For those of you with little ones...
I know it can be overwhelming to jump into these posts and try to imagine all the things you are supposed to be doing for your children - especially when there are so many demands on you during the day (and night).
Rest easy, mamas. Go slow. With God's help, things will come together in the right time.
I'm bringing this up from the comments last night, an exerpt from an email I wrote to another young mama with questions: a few thoughts on what young children (and their mothers) need.
At this point in your children's lives, they need to be read to as much as possible; they need to play freely as much as possible, they need to get outdoors whenever you can manage it (but it doesn't need to be every day if that is too difficult. Just aim for getting out a couple times a week, perhaps when daddy is home. They will be fine;) they need to listen to good music and see beautiful objects and art; they need to see lovely, respectful behavior from the adults in their lives; they need to learn to speak kindly to one another and share; they need to learn to love Jesus; they need to eat good, simple food and get plenty of sleep; they need to be given real tasks that help in the household and know they are a vital part of helping the household run (i.e., emptying the dishwasher with mommy or helping to fold clothes, giving the pets water, etc.) That's all the homeschooling they need.... Those are LIFE-lessons and they are not to be overlooked or thought meaningless. If only every child could learn their proper place in the world and know they are not the center of the universe, but are still a vital, contributing part of their communities! What a difference those kids would make in the world.
And while all this natural, easy learning is going on, you can be reading and praying and developing your worldview and convictions on education. Since you respond to what you read on my blog, I'll encourage you to read the books that helped shape me: For the Children's Sake and For the Family's Sake by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay. Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. Any of John Holt's books on education (secular, but so encouraging and hopeful!) John Taylor Gatto's books on the educational system. Read Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series if you can. (Online, in several versions, here.) During this season, soak in the living ideas that will form the future for your family.
I assure you that the most important things you will do is not curriculum and method based, but is based on the atmosphere of your home and prayer. Your children WILL thrive under any method if you create a rich living environment and a place of safety and acceptance for them. They will thrive under your prayers. A tender, attentive, prayerful mommy with a clear vision for the growth and nurture of her family is a tremendous gift.
Your thoughts (and the encouragement of other wise mamas) are welcomed.