Homepreschool and Beyond

*Relationship *Routine *Readiness *Reading Aloud

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  • A Balanced Approach:

    Homepreschool and Beyond will give parents the knowledge they need to find “balance” for their family. Find out what young children need to know—and how to teach it. Gain the confidence you need to relax and enjoy those precious preschool years—and beyond.

    “Susan Lemons gives you the blueprint…”

    • 26 Chapters
    • Covers all areas of development
    • Covers all areas of curriculum
    • For a ages 2-8
    • Developmentally appropriate
    • Literature based
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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. 


4 Responses to “4R’s: Relationships, “The Main Thing””

  1. twincessmamma said

    “(Too often we are “with” our children without paying any real attention to them.)” ~ This is so true…

    Lately I’ve been asking myself if I was really being such a great mother being at home and with my children 24/7/365, but emotionally I’m not truly here. I felt too overwhelmed and exhausted and just went through the motions of the day, taking care of basic needs, nothing more. I even started asking some friends who worked outside the home if they thought they spent better quality time with their kids than when they were home all the time. Did quantity really matter as much as quality? But they all said that they would give anything to not work and be home, because there really is no comparison.

    I have never worked and earned money. During college I got pregnant with my son and have been home with him and then my twincesses ever since. So I honestly don’t know what it’s like! But when I get these “seasons” of doubts, the Father has a way of speaking to me and reassuring me that I did make the right choice and that homeschooling is the way we should go.

    It’s so very hard some days, especially to keep the goal in sight, but that’s why we have the Holy Spirit to encourage us and help us, isn’t it?!

    • Your friends are right; children need both quality AND quanitity time. How blessed we are, to be able to stay home with them!
      Don’t doubt that you are doing the right thing by staying home and teaching your children; for this season in life, this is our spiritual calling and service. Nothing is more important, and no outside the home job would be more fullfilling.
      I know it can be hard some days, but I pray that you will find peace…and find ways to make your daily schedule work better, so you are not so exhausted. I know you didn’t ask for advice, but you might want to try to find some ideas that might make things go more smoothly. Some things that might help you are:
      -being sure not to neglect your daily time with the Lord (I know it’s tough to make time–I struggle with it, too…but whenever things are “out of whack”, it can be a factor.If you’re spiritual “tank” isn’t full, it’s hard to serve/give to others.)
      -playing Christian radio/praise CD’s during the day (watching too much TV or news can depress people and make them feel overwhelmed.)
      -teaching your children to help you (to pick up after themselves, help with laundry, and as they get older, how to work, etc)
      -Christian support: Join your local Christian homeschool support group, or look for groups like “Considering Homeschooling” or “Smoothing the Way.”. You can make like-minded friends, participate in the preschool-appropriate fiield trips, and attend the meetings for the moms, gleaning from their experience (most homeschool groups welcome parents of preschoolers!)
      -Let something go: Sometimes we have to let activities go (so that we aren’t too busy running around all the time); other times we have to let go of our ideas of the perfect home (always neat and tidy) OR even the “perfect, supermom” syndrone (this isn’t reality, after all. Many days I feel as if I can give my kids attention/get school done, OR get the house clean, but not both!)
      -Practice the Prescence of God: If you haven’t read this little book (Practicing the Presence of God, by Brother Lawerence), you should! What an amazing way to live…constantly thinking about God…doing everything for HIS Glory, even the dishes or changing a dirty diaper. http://www.practicegodspresence.com/brotherlawrence/index.html

      Hang in there! These are some of the most important and precious years for little ones, and they go by so fast! Be sure to take the time to enjoy them!

  2. The boys are now full time at home with me for two months (previously in a play school 3 mornings a week), and the first thing I realised was that being with them isn’t the same as giving them attention. This is one thing I try to work on. I have decided that as they are still preschool age (5yrs and 2.8yrs respectively) I’ll first concentrate on our relationship with God and each other. Our biggest problem (I think) are our strong wills, and it is a daily battle.

    I am trying to get them to start doing chores with me, and we read Bible stories/”study” every morning. But it is difficult, sometimes overwhelming. Of one thing I am very sure and it is that I don’t want to change this for anything, I love having them with me, but I would like to know that I am doing the right thing, now and again.

    Luckily I got over the perfect/clean home years ago when we got dogs and let them stay/sleep in the house. I settle for a clean/tidy house in the mornings and evenings. During the day we live/play/work and I don’t worry too much about how things look.

    • Stick with it, you can do it! Make the main thing the main thing and the rest will fall into place.

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