If your child is young, meaning anywhere between birth and, say, seven years old, love them and treat them with kindness and they will flourish. No curriculum necessary; no particular learning agenda and no academic plan.
Listen to the things they tell you. Be interested.
I know, I know. Sometimes what they say isn’t interesting. Be interested anyway.
Also, be interesting. Remember to laugh.
Encourage their play, read to them, and pay attention to what they like. Do more of that.
As your children grow, love them and treat them with kindness and remember that they are not you. Their successes, failures and passions are their own and may or may not mirror yours one bit.
Remember that there are more important things in life than a perfectly ordered room, gold stars and times tables.
Encourage their days to be filled with learning of their choice. If you have to work, reach out to the community and find like-minded families with whom your children can spend time.
Be excited about your own life.
When your children enter their teens and as they approach adulthood, love them and treat them with kindness. Remember that they are new to growing up. Remember that rebellion is not a given. Support them in the path they are choosing. Support them if they decide to do something else instead.
Look upon their imperfections and failures with love. Do the same with your own.
Fill your lives with love, with laughter and kindness. Choose to encourage rather than criticize, to support rather than dictate. Accept that there will be days that you might not succeed. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Forgive yourself, apologize if you need to and move on.
It’s never too late to start. As the sign in my son’s art class says, “Practice makes progress.”