Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Book in Hand

With "The Book Thief" back on the shelf, I have picked up an old favourite and have enjoyed getting reacquainted with her today.

I first read this book about 9 years ago - 2 years before my first baby was even born! To me, it's a homeschooling must-have and still remains my favourite book on home education.

I pick it up again and again and soak in the words.

Today I noted a whole page down and my notes are pinned up in the kitchen so I remember them! We will be focusing on one habit at a time, as Charlotte suggests. My children so need this before our new school term begins.

"Some Habits to Develop:

* The Habit of Attention
* The Habit of Obedience
* The Habit of Manners
* The Habit of Truthfulness
* Habits of Thoroughness, Taking Tuns, Doing our Best, Prayer, Gratitude, etc.

Charlotte said a child should enter his adult life with about tweny of these sorts of good habits. She labeled them the "minor moralities". By "minor" I think she meant that they are the least we can do for our children. "Educate the child in right habits and the man's life will run in them, without the constant wear and tear of moral effort of decision", she told us.

A child with his conscience in training may need to remind himself, when he is with other children, "Now I will be truthful; now I will take turns; now I will be gentle with the younger ones." But by the time he is mature, all the minor moralities of life will have beomce habitual to him. He has been brought up to be courteous, prompt, neat, considerate, thankful, and helpful, and he practices rightesouness without much conscious effort. It is much easier to behave in the way he is accustomed than to originate a new line of behaviour. His mind is running in a rut, so tot speak. Likewise, ruts (fibrous connections) are found in dissected brain tissue. Both Charlotte and Dr. Jane Healey agree that this adaptation of brain tissue is the result of our educational efforts, wherein habits are graciously and mercifully ordered in the brain. Wow, everything we do leaves its mark? What a responsibility!

For those who decide to embark upon the career of habit formation, remember:
*one habit at a time
* one day at a time
* pracitice good actions weekends, too
* nip the weed in the bud because formation is more efficiently accomplished than reformation.

But be encouraged with this wise old saying, "One habit overcometh another." You may not be able to teach old dogs new tricks, but God is able to make all things new again. Isn't this a great blessing?"

The Charlotte Mason Companion p. 74, Karen Andreola.

I also love this quote, as does Stuart. It could become part of our family motto!

"Sow an act, reap a habit,
sow a habit, reap a character,
sow a character, reap a destiny."

Thomas a Kempis.

Feeling inspired? Me too!


jazzy cat said...

I really like the quote at the end about what you sow and what you reap. Lovely and always good to remind even 'old dogs' about how to improve their habits :-)

Kimmie said...

Glad you are reenjoying your book. Child training is such a serious job, that few really put their whole heart to.

mama to 7
one homemade and 6 adopted

Aunt B. said...

Oh, how I love this book, tis one of my favourite books also, and I've read many homeschool books through the years. I have even reread parts when not homeschooling the kids, but fostering. Yes, it was the part of how to develop good habits. Thinking about this, I may go pull that book out for myself. Just this morning I was thinking of how to establish some new long wanted habits and routines in my day in my on going quest to live simple and more green. Some things I have never done, and others I have done in the past and have let slip from my routines. First I will go make some laundry soap that I been putting off for weeks. Thanks, Saminda, for this post. I see more and more why the friendship between you and Laura even across all the miles. Pray for her, she having a few struggles at the moment.

Tamra said...

I like this saying which is similar to the one you have:

Thoughts become words,
Words become Actions,
Actions become Habits,
Habits become Character,
Character is Everything

K-tribe said...

I have really enjoyed this book. It has been one of the best homeschooling books I have ever read!
Thanks for your post!

Helen said...

Is this the book you keep promising to let me read Min? How about you keep posting pages from it and then you'll never actually have to let it leave your bookshelf? Heh heh. Love ya.

Christy said...

Wonderful post Saminda! I was very challenged when my first was a baby to parent very differently from those around me - working on training the heart - instead of physical accomplishments! I have to say it certainly pays off - all that time and effort you put in in those formative years... God bless all your homeschooling endeavours (proverbs 22:6) xo

...they call me mommy... said...

I recently read 1/2 way through this book and then had to return it to the library! Can't wait to purchase it! I LOVE IT! :)

Renata said...

It sounds like such a great book. I read one book which was written about that book & it was full of excellent ideas. My friend has lent me a DVD on a all-day Charlotte Mason seminar, which I am looking forward to watching ( it also comes with a very thick workbook).
I like the quote at the end. I always tell my children that it's easier to learn these things now than when an adult. You are doing a wonderful job there, Saminda! Well done!
Renata :)

Chocolate Vegetables said...


In the back of this book there is a checklist for all these habits. The first check column is for mum. lol

I am a Charlotte Mason fan too although I haven't managed to read any of the major publications on her ideas. I have been too busy just living. lol The above website is a great starting point for beginners.

I particularly like their scripture memory system.

Best wishes
Jen in NSW

Mummy McTavish said...

I think this is what I need. It sounds like what I have been playing around with in my head and trying to formalise somehow but if someone else has a tried and true method I think I'll go with that. THANKS!!! Off to find a copy!


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