As I sit here writing this article I am listening to a little girl who has been enrolled in our Preschool for about two years. She just turned five. She is waiting for her mom to come get her because she has a fever. As she waits, she is looking over the seatwork from her class this morning. With excitement in her voice she is sounding out and reading aloud these words: snail, dime, rose, tube, tail, nine, hose, and mule. May I say, she’s doing it quite well and reading with ease!
Unfortunately we live in a world that has very low expectations for very young children. Sad, but true. We should have high expectations for them because God has created little boys and girls with an natural excitement for learning and the ability to learn lots and lots of stuff, AND retain it, if we do several things: (1) Convince them we love them, (2) convince them they are having fun, (3) be patient with them, (4) teach them appropriate to their age, and (5) love teaching them.
Because children have a God-given, natural enthusiasm to learn it is easy for them. Not all learn at the same pace but all can learn with excitement and enthusiasm! With very young children girls tend to learn more easily and quickly than little boys. The difficulty is not with the children. The difficulty is with us…the adults.
We adults give up too easily, make too many excuses, become impatient too easily, tire of the seemingly incessant and unending repetition and review necessary in teaching and training young children, and often just quit, pursuing our own interests and/or pleasures rather than doing, patiently and persistently, what we ought to be doing in training our children. The issue is far, far more often us…the adults, than it is the child. Pogo has rightly said, “we have met the enemy and he is us!” After decades of teaching children and observing adults, I am convinced that we “grown-ups” are often our own worst enemy. Confronting “me” is the best thing I can do for my children!
The enthusiasm for life and learning that God places in the heart of a child, is like a coal that is still slowly burning in a fire. If you fan the existing coal, and add a little more fuel the right way, it will become a roaring fire. Show children, by your own life, (and teach them with your words) self-control, how to govern their passions. Also teach them to read as early as they are able to learn, and you will create a roaring “fire” of enthusiasm and excitement in the lives of your child, and will give them a foundation of confidence for life and learning that can increase, over the years, if they continue to be taught well by teachers who themselves, love what they are teaching! We know because we have seen it for many, many years.
Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to forever change a young child’s life.