By Contributing Mama Writer: Barbara Curtis
Barbara is a seasoned homeschooling mommy of 12 (yes, twelve blessings), now a grandmother of ten, and a happily married wife. Barbara is a "revert", she was baptized Catholic then Evangelical for many years and has come back to our beautiful Faith! Barbara and her family are a " Family-First kind of family."
[This is the final installment in a four-part series: Why Your Preschooler Can Thrive at Home taken from a chapter in my book, Mommy, Teach Me! Read the first, The Best Teacher is Forever, the second, The Best Classroom Has No Walls, the third, The Best Lessons Don't End at Noon, and Is Homeschool for Everyone?]
The Best Foundation is LoveLove,
Remember when you fell in love with the man you'd one day wed? You couldn't spend enough time with him. Memorizing every angle of his face, discovering every nuance of his personality - you thought you'd never grow tired of it.
And when your first child was born, didn't it feel as though you could never grow tired of gazing on that precious baby - even when sound asleep?
Ah, but we are human and the daily grind of living 24/7 with those we love can become just that - a grind. How quickly we forget the miraculous power of love.
I'm asking you to remember for a reason. I'm asking you to remember because when it comes to the recipe for a perfect teacher the most important ingredient is love. And no preschool teacher - no matter how much she cares in the classroom - will ever love your child as dearly and selflessly as you.
But I'm asking you to remember for another reason. As you begin to prepare yourself to teach your child, the first step will be to open your heart, to tap into that great well of love you've experienced before - before it got a little murky from all the peanut butter smears and wayward permanent marker. Before the fatigue and frustration found on the flip side of motherhood.
And finally, I'm asking because as you continue on the journey to becoming the best possible teacher for your child, I want you to find inspiration and confidence in the recognition of where all of us teacher/mommies begin. We love our children. We want God's best for them.
And clearly God's best for your child involves your maximum involvement through these early years.
Remember: God doesn't call the equipped; he equips the called. Before your baby was born, you were probably not quite ready for motherhood. Good thing you had nine months or so to devote yourself to immersing yourself in the things you'd need to know to make it through childbirth, nursing and beyond - not to mention gathering all the stuff you'd need to prepare the best environment for baby.
Learning to be a mommy never stops - take it from someone who after 36 years is still learning and growing. If you're at a loss for what to do with your preschooler, is that really so strange? And isn't the fact that you picked up this book assurance that God will lead you in the right direction? That he hasn't just called you to teach your child, but that he will equip you?
Yes, some of us tremble before the things God calls us to do. But God did not give us a spirit of fear, only the assurance that love is greater than our insecurities - that in Him we find our strength.
You don't need a rigid method or a handbook with a hundred lessons. What you need are the keys to unlock the tremendous learning potential of your child - as well as your own potential to teach. Once you begin to use them, you will see your child - as well as your relationship - transformed. Then you will both discover the joy God intended in these early years - a joy that will spill over into a lifelong love of learning for your child.
But it starts with the simplest, most basic foundation. Your willingness to invest in your child - to stretch and grow in whatever ways you must - because you want the best for both of you.
The bottom line is love.
For more neat ideas by this Blogging Mama, please visit her Homeschooling journey: Mommy Life,
You can also get an autographed copy of her book Mommy, Teach Me!