By Derek Maul

Train children in the right way; and when they are grown, they will not leave the path. – Proverbs 22:6

We all know how much I love my grandchildren. They’re growing by leaps and bounds in every way.

This September David, four, started attending preschool for the first time. His parents have been providing structured learning at home, but it’s time for him to strap on his “Minions” backpack and learn something about school.

I’m excited for him. Learning new stuff is at the core of what it means to embrace this amazing gift of life. In my two decades as a classroom teacher, and my lifetime as an observer, I’ve concluded that curiosity is one of the clearest signs of intelligence.

David and Beks may have a ways to go when it comes to learning that pouting gets them exactly the opposite of what they want, but their moment-by-moment orientation to life is all about discovery, new ideas, and open spirits.

“Mommy, how do you know so many words?” David asked recently. He’s learning a bunch of new ones every day, and he’s impressed with what his mom knows! “I read a lot, David,” she said; “and I ask questions, and I listen. And when I don’t understand I always ask….”
Preschool couldn’t be coming at a better time.

Still – and this is something everyone in North America needs to understand – the primary responsibility for my grandson’s learning resides, and will always reside, with his parents.

It’s society’s responsibility to help the best we can, but if the fires are not lit, nurtured, and stoked at home, then we have lost our best chance at the future.

I believe in the future for good reason. God’s love, Jesus’ promises, and my amazing grandchildren!

I do so love to watch them learn.

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at