Working on my Habits (Education is a Discipline)

Discipline. Look at the word; there is no hint of punishment in it. A disciple is a follower, and discipline is the state of the follower; the learner, imitator.
(Vol. II, p. 66)

Pondering on Education as a Discipline has given me an opportunity to reflect on the importance of my own habits more than the heavy task of training or leading my children. I know for a fact that there will be times when I will fail as a parent in leading them but the hope lies in knowing that we can all look to Him who ultimately leads us. Nothing is done in vain if we work in Light of His Truth. So this task is well worth it. I fear this responsibility, but I fully embrace it.

Discipline means learning - the learning of anything and everything, the learning of anything that is unknown and can be known, and that can be taught and can be learned. (PR Article: Discipline)

...the list goes on.

I look at the list of habits and I am excited with the prospect of leading my children to learn and own these. But I also find myself scared of the responsibility of living everyday life with my children observing my every move and every word. I am far far far from being the ideal. I'm often impatient. I'm not as organized as I'd like to be. I can be mean. I can be very irrational. The weight of this task is heavy because their eyes are constantly looking and I find myself thinking, "Will this be one of my failing moments?".

The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days. (Vol. I, p. 136)

If I can't "train" myself with these habits, how much more when trying to instill them to my children? The task ahead is daunting. This desire and calling to homeschool will require much from me. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And so I know that I ought to start with myself.

Every habit has its beginning. The beginning is the idea which comes with a stir and takes possession of us. (Vol II, p. 229)
Before the year 2010 ended - I thought of the habits I needed to focus on this year. I chose 3 habits to consciously focus on with my 3 1/2 year old son: the habit of Obedience, Attention and Cleanliness. Focusing on one habit formation at a time for 6 to 8 weeks but keeping watch over those that are already instilled. I also chose 4 habits I will work on for myself - in hopes that these may lead to smoother and easier days.
Habit of providing them nutritious food.
To provide quality food that will nourish their bodies from breakfast to dinner and snacks in between. Planning the meals has always been a struggle. I'm not a natural cook and I can easily survive with the not-so-nutritious food. But I have to start planning the meals so I won't end up cooking bad food. It was so much easier when I lived in the Philippines. Cooked was always cooked and prepared for me. I didn't have to think. I just ate. But now that I am head of the kitchen - it is my job. A well planned week of good meals is my service to them.
Habit of nourishing my children with the Word.As much as I ought to nourish them with good bread more so nourish them with the LIVING BREAD. I ought to give them the opportunity to be fed and nourished with what matters. No child is too young to hear their parents talk of the living God through prayer, hymns, poetry and beauty of His Word. At breakfast, I casually read aloud the Word like a story or we listen to hymns like this or this. We sometimes sing "Into my Heart". Other times my 3 1/2 year old leads us in prayer as he holds his sisters hand and mine.

Habit of Prayer

Not just mumbled and spontaneous words. But well thought of and chosen words to give to Him who patiently gave me the Word. To run to Him first in prayer than google what worries me. To make this a habit, whenever in want or whenever I'm happy, until it becomes a part of me.

Habit of Quiet time;
of spending early mornings to read His Word and meditate on it.
This habit should be consistent and prioritized for it is the very Bread that nourishes me. If it is not consistent now.. what more of days/years to come when life might just take over. I set the alarm at 6 in the morning to wake while all are asleep. I take my coffee and I start reading the Word and then writing my thoughts in words. It is my breakfast - my first hour should be His.

It is pleasant to know that, even in mature life, it is possible by a little persistent effort to acquire a desirable habit. (Vol. I, p.135)

More and more do I see how I teach myself when I teach my children.
Such a blessing.

Related post: Lets Work on the Atmosphere (Education is an Atmosphere)


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