Through Habit Training
November 27, 2018
Before I wrote Laying Down the Rails for Children", our homeschool group met to figure out how to do habit training with our kids. We were at a loss.
Charts and Activities
Some ladies started using a chart. They would give a mark anytime their child displayed a habit they were working on. After tallying up a specific number of marks the child would receive a reward.
One of the ladies found activities that helped her children put habits into practice. There are several ways to help your child focus on a habit:
- Stories and Poetry
- Bible Stories and Verses
- Games and Activities
- Inspiring Quotes
- Lesson Time
Schedules and Activities
I finally settled on doing what I love to do most, which is to make a schedule!
Our family’s first habit was truthfulness. I read through the Truthfulness section in "Laying Down the Rails" by Sonya Shafer to prepare. Then twice a week we had a habit training session. I would read one of the main points from "Laying Down the Rails" (there are 15 for Truthfulness); summarize Charlotte Mason's words for the kids; then we would do a relevant activity.
Quotes are provided in "Laying Down the Rails" at the end of each habit, so that part was done. With research and time I have come up with a lot of creative ideas and stories, but here are some of the elements I quickly found for the habit of Truthfulness:
- Read "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" then have the kids narrate it.
- Have the children look at the sky or landscape. Then have them describe what they saw without exaggerating or omitting details.
- Give each child a message to tell Dad or a neighbor. Dad or the neighbor then writes down what they are told so it can checked for accuracy.
- Memorize Proverbs 8:7.
- Squeeze out some toothpaste and ask the kids if they can put it back in the tube. Let them try for a while. This illustrates that once words come out of your mouth, you can't put them back in. Words have consequences.
- Read and meditate on Ephesians 4:25 and Proverbs 12:22.
- Play the telephone game where you whisper a message to the next person in line and they whisper to the next person and you see how garbled or clear the message ends up. This has more to do with how gossip can be spread, but it is a fun game for the kids to play.
- We happened to have been reading Pinocchio for school, so it came up naturally as an illustration for habit training.
- Add in the quotes and do the two activities suggested by Charlotte Mason several times, and you have enough extras to come alongside each teaching session.
Not Just for Kids
As we focused on truthfulness I discovered how often I tend to exaggerate for effect or want to tell a little white lie to get out of an awkward situation. These habits are not just for our children, that's for sure.