Tag Archives: Volume 3

Taking Care to Make Good Habits-Charlotte Mason Education

Dad's Orchids
Just like a beautiful orchid, habits take time and patience to cultivate. If you are diligent, you will see them blossom.

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.


Fascinating People: It is More Than Just You

coloma river 5 really good one
American River, Coloma, California

Charlotte Mason day! For those that are new readers, Friday is my day to make a blog entry on something that interests me from my reading in Charlotte Mason‘s books on education. If you are interested in knowing more about how to implement her ideas in your homeschool you can check out Ambleside Online.

Once again, volume 3 chapter 8.…I promise the last post on this chapter. (There are lots more points to talk about but I will move on.)

“The carpenter, the gardener, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker are all fascinating people.”
page 87

Think of all the people your children comes into contact with every week. Who interests them the most? I have observed in my boys that they are most interested in people who have jobs that actually *do* things. The telephone guy up on the pole, the man digging a hole with a backhoe, the man filling the propane tank, and the lady at the dry cleaners doing all sorts of interesting things in the backroom. They talk to the librarian, the clerk at the grocery, our mail carrier, the UPS guy, and the lady at Jamba Juice. They talk the ear off our family doctor, the lady at the lab where they have blood drawn, and they tell jokes to the dentist.

All of these people in our lives take the time to share themselves with the boys because they take an interest. My boys have learned that if they ask questions in a respectful way, most people are happy to answer. Charlotte Mason had it right, “If we accept that the priority of education should be establishing relationships, then the relationships between our fellow human beings should be the most important ones to establish.” pg. 85

Harmony Art Mom

Right Ideas at the Right Time: CM Education

Charlotte Mason Right Ideas at the Right Time @harmonyfinearts
I have come to enjoy my weekly reading in Charlotte Mason’s writings. I print out the chapter from the book and then sit snuggled up with my pen in hand….gleaning some fresh ideas for my homeschooling and family life. This week we are reading chapter 6 in volume 3 and it is titled, “Examining Some Educational Theories”. How boring of a title is that? I sort of thought this would be a chapter that I just skimmed through and moved on but I found some gems as always.

Here is her definition of education and a little explanation:
“We think of education as the art of making relationships, or, to be more clear, we think of education as the consideration of which relationship are appropriate for human beings and how those relationships can best be established. Humans come into the world with the capacity to make lots of different relationships. We as teachers have two concerns. First, we need to facilitate this by exposing children to the right ideas at the right time, and making sure that children have good habits that will allow them to make the most of their exposure to these ideas. And second, we need to stay out of the way so that our interference doesn’t prevent the very relationships we want them to form.” Volume 3 page 65-66

The three things that I highlighted in the quote are the points that I am going to take away from this chapter. Exposing our children to the right ideas at the right time, instilling good habits, and then staying out of the way so they can make the relationships on their own are the basis of a good educational philosophy. I think that homeschooling moms sometimes want to “teach” their children what they think they should know when we really are just the director setting the stage for a wonderful scene to take place. Our children need to make connections and relationships with the material they are studying.

You may be interested in reading this post: Building Good Habits in High School

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