31 Days of Creative Homeschooling: Laying Down the Rails

We have a new puppy! So much excitement. We surprised Parker with Luna as an early birthday gift and along with a puppy a lot of responsibility. The first day was filled with adorable floppy puppiness and a lot of cleaning up the floor. The next day was again full of adorableness, floor cleaning and teething. And every day after filled with figuring out potty training, teething training and crate training. It all very much reminds me of parenting, am I right? So much training, so much to figure out. What schedule works best, how often something has to be said or done for something to change, a whole lot of patience and practice.

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The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for
herself smooth and easy days.—Charlotte Mason
Charlotte likened good habits to rails on which our children’s lives could run
smoothly. It is the parent’s business to lay down those rails. — Sonya Shafer,
Laying Down The Rails

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.”
“By Education is a discipline, is meant the discipline of habits formed definitely and thoughtfully, whether habits of mind or body. Physiologists tell us of the adaptation of brain structure to habitual lines of thought––i.e. to our habits” ~ Charlotte Mason

I am a huge Charlotte Mason fan. We have used many of her guidelines in our schooling and I have to say that one that we have been very dedicated to is the idea of good habits. “Laying down the rails” of habit in our children’s lives. Especially when it comes to learning their musical instruments. We require our children to learn an instrument as part of our homeschool and we require them to practice. When they are first beginning to learn we are especially regimented with their practice routine.

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Dr Suzuki created an exceptional violin school and it’s methods are now taught world wide. His famous quote is, “Only practice on the days you eat!”
When my oldest was first learning the cello we scheduled her practice around lunch time. I knew I wouldn’t forget to eat and I wouldn’t forget to have her practice; therefore a nice habit was formed! The younger two practice around their math schedule, one practices while the other does math.
For your children to be successful with their instruments, I highly suggest being creative and making a daily practice routine! Be silly with it ~ practice at 11:06 every day! Make it fun by practicing outside! Practice all the songs backward! Play the same line 10 times and then get 10 M&Ms! Get big fuzzy dice and roll them to see how many times to play a line or a piece. Put the fun back in to practice ~ it doesn’t have to be drudgery.

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