What’s the Difference Between the Laying Down the Rails Resources?

We often get asked for an explanation of the differences between the four Laying Down the Rails resources. Here’s some information about how each resource works and fits into Laying Down the Rails as a whole.

What They Are

Laying Down the Rails Workshop DVD and CD

The Laying Down the Rails: The Power of Good Habits workshop will give you the quick-start how-to-form-good-habits overview that gets you up and running in just one hour. You’ll also learn some practical tips for the top three habits Charlotte Mason talked about the most: the habits of attention, obedience, and truthfulness.

Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook

The Laying Down the Rails book is a parent reference guide, in which you will find everything Charlotte said about each habit. Her comments will inspire and give you ideas for everyday practice.

Laying Down the Rails for Children

The Laying Down the Rails for Children book is full of motivational stories, Scripture passages, poems, etc. for each habit to share with the children. These are divided into a set of lessons you can follow for the habit you’re working on.

Laying Down the Rails for Yourself

Laying Down the Rails for Yourself is a practical how-to book just for adults and young adults. It looks at key descriptions that Charlotte gave of habits and pulls from them timeless principles to help you instill good habits in your own life. Good habits are not just for kids!

How They Work

  1. Listen to the Laying Down the Rails workshop to get a good grasp on how to cultivate good habits in your children.
  2. Read Laying Down the Rails for Yourself to understand how cultivating good habits in your children is similar to and different from cultivating them in your own life.
  3. Choose the one habit you’re going to focus on for the next 6 to 8 weeks.
  4. Read what Charlotte said about that habit in the Laying Down the Rails reference book, put the book back on the shelf, and go work on encouraging that habit in everyday life (using the practical tips given in the workshop, in Laying Down the Rails for Yourself, and in the first couple of chapters in Laying Down the Rails).
  5. Once or twice a week, gather the family and read a lesson from the Laying Down the Rails for Children book to keep everyone focused and motivated for the habit you’re working on.

Should I work on one habit for each child or one habit for the entire family?

We usually recommend one habit for the whole family to work on, in order to help mom keep her sanity. Even if the particular habit you choose is easy for child A and difficult for child B, keep in mind that in a couple of months you will switch to a different habit. These months of focus are a great opportunity to practice encouraging each other, especially knowing that the “shoe might be on the other foot” for the next habit selected.

If you have children in their teens, we recommend that you meet with each one individually (as outlined in the workshop). Share with the child the how-to’s of forming habits (or have him read Laying Down the Rails for Yourself) and identify an additional habit that he or she needs to focus on. Then you can just have that “older student” habit also going on the side, but the main focus for the entire family will be the one habit you have selected and read about in Laying Down the Rails for Children.

Do you have bundles of the Laying Down the Rails resources?

We have several Laying Down the Rails bundles available with different combinations of the resources.