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)
What should you do when your children need correction?
Today I’ll share a simple tip for correcting children that I picked up during my public school teaching days. It is a tip that remains incredibly helpful to me every day of homeschooling! This tip is so simple that it almost seems like it couldn’t be a real tip. Yet, it will yield big results if you use it (and you can start today)! So, here it is… Tell your children what you want them to do, not what you don’t want them to do.
Tell your children what you want them to do.
If a behavior that you do not want to see crops up, direct your children toward the behavior you do want to see. Instead of saying, “Don’t do that!” say, “Please do this.” For example, if your children continually rush about the house loudly, instead of saying, “Don’t run!” instead say, “Walk.” Or, if your children write very messy, instead of saying “Don’t write so sloppy,” instead say, “Please write neatly.” Or, if your children speak to you inappropriately, instead of saying, “Don’t talk back to me!” instead say, “Please use respect when talking to me.”
The mind is a powerful visualization tool.
The reason this is such an important tip is because the mind is a very powerful visualization tool. It automatically pictures what is said. To show you what I mean, ponder this scenario. If I say to you, “Don’t run,” what is your mind picturing? It is probably picturing you running, isn’t it! However, if I say to you, “Please walk,” now what are you picturing? You’re picturing yourself walking, aren’t you! The words you use when you give directions to your children are powerful. Your directions should help your kiddos picture themselves behaving the way you desire, so they can act on that desire.
Paint a positive picture in your children’s minds.
Watch yourself today as you direct your children. See how many times you catch yourself painting a negative picture of their behavior rather than a positive picture in their minds. Then, change the way you give directions. You will find this tip will change your homeschool attitude and your kiddos’ attitudes too! Try it today, and see what you think!
Do you partner with your child?
One of your roles as a teacher is to partner with your child in his/her education. So, what happens when your child is running behind, or is frustrated, or has gotten a late start? It is up to you to determine how this affects the day. When this happens at our house, I have two choices. I can either be very upset, or I can partner with my child. If I choose to be very upset, I am setting a mood of frustration for the day. If I choose to partner with my child, there is a sense of relief. Through the years I have learned that partnering with my kids is the better plan of action!
What does partnering with your child mean?
Partnering means that I jump in and do whatever it takes to get my child back on track. I am not a skipper by nature, simply because I know everything in the guide has a purpose. So, instead of skipping things, I look for ways to complete the assignments while allowing the child to catch up.
What are some ways to partner with your child?
Partnering with my child may mean I do the grammar lesson orally, rather than having the child write part on paper. Or, it may mean that I sit right beside the child for a subject he is supposed to do on his own. In this way, I can quickly help him move through that subject. Or, maybe I get out needed books or get everything ready for the next few subjects. This minimizes time lost getting books out or finding the correct page. It could be that I just clear and correct, putting everything away to minimize clutter.
To save time, I could allow a child to read on his/her own something I was meant to read. Or, I might have a child do just the odds or evens in math to catch-up there. Maybe I have my child save a subject to do in the evening. Or, I might have a child orally narrate into his iPod or narrate to a sibling instead of to me. Perhaps, we might have the poetry discussion during lunch while we eat. Or, I might write my child’s responses in the Student Book for Drawn into the Heart of Reading as he dictates them. These are all ways you can creatively jump in and help your kiddos get their day back on track.
Partnering with your child often saves the day!
Partnering together often saves the day! It shows your child that you are on this journey together. So, the next time something derails your day, don’t let it dictate your day. Instead, partner with your child to take the day back!
A Charlotte Mason Moment:
“The constraining power [of the parent] should be present, but passive, so that the child may not feel himself hemmed in without choice. That free-will of man which has for ages exercised faithful souls who would prefer to be compelled into all righteousness and obedience, is after all a pattern for parents. The child who is good because he must be so, loses in power of initiative more than he gains in seemly behavior. Every time a child feels that he chooses to obey of his own accord, his power of initiative is strengthened.”
(Home Education by Charlotte M. Vol. 3, p. 31)