Psst! A Secret to Scheduling Success! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Want to know one of my biggest secrets to homeschooling the easy way? Want to know one of my biggest secrets to scheduling success? This one secret can make your daily schedule finally fit. It can end your scheduling frustrations forever.

I am not a “schedule by the minute” type of person. (GRIN)  I fail with schedules like that. They don’t meet my needs. My life includes too many areas that have different needs daily. Timed schedules just do not work for me.

So, what has worked for me? Setting up a framework to my day. This is one incredibly powerful tip. It can make a HUGE difference in your day as well. It just might be the secret that has alluded you through the years.

Wondering what I mean by a “framework” for your day? By framework, I mean a general flow to each day that includes all of the areas of my life that I juggle. But, how do I do that? Here are some quick tips:

1. Decide what should be included in your daily schedule.
Look at what you are all about. Look at your goals, activities, values, priorities. Look at your husband’s schedule–wrap everything around him. Look at what you need to include in your day to get everything done–quiet times, lessons, homemaking, read alouds, work, etc. This is important. Otherwise, you will include things in your schedule that may not be the very best choices. And…one big risk…you may never get around to the things that matter the most. Decide what really needs to be a part of each and every day for your day to be successful.

2. Decide the best time for the tasks you need to complete each day. This will help you get a good flow to your day. For me, quiet times are just best at the beginning of the day. Chores are great right after them–I need them completed so my brain can focus on the table time.  Our business work and errands need to be done in the early afternoon. Read alouds are best before bedtime.  You get the picture. When I tried to read aloud over lunch, we had so many distractions that we could never fit it in. Trying to work the business in the morning would never work…and of course, we couldn’t take care of business errands at night. See how important it is to really look at the best time to get tasks done. Look at the best time for all of the tasks that need to be done. Look at the best flow to get everything done easily each day. You may not get this right at the beginning, but you will get closer and closer each day. You will love it!

3. Balance your day.
Don’t let any one area of your life get out of balance. Everything that we do in our day has a tendency to grow into a big time thief–homeschooling, homemaking, home business. Those important aspects of our life can easily grow out of their boundaries. While I love each of them, they can get rather exhausting if we don’t keep them in balance with the other things that we have to do. The best way for me to stay balanced is to be reasonable about what I expect for each day, keep things simplified and easy, and keep everything inside of its time of the day. I don’t mind those days that we want to dig deeper in a topic that we are studying. I also don’t mind those days that we tackle a messy room. I don’t even mind those days that we have a special business project that needs more time. But, if those areas were demanding extra time every day, it would be easy to get burned-out, frustrated and battle with our time each day. Want to make it work? Find a balance for your day.

4. Set up routines.
Talk about a HUGE help for me. Without routines, things can get so frustrating every day–there are constant decisions, there is more strife in the family, there is no consistency. Routines help us to make things go faster, without the strife and struggle of figuring things out DAILY. Routines reduce the stress of making decisions daily. Routines help our children to know what to expect so they can move through all of the things that they need to do each day. Routines are crucial. They assure a smooth ride. They keep us on track. They keep us out of the ruts. They take us in the direction that we want to go. One of the toughest things I ever did was develop routines in my home. However, one of the most rewarding things that I ever did was develop routines in my home. When I got very, very sick, everything kept going. During those times that I have been stretched, things kept on going. All because of routines. Set up routines. Then, your children will know what to expect. They will learn what is next and next and next. The decisions will be made for you. They will be able to “just do it” with or without you. Set up routines for your family. Develop one set of routines at a time–look for the time of day that things go haywire. If it is morning, for example, look at all that needs to be done. Brainstorm. Make a to-do list for that routine. Write it out. Work it as a checklist until it becomes a habit. If you see other things that need to be added into that set of routines, add them. Tweak it until it is smooth. Then, move to the next troublespot. Do this for all of the times of your day. Watch to see how much it helps!

5. Prune anything that is not necessary. Truth is, we cannot do everything. What we do in our day keeps us from doing other things. It zaps our time, energy, strength. We need to be picky about what we add to our day. Every single thing that we do costs us something. We need to constantly prune those things that are not necessary. Prune anything that hinders, distracts. Be honest. Be ruthless. Prune. Even the good things! Go for the best!

6. Take the squeeze out of your schedule. Watch out for the squeeze in your schedule. Don’t fill every minute of your day with something to do. Why? Because there are always going to be crisis situations, interruptions, melt-downs, delays. If we have our schedule maxed out, we will constantly be overwhelmed, overworked, and squeezed. Find ways to take the squeeze out of your daily schedule–cut out extra running, watch out for time thieves, prioritize your daily to-do’s (and eliminate any that make the day too tight), cut out extras that are unnecessary, keep the day simple and easy. Keep a relaxed atmosphere. Constantly, take the squeeze out of your daily schedule.

7. Stay flexible! Stay adaptable! Actually, one of the reasons that we really want to develop a framework to our day is so we have more flexibility, so we have more “space” in our day to be adaptable. We want to be able to seize opportunities that come our way. We want to be able to slow down and enjoy our children. We don’t want to miss teachable moments. These days just go by too fast. We want to enjoy every second. We want to make sweet, sweet memories. This requires that we stay flexible and adaptable. So, take the time to develop your own framework to your day. Do the tough work. Get your plans together. Work on these suggestions. Then, stay flexible. Stay adaptable. Grasp on to all that God has in store for you!

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The Importance of Routine by Cindy Rushton

 

Good morning dearies! I just got an email from Mary Beth asking me to share this article. She remembered reading it before, but couldn’t remember where to find it. She asked if I could post it here. YES! Hope all of you enjoy! This is an oldie. Fun to read now that my crew are grown and graduated. I could not recommend better tips today. This one is timeless. Enjoy….

Homeschools come packaged in all sorts and types.  Homes all have their own atmosphere…their own discipline…and their own life.  What will make for happy homeschool days?  My vote goes to routine!

As we look at different homes, we find that many people use many instruments to establish discipline.  In our home, we have used primarily two tools–instruction and routine!  You can probably see the need and benefits for instruction but why routine?  Routine is the means by which we lay down the tracks of discipline.  In our family routines, we take away much of the pain of who does what, when they are to do whatever, and how much they are to do.  It has become part of our character to do all that we do with excellence…diligence…and of course, speed!  So, what are some ideas for bringing routine into the home?  The following thoughts are a hodgepodge of my thoughts on routine and form that I have jotted down as I studied this month…

•    When planning routines, priority is given to the most important things. The most important thing is the spirit of the person!  We all need our time with God primarily.  If nothing else is done each day, why not the quiet times?  However, often I myself find the struggle is more for the to-do’s than for my relationship with God OR with the children.  If we value the person the most, we find that our priority becomes that time to talk, read, relax, and even work together.  Yes, there is always more work to do than there is time to do it.  We must accept that reality while planning the time that we devote to that work around time with God and each other!

•    Use lessons to establish habit and discipline. Lessons are the perfect means to establish habit and discipline in the child. Lessons are perfect time to lay the lines of good habits and correct the harmful habits.  Through their lessons, they learn skills, practice godly character, learn that there are “musts” in life, and learn to use all of the faculties of their minds.

•    Feel free to alter any given routine! As we go through life, we find that life is so short.  The sunny moments simply must be snatched along the way.  Even in Charlotte Mason’s schools, she would ring a bell on nice days and set off for an all day expedition!  Can we be this spontaneous?  Yes, duty calls and responsibilities should be accepted habitually.  BUT, all the duty and responsibility is out of balance without the liberty to enjoy life and its spontaneity!

•    Remember that it is not essential to have a developmental program for the child. Instead of trying to teach each child on his/her own grade level, we all share in life together.  We all learn from life together as fellow students.  We are constantly establishing good habits, good priorities, and good routines!  We use REAL LIFE as the curriculum!  Because of this, we can relax knowing that real life is the perfect teacher.  It will be as we go along the way that we will teach the most to our children.  If we base what we teach on “grade level,” then we find that our children simply do not thrive and learning becomes artificial!  Instead, let’s look at what life can teach us.  An example from our life was just this past week.  We were in Mississippi for our Homeschooling Seminar.  Almost all of our family lives in Mississippi.  As we were getting ready to leave from the Rushton’s home to go visit my Daddy, my son was only listening to a conversation between his great-grandmother and I when God brought forth a natural lesson from life.  She was commenting on Matthew’s new book Fearless Warriors, when I shared with her that his next book was to be on the Great Men and Women of the Civil War including our family.  As she said, “Well, you know that both my grandfathers were in the War!”  Matthew darted across the room to sit at her feet and glean from her stories of long ago!  He was able to jot down two more stories for his book…and where did it come from?  LIFE!  It is not essential or even recommended to limit your child to what is learned at their grade level!  Let your time with them be your curriculum!  You will find that the results will influence their routines, priorities in life, and habits for all of life! You will find that they will be able to learn MORE than is possible following a typical scope and sequence!  You will find your homeschool more fulfilling while you are juggling less!!

•    Use home as the atmosphere for teaching! Our homes are a perfect “growing ground” for children.  As mothers, we can view our children as our little plants that will have to be nurtured in our homes.  We will have to pour into them.  We will have to devote ourselves to their constant care.  We will have to be the ones to snatch up those weeds (harmful habits, attitudes, and ideas) that will quickly grow to hinder or possibly cut off their growth.  We are their caretakers.  In being their caretakers, we have to devote all to instructing them at all times.  It may mean that for a season, we just stay home and pour into them… but the results are worth it.  We will find our homes bearing great fruit through our children!

•    Accept that we are never perfect or there! It is often so hard to accept our own weaknesses, needs, or limitations.  We want to be perfect BEFORE we start teaching our children, yet God’s plan entails walking alongside of one another as fellow students in HIS classroom of life!  In our routines, we must operate with what IS possible.  We are not perfect, but also our feelings or the circumstances all around us do not sweep us along! We are free to grow and learn together throughout all of life!

A Typical Day at the Rushton’s…

So, wondering what our routines look like? Would you like a peek into our typical day? Join me as we wake up at the Rushton’s….

Wake up…Quiet times.
No one is allowed to interrupt quiet times. Matthew studies on his own in several of his favorite study guides. (Plants Grown Up by Doorposts, Christian Manhood By Gary Maldaner), Elisabeth listens to the Bible on audio-cassette, and I spend time in study and prayer. SOMETIMES I take my prayer walk if the weather permits…judging by my weight  this time, you can tell it has been sweltering hot lately!)

Chores… The Children have to do the majority of the housework…kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, feeding animals, cleaning their rooms… This is done EVERY day. We usually can get most under control pretty quickly so we can settle down for our table time. This helps get us going for the day while helping to keep our concentration on our skills not the undone work around the house!

Table time… This is our formal study time for our skills. It is a given” for every day. It is not altered because we use our table time to establish our routine in our home. The children work on their Bible Study (right now we are studying through the Old Testament with our Greenleaf resources), Copywork (they select their own selections to copy into their notebooks), Math (we are working through Making Math Meaningful on each of their grade levels), and Language (Alphaphonics for Elisabeth. She is still struggling with her reading, BUT getting better every day…it is finally clicking! Greek for Matthew. He is still working on his Greek Alphabet which is typical for his age, 11.)

Time with Dad… My husband works 2nd shift, so he wakes up around the time that the children have finished their table time. We schedule our day like this for a reason: Dad is TOO much fun! He used to distract the children from the time he woke up because they much more preferred to be listening to Dad…or  helping him with his projects around the house. So, I try to finish their disciplined time by the time he wakes up so they can have the next few hours with him! They may work on building something (garage right now), or fixing something (the story of our life!), or going somewhere (they love to ride with him on his motorcycle…yes, we are Gold Wing people!), or just talking with him! Harold has this time to pour into them just “who” he is. He does not teach them Language or even Algebra…he teaches what is most needful…about himself!

Productive Free Time…We usually all do our own thing in the afternoon after Harold goes to work. This is the time that I work on any writing projects…or paper work…or return any calls…or prepare our next meals.  The children spend this time on pursuits that they enjoy. It may be playing, observing nature, reading, working on projects of their own, practicing their instruments, writing, working on the computer…so on. We try to limit what is available in our home to only educational pursuits. Actually, even their playtime is narrating what they are learning in their history read alouds!

Dinner…Baths…More Productive Free Time

Bedtime…Read Alouds… This is our best time to read from the Bible, or our school Read Alouds. We are currently reading through the Bible in a year. This time is spent in prayer, narrating from the previous day’s reading, reading our new selection, and praying again for each other’s requests. We choose our read alouds from a variety of subjects. It may be a classic in literature or a biography or a mission story or a living science book…we swap up so that we read different books together as a family

Well, this is a look at our routine…how is yours?  Is there a routine to your day?  Is there enough margin in each day to allow for ministry as it comes up?  To allow for spontaneity?  Is there enough time that is unorganized by you so that the children can learn on their own?  My prayer is that this issue will encourage you to develop a routine in your home that will give you the peace and fruit that comes only by walking each day in God’s plan for your homeschool!  Happy Homeschooling!

Confession of an Organizational Derelict by Angela Childress

I’ve got a confession to make…. You ready for it?  I am an organizational derelict.   Does this surprise you?  Probably not, but at least I am finally admitting it.

I didn’t grow up in a home that was organized, and I am not naturally organized.

No matter how hard I try, I just can not come to a point that I can say I have “arrived” and become organized.  And I have tried a lot.

I live in a 2 bedroom mobile home with my hubby, my 3 kids, and 1 dog.  I can’t yet claim the cat that adopted our front porch, but I think my hubby is about to give in.  We all share limited space with 1 bathroom (the dog doesn’t share the bathroom).

Needless to say, with all the stuff a family of 5 acquires, our home feels pretty small.  One thing being out of place can quickly cause a ripple effect and lead to complete chaos.  And with my lack of organizational skills this happens a lot.

So through my years I have sought out tips and advice from more experienced home-makers.  My journey has led me to other women who are willing to share their experiences and wisdom to help me in the areas of my life that are lacking I’ve slowly gleaned ideas on how to be more organized.

One thing that I have learned and have done to help me is develop a beneficial evening and morning routine.  My morning routine helps me to have a smoother start to my day.  It helps my day flow and sets me up to handle interruptions with less stress.

A routine is simply a series of things you do each day, and eventually they become a habit.   Whether or not you realize it, you already have a routine that you follow in your day to day life.  The question is, does your routine develop helpful habits, or habits that interfere with your day.

My routine is in the form of a written list.  My 8 mo is still not sleeping through the night, and most mornings I am still too groggy to think about what to needs to be done. So my list is a tool that helps me to know what to do each morning so I can stay on track in my routine.  I am starting to be a lover of written lists.

When I started to develop my routine, I first started with what could be done in the kitchen during the evening to prepare for the next day.   I don’t know why, the rest of the house can be in complete disarray and I’m fine.  But if my kitchen is out of order I can not function.

So I came up with a evening routine that included straightening up the kitchen, writing out what needs to be done the following day, and thinking of what I need to do to prepare my self for a smoother morning. I would then make sure that each of us had a complete outfit that was clean to wear for the next day.

After I had an evening routine fairly well set up, I started working on my morning routine.  I would think of one thing I could do to make my day start better, and I would work on making it a habit.  Once I did that one thing pretty regular, then I would add another thing to add and work on.  Eventually my routine became fairly regular and consistent and I noticed a big improvement on how my day started and progressed compared to when I neglected to do my routine.

What happens now on days I don’t follow my routine?  I feel lost, the whole day feels helter skelter.  Interruptions large and small can bring the rest of my day to a stand still, and I have a hard time figuring how to restart it.

My morning routine now looks like this:

Rise and Shine! Feed baby J.
Get baby dressed and happily occupied or put her back to sleep.
Make Bed.
Shower
Brush Teeth, do my hair, and put on makeup (sometimes)
Wipe bathroom counter and quickly hand mop around the toilette
Spray the tub
Make some tea or coffee
Read Bible and devotions…

I try to get my routine done before my girls wake up, but since baby J is not sleeping through the night yet.  I like to grab all the sleep I can and usually wake up right as they start to stir.

It’s not a very long list, and I don’t always do everything on my routine list. But just doing some of these helps me to be ready to face the day ahead.

If you don’t have a routine, I highly recommend you start one.   Just pick one thing that you can do to help your day go smoother, and develop it into a beneficial habit. And keep developing good habits one at a time, and I’m sure that soon you will start to see your days run smoother too..

Angela C

Love this? Get to Know Angela better on her blog. Here is the link: http://blessedby3jdcs.blogspot.com/

The Formation of Habit by Cindy Rushton

“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; on the other hand, she who lets habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction.” “If we fail to ease life by laying down habits of right thinking and right doing, habits of wrong thinking and wrong doing fix themselves on their own accord.” ~Charlotte Mason

We all come into homeschooling bringing our own personality…our beliefs of what school should be like and how children learn best…and of course, these little ones in which God assigns for us to teach. We find immediately that homeschooling is so much more than just teaching subjects. It requires so much more of us! As I look back at the over the past years of homeschooling, I find that a large majority of my efforts have not changed much since we began that spring of 1991. I am still battling the to-do’s of homemaking, the pull of all the extras out of my home, and even more so, the formation of habit.

The formation of habit is central to what we do in our homeschooling. It is so central that Charlotte Mason, an educator from the late 1800’s, wrote the largest portion of her 6 volumes on home education on the formation of habit rather than the teaching of lessons. She said often that Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline, and a Life. Yes, she felt that discipline in the home was one-third of what made a complete education!

So many mothers seek for curriculum or schedules to bring structure, order, and even education to the home. Structure, order and education all come from the formation of habit. Formation of habit is not available from any curriculum or any planner or any schedule. Rather, good habits are formed as real education occurs in our home. We have many areas of habit formation that the parent must consider in the education of the child. Consideration must be given to establishing good habits in each area of the child’s being…their intellect, their physical life, their religious life, their character, and their will. Yes, a true education affects all areas of the child’s life!

Habits of the Intellectual Life…

Most often, we think of their intellectual life as we think of homeschooling. We want for our children to be trained in attentiveness, obedience, the act of knowing, fit and ready expression, right thinking, right judging, accuracy, excellence, the good life. However, we seldom realize the great importance of ideas to the intellectual life. You see every habit in the child first comes by ideas. Miss Mason shares in her book Parents and Children the following… “Every habit has its beginning. The beginning is the idea which comes with a stir and takes possession of us.” The question is where do they get such ideas? How do we influence their intellectual life with ideas?

First, ideas are chiefly passed from person to person. It may be by the means of a relationship, or a great book, or something that someone may create (clothes, art, music, poetry, and literature…). You probably remember many instances that you were inspired to greatness by a story-or sadly were influenced to compromise your morals by a song or relationship.

We influence the intellectual life of our children as we carefully moderate the ideas in which they come in contact with. It may be guarding the relationships that they develop. It may be in eliminating activities, which do not support a home-centered lifestyle. It may be selecting appropriate literature or other influences. Our jobs as parents are eased, as we are selective about the food we select for the minds of our children. We want for the children to love learning, so we are careful to present them with ideas in the form of great literature, beautiful poetry, fine art, sensational music. We give them time to develop relationships with what they are learning whether it is a person from their biographies…or seeing a need to learn to write so that they can produce a product of worth to themselves and others.

Secondly, we find that our choices as parents will influence the ideas that our children internalize about education. I remember growing up in the public schools with the thought that education was someone teaching us in a classroom. I could not see all of life as educational. I could not fit church into my box of “what learning should be” so you can imagine the difficulty with changing my ideas and thus, habits once we began to homeschool. Our children may have never been inside the walls of a school, but they have ideas about learning which influence the way that they learn! We can influence their ideas of what education is by the food we give for their minds, the activities we allow them to participate in, the friends that we allow to influence their lives, and our own philosophy of education. These will make all the difference in the development of their intellectual habits!

Finally, we influence the ideas that our children have about the intellectual life by the lessons that we serve before them. Lessons are a means whereby we may establish habit effectively. The children learn by lessons whether the effort to give their attention is necessary or not, whether their minds and intelligence are respected or not, whether we care more for the test scores or for them and their calling in life, whether it pays to have initiative or whether it pays to sit, soak, and sour. As we train our children in intellectual habits, we will find that learning is really more natural than the models that were set before us in governmental and private schools. We will find the children become self-educated at early ages on a path that is totally individual for them! We will find that our children will be children of purpose!

Physical Habits…

The habits of the physical life are interwoven in all areas of life. A person is judged by their neatness, the order in their life and personal belongings, and their standard of excellence. The habits of instilled in their lessons and spirit influence their physical habits. Because of this, children should be able to express their good character through their physical lessons. It may be to demonstrate attentiveness through listening carefully to their read aloud and then physically place their “re-telling” on paper. It may be to demonstrate their habit of excellence by habitually setting forth to do their copywork without reminder and doing so with precision, accuracy, and perfect execution. It may be to demonstrate their orderliness by helping to keep the home nice, neat, and orderly.

These habits are essential for the home to function optimally. The outward fruits from a lack of training make life tedious for the mother. A messy home, constant supervision of the children, inattentiveness of the children to their lessons all require much more stress than taking time to lay down the lines of good habit. The fruits of an orderly, neat, well-functioning home are definitely worth the effort!

Religious Habits…

Each and every day in our home begins with quiet times. Each member of our family is required to spend their time in Bible study, prayer, and Bible memorization. This was not always so. For many years, I had to establish these habits of the religious life by time spent every morning in Quiet Time WITH the children. It did not take long until I saw Matthew begin to have his own quiet time. I share this because the most crucial habits to instill in our children are those that bring them closer to the Lord.

Habits such as thought of God, reverent attitudes, sense of duty, regular devotions, reading the Bible, praise, prayer, Sabbath keeping only come from the consistent teaching and the model of the parents. The responsibility lies with the parent to instill these habits from an early age. These habits cannot be left for chance without leaving our children ill equipped to know and follow God.

Habits of Character…

Religious habits are empty and vain if we are not diligent to instill in our children the habits of character that are so necessary for the godly, well-educated child. Character used to be essential. In our society, we often ignore the character of the child and focus on the intellectual attainments of the child. Charlotte Mason shared in her book Parents and Children the following insight,

“Disposition, intellect, genius, come pretty much by nature; but character is an achievement, the one practical achievement possible to us for ourselves and for our children; and all real advance in family or individual is along the lines of character. Our great people are great simply by reason of their force of character…let this be borne in mind, whatever ugly quality disfigures the child, he is but as a garden overgrown with weeds; the more prolific the weeds, the more fertile the soul; he has within him every possibility of beauty of life and character. Get rid of the weeds and foster the flowers.”

For every bad habit, there is an opposite good habit. We all desire the wonderful character habits of candor, fortitude, temperance, patience, meekness, courage, generosity, personal service to God, relationship with God, gentleness, kindness…but these character qualities come to be only with care of the parent. Charlotte Mason shared that in order to eliminate bad character and develop the fine character qualities, the parent had to have special treatment as follows…

“The child may be cured in a month if the mother will set herself to the task with both hands and of set purpose; at any rate, the cure may be well begun, and that is half done…Let the month of treatment be a deliciously happy month to him, he living all the time in the sunshine of his mother’s smile. Let him not be left to himself to meditate or carry out ugly pranks. Let him feel himself always under a watchful, loving, and approving, eye. Keep him happily occupied, well amused. All this to break the old custom which is assuredly broken when a certain length of time goes by without its repetition. But one habit drives out another. Lay new lines in the old place. Open avenues of kindness for him. Let him enjoy daily, hourly the pleasure of pleasing. Get him into the way of making little plots for the pleasure of the rest-a plaything of his contriving, a dish of strawberries of his gathering, shadow rabbits to amuse the baby; take him on kind errands to poor neighbors, carrying and giving of his own. For a whole month the child’s whole heart is flowing out in deeds and schemes and thoughts of lovingkindness, and the ingenuity which spent itself in malicious tricks becomes an acquisition to his family when his devices are benevolent.”

If you find a weed in your child’s character, replace it with a flower! Choke out the weeds/defects in character with the graces of fine character!

Habits of the Will…

All of the above is of no real use until we deal with the final area of establishing habit–that of the will. The will shapes the destiny of the person. The will determines the consistency of action of the individual, the heart behind what is done or said or believed or accepted, and the final acceptance of your authority as the parent and ultimately God’s authority as Supreme Ruler in that child’s life. It is by the will that the child can “turn his thoughts to the things he wants to think of-his lessons, his prayers, his work, and away from things he should not think of.” (Charlotte Mason in Home Education) It is by the will that the child learns to manage himself with self-government, controlling himself, compelling himself, and overcoming temptations.

The will of the child is very tender. The habits of the will are just as tender to instill. In the area of the will, the wise mother can strengthen her child, thus having fruit in all areas of habit. She strengthens the will with several tools–habits of the will. One such habit is giving the child a sense of conquest over his own inclinations. She can invite the child to cooperate and praise him as he experiences little successes!.She can teach him the habit of compelling himself. Charlotte Mason called this habit the highest accomplishment of life. It is certainly so. As he heartily intends and purposes to do something he is bidden to do, he can use his own will to compel himself. This habit in motion is as exhilarating as seeing a child walk on his own, but more so because we know that as the child learns to compel himself to do good or to choose not to do bad, he is able to become self-governed for life. Another habit to instill is that of completion–succeeding at what they set forth to do or finishing what is started. This habit is one that influences every other area of habit!.It influences who the child becomes.

The last habit of the will is that of letting God teach the child through his conscience. My key verse for homeschooling is 1 Timothy 1:5, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” This verse sums up all of the emphasis of good habit. Without the formation of good habits, the goal of our instruction can never be attained. Our children would never will to do that which is good from pure hearts because they would not have a love for good. They would never learn to be sincere in their faith because they would develop the habit of self-centeredness and selfishness. Their faith would be in self. They would never have a good conscience that only comes from total fellowship with God through His Holy Spirit. Our goal is but this one thing to instill habit in our children so that they may have love from pure hearts…have a good conscience…and have a sincere faith. What an awesome goal–the formation of habit. Habit reaps a character. Character reaps a life.