For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not of yourselves it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Teaching christian character trait

One of the value of homeschooling (and one for which I am personnaly homeschooling) is the great opportunity  to teach our kids character value. And this, not out of the blue but in context. As one author I read said, we need to teach our children "in the milieu", meaning in context. The verse in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 makes it clear ". . . when you sit in your house, when you lie down and when you rise up . . ." and the verse continues on. We learn best when the teaching fits life's situation and happenings as it happens.

One thing that I have done to aid me in this process, is to make up my own poster of character traits and their definitions. I also made up posters of  verses relating to them. These posters are on our hallway  and in the kid's bedroom. When I discipline them or correct a behavoir, I try to refer to the poster, reminding them what such and such attitude is and also of the verse. Often times, since my son reads, I send him to read it and tell me what it says. Then we talk about how he did not act the way he was supposed to and how he is supposed to act.

Here is a list of some that I came up with:

  • Obedience: Doing what you are told, right away and without complaining:Ephesians 6:1-3

  • Contentment: being happy and grateful for what you have: 1 Timothy 6:6-8

  • Patience: Waiting without complaining: Romans 12:12

  • Self-control: Not raising my voice or hurt others when things are not going my way: Galatians 5:22-23

  • Honesty: Being truthful in words and ways: Proverbs 12:22

  • Diligence: Working hard and putting my best in everything that I do: Proverbs 22:29

  • Attentiveness: Listening with the ears, eyes and heart: Proverbs 4:20, 21

The list could go on: thankfulness, forgiveness, respect, honor, kindness, joy, gentleness, selfishness, worry, complaining etc...    Of course you can adapt it to the age of your children but I have found this to be very helpful in teaching my kids these traits. They know some of them by heart and can relate to them when they do not put them into practice. There is a lot more work to be done, but that's a start. Here are some books helpful on this topic: A child's book of character building  (volume 1 and 2), Parenting with Scripture by Kara Durbin and Teach them diligently by Lou Priolo.


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