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10. Education is a Discipline: The Good Habit Tool

Your child's education happens through "atmosphere, discipline, and life," the three tools that are your child's natural environment, habits that make his life smoother, and interesting ideas that awaken his mind. Last week we looked at the atmosphere your child is surrounded with. This week we'll look at habits.

What habits have you intentionally taught your child? To say please and thank you? To put his dishes by the kitchen sink after dinner? To make his bed and brush his teeth every morning? To wipe his feet before he comes in the house?

What about habits he's picked up, but that you didn't set out to teach? Whisking his Legos out of reach when he hears Baby Brother's toddling footsteps approaching? Drawing a smily face in the top right corner of his schoolwork? Waiting until Mom sounds like she means business before he takes action? :-)

Did you know that paying attention is a habit you can intentionally encourage? Not only can you encourage it, but it's important for your child's education. When your child pays attention, your school time can be more effective, and time will go by quicker and more enjoyably. A child who's distracted by every little thing, or whose mind wanders all day long can make a few lessons drag on for hours.

How do you encourage this habit of paying attention? You start small. Keep lessons short and successful, before his attention starts to lag.

Stay tuned for the last of these three tools: "life!"

"Forming good habits is what an education is made of. Education is merely forming the right habits." [from Charlotte Mason's Vol. 1 pg 97]

[Today's patio chat comes from Principle 7]

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