Our family tries to make good habits when it comes to things like being grateful to our Creator, seeing the beauty in all that is around us, and enjoying the arts. All these habits come with the slow, gradual passing of time. The fruits of these good habits may not be seen for many years but they are certainly worth working on.
Habits and ideas are talked about in Charlotte Mason’s series of books. In my continuing effort to read through her series, I read chapter 9 in Volume 3 School Education. This chapter is titled “A Review of A Great Educationalist”. (Don’t let the title fool you, this chapter has some gems in it if you just read straight through.)
On page 99 there is a section that really caught my eye. Here she says:
Character doesn’t just come from exposing children to great ideas. It’s also the result of habits that we strive to instill based on those ideas. We recognize both principles–idea and habit. The result is that we have a wide range of possibilities in education, practical methods, and definite aim. Our goal is to produce a human being who is the best he can be physically, intellectually, ethically and spiritually; a person who will have the enthusiasm of religion, full life, nature, knowledge, art and physical work.
Ideas start in the brain and then we make habits to go along with those ideas. When we homeschool our children we have the opportunity to start so many good habits and fix bad habits, not by rewards but by putting good ideas into our children’s heads. She also says on that same page:
The culture of habit is a physical endeavor, to a certain degree. The discipline of habit makes up a third of education.
Good habits in our children start with good habits on our part. It takes time and patience to develop good habits like doing chores without being asked, being polite, being generous, paying attention, not wasting time, and being truthful. Habit training should bring joy to your family. There are far less times of friction as each family member strives to apply good habits, one habit at a time if necessary.