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!


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)

The power of habits

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“Consider how laborious life would be were its wheels not greased by habits of cleanliness, neatness, order, courtesy; had we to make the effort of decision about every detail of dressing and eating, coming and going, life would not be worth living. Every cottage mother knows that she must train her child in habits of decency, and a whole code of habits of propriety get themselves formed just because a breach in any such habit causes a shock to others which few children have courage to face. Physical fitness, morals and manners, are very largely the outcome of habit; and not only so, but the habits of the religious life also become fixed and delightful and give us due support in the effort to live a godly, righteous and sober life.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. VI, p. 103)

The importance of reverent attitudes

A Charlotte Mason Moment:

“The importance of reverent attitudes is a little apt to be overlooked in these days. We are, before all things, sincere, and are afraid to insist upon ‘mere forms’, feeling it best to leave the child to the natural expression of his own emotions. Here perhaps we are wrong, as it is just as true to say that the form gives birth to the feeling as that the feeling should give birth to the form.”

(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 3, p. 141)