Our family recently began formally studying character qualitiesas part of our homeschool day. When looking for lessons, I had two main criteria:
1. I wanted something that all of my children would benefit from
2. I wanted something that went beyond the basics and incorporated scripture.
started with comprehensive lists of character qualities found at Character First and the Duggar Family's website. I used these lists to create a list for our family. Here is the entry on our list for humility:
Humility vs. Pride
Recognizing that it is actually God and others who are responsible for the achievements in
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6
Generally, we begin a new quality on Wednesday. Each child receives a worksheet and writes the quality at the top of the page. On Wednesday, we talk about the word, the dictionary definition, its synonyms and antonyms, and the operational definition. We go through the operational definition word by word, taking it down to simple terms. Then each child tells me what it means to her. Lastly, we discuss other character qualities that work with this quality. On Thursday, we review the meaning of the word and relate it to the Bible. We discuss several verses relating to the quality. We then talk about a few key Bible figures who do and do not live this quality. We also talk about how Jesus shows this quality in his life. Over the weekend, I look for ways to remind the kids about the quality in every day life. On Monday, we review what we learned the prior week and move on to the application. We talk about how we can live out this quality as individuals and as a family. This is the best part, because the kids make connections to their life choices. On Tuesday, we again review what we learned over the past few days and the kids draw pictures of themselves displaying this quality. We wrap up the quality by putting the worksheets in a book the kids are each creating.
A few tips: I found it works well to begin the quality on Wednesdays for two reasons. Wednesday is the day that we are most consistently home so I can expect to have a good chunk of time to allocate for this. Also, it works well to be in the middle of a lesson on the weekend. The kids are still focused on what we are learning rather than in between lessons. Rather than being a gap, the weekends have become an extension of our learning time. Secondly, I naturally expect our older children to do more writing and thinking in these lessons that what I expect from our younger children. As with anything, don't allow your children to burn out. When I see that my younger ones have had enough, I help with the writing or change gears. Thirdly, with all of the language lessons built into these activities, you must count this time for language arts hours or you will be cheating yourself!
To study the character qualities, I pieced several things together for our family. In addition to the lists I mentioned above, I found a good start at Home Life Ministries. In their Character Journals, you will find a wealth of information including stories, Bible verses, and my favorite, a list of five "I Wills" for each quality. We work those into each week.
Do you have another great resource for character studies? Please comment and share them here.