As homeschooling parents, we want to be sure that our kids get a good education academically, and have the knowledge that they need when they graduate. We want to be sure and give them the best education we can.
Some kids struggle more than others with academics though, don’t they? It’s important to make sure that you aren’t missing the key ingredient needed for academic success!
That one ingredient is character! When your children have good character, they will do MUCH better with the academics.
The reason many kids struggle with academics is because they are missing that vital ingredient. Perhaps they haven’t learned to be attentive, or they aren’t obedient. Without obedience or attentiveness, they are going to struggle to learn.
Diligence and initiative are also important character traits that will help children do better academically. As parents, we must realize the importance of teaching and training our children in the area of character.
There is a character crisis in our society today, and we need to get excited about the opportunity that we have daily in our homeschools to nurture character in our kids.
Teaching our children at home is so much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. Yet often academics distract us from the more important work, and we neglect the character training. As a result, we end up frustrated and stressed as we try to teach kids who are struggling because they lack the character they need.
If our children end up being very intelligent with lots of knowledge, but they don’t have wisdom, we have failed.
Many parents really want to teach character, but don’t quite know how to get started. The important things is to have a plan, and just get started.
Here are a few practical tips to help you set up a plan to teach character:
1. Start early with a lifestyle designed with purpose.
You should have a clearly defined target for your children’s growth. Where do you want them to be by the time they are 18, and how are you going to get them there? Don’t wait till something is a problem to figure out how you’re going to handle that situation. Plan ahead, and be prepared.
As far as your priorities, God makes it clear what our goals should be for training our kids in II Peter 1:5:
Add to your faith virtue (character), and to virtue, knowledge.
This makes it very clear that we need to work on building their faith, and building their character BEFORE we add the academics.
2. Godly character begins on the inside with a close relationship with Jesus, so we must teach our kids to think God’s thoughts. (build their faith)
3. Choose a specific goal/trait to focus on. Character Training: Where Do I Start?!
4. Focus on that trait for a week or two. with intentional practical lessons.
5 Pray that you’ll exemplify that trait.
As parents, we MUST practice what we teach! Our kids are watching how we live, and will imitate us. Be willing to submit to God’s training in YOUR life, as you teach your kids character.
6. Correct consistently.
7. Measure and check progress.
We used character charts for this to help us look for the effort and progress, and not just always see the bad. Noticing their efforts encourages them to keep trying.
8. Encourage often.
9. Don’t expect everything at once.
Remember that character training is a process that takes time. That’s why God gave us our kids for at least 18 years!
10. Keep yourself motivated and focused on your priorities by good books and resources.
I have always told parents that even though buying curriculum is important, making sure YOU have resources to keep you focused on your priorities is even MORE important! Godly character in your kids is the foundation to build the academics on.
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