Habits Are Like Fleas

Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than upon anything else, future character and conduct depend. Vol 1 Pg 118

No FleasI am tired, I really mean it.  Physically, mentally, and emotionally I am drained.  I have bombed, I have sprayed, Borax-ed, and yes, prayed.  As I vacuumed my semi-shag carpet in the basement for the umpteenth time I realized how much this whole situation reminded me of habits and the training thereof.

At first, one of my kids said they had an itchy spot, it being summer I thought it was just mosquitos.  You have to understand that I have never really had an indoor pet so fleas never entered my mind.   The two dogs that sleep indoors do just that, sleep indoors.  They are out all day but sleep in their crates at night.  One of them is cozied up to my daughter’s bed in a room with semi-shag carpet. They have, however, been rehomed to the mudroom until this situation is rectified.

Before I knew it, we were sitting in our library area doing lessons and I saw those little black bugs jumping on my children.  I knew then, it was serious.  War was declared.

What do habits and fleas have in common? Let me explain, a bad habit will not seem like it is in your face at first.  It can be a disrespectful attitude, a scowling glance, unjoyful obedience or any other number of “little” incidents that pass under a parent’s eye.  Especially if the parent is preoccupied with other endeavors.  If preoccupation sets in so will the habit and it will then increase, multiply, and begin to reign in the “carpet” of your child’s heart.  Before you know it, you are are in an all-out war and if you are like me, you stand there with your mouth gaping and wondering what on earth do I do? How did this even happen?  How do I fix this?

To tackle this problem I had to strip the area to the bare bones first.  Vacuuming was next and then a fogging was in order, I am the last person to want to use chemicals, but I had met my limit.  And you know what?  My formulated plan of precision fogging and vacuuming didn’t get rid of those nasty black bugs in one fell swoop!  Do you know what has worked the best?  Vacuuming. Consistently.

While vacuuming is when it occurred to me that consistency is the best process for good habits in our children and ourselves.  I expected to have a one and done experience with fleas, but in reality, it has taken a good week and I will continue to vacuum daily until the day  I die.  If we expect to give our children a nice little lesson or poem on let’s say, picking up after themselves, then we don’t follow through in making sure the habit is adhered to, should we be upset when the child fails?  No, we cannot fault the child.

So what do we do?  How do we handle this? Well, bare bones.  Get to the heart of the problem, if need be, take time to cut extracurriculars and spend time with your child.  It is that important.  If it is something you wish to cultivate then it should be worth the time that it takes to grow.  Once you have established your expectations and your child is fully aware of what you expect then begin the daily task of “vacuuming”. And never forget to bathe yourself and your child in prayer.  Over the years, there have been times when I knew that my patience was a gift from God, not of my own power.

It does seem laborious and at times the days long, but we shall reap if we do not faint.  I am hoping to reap dead bugs?  What are your plans?




Hi All,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be hosting a giveaway on my planner site.  You can click below to go on over and enter to win!                    Thanks a bunch.


Announcing Planner Website


I promise, I have not forgotten about this blog.  Honestly!  I have been, however, very busy with a new adventure that will be happening on June 1st, 2018.  After years of purchasing, making, adapting, tweaking, and starting over all again, I decided to create planners for the Charlotte Mason mama.  They are digital downloads and I tried to leave a tremendous amount of leeway for your own creativity in how you wish for them to be assembled.

Along with the download there will be a password protected page that the purchaser will have access to that will contain videos explaining the pages and ideas behind their structure.  Who doesn’t need a little clarification once in a while? I know what it’s like being that mom that needed a little hand-holding.

And to top it all off, June 1st is my daughter’s 15th birthday.  So we will be opening with a 15% off sale bringing the price from $15.00 to $12.75.  🙂  Yeah!!!  This will last through June 8th.

I will be sharing more as June 1st approaches.  Also, here is a sample of some of the pages.


Charlotte Mason Freebie Alert

There are some wonderful resources that are up for grabs until April 17th, 2018. I personally have used these resources and can attest to their usefulness.  You can click the video and watch as I describe a little more about them or you can click on the link provided to go directly to the source.  *Disclaimer* In order to receive the PDFs, you will need to provide an email first.  You will receive your first PDF then receive one weekly until you have collected all nine.  Well worth the wait, in my opinion.

~Thanks for stopping by.

The Home Educator’s Tutor

Giveaway Time

Hi All,

It has been a while since I have hit the “blog-o-sphere” and thank you for being patient.  This week I discovered that my YouTube channel has hit 500 subscribers.  That may not sound like much to some, but to me that’s amazing.  I want to be a channel that encourages Mamas in their decision to home educate and give an honest view, one not skewed by “Pinterest” perfect homes or “Instagram” life.  I am real, you are real, let’s keep it real, ok?

NOW on to the fun stuff.  In honor of having 500 subscribers I am hosting a giveway on my Facebook page or you can click the link to add your email.  Also, commenting on a YouTube video will garner an entry.  You can just leave a smiley face. 🙂  Click the link in the sidebar for the giveaway page and you can watch the video below for info about the giveaway and also some of our favorite things we are using in our Farmstead school.


SCM Homeschool Planner

On this post, I plan to add a few different planners for the use of homeschooling.  The first one I have here is for up to three children while using the Simply Charlotte Mason curriculum especially if you use it exclusively. (I will be creating a more generic CM planner as well.)

This planner is in muted colors as to save on ink and can be printed with your toner save on or printed in gray scale.  Also, it is designed in landscape format.  For me, I need more room to write out assignments and landscape helps me achieve this.  Each spread is for one day, the whole planner printed out is 12 weeks worth of school or one term.  NOTE: planner needs to be printed double sided.

The planner is free~Enjoy!

CM Lesson Pic
Simply Charlotte Mason (Three Student)

Easy and Free Latin

After cutting out the flashcards, they fit very nicely in a Sloyd project. 

Salve! (Google says this means welcome in Latin)

One of the hardest subjects I have tempted to breach this year, besides French, has to be Latin.  I love words, I have books full of them. 😉  Yet, when faced with teaching this to my children, it scared me.  I have always thought that I needed someone who worked at the Smithsonian with five PhDs to walk me through this.

This is where the Public Domain came to my rescue.  While perusing Google Books, I discovered a neat little (free)Latin Primer that fit my bill rather nicely.  It is easy enough to not scare the wits out of my children, yet progresses nicely in difficulty.  I printed this book and put it into a 3-ring binder for use.

Another hurdle was making sure I am pronouncing these words correctly for my children.  This is where I consulted a PDF I found online and a YouTube channel to set me straight.  From the PDF, I created flash cards so I may quiz the children.  Lastly, I designed another PDF page so that the girls could write down their exercises in an orderly manner.  These will have holes punched and be put into a folder labeled “Latin”.

In the pictures, my printouts are spotty with black.  Please forgive my printer, it is a hot mess at the moment and we are not on speaking terms.  Yours won’t print like this unless you too are nursing a broken printer.  All of the links I mentioned are below and all of the printouts are free, it will only cost you ink.  Fruor! (Enjoy!)

The Latin Primer by H. C. Nutting  1911

Pronunciation Guide

Flash cards

Primer Notebook Page

YouTube channel we have been using for pronunciation and more clarity.

If you have any difficulty with any of these resources or see an error, please contact me via the contact page or email me at farmsteadjournal@gmail.com.  Thanks!