How-To

22 Ways to Love, Do & Think Every Day

22 Ways to Love, Do & Think Every Day

What are those important things we want our children to come into contact with every day?  Years ago while reading A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola for the first time, one chapter (more than one, but one pertinent to the topic) stood out to me:

Be sure that your children each day have:

  • Something or someone to love.
  • Something to do.
  • Something to think about.

A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola

Reaching the heart of the student is the basis of not only the Charlotte Mason approach, but also the Classical approach, and the delight-directed approach to education.  We all know that a student is not educated unless he is self-educated.

If you are looking for simplicity, take hold of this three-pronged approach to building a better learner.

 

Someone or Something to Love

There are opportunities for love in every home.  There are also many ways to provide services (labors of love) to others if you look for them.

As a Christian, love is the foundation of my faith (Matthew 22:37-40).  As a mother, love is (or should be…) an action undergirding everything I do.  And showing love is certainly something I wish to pass on to my children.

Each day, what opportunities does your child have to demonstrate love?

Ideas:

  1. Serve a sibling.
  2. Serve a parent.
  3. Serve a grandparent.
  4. Minister to a neighbor.
  5. Take care of a pet.
  6. Provide care for someone else’s pet.
  7. Visit the elderly.

 

Something to Do

By “something to do,” I mean of course something worthwhile to do.

Around here “something to do” translates into “productive free time” — that time when a child is allowed to work on his own projects and pursue his own interests.  While we can create a wonderful list of enjoyable pursuits for our children incorporating handicrafts, hands-on projects, and nature pursuits, our children also need that time to pursue what they are interested in.  It goes without saying that some interests will need “upgrading.”

What are your child’s interests?  How can you encourage those interests?  Are there interests he has that could use a bit of “upgrading”?  If your child doesn’t seem to have any particular interests, what type of things can you introduce him to?

Ideas (and notice how many of these can be used to serve others — someone to love — a twofer):

  1. Crafts.
  2. Hands-on science projects.
  3. Nature walks.
  4. Cooking.
  5. Designing.
  6. Performing.
  7. Gardening.
  8. Writing.

 

Something to Think About

Children’s horizons of thought need to be wider than their workbooks.  Children who are not given something to think about grow up at best with two ideas: to work hard and to amuse themselves when they are not working.

In our home, “something to think about” starts with reading.  Read young.  Read often.  Read aloud.  Read widely.  Read something each and every day.  Of course, we will need to choose the material we feed our children carefully — “you are what you eat”!

“Something to think about” can also come from music, science experiments, stories, excursions, and other things our children come into contact with each day.

Do you have a favorite book list you work from to provide your child with quality literature?  What ways can you think of that will help him come into contact with other opportunities for things to think about?

Ideas:

  1. Create a book list to work through.
  2. Create a different list of books that you want to read aloud together.
  3. Enjoy a unit study.
  4. Listen to a different classical composer each month.
  5. Study the work of a different artist each month.
  6. Plan an excursion to a new-for-you local museum or park.
  7. Memorize.

 

Additional Resources

“3 Easy-to-Remember Opportunities for Living the Educational Life”
This article by Karen Andreola which was published in The Old Schoolhouse magazine draws from her book as she expands on these three principles.

22 Ways to Love, Do & Think Every DayA Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola
So much here for the DIY homeschool mom — ideas for using quality literature, learning through narration, covering art and music, and so much more — whether you are a Charlotte Mason fan or not!

4 Ways to Provide Time for Productive Interests
How to provide room in your day for your children to pursue their interests.