Authority and Habits ala Charlotte Mason

Charlotte Mason Homeschool Authority and Habits @harmonyfinearts

I can not resist another Charlotte Mason post this week, I am so enjoying reading and thinking about her ideas. This week’s chapter, chapter 3, is on authority in the home and in your school. I highly recommend reading this chapter which you can do online translated into modern English. Volume 3 in modern English

Here are my favorite quotes from this week’s readings (in the translated modern English format)

“If a parent seems to doubt that the child will obey, then there’s room for the child to hesitate, ‘Should I do it, yes or no?’ If you don’t even appear to question the possibility that he might not comply, he’ll feel that a trust has been committed to him, and he’ll keep it.” Vol. 3 page 15

So as part of our authority in the home, it is our responsibility to *expect* our children to obey us. We should appear as if there is no question that we have the authority and the ability to have them obey us. Doesn’t this make it seem simple? Maybe it is. Eph 6:1

“The man who has the power to make himself do what his mind wills can achieve anything. It’s up to parents to give their children this kind of power by making it a matter of habit.” Vol. 3 page 20

Amen! I am so on board with this thinking. Good habits are hard to break so if we teach our children from the start to do their best job at everything they put their hands to, they will be able to achieve so much in life. We must teach them that good habits and perseverance are what make us successful, especially in God’s eyes. Col 3:23

“We hardly need to add that authority is just and faithful when it comes to keeping promises. It’s also considerate, which is why a good mother makes the best Ruler in a home–she’s in touch with her children, knows their unspoken ambitions and understands their half-formed dreams. If she can’t give in, she tries to divert and redirect. She never rules by crushing with a sledge-hammer–a tool of power that children somehow never sympathize with.”

Oh yes, children can see that when we start with the heavy handedness we have lost all control. As homeschooling moms we have the unique position to know our children so intimately that we rarely give in to this thinking. We can redirect bad behavior, we can inspire them in their dreams, and we can keep our promises. Eph. 6:4

So enough for this week. I am inspired by this chapter to keep my authority and that of my husband in it’s proper place. This contributes to a happier and more successful family.



Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf and More

Composer Study Sergei Prokofiev @harmonyfinearts

I have had a huge attraction to the music of Sergei Prokofiev for about two years now. I was blessed to go and see the ballet Romeo and Juliet in San Francisco. It was the first time that I had ever seen a full-scale ballet done by a professional company along with the live orchestra. It was the most awesome experience…I didn’t want to leave. Dance of the Knights is outstanding. Here is a link that you can get a taste of it:
Dance of the Knights

This started my fascination with Prokofiev’s music. I had heard and shared with my children many times the music and story of Peter and the Wolf. If you haven’t shared this with your family, I highly recommend finding the book and music at your library. It is very enjoyable to listen to and your children will soon learn to pick out each of the instruments and characters they portray.

I also recommend seeing if you can find the music that Prokofiev wrote for Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella. These are two of my favorites and I play them often.

Here are some links to Amazon for CDs that I own.

Bernstein Favorites Children’s Classics: Carnival of Animals-Peter and the Wolf-Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

The Best of Prokofiev


Watch Dance of the Knights on YouTube –your kids will love it!

This post contains affiliate links.


Harmony Fine Arts Grade 8

Sergei Prokofiev is part of the plans for Harmony Fine Arts Grade 8.

Art Appreciation Made Easy: Jan Vermeer


Vermeer Artist Study @harmonyfinearts

Jan Vermeer

Links to a Vermeer biography:

Links to some of his paintings:

1. Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665/66
2. The Music Lesson, 1662-65
3. The Milkmaid, 1658-60
4. The Geographer, 1668/69

More places to view Vermeer’s work: Vermeer on WikiPaintings

Tips for Viewing Vermeer’s Artwork

You can right click on the image and copy it to your desktop to print it out. In most cases it is permissible to download one copy for study purposes. You can print out the pieces you really like, slip them in page protectors, and then keep them in a binder to review as the year goes on.

You can also make the painting your computer’s wallpaper background and view it for a week. You can do this by right clicking on the image and then choosing to set the image as your desktop wallpaper.

Steps for General Picture Study

1. Choose the painting to be viewed.
2. Have the child sit quietly and just look at the painting.
3. After a time of looking, hide the painting from view and ask your child to tell you what he remembers about the painting. (Charlotte Mason calls this narration.)
4. That is it. It is as simple as that.
5. To extend the activity for older students, you may have them sketch the painting from memory. You can also have the child write a review of the painting for thier notebook. My boys enjoyed Jan Vermeer’s artwork so we printed the paintings out and they put them into their art binders. I am going to put together another set of images to view later in the year for them.

Additional Ideas for Beginners

For a less Charlotte Mason approach you can prompt your child with the following questions if they are having trouble discussing the painting.

  • What colors do you see?
  • What objects can you see in the painting?
  • What is going on in the artwork?
  • Is the work of art true-to-life?
  • What ideas or emotions do you think this work is trying to express?
  • Do you like this piece of art and why or why not?
  • Do you like this artwork more now than you did when you first saw it?

Note this is an affiliate link to a book I own and love.

You can check your local public library for a copy of this book to share with your children if you want to go more in-depth in your Vermeer study.


If you are wanting even more time studying this important painter, you can use the Harmony Fine Arts Grade 7 plans which include a six week study of Vermeer. Click the button below to see the Grade 7 plans and a sample to download.

Grade 7

In addition, I have a complete Harmony Fine Arts Mini Unit dedicated to the study of Vermeer. This unit study covers nine weeks of study along with many printable activities and notebooking pages created to help you and your family learn more about Vermeer. You can click the button below to read more details and to download a sample. The price is less than a fancy cup of coffee at $3.95!

Vermeer Haydn Cover Button 2

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