Generation Joshua -- America Needs Your Help"
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Table of Contents
Out the Vote!
Part 1 (This Issue)
The Nature of
A Sample List
of Good Habits
Part 2 (Next Issue)
Methods of Forming
of Habits to Character,
Training, and Spiritual Life
Character-Building Phonics-Based Stories
Up: Humorous Anecdote
"Good habits are hard to form and easy to live
Bad habits are easy to form and hard to live
Charlotte Mason wrote,
"The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits
secures for herself smooth and easy days;
While she who lets their habits take care of themselves
has a weary life of endless friction with
We hope that the following discussion of habits,
advantages, nature, and methods of formation, inspire you to form
good habits that will make your home life and schooling easier
and more pleasant for you and more glorifying to our Lord.
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian Welch
The Teaching Home is a 24-year-old, home-school family business.
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Only 68 More Days
Until the Presidential Election
You know how much our next President will
affect the course
of our nation and personal liberties, including our religious and
home schooling freedoms.
Now is the time to make a difference -- not
at the last
minute when there is not enough time, or when the close vote is
What can you do?
"I exhort therefore, first of all, that supplications,
prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings, be made for all men; for
kings and all that are in high places; that we may lead a
tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity."
(1 Timothy 2:1-2).
2. Become Informed
Get information about the issues from a Christian
as well as the candidates' positions and records on those issues.
3. Get Out the Vote!
Help rally Christians who will pray and vote.
The Million Votes Campaign. "A
team of one million
registered Christian voters could change our nation this year!
That's why the Center for Reclaiming America has launched
MillionVotes.com, an effort to identify and equip one million
registered Christian voters who will pray and vote in this year's
HSLDA's Generation Joshua. HSLDA
a program designed to increase voter participation and voter
turnout among Christian conservatives and America's churches.
For more information see the accompanying e-mail and
Ask If They Are Registered To Vote.
Make sure everyone
of voting age in your family is registered to vote. Then check
friends at church, in your support group or neighborhood, and
Church Bulletins. You can obtain
bulletin inserts that set
forth clear biblical reasons from the Founding Fathers on why
Christians must vote in elections.
Voter Registration. Look at voter
online or pick up a registration form at the post office to see
what is involved in registering to vote.
4. Teach Your Children
Use this opportunity to teach your children
responsibilities. You might want to use all, or part, of our
ready-made unit studies to start you school year or for one or
more weeks before the election.
Three-Part Unit Study on Government
Two-Part Unit Study on the Presidential Election Process
Stories. Accelerate mastery
of spelling and advanced reading at all levels. This is the final
For Christian families. Grades 2-12. http://www.BeyondPhonics.com
The Advantages of Habits
"Once good habits are in place, a mother can
her children will behave properly as a matter of habit and she
won't need to go behind them with constant reminders and nagging.
Habit training makes her job easier and more pleasant.
"It may seem like a huge task, but if done
little by little,
one day at a time, as each tick of a clock counts away days and
years, it can be done with less effort than one might think
initially." -- from the "Summary of Home Education, Volume 1
of the Charlotte Mason Series."
One advantage of habits is that they allow
you to handle
repeated tasks and decisions without considering them over and
over again. This allows more time and attention for other things.
"Although it takes energy and thought to form
a good habit,
once in place, a habit gains in strength and effect with each
repetition. Put a platoon of good habits to work for you, and
you'll triumph in the war against chaos and disorganization." --
Cynthia Townley Ewer in the inspiring article, "Habit, the
Household Wonder Worker."
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The Nature of Habits
A habit is defined as "a recurrent, often
pattern of behavior that is acquired and maintained through
frequent repetition. An established and prevailing disposition
of the mind or character."
"To Form, or Not To Form" Is Not the Question
We cannot avoid forming habits. We are
passively or actively forming habits by everything we do. We
all creatures of habit, and every action we take is reinforcing a
Instead of thoughtlessly allowing our habits
we have the ability and responsibility to choose our own habits
by deliberate and intentional actions.
Successful and godly people are willing to
make the effort
to form useful habits. They might not necessarily like to do
so, but their dislike is subordinate to their purpose.
The key to the successful formation of a habit
consistency of the repetitions. The power of your conscious
decision to do a certain thing grows stronger by exercise. What
seems difficult or impossible at first, becomes natural and easy
by constant repetition, as thoughts and actions become habitual.
Caution: Wet Cement
Habits are learned best in youth and childhood.
your children learn good habits at a young age is a great
blessing for them (and all those around them) throughout their
Children will not "grow out of" bad habits.
You need to
consciously train them in good habits.
Also while young, children easily pick up
the bad habits of
their playmates. This is one reason that care must be taken in
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Habits can be either good or bad, beneficial
Bad habits are more easily formed than good
habits and are
more difficult to give up because of our sin nature.
The adage, "Old habits are hard to break,"
is true. The
only way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a good
habit. It will take extra effort, determination, and desire to
overcome the force of thousands of repetitions; it requires
consistently repeating a positive action. (All the more reason
to help our children avoid bad habits in the first place!)
Habits that are compulsive, extreme, or harmful
addictions; these enslave a person.
Set the Timer
How long does it take to form a habit?
Opinions vary, but
most people need to do something very deliberately for 3-6 weeks
for a habit to become ingrained in their lives.
The time might be shorter or longer depending
factors such as the person's age and motivation, the habit being
formed, and the methods used (see article below).
In regards to time, there is agreement on
* However long it takes, it is time well spent.
* It takes a lifetime to maintain a habit.
Put Them All Together
Habits, good or bad, have a cumulative effect.
One bad habit might not seem so objectionable,
but it often
leads to another, and several together can cause serious
problems, pain, and anguish.
On the other hand, small beneficial habits,
and unnoticed in themselves, can add up to a momentous effect in
the lives of our families.
Can a Good Habit Go Bad?
If it is a habit of good character or one
involving a moral
absolute -- absolutely not! However, a habit that was once
appropriate can become a harmful rut if we do not periodically
evaluate its usefulness.
The circumstances of our lives might change,
or we might find
a new and better way of doing something. Then it is appropriate
to update and modify a good habit to make it even better.
Education: Habits of the Mind
In the classical style of education advocated
Sayers, rote memory is employed in the beginning or "grammar"
stage of learning. This is similar to forming a habit because
involves the repetition of facts for the brain to recall.
Read "The Lost Tools of Learning" at one of
"An Established Disposition of the Mind"
This aspect of the definition of habit is
what Stephen Covey
refers to in his well-known book "The 7 Habits of Highly
Effective People." You can read an informative summary at
Two Resources from the Publisher
of Speedy Spanish
"School Days Devotional Praise" 150 days of
Character-building stories, tape of songs, posters. (grades 1-8).
"Christian Ethics for Youth." Topical devotional
and study book on Proverbs with illustrations and applications;
An Inventory of Habits
Work on forming good habits in your family
by planning and
prioritizing as follows:
1. Make a List of Desired
This exercise alone can help you become more
aware of what
your family needs to work on.
How do you know what to put on this list?
* Routines in your daily schedule.
* Problems that come up that you would like solved once
all by forming a good habit.
* Bad habits that need to be replaced with good ones.
* Your family's mission statement and goals. (See
#80 and 81.)
* The sample list below.
2. Assess Your List.
* Check off those habits that are already established.
This can both encourage you and remind you
maintain these good habits.
* Note habits that certain family members need to work
that others do not.
* Prioritize your list.
This is necessary because it is more effective
to work on
just one habit (or a closely related group
of habits, called
a routine) at a time.
* Update your list when you can check off a successfully
& Peace of
Homeschool students have different
schedules and may need to be in
public during normal school hours.
* Problem: To others, your homeschooler looks like a truant
public school student. How can they tell the
* Solution: HomeSchool ID Card.
* Great for student discounts!
or call us at 813-962-2256.
A Sample List of Good Habits
Consider the following areas of beneficial
might think of more examples in each area and/or break these down
into component parts.
Regular times for going to bed, rising, meals,
Health, Hygiene, and Grooming
Clean skin, hair, teeth, nails, clothes, and
balanced nutrition; exercise; rest; correct posture; proper use
and care of eyes; deep breathing, and drinking adequate water.
Walking along and crossing streets, answering
responding to strangers.
Consistent, timely, and satisfactory performance
initiative and responsibility. Always do just a little more than
expected, rather than the bare minimum; "Go the second mile."
Pick up, clean up, and put away things immediately
Diligence, focus, thoroughness, and excellence
and completing assignments.
Use logical reasoning; recognize fallacies.
Use correct volume, pronunciation, grammar,
Manners and Courtesy
"Please," "Thank you," "You're welcome," "Excuse
Look for ways to show kindness and help others. Attend and
answer when addressed; do not interrupt.
Modest dress and behavior; not being alone
inappropriate conversations with someone of the opposite sex.
Always obey parents without delay or complaint.
Make correct choices in all areas of character.
See a list of character qualities (love, integrity,
obedience, wisdom, responsibility, and joy), with related
characteristics, definitions, and Scripture references for each
in newsletter #87 at
Bible reading, study, and memory. Church
prayer, and sharing the Gospel.
Thank and Support
These free newsletters
are made possible financially by
the fine suppliers who advertise in them and
e-mail. Please consider those that advertised
in our last issue
(below) as well as the ones in this issue.
The Grace Academy
"Unlocking The Mysteries of Creation"
SCI-TECH Hands-On Project Kits
"For Instruction in Righteousness" from Doorposts
Grapevine Studies Bible Curriculum
Mr. Button Family Video
Sunnyside Up: Somebody
Loves Me -- I Wonder Who?
At breakfast one morning, Blake, 3, wrinkled
his brow and
asked, "Who's Howie at church?"
Puzzled, my husband and I looked at each other.
"You know," he continued, "the one who loves
We were stumped. We didn't know any Howie
until Blake went
on to sing, "Oh, Howie loves you and me. . . ."
Submitted by Valori C., Wisconsin.
God Loves You.
Because we were separated from God by sin,
died in our place, then rose to life again. If we trust Jesus
as our Savior and Lord, He will give us eternal life.
"For by grace you have been saved through
faith; and that
not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of
works, that no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
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