Heart Pondering

The ponderings of one Christ-following mom on raising preschoolers

Helping kids build a good reputation September 12, 2011

Filed under: Behaviors,Culture,Education — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 5:33 pm

I was thinking this morning about reputations, and the importance of having a good one. This came to mind for two reasons. First: I’m using a new babysitter this morning for the first time. And second: it’s my son’s first day of (a type of) school. And in both cases, the concept of reputation comes into play in a big way.

This year my son is participating in a Christian homeschool academy called Artios that meets every Monday morning from 8:45 to 12. This morning was his first day of school, and he was excited and nervous, as every kid is on that auspicious occasion. As we were driving up in the car, we talked through the school’s rules again and reviewed the kind of student he needs to be. Attentive, polite, respectful, obedient, etc. “Is it ok to be mean to other kids or to tease people?” I asked him. “What if the teacher tells you to do something you don’t want to do?” And the like. Surprisingly, he was very interested in this and wanted to ensure that there were no other rules he needed to know that we hadn’t covered. We talked about the importance of timeliness, and I assured him that I’d see to it that we arrive on time – despite traffic – because yes, being on time matters. When I pick him up afterwards and we debrief the morning, I will ask him about these things as part of the conversation.

A reputation, I was thinking as he and I talked, is built on such things as these. You behave righteously because God calls us to do so, not because you want to impress other people, but the impression you give to other people also matters. Because how you behave reveals the kind of person you are: polite or rude, obedient or defiant, attentive or spacey, timely or late, rowdy or calm, dependable or flaky. Is my kid viewed as a positive influence on people or a negative? The fact is that course of a person’s life is, to a real degree, shaped by the character traits he displays to the world. When a person hears my son’s name, what impression of him will come to mind?  (more…)

 

Some initial thoughts on homeschooling October 7, 2010

Filed under: Education — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 3:53 am

Last February we pulled our son out of preschool because things suddenly started to go very poorly.  Since that time my husband and I have been discussing education, schools, and homeschooling a great deal.  A lot of prayer, reading, and a July visit to the annual Christian Home Education Assoc (CHEA) conference went into the mix too.  This fall we are keeping both our son and our daughter home from preschool and doing some homeschool preschool activities.

Family friends of ours, Russ and Rea Berg, are the founders of Beautiful Feet Books, an organization that publishes and distributes top-quality children’s books with a particular focus on history through literature.  Some of you may be familiar with the D’Aulaire books; this family was basically single-handedly responsible for bringing those books back into publication and circulation.  The Bergs have four grown children and two adopted high school-age children, and they are a blessing and an inspiration to my husband and me.

I heard Rea speak at the CHEA conference and she was fabulous.  I wrote a post for her blog today about our foray into homeschooling this year – something of an experiment, especially since our children are not actually school-age yet.  Click on over there if you’re interested in learning more about what I’m thinking, and what the kids and I are doing.

 

Playing the hand you’re dealt February 12, 2010

Filed under: Behaviors,Education,Parenting — Susan @ Christian Mothering @ 6:43 pm

For the past five months our four-year old son has attended a preschool that we like and he greatly enjoys… but yesterday was his last day.  It’s been a tough month for my husband and me as we’ve waded through how to respond to challenges stemming from our son’s attending this sweet school.  After a great fall, significant behavior issues abruptly emerged in December, and he started acting and displaying attitudes that were contrary to our household norms and his prior behavior. A sudden onslaught of defiance, meanness, rudeness, and other issues took over and quickly met us with alarming regularity.  We met with the lovely teacher; we analyzed every angle; we assessed the situation for weeks; we attempted a variety of responses to his numerous misbehaviors (occurring only at home) to try mitigating them. We loved the preschool and his experiences there and wanted to make it work out. And we hated the idea of disrupting things by stopping the experience for our son before year-end. (more…)