Written by contributor Jena of Yarns of the Heart
We have only one chance with our children. They will only be toddlers once. Thank goodness!
And they will only be seven years old once, ten years old once, fourteen years old once, and then they will be out the door.
They come back once in a while, but it’s never the same.
So while you have those little ones at home, make the most of it. This is your window of opportunity. Build a strong foundation that will support them the rest of their lives.
Building a foundation that will last a lifetime
1. Make sure your children know you love them unconditionally.
That means nothing they do will ever disqualify them for your love. They can always come back, get a hug and reassurance that you believe in their inherent worth as a human being.
The Biblical story of the Prodigal Son comes to mind here. There is deep psychological value in having someone in your life who loves you unconditionally.
2. Teach them how to learn.
This is where homeschooling shines. We don’t have to follow a prescribed curriculum that spoon-feeds learning. Instead we can show our kids how to take an interest and follow its lead.
We can take them to the library or an internet search engine and show them how to find information, how to search for experts, tutors, or lessons. There is power in knowing how to find answers.
My grown daughter Meg is in India teaching English, but she wants to improve her drawing skills, so she’s finding books and people to help her. Knowing how to learn is one of the most important skills anyone can have in our ever-changing world.
3. Teach them to love learning.
Not only do they need to know how to learn, they should love it.
Learning should not be like taking medicine: “I know you hate this, but it’s good for you, so be quiet, sit still, and pay attention.” When our kids graduate and go off into the world, if they hate learning, they will stop doing it. It’s as simple as that.
Instead, try to make learning fun and meaningful. There is more than one way to learn anything. Find what motivates and excites your child.
4. Teach them how to live with others.
This is another place where homeschooling shines. We spend a lot of time together and have a million opportunities to model and talk about love, forgiveness, service, and empathy. And we all know that learning to do this in a family is the hardest place of all, so we are blessed to have the opportunity to work on that together.
After all, our family will still be our family 50 years from now and what they learn at home will be what they look for in their adult lives.
Frederick Douglass was right when he said:
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
What have you done to build a strong foundation for your child?