Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Homeschool Preschool.

I never went to pre-school and neither did any of my friends. I stayed home with and watched Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo.  I helped my grandma with the little chores she gave me - like sorting laundry into colors and whites, snipping beans, setting the table, stirring soup or baking things, and a lot of playing with my sister outside and in our room. We did lots and lots of play and pretending. Even without an outside pre-school experience, Sis and I both managed to make it out of school and into the world as functional adults, so I guess pre-school at home served us well.

Overall, that is the approach I have taken with my own children - I let them help when and how they are able. Pre-schoolers can
  • sort clothes
  • sort silverware
  • wipe down a table.
  • pick things up off of the floor
  • put their toys away
  • make cookies
  • stir things with help
  • plant flowers
  • pick vegetables
  • cut coupons with kid scissors
  • feed pets
The list goes on and on, depending on the age of the child.  My rule is always when they ask to help, they're probably at least ready to help in some way and it was up to me to find the things the kids could do and be successful at.  The main thing to remember was that even though I could do it faster, easier, cleaner and neater alone - it's my job as a mom to let them help me even if it makes it slower, harder and messier!

The preschool years are the time to teach the child:
  • prayers
  • getting used to being read to and listening to stories.
  • counting
  • art with crayon, paints, sand, scissors, glue.
  • listening to music and singing, keeping a beat.
These are several books that we enjoyed in doing more "formal school work" in pre-school and kindergarten.

Slow and Steady Get Me Ready

Before Five in a Row

Training Wheels: A Kindergarten Curriculum for Home Schoolers

Catholic Mosaic: Living the Liturgical Year with Literature an Illustrated Book Study for Catholic Children

and a new one for me - Catholic Icing

on the web - Preschool Express.

Homeschoolers can use the preschool years to get information and inspiration for homeschooling elementary school.  The Ultimate Homeschool Expo's Back to school Blast has a some inspirational and informative talks by seasoned homeschoolers and educators.  Included in the ticked for that are Cindy Rushton's e-book "Homeschooling the Easy Way" which is also chock full of ideas for moms with pre-schoolers all the way through high school. Plenty of planning and goal setting sheets as well.

When I think way back about preschool at home, the main thing I remember is the love. The love of my grandmother who let us help her in the kitchen, and made us little pies that she put in our play oven during nap time, the love for my sister who was my main playmate, and just the overall sense of well being and love I felt at being outisde playing and inside cozy and warm.  If the main thing my children remember from their preschool years is that love - then I will consider homeschool preschool to be a success.

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