I know you are supposed to put character & habits before academics. How exactly do I do that especially with ages 12, 10, 8, and 5? What does that look like? Thanks.TristanParticipant
For me, it is about consistency. We have consistent family rules. We apply them all the time. We have consistent routines to build solid habits. We apply them all the time.
(Yes, there may be a crazy exception here and there, but in general, we are consistent in the basics.)
If I have to choose between addressing a character or habit issue, or ignoring it to finish school work – I choose to address it. Academics can wait.
All of this begins with building solid family rules and routines/habits. I would suggest the fewer, the better. 🙂
For example, a family rule might be:
– In our family we speak kindly.
Notice a few things about that family rule. It is positive, not negative. It doesn’t list all the things that we don’t do or say. It trusts the family members.
If, during the morning, someone in our family begins to speak unkindly, we encourage them to choose one of a few options: 1. Stop speaking. Just don’t say anything if you have nothing nice to say. 2. Correct their speaking, replace unkind words with kind ones. 3. Remove themselves to a separate space until they are ready to speak kindly again.
School work stops for that person while they take one of those options.
For a habit, it may be “We put away our own things promptly.”
If, while teaching, I notice a child left items on the table/floor/steps earlier in the day, I encourage them to see if they can notice anything that needs done, because I just discovered a secret clue and want them to find it.
Then we get back to school once it’s taken care of.
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