Intentional Habit Building for Kids :: 2014

intentional-habit-building-for-kidsWe are doing it again this year – a full year of intentional habit building. We did a year of intentional habit building in 2012 and it was such a growing experience for all four of us. I meant to pull it together for 2013, but that clearly never happened. An entire year slipped by without any intentional habit building, and I learned my lesson. I am all prepared for 2014, and while I may end up changing things or tweaking as needed, the hard work is done and I just need to execute!

Each month in 2014 will have a different habit that we, as a family, will focus on. We will read stories, play games, do memory work and copy work, do related activities and discuss this habit all month long. Basically, each day we will do something to draw our attention to how this habit might be executed in our own life and work on owning the habit.

Some of these habits are repeats from 2012, others are brand new to us this year – I will share resources and ideas we are using throughout the year as we go. At the bottom of this post you can see the plan for each month.

Habits are part of our every day life – we function out of habit – whether conscientiously or not. So it only makes sense to devote time to intentionally building up good habits. I grew so much during our first year of intentional habit building and am looking forward to another challenging year of growth.

Charlotte Mason, an educator in the early 1900’s and a current “homeschool movement” has been a source of great inspiration for me on the subject of habit building and I will share with you a few Charlotte Mason quotes on the subject of habits;

quotes-about-habit-by-charlotte-mason-2“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days.”

quotes-about-habit-by-charlotte-mason-3

“This relation of habit to human life––as the rails on which it runs to a locomotive––is perhaps the most suggestive and helpful to the educator; for just as it is on the whole easier for the locomotive to pursue its way on the rails than to take a disastrous run off them, so it is easier for the child to follow lines of habit carefully laid down than to run off these lines at his peril.” (read the rest of the quote here.)

quotes-about-habit

“Whether habits are planned and created conscientiously, or allowed to be haphazardly filled in by chance, they are habits all the same. Habit rules ninety-nine percent of everything we do.”

quotes-about-habit-by-charlotte-mason“Habits of mind become physical reality on brain tissue and that’s why habit is so powerful. It isn’t all in the mind, it’s physical, too.”

quotes-about-habit-by-charlotte-mason-1“It takes a few weeks of work to build a new habit. Once the habit is in place, it must be guarded diligently to prevent reversion to the old ways, but keeping watch is not stressful or difficult once the new habit is secure.”

{I am currently on the hunt for good books on habit and personal discipline training, so if you have any to recommend please leave a comment or send me an email – I’d love to hear about them and check them out.}

I have made a couple printables for us to use each month for our focus on habits, and you are welcome to them if they would be of help. My boys are K and grade 1 right now, so things will need to be adjusted for other ages.

First is a calendar. {you can download and print your own blank calendars here.} Last year we made a calendar each month – writing down the month and filling in the days of the month. It was an excellent way for them to practice number writing, learn their months, and figure out what a calendar does.
This year we are repeating the process, only there is also a line for the habit of the month to be written on and they are to draw a picture of them putting the habit into action.calendar

Secondly is a copy work page {you can download and print the copy work with title page here and the full copy work page here} for things connected to the habit. When we work on defining the habit, copy out poems, hymns, or quotes we will use these pages and they can draw a picture to go with their copy work. copy-work-with-title-linefull-page-copywork

 

Here is our (subject to change should the need arise!) schedule of habits for 2014intentional-habits-plan-2014Cute flower and frame are elements taken from Citrus and Mint

Jessica Lynette

8 Comments

  1. I just finished reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and thought it was very interesting!

  2. Yay! I am looking forward to seeing what you do each month. I think we will be following along (but a month behind so I can steal some of your ideas). I think that all of us in our family could use some work in a lot of these areas.

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