Good character development is a priority for most homeschooling families. To build character, we must actively learn and practice with hands-on opportunities. Intentional character training can help your children grow with the skills and knowledge they need to become considerate, successful adults.
Character training looks at the process of developing good character traits and sees it as a journey of opportunities. As with any skills, practice is needed for success. Character training provides the information plus practical chances for your children to learn how to make good choices–and how to be good people.
This article is part of our character training series on the site. So far, we have covered numerous topics ranging from contentment to determination and several in-between.
Today, you’ll find advice for teaching your children:
- Psalms 16:11
- Micah 6:8
- 2 Corinthians 13:3
How to Teach Joyfulness
As evidenced by the Bible verses above, this is a faith-based series. However, these character traits are not exclusive to Christians, of course. We all want our children to grow up to be kind people with generous hearts, and that is not an ideal categorized by religion. However, this series does speak specifically to Bible-based homeschooling, so please keep that in mind as you read on.
To begin, we’re discussing joyfulness.
WHY is joyfulness important?
- Positivity matters
- Joyfulness is contagious
- People who practice joyfulness overall have happier lives
- A habit of joyfulness will begin shifting perspectives from negativity and obligations to opportunities and possibilities.
HOW can you teach your children joyfulness?
- Practice joyfulness yourself.
- You are your child’s biggest role model, so the first step to teaching them anything is to reflect the concepts yourself.
- Read about joyfulness in the Scriptures.
- Discuss why God calls for a joyful heart.
- What difference does it make?
- Collaborate to discover practical ways of expressing joyfulness.
- Look for a silver lining
- Rethink reactions to stress
- Rethink obligations as opportunities
- Put yourself in people’s shoes
How to Teach Justice
Justice is probably not something that many of us first think of when we consider character traits. However, a sense of justice is an important quality to encourage in our children. To become kind, considerate adults, empathy and a sense of justice for right and wrong are required.
Justice means recognizing when people are treated badly or unfairly, and why it’s wrong. Justice includes kindness toward animals and a sense of defending them from people’s cruelty. It means protecting innocence and pursuing honesty and fairness.
WHY is justice important?
- Builds morals
- Defends the innocent
- Protects the truth
- Strengthens principles
- Impacts work ethic
- Influences social relationships
- Factors into successful higher education
HOW can you teach your children justice?
- Reflect justice yourself
- Let your children “catch” you demonstrating justice.
- Protect family pets from mistreatment.
- Explain why certain actions are fair and right
- Discuss the importance of honesty for a person’s reputation of reliability
- Teach the root of justice from Scripture.
- Explain how morals can affect future jobs, education, and relationships.
- Together, list practical ideas to work on justice in action.
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Serve at a soup kitchen
- Offer to help a younger sibling
- Memorize Micah 6:8.
How to Teach Love
The Bible tells us that love is the most important character trait of all (1 Corinthians 13:13). Love shows more about our character than anything else. When we are kind to those around us, animals, and anyone less fortunate, we show that we value them just as we value ourselves. Love is truly the core of character training. Every character trait stems from a love for others and expecting the best of ourselves because we love ourselves, too. Without love, it’s impossible to extend kindness, empathy, or sincerity long-term.
WHY is love important?
- Love is the foundation for all other character traits
- Love shows our humanity
- Love embraces the humanity of others
- Love acknowledges unconditional values
- Love acknowledges that everyone has something to offer
- Love is important for mental health
HOW can you teach your children love?
- Make cards for nursing homes
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter
- Reflect love in your actions by practicing being slow to anger, expressing patience, and ample forgiveness
- Show your kids that they are more important than mistakes
- Try to curb any knee-jerk reactions
- Look for a way to serve in the church, but give your children the choice. You want it to be something they desire, not just an obligation.
Other Character Training Articles
This article belongs to a series of character training posts on our site. We believe character development is something that requires intentional teaching and practice. In Christian homeschooling, character training is especially a major priority.
Click through our articles below to read the previous articles in this series. You’ll find information and ideas for gentleness, gratefulness, generosity, determination, diligence, dependability, wisdom, compassion, contentment, honesty, and humility. If you are new to character training, we have plenty of information to get started!
And don’t miss this Podcast: Tips for Teaching Character in Your Homeschool with Guest Kathie Morrisey!