I little while ago I was asked whether my four year old was at school. I decided to spend some time explaining why I felt that it was best for her not to be at school at this stage. It was good to be able to just share some of my views without feeling threatened or judged. I explained why I didn’t feel it was necessary for my daughter to be socializing with large groups of children her own age. Rather that she socializes with people of different ages, and in different contexts, and under parental supervision. I shared that the evidence indicates that earlier formal schooling may be associated with a range of learning and social difficulties. Conversely, a later start to schooling, when a child has reached an appropriate level of development in a range of spheres, is associated with various advantages.
The other day I was thinking about it again, and realised another reason why I am glad my children are at home with me. When there is a problem with their behaviour, I can’t blame external influences. There are no teachers or peers that my child is exposed to unsupervised. This means that something that is coming out in their behaviour at home is most likely linked to something that they have picked up from me! I am so grateful, as it allows me to be exposed to things in my own life that need to be dealt with. This is part of being transformed by the truth of Christ renewing my mind (Rom 12:2). I regard this as a privilege that I know not everyone has – of having my kids at home and having these opportunities to see where I need to change and grow.
But I have to confess that all too often I have not viewed things this way. I have seen having my children at home as a burden, when I could have been viewing it as a blessing. I thank God for changing my point of view, and for being patient with me when I have been so stubborn and pig-headed. And I trust that He will keep moulding me into the wife and the mother that He wants me to be, that my children will also be glad to be at home with me!