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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Habit Training.

**I want to preface this by saying that we use the book I'm writing about today in our homeschool curriculum, but I would absolutely use this with my kids even if we didn't homeschool.  It's that good.  Seriously.

I shared the math curriculum we are using this year with Isaiah a few months ago, and I wanted to share a little bit more about what we are studying in other subjects, too.

By far, the most asked about subject we are doing it Habit Training.

Now, before you roll your eyes and call me a weirdo, let me just say that I would have also thought this was a bit out there a few years ago.  Then after teaching for two years, I realized just how much of what my kids (and even I) do is done out of habit.  It just makes sense that I would train them to replace any bad habits with good, biblical ones at a young age.

We were already using Simply Charlotte Mason for our Bible, Geography, and History curriculum, so using the book "Laying Down the Rails" from there seemed like a great fit for our family.

We actually purchased the two companion books for the breakdown of the lessons.  These books are full of funny stories, sweet poems, and scripture passages to help explain why each habit is important and even necessary in our everyday lives.  There are tons of different topics to choose from, and each one has anywhere from 10 to 14 lessons in it.  The author suggests doing two lessons per week.  This means it will take about an average of 6 weeks to be trained in one habit.

This book will take us around 10 years to actually complete.

Now that you know all about how the book works, let me tell you how it's actually helped us change.

We have finished two topics so far: Cleanliness and Attention.  Oh.  My.  Word.  You guys, my kids are the same sweet, bright, ornery kids that they were 13 weeks ago, but they are much cleaner and much better at paying attention now.

We tackled Cleanliness first.  This one was a hard one for me.  I've never been a tidy person by nature.  (Don't look in my van...eeek...), and my kids certainly inherited that from me.  Their rooms were not only always always a mess, but they didn't really know how to clean when I told them to.  This topic was really great because it broke it down and made it easier to attack our messes in an orderly way.  It showed us how to be diligent, and in the end, our home is much cleaner for it.  Now, don't misread what I've typed there.  Our home is not spotless most of the time, but it does draw us more to pick up our messes when we see the need than we ever were before.  I will say, this was great for the kids, but I was very much trained in this habit as well.

This week, we are wrapping up Attention.  In hindsight, I should've started with this one.

Always start with this one. 

Just kidding.  Start where it fits your family.  (but seriously...start here...)

This one has made such a great impact on my kids, but specifically Isaiah.  We learned how to pay attention and why we pay attention and great tricks to help us pay attention.  No joke, guys, everything else with school and church and general conversations have gotten easier since I was able to start saying, "Today, we need to make sure we are practicing the habit of attention!"

I could go on and on and on all day long about how truly wonderful this series has been, and I'm sure will continue to be for our family.  I would strongly suggest picking this up if anyone in your family has any bad habits that could use a little training.

If you would like to order this book or even take a look at a free sample of it, check it out right here!

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