Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why You Should Still Do Book Learning for Character

I've got a couple of thoughts.
Do you want to go for a walk with me on them?

Moral Character is usually something that is taught, or more often times caught by children from their parents, peers, and care givers, but I found that there can still be a few little catches with that and those are:

1.  The parent must have that character quality functioning within their own lives to some successful degree.  It's a little bit difficult to impart something that you don't have.  It rightly lends itself to integrity, and accountability.  Hypocrisy should be the last thing we should be aiming for.  We must walk the path before we expect anyone else to.  

Many parents lack high enough standards of character within themselves.  Children are not blind.  They get to live with us day in, and day out.  If we want our children to practice moral and excellent character we should lead them via example. 

2.  Timing.  The parent usually needs to be present at the right time in order to teach a particular character.  If  you've got a real life application, the lesson is sure to have a better chance of being retained.  A lot of times though the parents are not available when the time is ripe.

3.  Maybe you're like Plutarch, Socrates, Aristotle, or some other great philosopher who can write { and speak } really well about morals and character.  But I'm not.

4.  Maybe you can quote 25 verses based on particular character trait/s from the Bible?
Or have a way of explaining the moral actions of people in the Bible?  But I can't. 

{ Book Learning }

Character - and it's opposite.
A clear definition of the character.
A quote about the character.
An animal that exhibits this character.
I will's of the character.
The benefits of the character.
What it looks like in real life.

All these different aspects help one to reach an understanding of what the character means.

5.  Understanding and Knowledge.  You've all probably heard of the word: benevolence, haven't you?  But how many of you know of a good off the hand definition in which to teach your child?  In the spur of the moment, right when you see that your child needs it the most.  Better yet, what it should look like in practice as opposed to its opposite?

Do you really have time to pull out your bible?  Or go grab your dictionary, or jump on the internet to get an understanding just so you can teach the concept to him?  What if you simply rely upon some vague idea of what it is from your own childhood?  I dunno about you, but when I'm in the shopping center and my trolley is full, and I've got 5 tired children, and just needing to go home - I don't have my bible or my computer handy.   Nope.  What I've got is my backed up memory of my BOOK learning.

Better yet, my child, SHE has a backed up memory of her book learning too.

All I have to do is prompt her!
And bring her back to remembrance of what she has already read, written, and thought about.

I honestly feel that this is something that is genuinely needed because a lot of people don't come from fantastic pious backgrounds or have great character models in their lives, families, or victorious christian life experiences.  Not these days.  By getting out those books we can fill our minds with these great ideals.  We can fill our minds with the parameters that lead to some degree of virtuous living.  These then become our go to's when push comes to shove in the real world and we're out there in need of some character.

By doing character book learning,
ie, learning the definitions, characteristics, and what it looks like
for a particular character, that can be drawn upon when the required time comes 
to put it into practice.

How do you teach character?

Do you use a book?

Let me know.

This week I'll be linking up with:

I hope you will join us too.

To infinity and beyond!


  1. This year we are using Pearables and their "Lessons in Responsibility". They have different workbooks for boys and girls.
    The website has other products as well. The studies are supposed to be geared towards developing noble and biblical character. It will be our first year using this curriculum in September.

    1. Thank you for the link, I'll check them out for a look, see. :o)

  2. So do you make your own sheets, or do you a certain curriculum? This is something that I always struggle with. I do want to make character training natural, but all of you reasons for including it in a formal study are so true too! I think I would like to use something next year, but I'm not sure what to use yet.

    1. Yes, I make my own worksheets/workbook { and they're available for FREE as downloads } but I use a book: Achieving True Success as the main source of information to fill in those pages. It's only $20. I think that is a bargain for what's in there. We're still in the very early grades and I wanted to keep it super easy for them. At this point I just need them to have the basic ideas about character.

      I do have some of the other iblp products and we'll move into those as the girls get older.

    2. Additionally, I also have a different set in progress - which I started to offer a couple of years ago for little juniors. I just haven't finished it, but I did dig up the file and start working on it again the other day. Just deciding if I want to wait and offer it as a full file or piece meal it out. Not sure yet. It also works with the previously mentioned book.


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