Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Open Letter to Goldilocks' Caregiver

A child should have something to love, something to do and something to think about each day ~ Charlotte M. Mason

As you know, Goldilocks has been homeschooled her entire life. I was thinking about your concerns in supporting her education during this transitional time in your home. I love the quote at the top of this letter. I think it is a wonderful guide. I would add to it that a child needs to use language to express him/herself each day and to find ways to be helpful each day. These two additional skills raise a child's self-esteem and give purpose to his/her days.

So how to accomplish these ideals with a child who is in a mental crisis? The truth is that Goldilocks really needs a sabbatical from school right now. While the "powers that be" expect her to be educated, it doesn't have to be hard or overstimulating to provide her with lessons.

First, I want you to know that you are already providing her a wonderful and useful education every day without even trying. When you go on a hike, you are providing her with exercise (physical education). If you give her a sketch pad and some colored pencils and tell her to draw something in nature and then identify what she has drawn, you have provided science and art. When she writes about an interest or writes a letter to her family, she is doing language arts. When you take her to a store and let her use her allowance, you are teaching her budgeting and how to check that her change is correct (math). Whenever she is out in the world, she is increasing her social skills and learning to navigate in the world (life skills). Then there are all of the hygiene and grooming skills you are reinforcing. You are reviewing how to care for her makeup, wipe her mouth while eating, match her clothing and take care of her hair and nails. All of these fall under the topic of health. Each time you sit down and process Goldilocks' feelings with her, you are helping her learn to express herself in a positive way (what an important skill that is which will have much more impact on her throughout her life than anything she could learn in a textbook). So, you see, it doesn't have to look like our public school education. We are always learning ... ALWAYS!

Thank you for your devoted care.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. I was thinking exactly the same as Phyllis as I read this. Beautifully put. I feel for you. xx

  2. Oh Dawn, this is beautiful and heartbreaking. Keilee and I pray for Goldilocks and you all every night. I pray for peace of mind and healing and happy.