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)

Summer is a great time for chore training!

Teaching Tip

Summer is a great time for chore training!

Summer is a wonderful time to train your children to do various chores around the house. We use the summer to train each of our kiddos to do a set of chores appropriate to his age. Then, during the school year the child is easily able to do these chores well, with less checking and monitoring!

How many chores can you expect a child to perform well?

Each child has 1-3 chores we train him to do very well. These chores are the child’s responsibility until he grows another year older. Each year the chores shift, allowing each child more responsibility as he matures.

What types of chores can you train children to do?

Chores can range from dust busting after meals, to clearing table, to loading and unloading the dishwasher. Taking out the garbage, wiping the counters, and sorting and folding laundry are other chores that can be taught. Older children can tackle lawn care, snow removal, house cleaning, putting away groceries, and making quick meals. The chores we assign go beyond typical “picking up.”

Routine “picking up” is also a daily responsibility.

All of our kiddos are expected to put away their school books, make their beds, and keep their bedrooms tidy. Our older kiddos also take turns doing a “clean sweep” of the house in the evening before bedtime. This sweep involves systematically tidying each room and putting away out of place items. These routine tasks are in addition to our boys’ other assigned chores.

Why is summer a great time for chore training?

Chore training takes time and diligence! This is why summer is a great time to tackle this task with consistency. Try chore training with your children. When the school year rolls around again, you will be glad that you did!


Habit Training That Helps the Homeschool Year Go Better

Habit Training That Helps the Homeschool Year Go Better

From Our House to Yours

Habit training during breaks can help the homeschool year go better!

Charlotte Mason was an advocate of habit training!  We have found breaks during our homeschool year offer the perfect time to habit train. During breaks, our kiddos can focus on learning one good habit a time. This attention to habit training  makes our homeschool year with Heart of Dakota go even better!

Here are a few of my favorite Charlotte Mason quotes that inspire habit training!

“Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend.”  (Charlotte Mason, Volume 1, page 118)

“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days.” (Charlotte Mason, Volume 1, page 123)

What habit training for a toddler would help the homeschool year go better?

Toddlers are notoriously ‘everywhere’ and into ‘everything!’  So, one worthwhile habit to train toddlers to have is an independent playtime in a designated, child-proof area.  A blanket in a child-proofed room, a playpen in a safe area, or a gated child-proofed area of the house are examples of good areas to train toddlers to have a playtime.  Once you have child-proofed an area, you can choose a basket of things that will keep their attention.  This basket might include board books, stuffed animals, blocks, balls, etc.  All items should be safe for kiddos to use (or throw) on their own. Toddlers can start with 15 minutes and work up to 20 or 30 minutes.  You can play Christian music or a homemade ‘mommy tape’ in the background.

What habit training for 3 to 6 year olds would help the homeschool year go better?

My favorite habit to train my 4 to 6 year olds to do for an independent playtime was learning stations.  To read my blog post about learning stations, click here!

What habit training for individual chores for children of all ages would help the homeschool year go better?

Chores are part of the homeschool environment, and your children can be your best help!  A break in homeschooling is a wonderful time to habit train children to help with chores.  It is best to focus on one chore at a time.  Each child can have a chore he/she is responsible for in a routine way each day. You may want one child to consolidate and take out the trash each day.  Another child can unload the dishwasher.  Still another child can feed the pets. Whatever chores are assigned, be sure to have the same child responsible for them each day.  That will help them to become a good habit!  You can change them in a year or so, but you may find (as I have) that they want to keep their chores the next year.  They’ve become good at them!

What habit training tasks can be completed together as a family?

You can also work on one overall chore as a family, and assign each child a part of that overall chore.  For example, you could assign each child a task to complete when cleaning up after a meal.  We have our youngest son clear the table. He sets the dirty dishes on the counter near the sink and puts away anything simple that has to go in the fridge or in the cupboard (i.e. ketchup bottle, honey, salt/pepper, etc.).  I put any leftovers in containers in the fridge and scrape anything on plates in the garbage.

My oldest son rinses the dishes for the dishwasher and washes any large pots/pans.  My middle son takes the rinsed dishes and loads them in the dishwasher. He also dries the pots and pans and puts them back in the cupboards.  Meanwhile, my youngest son vacuums the kitchen.  To finish, my middle son wipes off the table.  This all takes place very quickly and efficiently, as we have done this for years!

I hope this gives you some ideas for habit training for your kiddos during breaks!  Having habits in place such as these makes the homeschool year so much more enjoyable!

In Christ,

P.S. For more about habit training little ones by Carrie, click here!

P.S.S.  For more about habit training kiddos to have scheduled playtimes, click here!