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If you do nothing else during the preschool years, focus on giving your child these four foundations. Academics can wait; good habits and right ideas cannot. As Charlotte Mason emphasized:
“We know that to form in his child right habits of thinking and behaving is a parent’s chief duty… To nourish a child daily with loving, right, and noble ideas we believe to be the parent’s next duty.”
The top three habits that Charlotte recommended working on are the habits of attention, obedience, and truthfulness. Laying down these habits during the preschool years will make future years smoother and easier. For help and practical encouragement in habit-training, see Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook and Laying Down the Rails for Children.
Give your child plenty of time for free play and exploration outside. Let him work those muscles, run off some energy, and get up close and personal with the wonders of God’s creation in the world around him.
Read aloud to your child every day. Remember that you are cultivating his tastes by the books you select, so don’t settle for twaddly watered-down story lines that assume your child cannot understand well-crafted sentences. Give your child a good, interesting story with great illustrations. Here is a list of our favorite read-aloud books for 3- to 5-year-olds.
And while you’re reading, be sure to read aloud from the Book of books: the Bible. The preschool years are a great time to get your child acquainted with the great stories of the Bible.