Thursday, June 15, 2017

Developing Habits for the Early Years

Our oldest will start preschool this Fall and I'm experiencing a mix of emotions. As this marks the beginning of our homeschooling journey, I feel overwhelmed with the great amount of unknowns but also excitement with following this calling God has placed on our lives.

It's just preschool. I get that.

But, I will say, for a brand new homeschooling mom there are so many mixed messages and opinions flying around. That does get overwhelming!

Thanks to a few veteran homeschooling moms who I greatly admire, key Scriptures God has placed on my heart and the writings of Susan Schaeffer Macaulay, Charlotte Mason and some wonderful bloggers, my mind is at much more rest as we prepare for this preschool year {and the birth of our third baby, too!}.

Leah Martin is a blogger at My Little Robins, homeschooling mom and former teacher trained in the Charlotte Mason philosophy. Add "author" to her list as well as I just had the pleasure of reading her ebook, "Habits for the Early Years: A Mother's Journal".

Habits for the Early Years: A Mother's Journal

Habits for the Early Years gives helpful advice, ideas and as well as a place to jot down thoughts to mothers as they take on the life-long journey of habit training.

Leah's writing is strongly rooted in the Charlotte Mason's teaching philosophy which emphasizes the teaching of positive habits as one of the few effective tools we can use in the education of our children. As Mason notes, it is a serious trap to believe children will "outgrow" bad habits! Training in positive habits needs to start in the early years (ages 0-6) to set a firm foundation for the rest of the child's life.

“What you would have the man become, that you must train the child to be.” Charlotte Mason, Parents and Children

The concept of habit training can feel overwhelming because Charlotte Mason mentions at least 60 different habits over her 6 volumes of work. Thankfully Leah gives the reader a focused list of the key habits to work on during these early years, which felt much more approachable to me!

The Habits for Early Learning journal serves as a great organizing resource and guide as you and your child work on one habit at a time. Miss Mason suggested working on one habit at a time and the process of forming a single habit can take 21-30 days. This is indeed a process that requires diligence and patience!

A few of the habits that Leah covers in this journal are:
  • Prompt Obedience
  • Prompt Truthfulness
  • Cleanliness


  • Attention
  • Kindness
  • Outdoor Life


  • Self-Discipline in Habits
  • Prayer
  • Thanksgiving 
  • Thoughts of God

Our habit training journey has begun with the habit of "Truthfulness". Discouraging exaggerations and encouraging details to be told are our first steps.

Keep in mind that habit training isn't just for our children. As parents and teachers, we must be mindful of modeling and building positive habits in our own lives as well!


As our family enters this new season, I look forward to the memories, quality time and rich learning that lie ahead of us. I know the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the help of this journal and much prayer will make this preschool year a positive one!

What is one habit that you are working on developing or breaking currently? 

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