Friday, June 27, 2014

The Habits of Attention and Obedience - Charlotte Mason

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Hello!  Welcome to our continuing discussing the book Home Education by Charlotte Mason.   I'm hoping that these discussions will be really practical and encouraging for all of us!  I will bring up some areas of the chapter that I'm trying to implement in my home this summer, and I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


The Habits of Attention


This chapter ties in quite closely with the last one.  The first part focuses on helping our children acquire the habit of attention.  This one hits close to home because my son really struggles with staying focused and paying attention.  I'm sure that is true in some sense for every five year old boy =)

Ms. Mason reassured me that,

The children are thinking all the time about something else than their lessons; or rather, they are at the mercy of the thousand fancies that flit through their brains, each in the train of the last.

Ok, good, so at least I'm not alone over here!

She says that inattention is bad, though, because it wastes time and also forms a "desultory habit of mind," and reduces the child's capacity for mental effort.

Ok, I'm not alone, but I do need to work on this!


How to help your child stay focused:


  • Call your child's attention to the details of the little things he is interested in (instead of letting the child move quickly on to the next play thing).
  • Find ways to make everything your child comes in contact with interesting and delightful.
  • Don't let your child dawdle over their school work.  Move onto the next subject so the child will only be working on any one subject when they are actually giving attention to it.
  • Set specific lengths of time for school work so your child knows how long they should strive to work hard for. (10 minutes for copywork, 20 minutes for the math lesson, etc.)
  • Reward your child with free time if they finish early and well.

The goal is that eventually your child will be able to have the self-control to keep himself focused.  A practical benefit that the work will be done much better with your child's full attention than it would be if they dawdled through it.


The Habit of Thinking


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  • Ask your children "Why?" instead of giving them all the answers when they ask you questions.
  • When you give lessons, let each one be linked to the last.
  • Re-visit frequently the lessons you have learned so they do not forget.


The Habit of Obedience


My husband and I were quite good at this when the kids were younger, but as they have grown we have let up a bit.  I try to give my children more freedom to have opinions and desires as they grow, but it seems as though obedience (without asking 'why' or saying 'in a minute') goes downhill when I do that.

Ms. Mason says that commands should be given in a quiet, authoritative tone, and then expect that they should be done.  Obedience should also be prompt, cheerful, and lasting.

I don't know if I ever thought of obedience as habit training.  At least, not in the sense that once a child gets in the habit of obedience, it is easy to do.  Also, that it needs to be practiced over and over until it is second nature as opposed to being a more formal obedience because of a "constant exercise of authority."  My kids definitely obey when I tell them to (my exercise of authority), but it's not something they are in the habit of doing on their own.  It's interesting to think about those ways of obedience differently.  I'm going to try to work on cultivating the habit of obedience this summer!

Why is the habit of obedience so important? 

 Obedience Brings Liberty


 I love that!


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Thanks for reading along this week!  What did you think of this chapter?  Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Home Education on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!

Next week we will be talking about part 5 of Home Education by Charlotte Mason.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you grab a Kindle version for under $2, a paper back, or read it for free on Ambleside Online!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Home Education by Charlotte Mason on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Greatest Picture Book Bracket - Round 5

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This post contains affiliate links to the wonderful books that are a part of this bracket.

Thank you to everyone who voted on Round 4 of the Greatest Picture Book Bracket!  I can't believe that we are getting close to wrapping this thing up!  We are down to the final 4.  Here are the results (you can click on the bracket to view it larger):




After Round 4, the three top scoring people are:

  1. Karen D. - 74 points
  2. Kelly S. - 54 points
  3. Catherine K. - 49 points


So now it's time to vote on round 5!  ANYONE can vote.  You do not have to have turned in a bracket.  For those of you who turned in a bracket, I suggest voting for the ones that you picked (well, if you want to increase your chances of winning anyways =)

 

 

Round 5 Match-Ups


Pick your favorites by either listing their names or numbers in the comments of this post, or by commenting on my facebook posts (look for those throughout the day).  Round 5 voting is open from today until midnight on Monday, June 30thd.

You can click on the pictures to learn more about each book and even get a peak into most of them.



vs.
         11. Goodnight Moon30. The Tale of Peter Rabbit



vs.
36. Harry the Dirty Dog62. Stone Soup



Alright, go ahead and pick which ones you think should face off in the final two!  Leave the names or numbers in the comments. You have until Monday evening (June 30th) to get your votes up and then I'll be back with the round three picks on Thursday, July 3rd!


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A Home Filled with Schole

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This post contains an affiliate link.

A few months back I remember looking at the session schedule for the Great Homeschool Convention, trying to figure out which session my husband and I should go to.  I remember seeing one called "Putting Schole Back into Your Homeschool" and the speaker was Dr. Christopher Perrin (from Classical Academic Press).

I had no idea what Schole was, and frankly the topic seemed a little irrelevant to me, but because the speaker was Dr. Perrin I thought I should prioritize going. 

I am so glad that I went!

The concept of schole has now opened my eyes who a whole new level of understanding the classical model of education.  Let me share with you some of what I learned from Dr. Perrin's session.


Schole: Restful Learning, Discussion, & Contemplation


Schole means restful learning, discussion, contemplation.  From looking at the word you will see that we get our word 'school' from it.  Ironically, our modern day schools have no resemblance to anything that would look like restful learning.

Dr. Perrin challenged us to make time for restful learning in our schedules.  Not to say that every subject should be done lying on the couch, but that we should have time where we purposely have good discussions and contemplate great ideas.

He said that the first step is surrounding ourselves with "the good, the true, and the beautiful."  If we are not accustomed to these types of things, it might take time for us to appreciate their beauty.


If our children are bored, it just means that they are not contemplating the good, true and beautiful.  We need to be purposeful about putting these types of things in front of our children.  I love how that ties in so well to what we have been reading in our Charlotte Mason book club!  We need to be cultivating wonder in our children.  Help them to see beauty and to look long and hard at it.

I have a hard time with these things because I am a very practical, goal oriented type of person.  I don't like spending money on decorations for my home, or even for flowers on the table, because they are 'useless.'  Dr. Perrin challenged us to look at these things differently!

Do things that will provide blessing, not just things that have economic value.             - Dr. Perrin

Hyper-practical = Less Human

Honestly that describes me quite well =)  I have never been a very emotional or compassionate person.  I don't say that with pride, lol.  Those things just don't come naturally to me. My husband is also like me in those matters, so that doesn't help!

The idea of doing things that have no value except to bless my soul is close to life-changing to me.  Believe me, I am not there yet, but I am learning!  I am planning on doing a series in September called Schole Everyday that will help me and hopefully encourage you in ways to bring restful learning our homes and schools.


Learn More About Schole


Have I piqued your interest?  Have you heard of Schole before?  Do you embody this type of restful learning?  Take a look at this video of Dr. Perrin talking about Schole.  He will do a much better job of inspiring you than I have =)




Teaching from Rest


Now that you are fully inspired, are you wondering how in the world to implement this concept into your homeschool?  I wanted to talk about this now because I know that most of us are planning our school year for next year, and it is the perfect time to think about adding schole into your homeschool!

You might be wondering how to practically do this, though.  It sounds nice in theory, but how do we, as homeschool moms, incorporate restful learning into our days?  Here are 13 simple ideas for you to start implementing today!  

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trivium Tuesdays - Classical Link-Up #113


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Welcome to another week of Trivium Tuesdays!  For those of you who are new here today, this is a link-up aimed at encouraging and informing other homeschoolers who use the Classical model of teaching.  Here we can share with each other and learn from one another.



Don't forget to follow my Pinterest boards that are a part of the All Things Classical List!

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Also, please remember to only link up posts that have to do with homeschooling using the classical model of education.  Thank you for understanding this link-up's theme.


Featured Post from Last Week



Stephanie, from Harrington Harmonies, shares an awesome book about Gregor Mendel and even created notebooking pages to go along with your genetics studies!  Her work is beautiful, and this is the perfect time of year to get outside and study this type of science!


Your Favorite From Last Week


Speaking of notebooking pages, ya'll must be getting your resources ready for next year, because the most clicked post from last week was Free Science Notebooking Pages from Sprouting Tadpoles.


This Week's Link-Up


Here are the rules:
  • Your post must have to do (in some way) with classical homeschooling (any age children).
  • Your post may be from your archives as long as you only post it one time on this link-up.
  • Please link to your direct post, not your blog in general.
  • Please link back to this post in some way. You can use my Trivium Tuesdays button (found on my right sidebar) if you'd like so others can learn about this link-up! Button code: <a href="http://www.livingandlearningathome.com/" target="_blank" title="Trivium Tuesdays"><img alt="Living and Learning at Home" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ZNtNfqeG_W4/U0qj7mUZCfI/AAAAAAAAFbo/vhEStFGbogw/s1600/Trivium+Tuesdays+-+button.png"/></a>
  • It may be helpful to state in your link description what stage of the trivium or what subject your post is about, if applicable, so others can easily find posts they are interested in looking at.
  • Remember, everyone loves comments =) So don't be shy, and tell someone if you liked their post!


I reserve the right to remove any link-up that does not have to do with classical homeschooling.         

If you are a regular here at Trivium Tuesdays and have something to share that is a little off topic, but still would be an encouragement to the readers here, please still share it =)  I'm referring to people who are just trying to get their blog more exposure without following the rules above.

I will visit each of your blogs this week and feature my favorite link-up for all to see next week!  Also, if your blog has a button I will place it on my sidebar (under Friends to Visit) for the week until it is replaced by the next week's favorite =)


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Friday, June 20, 2014

Habit is Ten Natures - Charlotte Mason

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Hello!  Welcome to our continuing discussing the book Home Education by Charlotte Mason.   I'm hoping that these discussions will be really practical and encouraging for all of us!  I will bring up some areas of the chapter that I'm trying to implement in my home this summer, and I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comment section below!


Habit is Ten Natures


This chapter (Part III) is all about habits!  I can tell you that I've been waiting for this one.  I think my husband and I started out pretty well with our kids, but as the years have gone on we have gotten more lax and they have developed some bad habits.  I definitely needed the encouragement of this chapter!  I related to this quote from the beginning of the chapter:


All this zeal notwithstanding, the disappointing thing was, that nothing extraordinary happened.  The children were good on the whole...but it was plain that they behaved very much as ''twas their nature to.'


Since the beginning of my parenting journey, I have always had trouble balancing training and grace.  I lean much more toward training, to a fault, really.  I have a hard time understanding exactly where grace comes in if our job as parents is to train our children.  Charlotte Mason said something here that really stuck out to me.  Seriously, I think this is going to forever change my understanding of parenting.

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I am very good at the LAW part of that, and do you know what?  My kids really don't do much that is bad.  The problem I've noticed recently is that they are lacking in a lot of good fruit.  I just don't see a lot of goodness, gentleness, kindness, love, etc. coming from them (I'm not saying none, just not a lot).  Now I think I understand!  The LOVE part is what helps them to be good-natured.  I'm sure a lot of you already have this down pat, but it was very thought provoking for me.

***Side note, obviously I love my children.  I'm not trying to say that I don't =)  I think the eye-opening part was just about connecting love to the training aspect of producing goodness in my children.***

Ms. Mason spends a good part of the chapter talking about why habits are so important.  She gives imagery like a locomotive  running easily on the tracks laid before it.  Practicing a good habit over and over is like wearing a groove (or laying a track) for the child to easily follow once the habit is established.

She talks about helping your child to remember the things you are working to make habits.  Be like an ally to him.  Do not shout after them, yelling that they forgot something (or need to do something quicker, etc.).  Speak pleasantly to them, and look expectantly at them, ready to cheer them on in their success!

Make natural consequences and rewards for your child's failures and successes.  If your child finishes something quickly or correctly, give them a few minutes of leisure to do as they please.  If they do not, cheer them on in getting it right, but they miss out on the reward of free time.


Good Habits for Children


So now that we've talked about creating habits, what kind of good habits should we try to work on?  Obviously this will look different in each family.  Some children will already have certain good habits and other things will vary because of different acceptable customs, but still I think it's good to talk about a few ideas.  I will share some that I have thought of and some that are shared in the book.  Then, you add your own ideas in the comments!  I can't wait to hear some things you have already worked on and others that you want to work on this summer.

Before I go on, let me mention that you will want to work on one habit at a time =)  I can get overwhelmed reading lots of great ideas in a book like this one, but when I can think of it one step at a time, it becomes manageable!

One more thing.  Ms. Mason mentions that a habit isn't really made until the child can to the thing himself.  So, while we work on these things from an early age, the true test is when your child is old enough to do it on his own without reminding.


Cleanliness

  • Brushing teeth in the morning and bedtime
  • Washing hands before meals
  • Getting dressed in the morning

Orderliness

  • Putting toys back neatly after use
  • Putting dirty clothes in the hamper
  • Keeping their room neat
  • Clearing their dishes after eating a meal

Regularity

  • Waking up at a consistent time
  • Getting ready for bed at a reasonable time
  • Not grazing on food all day, but eating well at meals

Obedience

  • Responding right away to parents
  • Not responding "No" or in a contrary manner to parent
  • Following instructions quickly, cheerfully, and completely

Thoughtfulness

  • Being kind to siblings/friends
  • Letting others go first
  • Helping others 




I'm sure I'm missing some good habits.  

Which other ones can you think of?

Which do you want to work on in your family?





Thanks for reading along this week!  What did you think of this chapter?  Leave comments here on the blog post, or share about it on social media (#ClassicalMamasRead).  I'll be sharing too, so follow me on facebook, twitter, or google+ and we can chat about it there as well!  Don't forget, if you want to share your thoughts about Home Education on your own blog, link it up below so we can all come and visit!

Next week we will be talking about part 4 of Home Education by Charlotte Mason.  If you haven't gotten your own copy yet, make sure you grab a Kindle version for under $2, a paper back, or read it for free on Ambleside Online!



Classical Mamas Read Link-Up



Did you write about Home Education by Charlotte Mason on your blog?  Have you been reading and blogging about another book (for you, not a children's book)?  Do you have a book club going on at your blog (once again, not for a children's book)?  I'd love for you link up here so we can all be encouraged by each other and maybe find another great book to read!

I'm going to keep this link-up ongoing since there aren't going to be a huge number of posts and then anyone new will be able to be encouraged by the other book reading ideas and discussions.  If the number of posts gets too large, I will fix it.

Please note, all posts must be on topic (about a book you are reading) and appropriate (think family friendly).

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Greatest Picture Book Bracket - Round 4

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This post contains affiliate links to the wonderful books that are a part of this bracket.

Thank you to everyone who voted on Round 3 of the Greatest Picture Book Bracket!  The list is getting smaller! =)  It was really fun to see what everyone picked.  Some of the books won by a landslide and others were a close call!  Here are the results (you can click on the bracket to view it larger):




After Round 3, the three top scoring people are:

  1. Karen D. - 66 points
  2. Kelly S. - 54 points
  3. Catherine K. - 49 points

The leaders are starting to break out of the pack!  It's getting tougher, as many of your picks are dropping off.  Is your pick for winner still in the running?

So now it's time to vote on round 4!  ANYONE can vote.  You do not have to have turned in a bracket.  For those of you who turned in a bracket, I suggest voting for the ones that you picked (well, if you want to increase your chances of winning anyways =)  If you still want to get in on the fun and have a chance to win a $35 amazon gift card, you can still turn in a bracket, you just miss the points for the first two rounds.

Also, you don't have to vote on every match up if you don't want.  Feel free to just name a few if that's all you have time for.

Download the Bracket 
(if you haven't already turned one in)

Round 4 Match-Ups


Pick your favorites by either listing their names or number in the comments of this post, or by commenting on my facebook posts (look for those throughout the day).  Round 4 voting is open from today until midnight on Monday, June 23rd.

You can click on the pictures to learn more about each book and even get a peak into most of them.




vs.
         2. We're Going on a Bear Hunt11. Goodnight Moon



vs.
23. Blueberries for Sal30. The Tale of Peter Rabbit



vs.
36. Harry the Dirty Dog48. Town Mouse, Country Mouse



vs.  
56. Where the Wild Things Are62. Stone Soup




Well, there you have it, folks!   Pick your favorites and leave them in the comments (you can write the names or numbers).  You have until Monday evening (June 23rd) to get your votes up and then I'll be back with the round three picks on Thursday, June 26th!



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