One of my favorite Charlotte Mason principles that has stuck in our very eclectic homeschool, is her idea of teaching the whole child. Children are tiny persons – a young person that will grow into an adult person. As I am teaching my children, I remember that they are people and not just kids. Although they are still young, God views them as persons who can do big things for His glory. They are called to do His kingdom work, even while they are children and are learning in our homeschool.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Many of Charlotte Mason’s (CM) other principles seem to line up with what the Lord says in His Word. If you are striving to treat and teach of your little persons who are members of your homeschool, then these three questions may help you remember to stay on track.
1) Am I teaching my kids to submit to authority?
This is a broad question. CM recognized the reality of obedience to authority throughout one’s life and the importance of understanding this concept as children. Do your children know to respectfully submit to authority, unless that authority is abusing its power and going against the word of God? Do your children realize that you are under authority to which you submit and are obedient to on a regular basis?
Teaching our children about how we as mamas are submitting to our husband, boss, church leaders, and/or God can help them understand this concept, and keep the shouting of: “You’re not the boss of me!” to a minimum. 😉 Also instilling the character qualities of attentiveness, obedience, and respectfulness from an early age can help with this!
2) Am I teaching my kids age-appropriate habits?
CM understood the importance of developing daily habits early in a child’s education. These habits are a wonderful asset to a child as they grow into adulthood. By asking yourself if you are training your children to master certain habits, you can ensure you are weaving them into your learning lifestyle.
A few habits that are important in our homeschool are self-discipline, independence, and healthy daily self-care. In a family of multiple children, self-discipline is of utmost importance. I need my kids to be told once to do a task, and then to complete it even if I am unable to oversee the whole task. Training the habit of independence is also important. We practice doing our schoolwork and chores on our own without being asked on a regular basis. Healthy daily habits, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, and picking up after yourself are trained through the use of check-lists. Our morning checklist printable has been a LIFESAVER when it comes to training those habits daily.
3) Am I teaching my children’s whole self – body, soul, and spirit?
As mentioned previously, I want to teach my children as a whole person. That means teaching each and every part of them. Asking yourself this question and using it to evaluate your curriculum and extracurricular activities can be super helpful.
Am I teaching their bodies? This can be everything from cutting with scissors to walking on a balance beam. Am I teaching their souls? Inside each little person is an eternal soul. Am I training them to live forever, serving our Savior, Jesus? Am I speaking to them as a person who has an eternal soul? Am I teaching their spirits? Am I feeding them the eternal truths of God’s Word? Am I making sure they are spiritually fed each day? Are these things are a regular part of our homeschooling life?
Remembering to ask myself these questions and going through the process of evaluating our homeschool regularly, has really blessed us as a family!
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Don’t miss the rest of the Charlotte Mason Homeschooling series.