Good character is something all parents wish for their children. We want our kids to make responsible decisions and grow into people with kind hearts and respect for others. However, that’s easier said than done. Throughout homeschooling, parents may come across various resources for working on character development. And while talking about character development is indeed essential for children, we like to take it a step farther by implementing character training. As with any skill, good character must be taught. Additionally, similar to any subject area in homeschooling, the key to success lies in practice, repetition, positive reinforcement, and practical application.
The thing is, as an adult, character counts big time. Good character can make the difference between a positive attitude and an entitled attitude, how people present themselves, and how they relate in their social and professional circles. There are numerous ideals if we were to create a list of character traits, but in this post, we’ll be focusing on determination, diligence, and dependability. Whether you’d prefer to approach these topics via books that teach character traits, or lesson plans on character traits, we have resources for you!
How to Teach Determination
Determination is a term often thrown around. It is used with success ranging from athletics, academics, disabilities, and the career field. With a word that has multiple uses and connotations, how can we apply it to our homeschool character training? Determination is one of those qualities that manifests itself when a person encounters a challenge. Dependent on how far a person overcomes those obstacles, or how well they solve them entirely, equals how much determination a person is said to demonstrate.
Determination is a type of inner strength. It means not giving up despite challenges, and being brave despite fear. It means riding out the storm. However, it doesn’t apply to merely situations in which people come out triumphant. Sometimes, people fail at their attempts but they are considered determined because they gave it their best shot despite difficulties.
When considering examples of what are character traits, determination can be seen in the fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, as well as in real-life success stories like with Simone Biles. However, when looking for lesson plans on character traits, you’ll want to keep in mind that determination is also found in examples of people with special needs, like Temple Grandin, or with disabilities. The quiet strength of determination takes on many shades, perspectives, and applications.
Help teach your children determination by encouraging them to take on challenges and praising them for their efforts when they’ve done their best whether they have succeeded or not. Teach your children determination by modeling it yourself when you encounter obstacles in life. Finally, teach your children determination by showing them examples in the Bible, whether you choose the stories of Esther, Job, Noah, or even Jesus himself.
In summary, to teach determination:
- Encourage your children to challenge themselves
- Celebrate their efforts when they do their best
- Model determination with your own challenges
- Show examples of determination from books and Scripture
For more help, we have free printables to supplement your character training study!
How to Teach Diligence
Oftentimes, it’s easiest to approach teaching a topic by first bringing it back to its dictionary definition. Merriam-Webster defines diligence as: “steady, earnest, and energetic effort.” Diligence is perhaps best seen when children follow through completely with chores or their schoolwork. Diligence does not require a happy attitude, but it does mean that despite how a person may feel about a task, they follow through with doing their best anyway.
In learning diligence, people recognize that the end goal and the big picture are both dependent on the task itself and therefore good efforts are necessary. However, being diligent may also apply to situations when we don’t know the big picture but do our best with the task anyway. We recognize that our good efforts matter, even if the job is menial. It says more about ourselves than anything else when we practice diligence.
As you look for lesson plans on character traits for teaching diligence, books that teach character traits will be helpful. Among a list of character traits, it can help to discuss diligence as one of the most essential for steady employment. Employers look for people they know will see through a task regardless.
To teach your children diligence, you’ll need to model it with your own actions. Children learn more from their parents than anything else, so set an example of diligence, especially in disagreeable moments. Further, encourage your children in their efforts as a reminder that their choice to do their best work is important. Finally, as Christians, remind them of Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
In summary, to teach diligence:
- Model diligence in your day-to-day tasks
- Encourage them to do their best when they are studying
- Remind them that their diligence is more about who they are as a person than the task at hand
- Root your examples in Scripture
For more resources with teaching diligence, take a look at our free printables.
How to Teach Dependability
Good character counts, especially for a trait like dependability. If a person is dependable, it means they are trustworthy and reliable. A person needs to be dependable for anyone to count on them. The more dependable a person is, the more other people will feel they can trust them when needed. If you are working through a list of character traits, dependability is one of the most positive and necessary! Lesson plans on character traits often touch on being dependable since trust and social relationships are such an impactful part of how we communicate as people.
We all want a good job, a fulfilling career, and the income needed to cover at least our basic needs. However, a solid career does not come without dependability. Both employers and colleagues need to know they can count on their teammates to follow through on projects and tasks. If your manager or coworkers don’t believe you’re dependable, you may even become a liability to the company. Dependability marks the difference between being trustworthy or being unreliable.
Even with family relationships, parents and children form bridges of trust with each other. Children will learn to trust that their parents will provide for them, and parents learn that their children can be trusted with bigger opportunities.
In summary, to teach dependability:
- Explain the importance of reliability
- Discuss the positive opportunities that come with dependability
- Demonstrate how to earn trust
- Model dependability
- Praise your children when they are reliable in the little things
- Read fun stories with examples of dependability
- Work through dependability worksheets
- Bring it back to Scripture. Why does God want us to be dependable?
As you began training your children in dependability, our free printables may be helpful!
Homeschool Resources for Character Training
Even with the Bible and our demonstration, homeschool resources are the tools that fill our toolbox for successful homeschooling. We need a variety of tools to get the job done, fix problems, and prevent issues! Whether you are looking for lesson plans on character traits, character traits worksheets, or books that teach character traits, we have a resource for you! As part of our journey with this Christian character training series, we want to provide homeschooling parents with the options they need in their current walk of life.
Listed below are our best resources for character training. Enjoy! (Some of these links will take you away from Homeschool.com.)