Children’s Moral and Intellectual Growth

Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles (Paraphrased by L. N. Laurio)

The Way of the Will and The Way of Reason

16. Children have two guides to help them in their moral and intellectual growth – “the way of the will,” and “the way of reason.”

17. Children must learn the difference between “I want” and “I will.” They must learn to distract their thoughts when tempted to do what they may want but know is not right, and think of something else, or do something else, interesting enough to occupy their mind. After a short diversion, their mind will be refreshed and able to will with renewed strength.

18. Children must learn not to lean too heavily on their own reasoning. Reasoning is good for logically demonstrating mathematical truth, but unreliable when judging ideas because our reasoning will justify all kinds of erroneous ideas if we really want to believe them.

These principles developed by Charlotte Mason remind me of several scriptures.

“Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” 2 Corinthians 10:5

“There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12

“Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

We have been dealing with issues of destructive behavior with our 5-year-old lately. They come from curiosity and a desire to try new things. They have usually involved water. She has an accomplice in these crimes – Abby, her 4 year old sister. They have been sneaking off when everyone was preoccupied with other things and played in water in the bathroom. Two days ago they got themselves all wet and the floor and our closet floor which is covered by carpet. We have had to put a fan on it to try to dry it before it mildews. Some of our clothes got wet, too. It was a mess.

“Little Angels!”

We had already been teaching Emma that the Bible says that children are to obey their parents. I told her that she makes Jesus happy when she obeys her parents. On the other hand, she makes the devil happy when she disobeys her parents. She has told me that she wants to make Jesus happy because she knows that Jesus is wonderful and loves her and that the devil is evil and hates her.

Her “will” has been to do what is right. Unfortunately, her “want” has been to try things that she knows she is not supposed to do. She has gone so far as to lock the door while she does them.

She was curious to try to put make-up on, too. Now her doll has a black face, painted with mascara. Her face and Abby’s face had a strange look, which I found out was caused by my eye shadow being applied to their cheeks. When I got into my room after one of the big kids got the door unlocked, I found that my eye shadow container was empty and my sink was brown.

I was too tired to even get really upset that night, so I didn’t talk to her about it that night. The next day I told her that I didn’t have any eye shadow to wear to church Sunday. I only wear it on Sundays, and not always then. She was sorry and said she won’t do it again.

Last night, Abby told me that she and Emma had been bad girls all day. I found out that they had poured honey all over Patrick’s leather jacket – almost the whole jar.

They did it in the same room where other people were occupied with video games and movies on Netflix. Nobody noticed what they were doing. Why don’t we notice what they’re doing? I don’t know. We get busy with our own activity and don’t pay enough attention to them.

Gary dealt with them about the honey. He was very upset about the honey and the jacket.

They cried and said they were sorry.

Next thing we knew, we heard them laughing hilariously in the kitchen which is open to the living room where we were sitting but separated by our table and chairs. They had let water pour out of the refrigerator water dispenser, and the kitchen floor was flooded.

So we keep talking to them about who they are pleasing when they do these things. They got spanked, and everybody expressed disapproval of that kind of behavior. But they continued to do one thing after another.

Today they haven’t made any messes like that. Gary took the doorknob off of our door so that they can’t lock themselves in anymore.

I hope that the trouble they got in yesterday will help them to decide that they like being obedient better than being disobedient.

When I saw them starting to get wild, often times I would offer them something to divert their attention to something else. I would offer them something to eat or offer to read to them or put a movie on for them or set them up on a computer game.

I guess I was trying to teach them to divert their thoughts from the thing that they wanted to do so that the “wild ideas” would dissipate and the house would be saved from one more disaster.

Those times that they made the messes, I missed the signs that they were starting to lose control of their “will” to do what is right.

We have talked to them about doing what is right instead of doing what seems like fun.

It seems like some kids take longer to learn these lessons. And if they have a buddy that’s close to their age, they will often be more brave to try things than if they are alone.

Since Emma was about 2 years old, she has been trying things that she is way too young to be able to do. I have been telling her that she will be able to do these things when she gets older, but she can’t do them yet. She sees her older brothers and sisters do things and she wants to do them, too. She usually tries to get me to tell her what age she will be able to do them.

Sometimes I have an idea, sometimes I don’t.

We threatened to take away their Christmas presents if they kept making the messes. That seems to have helped them to behave today.

With them, we are still at the stage of training them to choose the “will” instead of the “want”. We haven’t even gotten to the place where we can teach them not to rely too heavily on reason. We will get to that phase someday, but meanwhile, we need to keep teaching and training them to choose the good thing, not the bad thing and to divert their own thoughts from the thing that is bad until the wrong desire passes.

We have already taught our older kids that they can’t trust their own understanding because they need to make sure it lines up with the Word of God before they decide what’s true. They are learning that more and more as they grow and mature. We are giving them a foundation in the Bible so that they know what it says about things and then they will hopefully choose the things that are pleasing to God.

I’ve linked this post to the Charlotte Mason Carnival.

Recent Update from 40 Days for Life – Many Clinic Workers are Quitting!

When a 40 Days for Life vigil is just getting
started, abortion workers first consider you a
religious zealot, then a radical. As time goes on,
you’re seen as someone who simply has nothing
better to do with your time.

But toward the end of the campaign, you become a
question for them. The stereotypes wear off and
the abortion center staffers see you as a human
being … and they ask themselves the question,
“What good do I really do here?”

We are now at that point.

During this campaign, we’ve had reports of three
abortion center employees who have left their jobs
— and a few others are thinking about it. In the
majority of these cases, the stories will remain

When former Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson
experienced a conversion, quit her job and walked
into my office at the Coalition for Life next door,
she lost not just an income but close personal friends.

These workers will experience the same. So please keep
them in your prayers as they transition out of the
abortion business and find hope and healing.


At one 40 Days for Life vigil, a man walked up to the
prayer volunteers with a request. “My wife works in
there,” he said, pointing towards the abortion center.

“I am against abortion and I’m trying hard to convince
her to quit,” he said. “Would you pray with me to get
her out of there?” Of course, the vigil participants
did just that.

Another volunteer reports that an abortion center
employee stopped on her way in and struck up a
conversation, asking — very sincerely — why there
were people outside praying. She listened intently,
took some pro-life information from the volunteer,
and promised to study it.

The leaders at one 40 Days for Life location have
been watching as employees come and go, and the
turnover has been noteworthy. Over the past few
years, more than 20 people have quit and been
replaced. The local 40 Days for Life team is not
sure if all of these people have changed their minds
about abortion, but it’s certainly clear that this
facility has a hard time retaining staff.


At another 40 Days for Life location, there’s been a
very clear change of heart. There was an employee who
would come out of the office — and criticize prayer
volunteers for harassing women entering the building.

One day, however, there seemed to be something
different. The employee appeared upset, and said they
really didn’t want to be there, but needed the job.

A volunteer briefly told of how Abby Johnson had
left Planned Parenthood — and wrote about her
experiences in a book called “Unplanned.” The worker
grabbed a smart phone. Volunteers think it may have
been to Google “Abby Johnson” right there on the spot.

Several days later, one of the vigil participants saw
this employee while out shopping — and the employee
said the people praying were not really harassing
women. This worker hasn’t been seen at the abortion
center since then.


The wife of the abortionist will speak to vigil
participants from time to time outside the abortion
center. One day recently, she stopped at the end of
the driveway to tell two volunteers there would not
be any abortions that day.

As she began to pull into the street, she stopped
again and said, “Thank you for your prayers!”

“We both just stood there for a moment as she drove
away and said to each other, ‘Did she just thank us
for our prayers?'” said one volunteer. “Needless
to say, we will continue to pray even harder.”

Here’s today’s devotional from Rev. J. Kirk van der
Swaagh, Pastor, Conservative Congregational Christian


For the medical community, that the truth they know
about the human body may become awe and wonder at the
God who made it.


Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And
in Your book they all were written, the days
fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of

–Psalm 139:16

REFLECTION by Rev. J. Kirk van der Swaagh

Human beings — God’s tapestries.

Psalm 139 is a psalm that reveals the enormity and
otherness of God. His divine attributes are on
display: omniscience (2-4), omnipresence (7-12),
loving-kindness (17-18), justice (19-20),
righteousness (23-24), and omnipotence.

Yet, when it came to express this last attribute,
what example did the psalmist use — God’s creation
of mountains, seas, or far-flung galaxies? No, he
used none of these. To express the wonder of God’s
unparalleled creative power the writer mentions the
fashioning of the human in the womb (14-16).

The Hebrew word used to express God’s forming of us
in the womb, raqam, is the same term for needlework
or embroidery. In other words, we are a tapestry that
displays God’s artistic mastery.

And, like the artist who knows his creation down to
the last detail, God intimately knows us. This
reality provokes the writer to awe and wonder. He
proclaims, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

What is true for this psalmist is true for each human
being. Each is fashioned by God and known by him and
we can proclaim on behalf of each, “I am fearfully
and wonderfully made.”


Gracious God, help us to appreciate the wonder and
beauty of Your creation. Help us proclaim on behalf
of every one of our fellow human beings, “I am
fearfully and wonderfully made.” May the knowledge
that we are intimately known by You shape our lives
and actions. Amen.


To download today’s devotional as a formatted,
printable PDF to share with friends:


For Life,

Shawn Carney
Campaign Director
40 Days for Life

Weekly Wrap-up Oct. 26

Patrick has made a deal with the twins. They have to do Science with him before they’re allowed to play on the XBox. So they look for him to do Science with them so they can get it done and then do the fun things they want to do. They have to do their Phonics, Spelling and Math workbooks before that each day.

This morning I came downstairs and found these creations on the floor. I haven’t asked yet who did them, but I have a feeling it may have been Fiona.

Abby told me she had made some bats and a cave for them to live in.

At first I was looking at them upside down and thought they were happy people. Then I looked at them right side up and saw that they really did look like cute little bats!


We did some Texas history.   I used a unit study from Currclick called “A Gentle Tour of Texas History”.  We learned about the different Indian tribes that were here in Texas before Europeans came here.  We read a book called Indians Who Lived in Texas” by Betsy Warren.  Then the kids had to label the rivers in Texas on a blank map.

Their favorite river name was Prairie Dog Town River.


I read a book to Garrett that I ordered on Amazon.  It’s an old favorite of ours that I used to get from the library when Shawn was young.  It’s called Sitting on the Farm.  Everybody got quiet when I started singing it.  Yes, I said, “singing it”.   It’s a story song.  The older kids then started discussing the story and talking about whether dogs really eat cats and how you would possibly get a bear off of your knee.


You will have to read the book to find out what they were talking about.


You can get it on Amazon:

No, the dog doesn’t eat the cat.  Look carefully at the pictures to see what is really happening.

I love story songs. That reminds me – I need to get copies of two of my favorites that I used to have: Frog Went a’Courtin’ by John Langstaff and Feodor Rojankovsky and Over in the Meadow by the same author and illustrator or the one by Olive A. Wadsworth.


We watched the old movie “The Longest Day” about D-Day the Invasion of Normandy.  John Wayne and a slew of other big stars were in it.  I couldn’t believe how many guys I recognized.  I made sure to clarify throughout the movie who was who and what country they were from and whether they were good guys or bad guys.

The book we’ve been reading about Rees Howells:  Intercessor covered the D-Day invasion as they interceded beginning two months before the day and prayed specifically for the young men from America who came to fight for them.  Rees got the prophetic word, “I am going over before the troops and there will not be a setback.  I will not sheathe the sword until the Charter (the goal of the Allied leaders) is established and the world set free.”  Then Rees and the intercessors at his Bible College prayed from victory the day before D-Day actually occurred. They knew that God would give the Allies the victory and were rejoicing ahead of time. They influenced world events through their intercessory prayers. We read about this today after watching the movie yesterday.  It was a great follow-up to read about the spiritual part of the great battle known as D-Day, the Invasion of Normandy. Reading this book has encouraged us to intercede with faith and power for our nation.

Fiona made some Lego creations using Star Wars Legos. She made a diner, a table full of people and a vehicle that held all of the characters being driven by a storm trooper.

Kelsey and Morgan read this book together:

These are Mother Goose tales that have been re-written by Mary Ann Hoberman in a very entertaining, funny way. The pictures are comical, too. Michael Emberley illustrated it. The readers can read by the colors and do choral reading. One can take the blue parts and the other the purple parts, then they read the red parts in the middle together. Kelsey and Morgan enjoyed it so much, they took the book into a room and read every single story together.

I have linked this post at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Finding the Keys to Victory

by David Wilkerson | October 24, 2012
[May 19, 1931 – April 27, 2011]

As I studied the New Covenant, its glorious truths leapt out of God’s Old Testament dealings with Israel. Paul states, “All these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). I sensed the Lord asking me, “David, do you want the keys to victory? Do you want to know how to overcome sin, flesh and the devil? Do you want to know how to do battle with the enemy? Then go to my Old Testament and you will learn from the examples there. I have recorded them all for you, so you can learn the lessons of godliness.”

On the night of Passover, not a single Israelite was in danger from the death angel who swept through Egypt. Every man, woman and child of God rested safely and securely under the blood covering that was spread on the doorposts of their homes (Exodus 12). This picture of safety represents the protective power of our Lord’s blood over His children today. As Christians, we are to be a believing, trusting people who have the blood of Christ sprinkled on the doorposts of our hearts.

Israel’s trust in the blood of the slain lamb accomplished many things in the lives of the people. It not only protected them from the death angel, but it also brought them out of Egypt and delivered them from the bondage of Pharaoh. Yet, there were other enemies from which Israel needed deliverance. Likewise today, our trust in the blood of Christ is about much more than obtaining salvation for eternity. It also involves relying on God’s power to deliver us from every stronghold of the enemy.

Please do not mistake me. If you are saved — living under the covering of Christ’s blood, secured by faith in His work on the cross for you — that is absolutely wonderful. But what about your ongoing battle with the power of sin that rages inside you? What about your besetting habit? What power do you have to do battle with these enemies of your soul?

The fact is, even if we have been saved and secured by Christ’s blood, we are still engaged in a battle with overwhelming principalities, satanic powers, demonic strongholds. We are to claim the power that is available to us through God’s New Covenant, but that power comes only by faith!

The Wee Ones at the Park

Abby and I ride a purple dinosaur!

Abby rides a bee!

Garrett and Fiona sail on a ship!

Abby steps on acorns!

All four wee ones rode on a train!

We thought this train was a regular part of what they offer at the park, but when we got over to it, we found out that it was a reserved train for a birthday party. But they let us ride anyway!
The kids really loved it. I was so grateful to the family that let us crash their party for a train ride!

They probably have no idea how special that was for my kids. They haven’t gotten to do many things like that.

Somebody’s sad that there are only 3 swings.

Did you ever see such a sad face? Don’t worry, it won’t last long.


Garrett and Fiona, meanwhile, are having the time of their lives.

Now Abby gets a chance to swing in a swing that’s just her size.

Emma rides a ladybug!

So ends our day with the wee ones at the park.