by Pam Geib
CHEA Regional Advisory Board Member

Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him (Psalm 127:3).

taking photo of graduationSitting side by side, my sister and I pored over the box of photos at our feet: mostly black and whites, many with folks we did not know. You take this one and I’ll take that one. A life’s span of experiences summed up in neat little piles.

There were no professional pictures of my mom and dad and us girls. There were only a couple of snap shots with all of us in them. So little to remind us of the family we had once been. Mom had been keenly aware of the deficit of pictures after my father passed away. Consequently, we had two major picture-taking sessions before she left us also.

We rented a quality camera and tripod with a timer and took about three rolls of film of her with her children, grandchildren, and her great-grandson. We took a roll of black and whites just in case the color did not hold up over the years. We even took one roll to the one-hour film developer to appease our excitement over the occasion.

Our next picture outing was to a professional photographer to do the whole thing over again. How grateful I am. Mom had one made of herself alone with her hair done as she had worn it for many years but had not felt like wearing since her illness. We had it put on an oval canvas and it will always be a priceless treasure to me.

Photos are just one way of preserving our family’s heritage. With cameras readily accessible in our smartphones for spur-of-the-moment photos, we forget that in generations past there were no photos. But there was always a way of passing information down from one to another. If there had not been the ancient art of story telling we would undoubtedly have few history books today.

We take professional family photos from time to time, however, we also appreciate our random family snapshots. So how do we make sure that our family times are preserved for our children as their personal heritage? We begin at the beginning.

  • Plan to take pictures and/or to journal on special occasions.
  • The birth of our children or as soon after as possible is the beginning of their history. Those baby pictures make lovely books to save and review often with our children as they grow up.
  • Holidays, times of hospitality, and vacations are great special occasions to remember.
  • Milestones such as the children’s birthdays and end of the school year celebrations make opportune times for recording our family heritage.
  • During the school year we put together a notebook of their work.
  • Everyday routines and happenings are important times to record and they are the easiest for us to forget. Pictures of Rob on his roller blades, a short tale of Stevie’s first ride on a two-wheeler are golden moments for their heritage.
  • Other school routines can make great heritage journal entries or photos. We like to open our day by reciting scriptures and having a time of family Bible reading. Yet I have never taken a picture of us doing this everyday function. Take a moment to write about this ordinary part of their day or just take a couple of photos of them.
  • Annual pictures of the first day of school and field trips are routine occurrences for most home educators. Don’t forget to remember them. The children can write a paper on their experiences and/or draw pictures of them. We may even want to put all of our field trip experiences and photos in a notebook entitled Field Trips of the Geib Children. Or you may just want to include them in your family scrapbook or the children’s school notebook for that year.
  • What about park days and/or skate days? These are regular routine occasions that deserve to be remembered for our children’s heritage.
  • Have you ever considered taking a picture at the library while your child is poring through the stacks or is buried in a new book? What about keeping a special notebook of library book reports with stories and pictures of their favorite library books complete with the photos you have taken.

There is no end to the moments we can record for our family’s heritage. The main thing to remember is “to remember.” As you start each day you may wish to say to yourself, “How can I add to our family’s heritage today?” Then grab your camera and/or your journal and record those special and routine moments.

Of course, the greatest heritage we can give our children is knowing and serving the Lord. As we strive to train up our children in the way they should go, let us record a bit of the moments along the way.

For you have heard my vows, 0 God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name (Psalm 61:5).

Copyright 1993. Used by permission of the author. Originally published in CHEA Parent Educator News.

Chuck and Pam Geib have been involved in home education since 1985. First they were involved by homeschooling their two youngest sons. They also served on many home education leadership boards throughout California. They are now grandparents to seven spectacular grandchildren whose parents are homeschooling them. Chuck and Pam are always honored to speak to groups and/or individuals when requested. Currently they serve on CHEA’s Regional Advisory Board