The Philosophy Behind Habit Formation
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One aspect that makes an Oaks Academy education unique is the integration of habit formation into the student’s education. Habits are deeply-rooted patterns of behavior and can be helpful or harmful. The Oaks helps our students create worthwhile habits so they can develop the skills necessary to excel in their future endeavors.
Habit formation at The Oaks is closely tied to the core values of relationship and the personhood of the child. Habits provide Oaks Academy students with a solid foundation for intellectual, spiritual, and physical development. By forming healthy habits, every child becomes capable of the duty and delight of learning.
Like many aspects of an Oaks education, habit formation is influenced by the work of Charlotte Mason, a 19th century educator and reformer. According to Mason in her book Home Education, the will of children must be trained by habit.
The will controls our passions and our yearnings, which sometimes interferes with doing what we ought to do. Most children are weak-willed at first:
“The will of the child is pitifully feeble … but hardly ever to be counted upon as a power in education.”
The will must be strengthened so the child is not ruled by passion and can properly learn. Habits can strengthen the will.
“But observe, the passions, the desires, the appetites, are there already, and the will gathers force and vigor only as it is exercised in the repression and direction of these; for though the will appears to be of purely spiritual nature, yet it behaves like any member of the body in this––that it becomes vigorous and capable in proportion as it is duly nourished and fitly employed.”
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The first day of school at The Oaks Academy is a half-day filled with foundational lessons that begin a 10-year journey developing strong learners.