I resonate so strongly with the author's words that I feel I could have written them myself - and, in fact, I have said these very same things in different ways to many young moms over the past several years. So I felt it well worth sharing, especially since I know that a good many homeschooling moms begin thinking about home learning when their precious children are very young.
If you are home raising your own little ones, please take these words to heart. You absolutely do not have to create a "mini-kindergarten" for your preschooler...and our society has sold you a bill of goods if you've come to believe that's necessary for healthy child development. In fact, quite the opposite is true - kids now are much more stressed than previous generations ever were...and pressured kids shut down cognitively - in large measure because they're being forced into developmentally inappropriate "academic preschool" settings even in their own homes. Instead, you can - and should - let your little ones be little...and simply enable and empower them to learn through living as the article describes.
And run (fast and far!) from any sort of "formal preschool" set-up...no matter how much pressure you receive from "well-meaning" relatives and no matter how many of your friends subject their children to such environments. Honestly and truly, you will do your child much ultimate harm by expecting him to function as a six- or seven-year old when he's three or four - but, on the other hand, if you keep him at home and in an environment where he can learn by "just" living, he will thrive in his early years and all through his life.
I am passionate about this because I have lived it. I have raised my own daughters - now teens - through the preschool years. And I cared for more than a dozen other young children in my home for over 10 years. So I have seen this type of learning in action for a good many years with many children...and I made the mistake of trying to get overly academic with my older daughter too soon.
I did not watch for her readiness cues but, rather, barreled ahead with formal academics simply because that's what I thought I ought to do. Thankfully, our relationship was not ultimately harmed in the process - though it very well could have been. But, tragically, my daughter was extremely stressed by being forced into learning tasks for which she was not ready, and I am convinced that some of her early struggles came as a result of my pushing her when I should not have.
Thankfully, God got hold of me and enabled me to rectify the situation as well as I could before too much time had gone by - and I have operated under the general precepts the article outlines ever since. But it breaks my heart to know that I damaged my daughter's spirit and paralyzed her natural learning process at least for a while - all because I followed the wrong-headed ideas of our misguided society instead of what was right in terms of how God has wired young children since the beginning of time.
Don't make my mistake; follow the guidelines in this article instead.
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