4R’s: Relationships, “The Main Thing”
Developing relationships is the most important part of any homepreschool/homeschool. We must help our children grow strong, loving relationships—first with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and next within our families.
Many of us say that this is our priority, but in truth, it is not. If helping our children develop a close relationship with God was really our priority, it would be reflected in the amount of time we spend reading Bible stories to our children, memorizing the Word with them, praying with them (and for them), and worshiping together. (Discipleship.)
If it really is our priority to build strong, loving relationships with our children, that priority should be reflected in our behavior as well. Specifically, it should be reflected in the amount and type of time we spend with our children. Children need both quality and quantity time. Quality time involves more than just our presence—a warm body alone is not enough. (Too often we are “with” our children without paying any real attention to them.) Instead, our relationship-building efforts should be concentrated in several specific areas: Building quality conversations (which is a two way street, involving listening and speaking), time spent playing together (which lets us into their imaginary world), and time spent reading aloud to our children. Reading aloud to our children is one of the most important ways to build relationships with them, and also, help them learn.
I’m sad to say that we too often neglect what is most important (building strong relationships) in favor of other priorities (early academics, our own interests, etc.)
We must take the time to “make the main thing the main thing”, and teach our children about the Lord while they are young.
Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (NIV)
2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)
If we do our part while our children are young, we can claim the Lord’s promises regarding our children:
Prov. 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
John 10:28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great will be the peace of thy children.
I challenge you to prayerfully examine the focus of your home. Is growing relationships your top priority? Is that priority reflected in the amount of time you put into those relationships?
Excerpts from Homepreschool and Beyond: A Comprehensive Guide to Early Home Education, used with permission. All rights reserved.