Habit Formation: Habit of Attention

 For those who decide to embark upon the career of habit formation, remember:
-One habit at a time
-One day at a time
-Practice good actions weekends, too
-Nip the weed in the bud because formation is more efficiently accomplished than reformation
But be encouraged with this wise old saying “One habit overcometh another”. You may not be able to teach old dogs new tricks, but GOD is able to make all things new again. Isn’t this a great blessing? — the last paragraph of Chap 9 (The Happiness of Habit) on pg 76 of The Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola 
 

Habit of ATTENTION:

Habit of ATTENTION: One of the best things we can do for ourselves and for our children is to gain the Habit of Attention. When we can truly fix our attention on a matter at hand, we are already over half way to our destination of success. I urge you to read the information below and the information I have linked to. I am now focusing on the Habit of Attention with my childen and I look with hope towards the day that I will be able to share our victories testimony!!

A couple of things I have started doing to help my children and I gain this Habit is 1. Practice only saying something once 2. Stop “talking” so much (no nagging) 3. Become more organized (ex. Work Box System)  4. Close the door to distractions (ex. Close bedroom door (where the toys are) during school hours, cutting back on Video games and T.V. time) 5. I will not get on the computer during school hours 6. PRAY, PRAY and PRAY!! 

What is Attention?––It is evident that attention is no ‘faculty’ of the mind; indeed, it is very doubtful how far the various operations of the mind should be described as ‘faculties’ at all. Attention is hardly even an operation of the mind, but is simply the act by which the whole mental force is applied to the subject in hand. This act, of bringing the whole mind to bear, may be trained into a habit at the will of the parent or teacher, who attracts and holds the child’s attention by means of a sufficient motive.—-CM, Vol 1 pg 146 As children get older, the responsibility shifts to them to use the volition of their own will to make themselves focus, even when things try to distract their attention. Children should be taught to feel a sense of triumph at being able to compel themselves to focus. Let them know how thoughts are always flitting in and out of the mind, and they will drift from one thought to another. The struggle and victory is to be able to fix their thoughts on the task at hand. A child who succeeds deserves a reward of a sympathetic look from his mother and her words of praise: ‘You have done well, you’ve done the right thing.’ But keep in mind that a person can only pay attention if he has the intellectual capability to grasp the subject. The importance of attention can’t be emphasized too much. It is within everyone’s reach and should be the mental discipline most coveted. No matter how clever a child is, he can only make use of his intelligence in the proportion that he’s able to focus his attention when and where he wants.–CM, Vol 1, pg 154-146  …………… habit of Attention, because the highest intellectual gifts depend for their value upon the measure in which their owner has cultivated the habit of attention. To explain why this habit is of such supreme importance, we must consider the operation of one or two of the laws of thought. But just recall, in the meantime, the fixity of attention with which the trained professional man––the lawyer, the doctor, the man of letters––listens to a roundabout story, throws out the padding, seizes the facts, sees the bearing of every circumstance, and puts the case with new clearness and method; and contrast this with the wandering eye and random replies of the uneducated;––and you see that to differentiate people according to their power of attention is to employ a legitimate test.-CM vol 1 pg 138 

I will leave you with a definition of Attention that I came across one day that I just love but sadly I do not remember where it came from——ATTENTION  is LISTENING with your EYES, EARS & HEART!!! 

Please share with us what you do to exercise the Habit of Attention for yourself or your children.  

Below are links to the Charlotte Mason’s own home school education books (Vol 1) written in modern language
The complete book you can access here (Volume one is at the top of the page) http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/ModernEnglish.html#1
Section on Habits http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/M1_3.html
Second section on Habits http://www.amblesideonline.org/CM/M1_4.html  
 
To find out  about Charlotte Mason and the Charlotte Mason Home School Method go HERE 
 
Laying down the Rails by Sonya Shafer is a great book to assist you in Habit Formation 
 
Smooth and Easy Days is a FREE e-book on Habit Formation by Sonya Shafer ***Awesome***
 
Workbox System Resources:
Sue Patrick (Creator of the Workbox System) main site
Workbox Yahoo Group
Workbox @ Robin’s Blog (Heart of Wisdom)
Workbox Review @ Curriculum Choice Blog
Working the Workboxes @ Squidoo
Sue Patrick’s Workbox System A User’s Guide
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3 thoughts on “Habit Formation: Habit of Attention

  1. Hello, I just found your blog through the carnival of CH and enjoyed reading your post. I have that same quote in the book: “A Child’s Book of Character Building”. Not sure if that is where you got it.

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