Monday, October 20, 2014

Homeschooling Helps: Teaching Character

(Artwork by the talented Greg Olsen)

And now, for a happy, mundane post about some of the things we're using for homeschool this year! This is part one of a "Homeschooling Helps" series I will be doing about the subjects we are studying in our homeschool for the 2014-2015 school year.

Searching for the right resource

For years, I have been looking for an LDS based program for teaching Good Character. I know there are many out there for other Christians, but I have wanted one that specifically used LDS scriptures and quotes from our church leaders.

I also needed something that is fluid-- something that I can change and adjust at the last minute. Because I love to make plans, but I don't always love to follow those plans.

Tricky, I know.

And then one day, while I was trying to put together a devotional for our homeschool on Obedience, I discovered an amazing online resource that has been right in front of me for years.

The website

I went to the LDS Church's website under the "Resources" tab at the right-hand top of the page, and then...

1) I followed on the link that said "Children".  
2) Then I clicked the link in the left-hand sidebar that says "Resources for Teaching Children."
3) I next clicked on the link that said "Resources by Topic."

And voila! I suddenly had before me a long list of topics to choose from! And when I clicked on the topic I was looking for, I found an enormous amount of songs, stories, and activities I could use, all on that subject!

Quick and easy preparation, lots of topics available, and all the components needed for a short and sweet character lesson. Just the thing I was looking for!

Making a plan

After finding the list of topics above, making a plan for our character studies then became really easy to do! After some praying and pondering, I wrote down the months of the year, and assigned each month a topic that I want to focus on with my kids. 

For September, I decided to focus on the character trait of "Obedience." I found just the songs and stories I needed for our particular circumstances, and used a few of the activities available.

I decided to sing one song and read one story about obedience each day as part of our homeschool devotional. I can go right to my computer that morning, and choose the things I want to use for that day's lesson. (Which works great with my spontaneous nature!)

Choose, print out, teach, discuss.

That's it!

How is it going?

Despite October's craziness, we still have been holding our morning devotionals. (Though we did take off the week of "Fall Break" so the kids could spend some time with their public schooled friends, who were out of school for the week.)

For October, I chose the subject of Integrity. But when I looked at the list of topics on the website, they didn't have anything for that. So I decided to look at the other topics again, and see if anything else was similar. I decided to use the resources for "Honesty," but then added my own insights to look at honesty with an eye toward having integrity.

It's been great! I love that every day is different, and that I can choose a story that morning that can speak to what is going on in our family right then.

I hope this idea can help another mom who is struggling to find the right resources for teaching lesson on good character!

Love, Mama Rachel

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