"If you are giving a child a piece of cake, it adds nothing to his enjoyment to tell him that it contains certain ingredients and was made by certain rules or that it will contribute to his nourishment.
"If it is good, he eats it and wants more." --Estelle Hurll
That is what you are striving for in childhood learning--a desire for more.
A mom in our group alerted me to a beautiful book about mothers as teachers written in 1838--Letters to Mothers by Lydia Sigourney. I'm going to go back and spend more time, but this quote struck me:
"...no universal agent of civilization exists, but through mothers. Nature has placed in their hands, our infancy and youth. I have been among the first to declare the necessity of making them, by improved education, capable of fulfilling their natural mission.
"The love of God and man, is the basis of this system. In proportion as it prevails, national enmities will disappear, prejudices become extinguished, civilization spread itself far and wide,--one great people cover the earth, and the reign of God be established. This is to be hastened, by the watchful care of mothers over their offspring, from the cradle upwards."
Written by a poet who never had children of her own...
A builder builded a temple, He wrought it with grace and skill; Pillars and groins and arches All fashioned to work his will. Men said, as they saw its beauty, "It shall never know decay; Great is they skill, O builder! Thy fame shall endure for aye."
A mother builded a temple With loving and infinite care, Planning each arch with patience, Laying each stone with prayer. None praised her unceasing efforts, None knew of her wondrous plan, For the temple the mother builded Was unseen by the eyes of man.
Gone is the builder's temple, Crumpled into the dust; Low lies each stately pillar, Food for consuming rust. But the temple the mother builded Will last while the ages roll, For the beautiful unseen temple Was a child's immortal soul.