"The preschool years are not the time to teach reading or math. We should use life's most impressionable years to teach life's most important lesson-how to be happy!"
-Linda and Richard Eyre
This post contains affiliate links.
Making a purchase after clicking will create a small income for me
My husband and two little boys once went to the grocery store and came back with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. They made me close my eyes so I would be surprised. When I looked at my husband in gratitude he shook his head and told me our 4-year-old had asked to buy them. He thought they would make me happy and then I wouldn't get frustrated with him anymore.
Being a mother has not come easy to me. I lose my patience and lose my temper. I overreact and criticize. I watch my husband being goofy and attentive and slap myself on the forehead thinking, "Argh, that's the way I need to be!" It is time to step back from the busyness I've created in my life and make my four little boys one of my highest priorities.
When my oldest was younger we participated in an unofficial Joy School where parents prepared and taught lessons and activities for their preschool-age children. It was a wonderful experience for all of us. At the start of new school years everyone I knew asked if I would be putting him into preschool. With very little question, I decided not to enroll him into a structured preschool class. There would be decades of structured school environments ahead and I wanted to give him the chance to simply be a kid for as long as he can be.
One of the mothers from our class wanted to start an actual preschool. Her focus was going to be heavy on learning to read, teaching math skills, learning foreign language words, and other extremely school-centric lessons. While my oldest loved letters and learning, I didn't feel like he needed to feel pressured to learn those things so soon. It was hard to say no, but I'm still proud for sticking up for what was right for my boys.
And so, this is how we got started on our homeschooling journey:
Using the quiet of afternoon naptime with younger siblings I focused on precious life skills kids need to always find optimism in life. The purpose of this blog is to share how we continue working towards that goal each day. Starting out, that looked like this:
- Use the book Teaching Your Children Joy by the Eyres as our base. Packed full of activities and divided into 13 sections, we worked on an activity a day, making our way through the book at laid-back pace. Occasionally we supplemented activities from other books and websites as well.
- Working through a variety of preschool curriculum workbooks, but with a fun, low-pressure pace. Some phonics, some math patterns and counting, a lot of motorskills activities.
- Art, playtime, games, and more. A wonderful opportunity for me to get down to children's level and play without interruption. The kids need that, but I need it, too.
- Storytime. My husband and I both love to read. It touches me deeply that our boys show such an intense love for books and stories. Their creativity and imaginations are strong and I want to continue building a connection between a story on a page and the way that they play.
It has been 4 years since we started out on this journey, with many ups and downs, but our decision to homeschool is solidified each day. There's a lot to tell since those early days, but my guiding principles are still the same...
We have precious little time to show our children they are the center of our lives,
to be close to them and to build the confidence they will need
in the future to find happiness within themselves.
Look for joy in what they are doing every single day!