Habits go this way

I have many faults to chose from when deciding which habit to work on. I can't say I appreciate the abundance of choices.

I spent time this week thinking about improvements I want to make in my homeschooling days. I thought about fixing bad habits, Charlotte Mason style.
When I was a new mom, I craved a daily routine but didn't know how to make one. My sister suggested that I simply write down everything I did one day and then use that list as my routine. I followed her advice, and within one day I had the direction I wanted in my days.

I've revamped my routine several times since then, of course. I don't have babies anymore who need naps, afterall (these days, sometimes it's me who needs an afternoon nap), but I still like a routine to our days.

Lately, though, my days feel bungled and sloppy, and it's my morning habits that are doing me in. How I spend the first hour or so of my day influences the way the rest of my day goes, I know that about myself. Sometimes when I wake up and start my day, I forget the things I meant to do. I don't like that forgetful feeling.

The morning is the place for my habit training. I figured out what needs work - my mornings - and now I need to figure out how.

I read a quote today from Marco Polo today about mornings, and it was just what I needed to read. Marco tells the story about travelers in the desert who hear voices calling to them, often leading them off their path and sometimes to their death. To remedy confusion in the morning, Marco says,
Before they go to sleep, they set up a sign pointing in the direction in which they have to travel.
The story from Marco Polo told me exactly what I need in the morning: a sign pointing me in the direction I'm to travel. I like it. And, it's all the more fun to set up a sign for myself and think of travelers on the Silk Road doing the same for themselves, years and years ago. I like connections like that.

now, again
I've done this morning habit training before so I know the approach I'll take, and I'll write about it in another post later.

Photo: A church door on Amsterdam Avenue, detail.

Note about Marco Polo: I'm reading The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman with my 9yo son. The writing is good and the illustrations are wonderful. The chapters are short enough to read in one sitting, though the chapters could be broken up into two sessions if you wanted to keep to even shorter lessons. The author moves the story along at a comfortable clip, making it a good book for practicing oral narration. I like this book.


  1. Thanks for the recommendation of the Marco Polo book. We're doing MP next year for Geography and I'm trying to decide which book to use.

    I agree about 'as goes the morning, so goes the day.' My ideas for my morning, which include getting up earlier, seem to go by the wayside when the father and son decide to get up earlier too. So much for being a lazy homeschool family that just homeschools so they can sleep in late.

  2. I love this post. I have come to the conclusion that mornings, and morning habits, truly influence the way and feel of the day. I appreciate reading your words -- and once again being convicted -- to look at my mornings and be more diligent in my morning habits.



  3. I needed this post, there is much that I need to learn regarding scheduling our days. My morning routine has helped me find joy!

  4. Kay, Rachel, and Heather: May all our mornings go great this week!
    Heather, I like reading that your routine helped you find joy...I'll meet you there. :)

  5. I want to be included in the "May all our mornings go great this week." Mornings set the mood. Late risers or slow to get going ones are rushed the remainder of the day trying to accomplish all that needs to be done in a shorter day. My prayer is for God to give all of us the strength to arise early this week. Bless all of you.

  6. Traci, I share that prayer. It's great to have people reading my blog - and writing blogs - who lift each other up like this. Thank you, all.