Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
Character education is a long-term project. For many of us, it’s one of the reasons we homeschool–to be a guiding force in our child’s character development. Personally I hope my children will become young men and women of character ready to take on, challenge, and change the world around them when the time is right.
Much of character training has to do with modeling, being an influence throughout the course of our child’s entire lifetime.
But there are certain occasions when you may want a tool to point you in the right direction or provide a launching platform from which to discuss virtues with your child. At other times we may notice specific behaviors that we’d like to address in a creative (non-nagging) manner.
Resources our family has found helpful:
- The Children’s Book of Virtues – a collection of stories, poems, and fables categorized by virtue
- Fairy Tales – One of our sponsors, Oak Meadow, includes fairy tales as part of both their kindergarten and first grade curriculums. Fairy tales are generally viewed as one of the best ways to introduce young children to the concept of good and evil and the character qualities that heroes represent.
- Two of our favorite fairy tale collections are The Tall Book of Nursery Tales and Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales – though there is at least one story in each book I’ve skipped for various reasons. I’m always looking for collections with the classic stories but without frightening illustrations.
- A Children’s Bible – I’ve found it challenging at times to find a Bible to read with my children that doesn’t include dumbed down, cartoon-type illustrations. Our favorites so far have been Children’s Everyday Bible and Egermeier’s Bible Story Book.
Other Resources to Consider:
- KONOS Character Curriculum – This unit study curriculum includes topics based on character traits including generosity, courage, and wisdom.
- Drawn into the Heart of Reading – A Christian literature guide that incorporates character-building exercises
- Further Up and Further In – A unit study based on The Chronicles of Narnia
This week, even as you may be making plans for the upcoming homeschool year, keep your priorities balanced and remember that character training is also a foundational part of our children’s educations.
Do you have any character education resources to recommend?