New School Year? Don't Forget Character!

This post was written by my lovely wife. Enjoy! – Sean

For some families the school year has already begun. Others will start in August or September and are still in the middle of planning. Regardless of where you're at, there's one crucial thing you need to consider before you get too far into the year.

Have you considered how to teach the most important subject of the day?

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Character training with the focus on godly character can be a dealbreaker for your homeschool day. If you make this a priority it can turn your frustrating, melt-into-tears type of day into a more productive, peaceful one.

Years ago I realized how easy it is to overlook the importance of morning devotion time and character training because you feel the pressure of getting going on your day and not getting behind in math or science.

You don't have to spend an hour doing devotions each morning to experience the benefits it brings! We try to spend around 30 minutes each morning, and half of that is spent in God's word. We read a Psalms or Proverbs, or from a scripture story book, or we might study a specific topic (currently we are reading different verses about sin and forgiveness).

Then I switch the topic over to character training. It's important to me that I keep these two topics closely connected. I want to raise a moral child with good character, but that's not my ultimate goal. I want a child who loves the Lord and desires to have good character because he or she knows that God has clearly said in His word to do these things.

You don’t have to spend an hour doing devotions each morning to experience the benefits it brings!

We are often asked at the conventions we attend with Character Badges how we actually teach character in our devotion time, so here's a look at what that really looks like in our home. Keep in mind, we are not the perfect family! The fact that we created a character program was from a desperate need in our own life!

Focus on the character quality that is found on your Character badges chart for the month. 

You want your children to truly understand what character quality you are focusing on each month. If you have helpfulness up on the chart, find stories in the scriptures that illustrate someone being helpful. There are so many historical stories that you can draw from as well. Just be creative and present them with the emphasis on the character quality of the month.

Memorize verses that focus on the Character Focus for each month! 

You can start by using our Character Badges flash cards that have a scripture verse to memorize. Use these flash cards as a family, or hand them to your child to study and memorize. The flash cards also include a story and illustrate the character quality for your child in an easy to understand, and memorable, way.

Laying Down The Rails For Children

If you really want to work on habit training and character training, consider investing in the Laying Down The Rails for Children books. I've found these to be very helpful and one of the easiest ways to quickly open a book and find material to read to our children.

Use Fun Hands On Examples

One of the best ways to help your children understand a character concept is through a fun activity or exercise! The object here is to capture your child's attention and to do something that helps them grasp the importance of the particular character quality you're focusing on.

At the end of the day we have to remember that we're dealing with children here; and if we know anything about children it's that they like to have fun! So, after the reading and memorization, be sure to include time for a game or activity (or craft even) related to the lesson of the day.

Ideas from books or online resources can help in this area, but don't ignore those moments of inspiration! Some of the activities that our children have enjoyed the most are the one's we've come up with all on our own. Not only will it help them grasp important character concepts, it will also make them excited about your devotion times – they'll start to look forward to it every day!

Are you ready for a new (home) school year?

Perhaps you've already started your year, or perhaps your school year never ends (you homeschool year-round).  Either way, what homeschool mom couldn't use a little extra money for homeschool curriculum or resources?

We've gotten together with a great group of homeschool bloggers to do just that - give 2 moms a gift card they can spend on their homeschools.  How does $250 sound in helping you buy curriculum, books, games, puzzles, or whatever educational supplies you might need?  Two people will win a $250 gift card to Rainbow Resource Center!!

We know homeschooling can put financial strain on families - whether it's from living on one-income or buying curriculum for mulitple children - the financial aspect of it can be stressful.  Our hope is that we can bless a couple of homeschool families (although we wish we could bless many more) so they can buy the curriculum and supplies they need for their school year.

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To enter for your chance to win, simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter.  Now I know that is quite a few entries for you, but each of these bloggers generously chipped in their own money to bring you this giveaway, so I hope you will take the time to do all of the entries.  And hey, the more entries you do, the better your odds are of winning!

Giveaway ends July 27th, 2018 at 11:59pm ET.  Must be at least 18 years of age.  Must be a resident of U.S. or Canada to enter.  Selected winners will have 48 hours to respond to email notification to claim their prizes or another winner will be drawn.  By entering this giveaway, you agree to be added to the email lists of the participating bloggers.  Please be sure to read the Terms & Conditions upon entering the giveaway.