Principles guide how students see ideas

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Therefore, children should be taught, as they become mature enough to understand such teaching, that the chief responsibility which rests on them as persons is the acceptance or rejection of ideas. To help them in this choice we give them principles of conduct, and a wide range of the knowledge fitted to them. These principles should save children from some of the loose thinking and heedless action which cause most of us to live at a lower level than we need.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 6; Preface to the ‘Home Education’ Series)

Summer is the time to develop habits, set routines, and practice skills!

Teaching Tip:

Make the best of the time you have left before school begins.

Do you feel the lazy days of summer beginning to wane? Are you getting closer to the official start of the school year? If so, this week’s tip encourages you to make the best of the time you have left before school begins again.

Begin developing habits, setting routines, and doing some skill practice.

The end of summer is a terrific time to take a couple of weeks to ease into the school year. It is a time to begin developing habits, setting routines, and doing some skill practice. So, here are a few ideas for each of these areas!

What are few habits to begin developing?

Habits take awhile to form, so why not begin now before the busy school schedule begins? I will just mention a few habits we need to work on at our house. Hopefully, this will get you thinking about habits you could work on with your children. Maybe your children need to work on basic habits like teeth brushing or making their beds. Perhaps your kiddos need to set a regular wake time to get up each morning. Or, maybe your kiddos need to work toward getting to bed a bit earlier in preparation for school. It could be that the habit of first-time obedience has fallen by the wayside and needs to be picked up again. There are so many habits worth developing. Simply pick the ones that bother you most and begin!

Which routines are worth putting in place?

Routines help school move along much more quickly. It is worth taking a few moments before school begins to see if you have needed routines in place. I always take a few weeks to ponder my routines for things like laundry, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and chores. If I don’t have a good routine for each of these areas, our school day can quickly derail. Check your own routines in these areas to see if they need tweaking. It will be worth it once school begins!

How do I decide which skills are worth practicing?

Skill practice doesn’t have to be time-consuming to work! As you prepare for the school year, perhaps there are a few skills that it would be wise to begin practicing now. Skills like math fact practice can be done in a just a few minutes a day. It can be as easy as having your child whip through a set of flashcards or practice an online fact practice game. Typing is another area that benefits from a refresher. Typing Instructor is great for typing practice. We have our kiddos practice 10- 15 minutes a day in the summer. Sustained silent reading is another easy area to practice. We have our kiddos read silently for 30 minutes a day. They can read on their own or at bedtime. You can even join your children and read your own book silently as they read to be sure it gets done!

Pick and choose a few areas that need work.

Rather than trying to work on everything, pick a few areas that bother you the most. Begin with those areas first. Be sure not to overwhelm either you or your children with too much at once. Just pick a few key areas. You can always work on the other areas as school gets underway.

Blessings,
Carrie

What do we mean by “education is a discipline”?

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“By ‘education is a discipline,’ we mean the discipline of habits, formed definitely and thoughtfully, whether habits of mind or body. Physiologists tell us of the adaptation of brain structures to habitual lines of thought, i.e., to our habits.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 6; Preface to the ‘Home Education’ Series)

Help your child build the habit of proofreading!

Teaching Tip:

Help your child build the habit of proofreading!

When a child reaches Creation to Christ (and the guides that come after it), it is time to work on proofreading. Typically, proofreading does not come naturally to children. This means it is a skill that must be practiced in order for it to become a habit.

How can you build the habit of proofreading?

To help ingrain the habit of proofreading, have your child read his written narrations out loud to you. As your child reads the narration aloud, have him pause and correct any mistakes he notices right away.

Don’t be surprised if your little honey reads right past his mistakes. If so, gently stop him and point out obvious mistakes that should be caught when reading aloud what was written. Some examples of obvious mistakes include the following: a word written twice, an omitted word, a lack of punctuation, an important letter missing within a word, or a problem in grammar or usage.

After your child has read the narration aloud, you should read the passage out loud next. As you read, guide your child in correcting any remaining errors in spelling, capitalization, or punctuation.

Use your child’s written narrations to build the habit of proofreading.

Written narrations are scheduled weekly in each of our guides from Preparing Hearts on up. This schedule makes the weekly written narration a perfect forum to practice good proofreading habits! Practice proofreading together each week, and you’ll eventually see the fruit of this exercise. Your child will begin to automatically read aloud and proof his narrations prior to handing them in to you. Having a weekly expectation for proofreading starts to establish a pattern for proofreading work.

Try this method for proofreading once each week using your child’s written narration.

Practice this method for proofreading with your child each week. I think you’ll see a new habit begin to slowly form as the years pass! I know this method has worked with all three of our older sons, and we’re already seeing progress with our fourth son too. Try it, and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

PS: For a way to begin teaching this skill to younger students in Bigger Hearts and Preparing Hearts, have a look at this blog post!

Doing school tasks well in the assigned time

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“But, if the schoolgirl is to get two or three hours intact [for play], she will owe it to her mother’s firmness as much as to her good management. In the first place, that the school tasks be done, and done well, in the assigned time, should be a most fixed law. The young people will maintain that it is impossible, but let the mother insist; she will thereby cultivate the habit of attention, the very key to success in every pursuit, as well as secure for her children’s enjoyment.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 5, p. 195)