I’ve spent all of my homeschooling years so far homeschooling with little ones underfoot, and as I confessed recently, I feel sometimes like it’s just gotten harder as they’ve moved from the sweet baby stages of feedings and naps to the wild, want-to-participate preschool years. So, when I got an opportunity to do a review for Preschoolers and Peace, I was hoping to find something to help me with the much needed and searched for, but rarely gotten balance between preschoolers and elementary school aged kids in my life.
I received a PDF copy of the ebook Preschoolers and Peace: Homeschooling Older Kids with Success While Loving the Little Ones at Your Feet. This ebook retails for $2.99, and is a resource to help encourage and aid moms of preschoolers and moms with children of multiple ages.
The author, Kendra Fletcher, describes this book as a “best of” the Preschoolers and Peace website put into ebook format. The chapters are quick and easy to read, but are packed with practical advice for the homeschooling mom. These chapters include:
- What a Homeschooling Mom needs
- Preparing Yourself to Homeschool Older Kids with Little Ones Underfoot
- Planning Around Preschoolers
- How do I keep them busy? (As an aside, I got my biggest practical tip from this chapter. I would have experienced a lot less frustration with my three year old over the past year if I’d have just given her some twistable crayons that she couldn’t peel the paper off of her crayons and leave it all over the floor!!)
- What Does a 2-Year-Old’s Day Look Like?
- How Do I Get Any Preschooling Done?
- How Not Just to Kill Time–Things that Mom can do with the little ones in tow
- Circle Time, or How We Pull the Little Ones In
- Preschool Boys
- When All of Your Kiddos Are Preschoolers
- Preschool Chores
- Planning For Preschool
- When Mama is Worn Out (or Pregnant)
I honestly thought when I had the option of reviewing this book that it wouldn’t be that helpful for me. After all, I’d always dealt with babies and preschoolers as I homeschooled, and now that I’m not even pregnant or getting up in the middle of the night with young babies and toddlers. Instead I found that now that my energy has returned and I can think of a plan for how to balance these little kids and my bigger ones, this book came at that perfect intersection to make the most most of these young homeschooling years with little kids and bigger ones.
I knew that this was the perfect book for me from the very first chapter on what a homeschooling mom needs. I’ve been the world’s worst at defining myself as “just a mom” or a “homeschooling mom” or even a “mom blogger” and taking on that identity as an idol for myself ahead of my true identity in Christ. It’s no mistake that four of the last five books I have read (including this one) warn about the dangers of idols in our lives. Here’s a quote from Fletcher’s book:
Through the salvation Christ purchased for me, He has given me His identity. Nothing else should define me. In fact, anything else that creeps in to define me, anything that is giving me a sense of worth, anything that makes me feel like I have value, significance, and purpose apart from Christ is an idol. And, ultimately, it is bondage.
The gospel is where we, as Christians, begin and end our whole lives and our purpose in them, and so it is also how Fletcher begins her book. It really spoke to my heart.
Just as heartfelt for me was the next chapter dealing with prayer. She reminded me that God cares about the little things–whether its how on earth am I going to get my preschooler to stop pulling the papers off all the crayons to will my fourth grader ever master division. I have a lot of little things that God cares about, and I spend far less time than I should taking them to God in prayer.
I could keep going on and on giving you examples from the book of the things that stood out to me as I was reading it. There are a bunch of things in the 45-50 pages of this book that I have starred and underlined. I’ve thought back to many of those things more than once. There are some chapters, if you have very young children such as “What Does a 2-Year Old’s Day Look Like?” or “How Not Just to Kill Time” that I believe that you will find a great deal of hope and encouragement in.
Also, at the end of the book, there are links back to related articles on the blog that you might find helpful to go with each chapter, which is a great way to add value to your purchase as you read more writing on the topics that you most need help with. For example, right now I’m doing two different circle time type settings a day–one with my little kids and one with my bigger ones. I would like to simplify and combine into one more inclusive family “Circle Time,” but I’m not sure how to do that. While Fletcher’s book only touches lightly on including your preschoolers in circle time, at the end of the book, her resources pages link back to about 12 different articles on circle time. That’s perfect for helping me expand upon my needs.
This is a lovely book and a great purchase for moms of preschoolers. The $2.99 that you’ll spend on the book will end up earning you much more than that as you put it’s principles and ideas into play in your home. It’s certainly helped me bring a lot more peace into our home as I’ve applied the wise words in this book to our lives.