The life and growth of a child can be likened to the growth of a seedling or sapling tree. Take a look at why you should keep your children home, right from the preschool years.
Growing up with an avid gardener for a mother, I watched the principle of planting, protecting, and establishing first hand many times over. It was only when I had my own children that I realized how much this analogy meant to a mom with young children.
Reason #1 – Time to plant – Grounding
As our child moves from babyhood to the early childhood years we are able to begin to share with them correct behavior patterns, Godly attributes, moral reasons for why we do things as well as basic good manners. We have the ability in a home-based lifestyle to deal with the many children training situations that come to us day to day.
If our children are away from us for up to 5 hours each day, we loose this valuable time with them. We loose countless opportunities to train their soft and pliable hearts. This is the time that you are preparing the ground for your seedling or sapling. You are adding your compost, raking it over, and watering the ground.
Instead the child who is sent to preschool is spending time with other children who do not have the same wisdom as you do. Your child is in an overpopulated class with a teacher, who even on her best day cannot give your child the same one-on-one attention. This is besides the fact that she does not love your child as you do and does not have the ability to train all the little ones in her preschool in kindness, gentleness and self control.
Reason#2 – Time for weeding – Influences in a young garden
Raymond and Dorothy Moore, grandparents of the homeschooling movement in the USA, state that the fewer the outside influences in a young child's life, the better. Their reasoning is that when a child's heart is soft and receptive, they are able to not only pick up the good in others; they are often more than likely to pick up the faulty behavior exhibited by peers. As with a young sapling tree this is the time that you stake them to protect them form the wind, as cover them with Hessian to stop frost.
Having spent many years (over 60) in early childhood education, the Moore's were able to take sample studies from various groups of children and deduced that a child does not need more than 3 or 4 close friends in their elementary years.
Again, if your child is away from you for long periods of time each day, you are not able to see the influences that they are under. You, as a mom who chooses to be close to her child in the young years, are able to permit what influences you find acceptable in your child's life. You are also able to protect your child from those things which can cause a desensitizing to the ways of this world which are in fact damaging to a young child's soul.
Reason#3 – Time for feeding – Your child's unique interests
While the first two reasons were more negative this next one is one of the more positive benefits for keeping your little ones home. In the preschool years, your child is like a blooming flower. They are thrilled by the world around them and the people and places that make it up. They also begin to show particular interest in certain topics. Just as you wouldn't feed a hydrangea the same food as a rose, you cannot teach vastly different and unique children on one level.
A mom who knows her child is able to groom and grow them according to their interests. She is also able to intimately know the child's weaknesses and difficulties in learning areas and work to help her child achieve and acceptable standard.
Reason #4 – Time for pruning – Discipleship
Most parents will tell you that the time of the most intensive child training happens in the first 5 – 7 years of a child's life. It is this time that you lay down boundaries and acceptable levels of behavior.
When a child is in playschool, you not only have to deal with normal child training issues but also with the unfortunately bad behavior that a child picks up in a schools setting where most of the time is spent with children who are as emotionally and morally immature as your own child.
When your child is at home with you, you are able to nip bad behavior in the bud before it takes root. You are able to prune and trim your child, in a gentle and loving manner, when you see that undesirable behavior patterns are setting in.
Reason #5 – Time for enjoying – Watching them grow
Your child, after your diligent constant care in their first 5 years, is now beginning to grow into the things they have learnt – like a tree that is providing its first branches with leaves for shade for you to sit under and enjoy.
You still need to be there for your child, to direct and guide. Your child, although well grounded, is still in need of your input, the intensity is less though as they have been taught to respond to your correction with a happy heart. What a wonderful time this is, why hand them over to another to enjoy? From this point on, with your continued diligent care and leadership you and your child are set to make being together a lifestyle choice as you homeschool them through the elementary years.