Being the primary influence in our children’s lives is one of the benefits of homeschooling for us. As parents, we are in a great position to teach our children good behavior and positive attitudes.
But we thought that it would all just come easily and naturally. We never really thought much about how we would go about it. After all, my husband and I strive to be good role models. Isn’t that enough?
When we noticed and tried to deal with some disagreeable behavior though, my husband and I realized that we need to be more intentional about character development, to be proactive instead of reactive, to mold instead of just correct. We can’t just wing it and hope for the best!
We decided to look for a “virtues curriculum” – a guide that will serve as our anchor in instilling good values in our children.
We first explored the Five in a Row Bible-Study Supplement, a set of character development lessons for each of the stories used in Five in a Row. Though we were highly attracted to it, we wanted something that we can use even outside our Five in a Row books.
So, we decided to go with We Choose Virtues, a tool designed to help teachers and parents reinforce virtues on a daily basis. We’ve already “studied” two virtues and I am very happy with how easy it is to weave in our everyday conversations. (For more about We Choose Virtues, do watch out for my review and giveaway next week!)
Picture Books as Tools
Picture books are the easiest supplements in character development. Since we are already discussing so many things based on what we read, a character exhibiting a particular virtue, or its opposite, becomes a friend we can relate with and talk about. Taking the context of a story into consideration, we can talk about a character’s actions and motivations in a deeper level.
Already, I am classifying our books based on virtues or values, and writing down books to hunt for either in book shops or at The Learning Library.
My family and friends know that I strictly limit Little T's screen time. She did not watch any TV show before she was two, and now only has Saturday OR Sunday to watch a video that I have chosen beforehand.
During the recent Manila International Book Fair, Teacher Mama Tina, Rosanne, and I got excited over a series of videos called Cherub Wings. As written on the VCD case, "each episode includes a visualized prayer, an illustrated Bible story, two high concept kid music videos, a Jesus teaching, a Scripture song, interviews, and loads of fun!" Some episodes feature a virtue that we can easily incorporate in our virtue lessons.
Instead of watching "The Sound of Music," which I confess was one of the videos that we let Little T watch and that turned out to be not so kid-friendly after all (hello, I Am Sixteen!), Cherub the angel will now fill our Saturdays and I can't be more relieved!
Virtue in Focus
Starting today, I will be having a regular feature on this blog called "Virtue in Focus" where I will be featuring one virtue at a time and include our lessons and resources for character development. I hope you can drop by from time to time and share ideas with me. Let me know please about books and other resources that will be helpful in this endeavor.