A Father and Son Look Back

A Father and Son Look Back

Twenty-two years ago I was a young father with a little boy, my first child, aged two. My father-in-law called me aside. “How are you going to educate your son?” he asked. I had no idea. I had hopes and fears for the future, but I had no vision. I wanted the best for this young soul, but what was the best? And how on earth could I get him there?

My father-in-law told me that homeschooling was the answer. I followed his lead, but every step was an act of faith. Doubts and detractors plagued me every step of the way. Loved ones, strangers, and friends amplified and confirmed the darkest fears of my heart. I was not qualified to educate my own children. I was not able to educate my children. I was risking my son’s future on a hope and a prayer.

In the midst of this cloud of shadows I stepped forward in faith. From faith came a vision. From a vision came a plan. From a plan came a lifestyle. But no matter how crisp the vision became, it never told me exactly the future would hold.

But eventually the future gives way to the present. Eventually our looking forward becomes a looking backward. Eventually we reach our destination.

That little boy is now 24. And he agreed to sit down with me for a wide-ranging interview. Father and son at the microphone, me asking the questions and he giving the replies. What was it like to be homeschooled? What were the highlights and the low points? What was it like to go to college and to start a job? And most importantly, what would you say to the young father like me with a child in his arms and a hope in his heart? Listen as a father and a son look back.

Selected books mentioned in this episode:

  • An Island Story by H. E. Marshall
  • Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Paddle-to-the-Sea by H. C. Holling
  • Seabird by H. C. Holling
  • Minn of the Mississippi by H. C. Holling
  • Viking Tales by Jennie Hall
  • Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne
  • Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
  • Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula
  • Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
  • Men of Iron by Howard Pyle
  • Redwall books by Brian Jacques
  • American Tall Tales by Adrien Stoutenburg
  • Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  • Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch
  • Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  • The Once and Future King by T. H. White
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry
  • King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Exploring Creation with Biology (2nd Edition) by Jay L. Wile
  • Exploring Creation with Chemistry (2nd Edition) by Jay L. Wile
  • Advanced Chemistry in Creation (2nd Edition) by Jay L. Wile
  • Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett

4 Replies to “A Father and Son Look Back”

  1. Thank you Palmer for all that you shared about your homeschool experience and journey thought college and adulthood. It was very encouraging and also fun to know you enjoy the Redwall books! I have two boys and they enjoy Redwall too!
    Since you offered the opportunity to leave questions, I’d like to ask how was your relationship with your siblings growing up?
    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for listening to the interview and I’m glad it was encouraging to you. I bickered with my siblings a lot when I was very young. We would roughhouse, get each other in trouble, fight over toys… you name it. Over time though, we ended up occupying increasingly distant hobbies and extracurriculars, and I think the little breathing room was nice. After my little sister went to college though, our relationship really bloomed. I suppose as we grew up, matured, and were sanctified more, we got along and understood each other so much better. In the past few years, my relationship with my little brother has gotten better and better as well. It is so awesome to see him grow so tall and show no signs of stopping! His developing sense of humor and strength in the faith is wonderful to see. Just this past year, my little sister got married and that experience really drew our whole family together in a very special way. All this to say — if your young children do not get along famously, don’t worry too much, there’s always time for them to come around!

  2. To hear that the theme of warrior and defender is HIS theme, as opposed to “explorer”, is very touching! My son is the same way, and it’s not all black and white with boys and girls and their preferences. So sweet to allow books to describe his character all through life. Amazing job mom and dad!

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