, though I had educated them from cradle to 12th grade. I had worked hard and long, day in and day out, to give them consistent lessons. I had planned, taught, graded, and retaught. They didn’t remember any details about that process. (Color me amazed!)
What they did remember were family culture, seminal moments in our parenting, and their salvation stories. And with these last, if you watch this video, pay close attention to two crucial elements:
- None of them were led to the Lord directly by Scott or me.
- But, in the background of their salvation stories are the crucial roles of the church and the consistent teaching (and modeling) of Holy Scripture by imperfect Christian parents.
A Few Details That Are Good To Know
The video was filmed with an introduction (Who Are the Somervilles?) whose title page is lost in this version, and then three other parts. It’s long: about 45 minutes. At seminars, we interspersed these between teaching sessions over two days.
Those seminars have long since come to a close, but this video remains a treasured family keepsake. I hope that it encourages you in two ways:
- I hope that you see the grace of God in our children’s lives, because that same grace is available to you from the same God who gave it us.
- I hope that the fruit you see here will encourage you to dive into the resources for parenting and homeschooling that we post here. It’s our intention to bless you, and this video can still serve the same purpose today that it did when it was created over ten years ago.
Click on the title to view the video: What Do They Remember?