Sunday, August 7, 2011

Teaching Character - Part 2

In part 1 of Teaching Character I gave a general overview of the "Blue book" and the "Green Book". These photos depict a close up of one of the pages in the Green Book ~ its correct title is Achieving True Successs.

There is no Scripture in this particular book. I balanced that out by using the "Blue Book" ~ The Power for True Success.

One way to use the book is to chose a particular character trait on which to focus for a particular period of time. To fully soak in its meaning and to allow the Lord opportunities to bring real life lessons, we often focused on a trait for a month at a time. But you can also use this by determining a negative trait you want to address - in this case you can see the opposite character trait for Deference is Rudeness. So if rudeness is something that you are struggling to root out in your family, then by focusing on deference, you can highlight how rudeness has crept into your daily lives.

Another help to ingraining this character trait is to memorize the 5 "I Wills". This gives the children (and adults!) a hook and measure as to how deference is being portrayed in their lives. Granted there are many other ways to portray this trait, but a concrete starting point of the 5 "I Wills" gives one a place from which to launch out.

I also like the concise definitions of each trait. Children do not always understand exactly what that definition means, but as one lives it for a month of study, memorizes the 5 "I Wills" and then lives out the trait over the ensuing years, the definition begins to take on nuances and meanings as the child matures. After all, character is a lifetime goal, not an answer to fill in on a test and move on.

And last, I love how there are ideas to jump start what we can do in our homes to live out this character trait. My children loved to pick one or two of these activities or ideas and then carry them out. It always made them happy to bless someone else in the family.

Often there is an animal linked to this trait (though not always, occasionally it is a plant). These can usually be coordinated to correspond to a section of the Character Sketch Books. This gives a multilevel approach to each unit of study. And if you are using the ATI curriculum, then you can see how all the layers work together to teach that one concept/trait.

The Proverbs in general, and Proverbs 2 in particular, stress the importance of searching for Wisdom - not knowledge. I fear that in our society today we have reversed that order and knowledge is being given an exalted place. So many homeschool families fear that their children will not have enough knowledge, that they let wisdom (character) fall by the wayside. I have found that when I am faithful to put wisdom first, the rest will follow in ways I don't even expect.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You so much for visiting my blog. And, oh wow! I have stumbled upon a gem in your blog. Your character post are what I am focusing on right now for my little ones. I look forward to reading more and being mentored through your post. - Carmen