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Off To A Great Start: Habits To Focus On In The Early Years - Mental Habits

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Hey there! I'm so excited to share this 5-part series with you. We're going to focus on three habits from the Charlotte Mason list of habits, which can be a bit overwhelming for first-time homeschoolers or parents with young children. But don't worry, you've got this! It's important to remember that we're all on a journey to cultivate these habits in our children, and maybe even ourselves. Let's get started!

Charlotte Mason Mental Habits

Before I begin, let me tell you a bit of a back story. On our first year of formal homeschooling, while I was researching on which habits to focus on for our son's year 1B level, I stumbled upon a list of Charlotte Mason's habits. Being a bit overwhelmed myself, I though of putting them in a graphic organizer. You can find this free printable here. It's beautifully presented in the form of a graphic organizer, which lists Charlotte Mason's habits.

My two references for this can be found here and here.

Now let's get into mental habits in the early years

Encourage habits of attention, concentration, and observation. Help your child develop the ability to focus on a task or activity for an extended period of time. Provide opportunities for them to engage in activities that require sustained attention, such as reading, puzzles, or hands-on projects.

Developing attention, concentration, and observation skills in young children is essential for their overall development and success in various areas of life. Here are some practical actions you can take as parents to nurture these habits: 1. Create a distraction-free environment: Set up a designated area for focused activities, such as reading or puzzles, where there are minimal distractions. Turn off screens and minimize noise to help your child concentrate on the task at hand. 2. Start with short, age-appropriate activities: Begin with activities that match your child's attention span and gradually increase the duration as they develop their concentration skills. For example, start with a five-minute activity and gradually extend it to ten minutes. 3. Use engaging materials: Choose activities and materials that capture your child's interest and curiosity. This could include interactive books, puzzles, building blocks, or sensory play. Engaging materials will help hold their attention and encourage concentration. 4. Provide clear instructions: Clearly communicate the expectations and goals of the activity to your child. Use simple and concise language, and demonstrate the steps if necessary. This will help them understand what is expected of them and stay focused on the task. 5. Break tasks into smaller parts: For longer or more complex activities, break them down into smaller, manageable steps. This will help your child stay engaged and motivated as they complete each part of the task. 6. Encourage active participation: Engage your child in hands-on activities that require active involvement. This could include experiments, art projects, or nature walks. Encourage them to use their senses and observe the world around them, fostering their powers of observation. 7. Provide opportunities for open-ended play: Allow your child to engage in unstructured play where they can use their imagination and explore their surroundings. This type of play encourages creativity, problem-solving, and sustained attention. 8. Model focused behavior: Children learn by observing their parents, so be a role model for focused behavior. Show them how to concentrate on tasks, such as reading a book or completing a puzzle, and avoid multitasking when engaging in activities together. In conclusion, developing mental habits such as attention, concentration, and observation in our children is crucial for their overall growth and success. By implementing these practical actions, we can create an environment that nurtures these habits and helps our children thrive. Parents, remember that you are not alone in this journey. We all have moments of doubt and uncertainty, but by focusing on these habits, we are laying a strong foundation for our children's future. So, let's continue to prioritize these mental habits and watch our children flourish. If you found this information helpful, I encourage you to share this blog post with other parents who may benefit from it. Together, we can support and inspire each other on this beautiful homeschooling journey.

Ready to move on to the next one? Find it here:

Habits to focus on in the early years - decency and propriety

Get the Charlotte Mason's Habits To Focus On In The Early Years printable here:

Charlotte Mason list of habits in the early years

CM Habits In The Early Years
Download PDF • 11.44MB

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