Character is one of the most important things we teach our children. Whether we homeschool or not, it is the ultimate goal of parenting! We all want to raise children who not only function well in society but who thrive. Who have positive attitudes and who are kind, thoughtful, unselfish, and honest.
Sometimes it can be hard to come up with ways to teach our children about the character traits we want to develop within them. Before sitting down to focus on any character-building lesson, here are 4 tips to keep in mind:
- Keep it brief. Lecturing your kids on the benefits of virtue will never produce any actual change or motivation to change. In fact, I’ve learned that a lecture is rarely effective in any case! Your kids just tune you out, leaving you with more frustration than when you began.
- Choose a time when your child is in a calm frame of mind and distraction-free. Do NOT attempt a character lesson in the middle of an outburst, tantrum, or any disciplinary action. If a lecture is ineffective, trying to turn a response to disobedience or disrespect into a character lesson is even less so.
- Make it actionable. Even if your child is not primarily a kinesthetic learner (read more here on learning styles), incorporating some sort of activity into your character lesson will help make it stick. Practice makes perfect!
- Be patient. A single (even wildly successful) lesson on a character trait you wish to build in your child is not likely to result in a magical transformation or immediate grasp of the concept. Don’t forget that kids are kids. And it takes ALL of growing up (and even adulthood, if my life is any example haha) to build character.
If you’re ready to add some character-building into your school schedule but don’t know where to start, don’t despair! I have created a free Weekly Character Trait Lesson Plan for preschool and elementary-aged kids! This lesson plan is the backbone for the curriculum I wrote for Ace’s first year of homeschool and is based on the ever-popular Letter of the Week model.
In this FREE download, I give you a character trait for each letter of the alphabet plus a list of 10 additional traits that I thought were awesome but just couldn’t accommodate (this might be especially helpful if your state requirements dictate that you must teach a 36-week school year.)
I include a kid-friendly definition for each trait to make it easy to understand along with an “Into Action” column that gives you a hands-on activity to complete during the week to help reinforce the concepts.
Should you choose to download the Christian version, you will also find a Scripture memory verse that corresponds with each trait. This can give you a starting point for your morning devotions or simply provide some memory work.
Click here to download the Weekly Character Trait Lesson Plan. Once you sign-up, you will receive a password to access my new free resource library with all my free downloads. From there, you can choose what you would like to download.
I hope you find this to be a great resource. Especially if you’re looking to add some character-building activities into your weekly schedule.
Do you have any go-to character-building activities, lessons, or tips? Please do share them in the comments below! I would love to hear how you work on character within your homeschool!