Monday, April 8, 2013

Christian Mama's Guide to the Grade School Years, Erin MacPherson

The fourth in the Christian Mama's guide focuses on the milestone of starting school. That time when your little one who thinks you are the center of the world (and you share that same opinion) takes their first independent steps in uncharted water. Although I now home school our 5 children my first went to public school. I was shocked when I received a "welcome" letter from the school describing drop off and pick of procedures - I was sending her to school but was not yet ready for the whole put her on the bus experience. The letter indicated that I was to drop her at the curb of the school intrusted to a "guide" to be shown to her class. Well I can tell you this mommma did not do that. Oh no I walked right into that school holding my precious baby girl's hand and holding a 2 year old on the hip. When they tried to explain their procedures I asked for a hall pass and very firmly explained that I was not in the habit of leaving my baby girl ANY WHERE until I had met those who would be taking care of her and seen her classroom. They did not stop me and at the door I gave my daughter a big hug, kissed the palm of her hand and reminded her that if she missed me that all she had to do was remember the kiss in her hand. This is no easy transition for a stay at home mom - in fact I think it likens to the empty nest syndrome you feel when you send your child off to college - only to a lesser degree. I went home feeling that a part of my world was empty, what was I to do to occupy the 6 hours until I picked her up again. This book explores these fears and helps a mother to better adjust to the change. I think it is best suited for a public school mother than a home school mother. The reason being that a home school mom faces very unique challenges and joys that can only be explored by a home school mom. I will throw this out for those considering home school - in the book Erin indicates the cost of home school as being too much. Although this can be true it is not always. When we began home schooling we chose a very expensive program that just isn't feasible for five children and a one income family. My children get a very well-rounded education for a VERY affordable price. Home school associations and groups further make home schooling affordable since many people share resources, ideas and support. Also - socialization, well really that is a term that ought to be thrown out. If this is the main reason for fear of home schooling you can rest assured that your children will be as socialized as you allow them to be. I have seen some very un-socialized public school children. Erin has done, again, an excellent job at presenting very useful ideas and resources. I enjoyed very much reading this book. She focused a lot on a parent's duty to instil Christian morals, values and lifestyle. I appreciate this as I see many parents who seem to push this off on the church and the school. Believe me if you are not teaching your child Christian guidelines and helping them to hide the Word in their heart the world will fill their heart, mind and life with secular world views that will be damaging to their walk with God. Thank you Erin for taking time to invest in the lives of others by writing this book for those going through this stressful and monumental time in motherhood. Thank you so much Erin and Thomas Nelson for this book. I would recommend it to everyone. This entire series would be a blessing to a first time mom tucked into her baby shower gift or in the diaper cake you painstakingly create.

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