Charlotte Mason habits are the essential keys to implementing this method for a successful homeschool. When I was implementing the Charlotte Mason way in our homeschool, my home was in daily chaos which left me feeling outnumbered and overwhelmed. Once I understand how habits helped implement this method of education, I was curious enough to be committed to the process for a full year to see what results they would provide.
Our home went from daily chaos to having peace in our home throughout the day when normally I would be at my wit’s end. Within this post, I will share eight habits that will set the stage for your family to be able to implement this method so you, too can go from chaos to a peaceful homeschool. I’ll also provide you with a resource to dig deeper into Charlotte Mason habits.
8 CHARLOTTE MASON HABITS TO TEACH YOUR CHILDREN
THE HABIT OF OBEDIENCE
At the time that Charlotte Mason came into my life, I was a mom to two children, ages 7 and 5. I knew it was important for our children to obey, but honestly, I lacked the understanding of how to get them to the point of obedience in their homeschooling. In fact, I don’t know if I really understood the importance of having them obey me when it came to their lessons. Of course, I wanted them to obey me but I didn’t really know too many children who enjoyed schooling to the point of being obedient in their lessons without some type of struggles at times.
What I found in our homeschool, and in our home, was when I put my attention to teaching our children first time obedience in their lessons, I began to understand just how important education was for their life. Obedience in lessons, as well as life, gave them the clear understanding that education improves their life. Education was no longer a required part of their day for the sole reason of pleasing the state and receiving a diploma. For the first time, learning carried the weight of the quality of life they could have beyond graduation.
With a sense of purpose, I was armed with a desire to require our children toward the habit of obedience in everything they did, including their homeschool lessons.
The popular motto of Charlotte Mason students is a perfect tool for teaching children the habits of obedience…
“I am. I can. I ought. I will.” Charlotte Mason
THE HABIT OF ATTENTIVENESS
Once the habit of obedience was being applied and showing results, I turned my focused to teaching the habits of attentiveness.
What I realized was that obedience could only happen if a child was being attentive to what was being required of them. Most often, disobedience was happening because my children were ignoring me and thus, they didn’t hear what I was asking of them or telling them not to do something. Realizing this was such an empowering aspect of implementing this habit because I was then able to do my part in helping form the habit of attentiveness in our children.
THE HABIT OF OBSERVATION
Charlotte Mason was adamant about children spending hours a day outside. During these hours, children should be developing and using the habit of observation to learn about the world around them. Observing ants, birds, flowers, trees, and so much more helps to put children in a relationship with nature. It’s from that relationship that children will begin to care for their world and taking care of it.
THE HABIT OF ROUTINES
Routines have been the single most valuable habit that I’ve taught our children since committing to the Charlotte Mason way. The habit of routines is as simple as identifying and following the natural flow of a family’s day and then doing the next thing. I share how to do that in my book, The Routine Approach.
When a child understands what is expected of them at different times of the day because there has been a consistency in teaching them this routine, they are more naturally motivated to keep moving through their day without the direction of a parent. Routines literally build independence in a child while also building responsibilities in them.
THE HABIT OF EXCELLENCE
Charlotte Mason taught quality over quantity. This standard was taught by training children to form the habit of excellence in their work. She would rather have children write a few perfectly formed letters than to have them write a whole paragraph written in poor handwriting.
The habit of excellence was also required in all subjects, chores, and vocabulary.
THE HABIT OF READING
Living books are the curriculum of Charlotte Mason. The age and skill of the child would determine the number of living books they would read in a year time. I explain what that looks like in this post where I go in-depth about the classes, ages, and lessons the Charlotte Mason way.
Charlotte Mason was already noticing that the habit of reading wasn’t being a priority in her day and that concerned her. Imagine what she would say if she knew how little children form the habit of reading in today’s culture.
THE HABIT OF HANDICRAFTS
The habits of handicrafts is another habit that is dying in our culture. Handicrafts were a way of living during Charlotte Mason’s life. Often times, handicrafts were used to teach life skills that were needed to care for the family back in her days. Things like sewing were done as a handicraft while usually, a parent read aloud from a book in the evening.
The habit of handicrafts is one that is overlooked in our culture, even in homeschooling. The skills of handicrafts are important and should be something that finds its way into your Charlotte Mason homeschool.
THE HABIT OF FREE TIME
Charlotte Mason believed that children should be left alone to allow the ideas that are formed in their minds from the living books that they have built a relationship with to have the opportunity to come out in the form of play. Today children’s lives are so full of electronics and going from one activity to the next that little by little their imagination and wonder is dying.
Children need free time to play out the scenes of Daniel Boone, Helen Keller, Marie Curie, David Livingstone, George Washington, Betty Ross, Florence Nightengale, Neal Armstrong, and so many other people that child could be forming ideas about and emulating in their play… if they only have the habit of free time in their day.
Our children have learned to fill their free time with imaginative play, building life skills, following interests, and so much more. I shared 30 Free Time Activities on my other blog that may give you inspiration for adding the habit of free time to your children’s routine.
Would you like to learn more about Charlotte Mason habits? I would recommend reading Habits: The Mother’s Secret to Success (Charlotte Mason Topics) (Volume 1).