Training your child’s character can be likened to tending a garden. Nurturing to life the good character qualities you want to see grow and blossom. It’s about watching over what’s sprouting up and carefully cultivating that which will one day bear fruit. It requires tilling the soil and weeding out anything that is not fructiferous and fragrant and beautiful. Charlotte Mason considered character traits to be habits. Habits of thought and habits of deed. A mother’s role is to gently guide the child, like a guardian angel, into habits of gentleness, courtesy, candor, respect for others, and truthfulness. The work […]
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Students who have developed a foundation of good character (no, not perfect children, but those who have a conscience about doing the right thing) and have gained personal responsibility for their education—with an eye set on the future—are prime candidates for self learning. The first step to moving toward self learning is to carefully select curricula that is well suited for self education. This means the course can be used by the student alone, once he has grasped how it should be done. You see, after your child has learned to read (a teacher is often needed full time for […]
Over the years I’ve been asked how we approached teaching character in our home. I’d love to share how we went about it because it was one of my most favorite aspects of homeschooling. Without question, the most important thing we did was begin our mornings with devotional and Bible reading, discussions about what we learned, and prayer. These morning moments were so valuable and some of the most precious memories of our homeschooling. They generally lasted from ten minutes to an hour and a half, depending on the topic and how deep we went with the subject matter. On […]
One of the most profound—and often under appreciated—methods of Charlotte Mason is her teachings on habits. How I wish I had known of this extremely influential concept when my children were younger, before they formed the bad habits we invested a lot of time undoing. Mason addresses the fascinating subject of attention: The Habit of Attention. She explains that a child should stay focused on a subject and not allow his mind to wander hither and thither with every interesting thought that pops into his brain. The thing is, our children have fascinating thoughts and ideas, but they must be […]
Have you ever heard that God has an incredible sense of humor? It never fails that when I’m considering some spiritual concept, have some spiritual revelation, or especially if I’m supposed to teach or write something about a spiritual principal—I’m tested on it. Hence, paper jams and patience. I remember the day I was finishing up my Botany Co-op Manual. With every lesson, I included a short devotion the co-op teacher could read to the kids. I was writing on suffering and how Christians grow through it. I included Bible verses about thanking God for our trials. You know, they […]