Charlotte Mason on steady effort failure

...."-Looking for guidance to the literature of education, I learned much from various sources, though I failed to find what seemed to me an authoritative guide, that is, one whose thought embraced the possibilities contained in the human nature of a child, and, at the same time, measured the scope of education. I saw how religious teaching helped the children, gave them power and motives for continuous effort, and raised their desires towards the best things. I saw in how far law restrained from evil, and love impelled towards good. But with these great aids from without and from above, there was still the depressing sense of labouring at education in the dark; the advance made by the young people in moral, and even in intellectual, power was like that of a door on its hinges-a swing forward today and back again tomorrow, with little sensible progress from year to year beyond that of being able to do harder sums and read harder books.

Why Children are incapable of Steady Effort.
-Consideration made the reason of the failure plain: there was a warm glow of goodness at the heart of every one of the children, but they were all incapable of steady effort, because they had no strength of will, no power to make themselves do that which they knew they ought to do. Here, no doubt, come in the functions of parents and teachers; they should be able to make the child do that which he lacks the power to compel himself to. But it were poor training that should keep the child dependent upon personal influence. It is the business of education to find some way of supplementing that weakness of will which is the bane of most of us as well as of the children.

Children should be saved the Effort of Decision.
-That the effort of decision is the most exhausting effort of life, has been well said from the pulpit; and if that remain true about ourselves, even when the decision is about trifling matters of going or coming, buying or not buying, it surely is not just to leave the children all the labour of an effort of will whenever they have to choose between the right and the wrong.

-Charlotte Mason, Home Education vol. 1 Part III- Habit is ten natures