Several years ago, living in suburban
Washington, D. C. with their two preschoolers,
Richard and Linda Eyre were less than impressed with
the various preschool options open to them. The pushy,
academic preschools promised to teach kids to read by age
three and do square roots at age four. At the other end of the spectrum were various kinds of day care or vaguely-defined nursery school curriculums that taught units about Indians, trains, boats, and airplanes. Richard, a Harvard-trained management consultant, and Linda, a writer, musician, and teacher, didn't feel like any of the available approaches were right for their children.
What the Eyres wanted for their kids was the ability to be well-adjusted, confident, and happy when they started kindergarten. -- They wanted them to learn the social and emotional "joys" that would help them enjoy school in general -- and life in general later on. They put their hopes (and views) into a book called Teaching Your Children Joy which became a best-seller and spawned thousands of neighborhood "Joy Schools" where parents rotated as teacher and preschooler learned things like The Joy of Sharing and Service, The Joy of Order and Goal Striving, and The Joy of Imagination and Creativity.
The Eyres, delighted that so many other parents seemed to value the same things they did, continued their writing and continued to match it to the needs of their own growing children. Teaching Your Children Responsibility took aim at elementary-age kids, and Teaching Your Children Sensitivity at adolescents. Three Steps to a Strong Family was written to help parents of all ages set up family traditions, family standards and laws, and a family economy that would last. Teaching Your Children Values, also for kids of all ages, became an international best seller and went to #1 on The New York Times best-seller list, the first parenting book to occupy that position in fifty years.
In an attempt to reach out beyond their books, the Eyres were frequent guests and "experts" on and in various media, including Oprah, Prime Time Live, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Donahue, NPR, PBS, and USA Today.
But Richard and Linda realized that media and even books were too fleeting to really help parents over the long term. What parents needed, they felt, was an organization, a program, a support group that would help them on an ongoing basis and take the loneliness and isolation out of parenting. SJS HOMEBASE (now valuesparenting.com) was organized to do just that. Each of the twelve chapters from Teaching Your Children Values was expanded into a full "value of the month" program with tapes for kids and materials, methods, and motivation for parents. The "joys" for preschoolers were developed into a full-blown curriculum for neighborhood preschools, etc. A monthly newsletter full of tips and ideas was started for SJS HOMEBASE members, etc. Parents became members, started getting monthly materials and banding with other parents in the neighborhood, and SJS HOMEBASE began to grow rapidly until there were members and groups in all fifty states and in nineteen other countries. Now all these materials are available world-wide anytime on valuesparenting.com.
The beauty of ValuesParenting.com is that it involves its members and motivates and excites them about their highest priority which is their children and their families.