Thursday, March 11, 2004

Your job, if you choose to accept it...

Here are some thoughts by Susan Wise Bauer (co-author of The Well Trained Mind) on the subject of Character Training.

"What is character? Character is the possession of moral qualities that have become habits of life."

"If these moral qualities are to become habits of life, they must be reinforced by both observation and practice. As you supervise your child's education, you can encourage him to read books and watch movies that demonstrate admirable character...
You must also be a model of these qualities every day. When you forgo your own wants to tutor your child through fifth-grade math, you're demonstrating self-control. When you patiently go through a lesson several times until the child figures it out, you're showing perseverance. When you introduce a history lesson, complete with coloring books, paper models, and interesting books that you've collected, you're showing enthusiasm. When you turn off the TV because a program you want to watch wouldn't be good for the child, you're showing self-discipline. These qualities have to be internalized by the child, and this will only happen if she continually sees them being practiced by you."

She concludes

"Powerful models of character are found in stories. Read them together. Talk about them. The joy of home education is the at all of this learning takes place in the context of the family. You're not just teaching hard principles. You're also living them out. Thus, education becomes entwined with the living of life-together."

Recommended resources...

Numero Uno Character Building Book

As the kids get older, it is the lack of character that grieve a mom's heart the most I think. Not that they didn't read Moby Dick.

Lack of self-control, lack of discilpine, laziness, ungratefulness....

Dear me...and where they fall short, is often where I have fallen short.

There are no do-overs.

It is so much easier to learn a habit as a child.

Keep at it moms! Be diligent...It is your job...if you choose to accept it.

Encourage one another!

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