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What is the most difficult subject in education? For me, character education is the most difficult one. Thus I made a character education list to grow children in any age. We also can check it and reflex if we have been a model for our children in the character education.
I would like to quote a very important verse about education from the bible:
Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it’ [Proverbs 22:6]
For me it implies that character education should be started very early so that it might be planted well and they can harvest it later. Having good characters will lead us having good relationship with God, others, and ourselves.
As I wrote previously, one of the most common disturbance in our homeschooling days is misbehavior which is part of character education. When we talk about character building, there are a lot of virtues that need to cope. Here are some virtues that we try to build up in our kids' personality and what we always emphasize all of the time. These are also the things that my parents always talked and discuss with me and these are also what the grandfather and grandmother said to my parents and so on. We often discuss and have similar opinion.
Well, before we start with the Characer Education list, I would like to share some books I love about parenting and character education
What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building CharacterWhat Do You Stand For? For Kids: A Guide to Building CharacterCharacter Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential VirtuesHow Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
Character Education List
Here are some virtues that we try to build up in our kids' personality and what we always emphasize all of the time. These are also the things that my parents always talked and discuss with me and these are also what the grandfather and grandmother said to my parents and so on. We often discuss and have dialogue about these topics:
Can you imagine the world without one? When there is honesty a company will be able to run peacefully. A country without honesty will lead into poverty as there will be a lot of corruption. In business, people won't work with us. There are many smart and talented people who can have bright career, but without honesty their achievement is not going to be a real one. Without honesty, we are not going to be trustworthy. It will lead into our ruin.
In this session kids giving examples about
- the importance of honesty in our life
- what they can do to show honesty.
Respect might show something old fashioned and sometimes we have to put ourselves under other's authority. Respecting someone might look humiliating. Anyway, human beings are social creatures that cannot live without others. Therefore, we need to respect others so that people will count on us too. Of course we need to do it sincerely. Respect can lead to courtesy or politeness. There are some cases related with respect given to kids
- kinds of respects: self respect and social respect
- reasons of being respectful
When we hear about obedience, it sounds that we were conquered by others. Obedience is ultimately needed whether it is because of being forced, being scared, or being aware. For me obedience is needed to make the world manageable. Without obedience, all regulation, laws, rules, and policies won't be able to work. Discussion will lead into:
I always tell kids that we need to think and do the consequences of whatever we have done on our position. It also means that we need to do what we suppose to do. When we can be responsible for ourselves, then we can take responsibility of others. Responsibility will lead to trustworthiness. The “advice” of responsibility will go further to:
- examples of roles and their responsibility
- the value of responsibility
Caring means giving attention to ourselves and our surroundings. it might have broader aspects, but my goals at the moment for kids to give attention to their surroundings, including other people and the environment. It is very common that when we care about others, they will usually care about us. However, being caring should be sincere. We should not expect others being care for us. it can lead into disappointment. it will just naturally happen. When we take care of our environment, then we will get good result from it.
Self control is deliberately important as it can anticipate undesirable things happen. In other words, we should be able to control ourselves to prevent negative or bad things happen. Our discussions will run around:
- what kind of self-control we need to have
- how we control ourselves (being patient)
- the benefits of self control
First of all, being fair means that we need to give others what have become their right. It can be in many different situations. Being fair can give us peaceful feeling. By being fair we have shown our respect towards others. Some points to talk:
- cases of being fair
- why do we need to be fair
Gratitude is the opposite of being greedy. People who never thank anyone won't be satisfied in their life. They will be very demanding and it will lead them to being stressful. Then we discuss about:
- How to express our gratitude
- What do we have to show our gratitude for
We do character education anytime. Most common is by direct advice, reading stories that show virtues, discuss the virtues after kids are involved in certain experience, reading bible, copywork, etc.
Those are just some of the virtues that my parents inherited. My parents and my mother in law always say,
“When kids often hear good advice and virtue, they will plant them inside their mind. Even when they don't show it right now, it will be kept in their mind until one day their mind will be ripe and ready to be harvested.”
We need to be patient waiting for them being mature. I feel lucky to see them day by day in a process of being mature. Thanks God for everything.
Some great books are used in some character education. Stay tune to our list of story books that involves character education.
Would you help me giving some ideas of:
- How important is character education for you?
- Can you give some examples of real character education?
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.