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Pressure. Most of us homeschoolers feel like we have a firsthand knowledge of that word. We feel pressured to succeed as we educate our children: pressure from standardized testing, from well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) relatives, from friends and neighbors, even from other homeschoolers we know.
But do you experience that kind of pressure about your preschooler? As I travel the nation and present a workshop on The Early Years, I ask that question to hundreds of moms and dads. It is surprising and somewhat sad to see how many nod vigorously in reply. They explain the extraordinary pressure they feel from others regarding the academic progress of their preschoolers and even the social pressures of signing up for team sports and park days and play dates and parties for their little ones.
Interestingly, Charlotte Mason wrote about feeling that kind of pressure for preschoolers in her day too. If those parents, living 100 years ago, felt extraordinary educational and social pressure about their babies and toddlers and preschoolers, how much more do we feel it today!
Enjoying the Early Years
Yet even as Charlotte acknowledged the situation, she gave a refreshing alternative:
“In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother’s first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time” (Vol. 1, p. 43).
And, as usual, Charlotte did not leave us to try to figure out what a quiet growing time might look like; she outlined practical and helpful ideas. You can read about some of those ideas in this article series on The Early Years.
And now we are happy to announce a new resource designed specifically to encourage parents of preschoolers: Enjoying the Early Years, a 2-disc DVD set recorded live at a Preschool through High School Conference in Jacksonville, Florida.
In the first session Sonya shares how Charlotte Mason encouraged parents of preschoolers to create a quiet growing time by concentrating on just two priorities: instilling good habits and nurturing their minds and hearts. You will discover good habits and great ideas in this workshop!
The second session is a live demonstration of Charlotte’s simple and gentle approach to teaching reading—with an emphasis on progressing at your child’s pace, not pushing.
Refresh your perspective and set aside society’s pressures by learning Charlotte Mason’s encouraging and practical ideas for Enjoying the Early Years!