I have wanted a whiteboard almost as long as we have been homeschooling. I could never justify getting one because we used other items instead. The girls have small whiteboards that we would use for lessons and we have a magnetic calendar that we hang on the wall. Nevertheless, I wanted a whiteboard. That great expanse of white, begging for words to fill its blank space, called out to me as I passed it in the school supply aisle. Recently, I decided that I would get a white board to fill the drab beige space on our school wall. It would go under the alphabet cards and above the magnetic calendar. To my utter disappointment, the space at the store where my white board once waited patiently for me to claim it was vacant. Hoping a store employee could locate it, I waited patiently as she scanned the shelf tag. Her news was beyond disappointing: they were out of stock and would not be in for 2 weeks. I drug myself to the next aisle, hoping it wsa just a bad dream. As I looked up, I quickly forgot about the whiteboard because what I saw was breath-taking. Before me was a Crayola Dry Erase Poster. It had colorful lines (also begging to be filled with words), was 17 x 24" big and cost half the price of my white board. I quickly checked out and brought home my newest friend. We have kept the poster busy with discussions around the poster, all of us taking turns writing on it. The girls enjoy copying things from it, adding to it, and participating in group activities again. My wish came true!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
03/28/11It didn't take the girls long to realize that the homeschool board was different. They were excited about the prospect of a special trip. I warned them to be attentive this week because other surprises will be showing up. I'm not sure what the surprises will be, but April Fool's Day will definitely be fun this year.
Today is Monday, March 28, 2011. Our character quality this week is attentiveness. I am excited about the audition today at the theater. If we get our work finished early, we will go to the museum on the way to the theater.
As usual, I referred to The Character Journal for Bible verses, songs, and more. I also went to Character First! for more activities and ideas.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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.