Friday, September 26, 2014

Charlotte Mason on Habits...


At our last CM Study Group, we watched the SCM Learning and Living DVD titled, Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Good Habits.  In researching Charlotte's writings, I found many references to the power of good habits, including....

Habit, the Instrument by which Parents Work. - 'Habit is TEN natures!'  If I could but make others see with my eyes how much this saying should mean to the educator!  How habit, in the hands of the mother, is as his wheel to the potter, his knife to the caver, - the instrument by means of which she turns out the design she has already conceived in her brain.  - Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, Home Education, p 97)

The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children. - Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, Home Education, p 136)

The mother devotes herself to the formation of one habit at a time, doing no more than keep watch over those already formed.  If she be appalled by the thought of overmuch labour, let her limit the number of good habits she will lay herself out to form.  The child who starts in life with, say, twenty good habits, begins with a certain capital which he will lay out to endless profit as the years go on.  - Charlotte Mason (Vol 1, Home Education, p 136)

This notion of instilling good habits was critical to Charlotte's philosophy.  It seems quite common sense to me and yet I find it very difficult to cultivate the habits I desire, not only in my children, but in myself.  I appreciate Charlotte's direction of "one habit at a time".  Habit training is definitely lifelong work. Rome wasn't built in a day! ....and so we keep plugging away :)

For further thoughts on habit training, you may consider this post at Simply Convivial.

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