Sunday, 2 November 2008

Habit Training the Charlotte Mason Way

"Let children alone-...the education of habit is successful in so far as it enables the mother to let her children alone, not teasing them with perpetual commands and directions - a running fire of Do and Don’t ; but letting them go their own way and grow, having first secured that they will go the right way and grow to fruitful purpose."

These words are of great encouragement to me... but I need to" first secure that they will go the right way" before my children can "grow to fruitful purpose"

Habit training is another wonderful part of a Charlotte Mason education. Here is another wonderful quote from Miss Mason for us mothers to remember & teach our children:

"I am, I can, I ought, I will"

I have worked on habit training previously with my girls, but, sadly I have been inconsistent in perhaps one of the most important that is where we will begin:
First time obedience

Here are 3 definitions from Character

~Submission to the restraint or commands of authority. (Dictionary Definition)
~Freedom to be creative under the protection of divinely-appointed authority. (Operational Definition)
~Learning the importance of limitations and the meaning of the word "no." Responding to the wishes of God, parents, and others in authority. Yielding the right to have the final decision. (Operational Definition)

When I call for my children, I expect them to reply "coming Mummy!" & when I tell them to do something, I expect them to say "yes Mummy" I believe in keeping things simple :)

Some Bible stories to read:
~The story of David who's obedience to his father (1 Samuel 17) led to his victory over Goliath. Had David not obeyed the instructions of his father, he would have missed this significant opportunity to defeat the enemies of God.
~The story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5

Scripture to learn:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Ephesians 6:1

Here is some very useful information on training obedience.

I also have Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook. This is a *wonderful* resource for habit training the CM way. I believe there is a free downloadable sample.

I also found a free goal setting page that can be used for habit training & stored in your home or school notebook.

Last, but no means by least, I shall remember this:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13


benjen04 said...


Not sure if you'll see this question -since this is such a dated post, but I'm new to CM and am a young mom in need of some character training with her 3 little ones. :) My kids are 6, 4, and 1.

My question is, as we present a "habit" or character trait to train them in, how does Christ fit with it all? As Christians, what makes this teaching "Christian"? And not simply moral? I want them to realize the truth -as you said there at the end- that it is through HIS strength that we are able to obey, be kind, forgive, etc. How do I teach this while yet having them understand their responsibility as well? I don't want to raise little pharisees who, deep down, believe they are able to exhibit these lovely character traits from their own will. If that were so, they would not need Jesus.

Do you have any help for me?
Thank you so much!

Lynn said...

Hello Jenni

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog.
In my humble opinion, we teach our children good habbits as instructed in God's word:
Prov 22
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
The whole chapter discusses moral behaviour. I believe as parents we need to be teaching our children good & moral behaviour, as our responsibility to God. Their relationship with Him is so important, but we are here on this earth to walk alongside them & train the for Him.
I am not sure if this is answering fully your question - please feel free to get in touch if not.