My latest TOS Review has been an unexpected delight. Kendra Fletcher’s Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet is an e-book that would truly benefit any mother’s library: whether she is a homeschooler or not; whether she has many children or few. Kendra’s book includes tips, routines, directions, and large doses of the godly wisdom and joy she’s gained during her years of parenting and homeschooling a large family. She has shared these for years at her blog Preschoolers and Peace; now she has organized this wealth of knowledge in a wonderfully readable e-book form.
Those of you who know me, or who have read finchnwren.com for awhile, might be surprised that I am reviewing a book called Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet. Truthfully, I am a bit surprised as well! After all, it’s been several years since I’ve had a preschooler at home (8 years, actually), and I have always and only ever been the mother of one child. However, the surprise of receiving Kendra Fletcher’s e-book to review, a book that seemingly had little to do with my current life and mothering, has revealed itself as one of God’s special gifts to me; a source of wonder and joy as this e-book has spoken lovingly into my life. It turns out, this little e-book has had quite a bit to say to me and has influenced my life in a deeply positive and instructive way!
Whether you have preschoolers at home or not, what are the needs that drive your family? Meals. Chores. Child training. Sleep. A clean house. (Well, a homeschooler can dream, right?) Apart from a income (which is terribly nice to have), these are the things that we consider essentials at my home. But then….what about activities that bring us joy? Or academic lessons that need to be taught? Errands that need to be run? Spiritual training that is necessary? Of course, this list could go on and on. The bottom line is that a mother, whether she’s the mom of many or just one, has a lot to manage; not only tasks but the children in her home.
Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet includes both a gentle vision for a mother of children, as well as ideas, plans and habits that can be built to ease and streamline the many tasks that make up the days of a family’s life. It is a relatively quick read, if you decide to read it quickly. But there was so much of value in this e-book that I read it more slowly, savoring it over a number of days. (It made wonderful early-morning and before-bed reading!) Here are some of Fletcher’s chapter titles:
- What a Homeschooling Mom needs
- Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids With Little Ones Underfoot
- What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
- How Not to Just Kill Time
- Preschool Chores
- Planning for Preschool
- When Mama Is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
- Meal Planning 101
Every single one of these chapters had something in it that I could either apply to my mothering, or, if I tweaked it a bit, to my twelve-year-old son. I believe that this is because the basic themes of this book apply to children of every age; it’s just the type of activities involved that can vary. For example, we don’t want to just “kill” time; we want to spend our time in ways that are valuable and enhance our lives and, as Kendra puts it, our family community. And it’s not only preschoolers who need to have chores to do that will build character and ability; it’s our tweens and teens as well who (as much as they might disagree) have that need.
Kendra Fletcher is not a woman who has a rule for every part of your life that you MUST follow. (She really encourages you to guard against that kind of advice!) Instead, she has many tips and routines that have worked well for her, that she shares with you in this e-book. But before she shares any of these, she reminds us to start first with our identity (Whose we are, not WHAT we do) and prayer. Because the God who knows us better than anyone knows what we need, and what our families need. It doesn’t really matter if a home management book is on the New York Times bestseller list, does it, if it won’t work at all in our home?
Kendra encourages us, the mothers of these precious ones entrusted to our care, to go first to God. To know this: that we are of value not because of the job that we do, but because we have been bought with a price, with Christ’s sacrifice. If I can settle that in my mind and heart, how drastically different our days will be! That is the woman I want to become. The woman whose worth and value is settled not by my actions, achievements, gifts or talents; but the fact that I am valued and loved once and for all by my Savior. And as we begin to live with that truth, we’ll be impressing that same knowledge in our children’s hearts. How amazing will that be?!
You may purchase Kendra Fletcher’s Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet from her website, Preschoolers and Peace. Its price is $2.99 and it is in PDF format. I was able to transfer it quite easily to my Kindle Fire, where it read quite beautifully.
If you are a mother of one or of many, and you’re looking for a breath of fresh air for your parenting, child training and teaching, purchase this wonderful e-book. I believe it will provide great value to your life!