Archive for August, 2012

Character Education and Building

Character Education and Building

Why should we be teaching?

Why do we care about building character? Why is it so important? At times, living in the same environment with all basic needs fulfilled pushes aside the true needs of the world. At a early age, everyone was taught to consume. We are doing the same things with the same people in our cities or suburban neighborhoods and living superficial lives.

What the world needs now is real values and character education. We need to pass down a legacy. We need to shake things up and bring about a change. How do we create deep experiences and pass along unique life lessons to our children?

  • Proactive teaching– being there to teach a deeper lesson when an event happens
  • Clear instruction– keeping consistent with your thoughts and values and being an example
  • Activities– adding activities that is conducive with your values

How do we set aside Character Building 101?

It’s not so simple. Character building happens subtly and with direction from the teacher/parent. Teaching moments crop up sporadically. When they do, you prune the student like you would do with a young sapling and direct the growth to have a strong and straight tree. For example, a boy with a disfigurement is noticed by your child. If your child was alone or with others in class, he or she most likely will react with a stare or along with other students. This make the disfigured boy feel uncomfortable and facilities a judgement you wouldn’t want in your kids. When you are there with him, you can create a teaching moment intertwined with tolerance and kindness for others, even when they are different.

Some places where you can start:

  • Working for a worthwhile cause/charity
  • Hosting group discussions and debates for your homeschool with other homeschools
  • Building work ethic through a chores system and/or reward system, easily created with an incentives chart
  • Being in service to others through organizations, churches, and clubs
  • Teaching real needs and issues of the world, e.g. world hunger, health care, disaster relief efforts, etc.

Supplementing Faith Based Curriculum

 

Supplementing Faith Based Curriculum

People tend to think that a faith based education is very restrictive and narrow. When in reality, it is anything but! It takes more thoroughness and thought to educate with a faith based curriculum. As the teacher, we are trying to intregrate all subjects and learning with faith based teachings. It’s a balance! Faith based education also morphs into character education that is wholly beneficial, because character education passes down values. We need to bring about a change in the world by creating deep experiences that will pass down unique life lessons to our children. We can start by adding rich content and lessons into their lives.

If your homeschool curriculum is faith based, consider supplementing with:

  • Faith Based Art Curriculum: See The Light are DVDs that weaves biblical stories with easy and fun to learn art lesson.
  • Faith Based Animation DVDs: Nest Animated DVD Collections build character traits that will last a lifetime. Our stories from the Old Testament ignite a spark and an interest in God, the New Testament stories portray the love and grace extended through Christ, and the Historical Biographies teach valuable life lessons. More than a just movie, these DVDs change lives!
  • Faith based animation DVDs: The Torchlighters: Heroes of the Faith is an award-winning video series produced by International Films, The Voice of the Martyrs, and Christian History Institute. The series features stories of heroes and heroines of the Christian faith.

Getting Ready For Back To School

Here are some simple rules for Back to School and the rest of the school year.

1. Be prepared– Back to school can be a hectic time for families. Two words: be prepared. Go back to school shopping with a planned out list. Inventory what you already have and plan for what you are going to stock up on. Then shop online and research store sales, so you can plan to shop and save. Lesson planning takes good amount of preparation, too. Find a template and adjust it to your homeschool’s needs, so you don’t start from scratch.

2. Start with a positive attitude– It’s all about mentality. Even when the day is going by and everything feels overwhelming, remember every family is different and we all have to deal with our problems our own way. No one is perfect! Simply don’t let one bad moment trip up your whole day’s mood. Take a break and breathe. Remember that you want to stay positive and get things completed, because you are the teacher and your homeschool needs you!

3. Stay organized– Take 10-15 minutes a day just putting equipment (scissors, paint brushes, books, etc) back when you are done. Create filing systems out of cereal boxes (thank you, pinterest) and label where it goes. This tiny step will help your homeschooling days flow by! Get the homeschool to help as an end of the day activity to clean up the work area. Tack this as a rule in the homeschool space.

4. Be flexible– Sometimes in our homeschools, we get stuck in a rut from problems. Whether you bought the wrong curriculum (this kills me when this happens) or have taken too long to get to a lesson, you need to adjust and turn a problem around quickly. For example, you’ve sunk the money for a new math curriculum and it’s not working out. It’s not too late to reap the rest of what you paid for. Curriculum is not cheap! Homeschooling families are usually working on one income, so we have to make a mistake work. Use what you can from the text and understand what is not working (usually figured out in hindsight). Buy cheap supplements and see what works, then work from there. Usually you as the teacher finally understand how your homeschooler is processing and understanding the information to make a better decision on the next purchase. Scrap it up as experience and move on quickly. This is what it means to be flexible!

5. Be creative and have fun! Don’t forget that your homeschool is absorbing everything they see and hear and feel from you! The saying goes, “The mind is a sponge!” Keep it simple and fun. Stay creative and make inspiration/idea boards for you to use so you can keep the homeschool fresh. It doesn’t take too much (money wise) to make something entertaining. For example, tape some water color paper on the underside of your kitchen table and let your homeschooler feel like a renaissance artist!

Some pointers before back to school rolls around!

schoolboy

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