Preschool: Start at the Very Beginning
- Monday, June 21, 2010
It was never my intention to homeschool. In fact, when my best friend mentioned that she and her husband were considering it, I laughed and said, "Have fun!" I even bought her a homeschooling magazine at the Christian bookstore and told her to enjoy it but not to bother giving it back to me, because I would never homeschool.
I bet you can guess where this is going, can't you? Several months after my friend told me she was thinking of homeschooling her children, I sensed that the Lord was pushing (dragging?) me in that direction as well. Our firstborn son was 4 at the time, and he seemed to lack self-control even more than the typical 4-year-old boy. My husband and I thought perhaps a few months of doing preschool at home could be beneficial in preparing him for "real" school.
We began in January, he turned 5 in March, and by May he was reading. I thought, "If I send this boy to school in September, I am courting disaster." A 5-year-old who lacks self-control and is already reading in a kindergarten classroom is a recipe for trouble. And so we dived into kindergarten at home too.
It wasn't long before our second son joined our preschool. By that time we had developed an educational vision for our kids, one that just couldn't be fulfilled by the local school.
Our firstborn is now a 16-year-old who is poised to graduate high school a year early, has college coursework already under his belt, and has his sights dead-set on law school. Academically, we couldn't be more pleased.
But academics aren't everything. Aristotle said, "Educating the mind without educating the soul is no education at all." The opportunity to walk alongside each of our children over the course of their childhoods is absolutely priceless. The day-to-day, precept-upon-precept development of character as issues are worked out is what makes up an education of the soul.
I can't ask a schoolteacher with a classroom of twenty to do that; it wouldn't even be possible. The reality is, it doesn't matter how good the country school near your home is, there is no teacher on the face of the earth who loves your child as deeply and wholly as you do. Not one.
That's not to say that no one else can teach our children but ourselves. We want our children to learn from other adults who have Godly wisdom and knowledge to impart. But in the early years, in the foundational years in which young minds form, it is right and good that little ones learn from those who care most deeply about them.
Psalm 1:1: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
There are many compelling questions that arise regarding homeschooling preschoolers, some of which you've perhaps wrestled with yourself:
Schools need Christian children who can be salt and light.
Maybe. But is your preschooler ready for the mission field? Is he ready to stand for his faith and Savior, equipped to walk away from temptation and able to take on the secular humanism espoused in the government schools? Does he know how to respond when a fellow preschooler tells him that being gay is good or that his aunt had a baby without a husband?
1 Corinthians 15:33: "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
All schools do need Christians who can be salt and light, but those who have been prepared to do battle with the enemy presence that is abounding there stand a far better chance of impacting a school and its students for Christ without stumbling into unbelief and faltering into sin themselves. We would be so pleased if one of our children were to become a teacher when the evangelistic opportunities abound in traditional school settings.
I need a break, and it's only a couple of hours a week.
Every mom needs time to rest and refresh. Are you ready, however, to spend the time it will take to undo what your child picks up in a social environment in which you are not privy to the goings-on during the time spent there?
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