Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. ~~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr.
A myriad of educational programs exists with lofty names such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” All of these focus on academic training and leave little time for character development. Even parents who teach their own children are sometimes caught up with college prep and extra-curricular activities. They forget specific times for training good character qualities in their kids. Then, how we lament when leaders, even church leaders, openly exhibit bad behaviors.
Character training sources list six to ten qualities of good character. The ones agreed upon by most are trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
Good character isn’t learned in a moment or two here and there. Nor is a textbook or curriculum adequate for these qualities to be impressed on our children. We must make an effort to ensure our children see and exhibit good character qualities in all aspects of life.
How to Instill Good Character Qualities The Fun Way
Training good character is in the little things we teach. Saying please and thank you, greeting others properly, good table manners, apologizing, and more. Sometimes it’s hard to be on top of everything our children do. We may not be available to oversee their behavior. With consistent, day-by-day training, however, these important qualities will be instilled in them.
Skill Trek, an online supplemental curriculum to teach life skills, includes character instruction throughout. It begins with the idea that the skills children learn through Skill Trek benefits more than the student. They use these abilities to help and serve others.
What qualities make a good character?
In addition, the Trek adventure has lessons, beginning around age 5, specific to our child’s character. For example, preschoolers will learn to say the Pledge of Allegiance (citizenship) as well as “please” and “thank you” (respect). Kids progress to high school, where “Dealing with Peer Pressure” (trustworthiness), local government (citizenship), and “How to Avoid Debt” (responsibility) are taught.
Most of the lessons involve tasks that have the Trekkers use their skills to benefit the family or others. When learning to cook a variety of items, the kids are given the challenge to cook meals for the whole family. Or if the skill is a household chore, the child is required to perform that chore for the family.
Ways to Build Character in Your Children
The program features trail guides (or mascots) for each level. Trailblazers (pre-k through eight years old) are led by fun-loving Jasper T. Robertson, a tenacious raccoon. Roland D. Scruffbear, a loveable bear, leads the Rockhoppers (nine years through twelve years old). Followed by the wise and knowledgeable eagle, Balthazar, guides the Cragsman level (thirteen years old and up). Each of the trail guides is honest about areas in which they’ve had to learn a character quality to be a better citizen.
Unlike many at-home programs, Skill Trek involves parents’ oversight. Children are not sent to a series of instructions and left to complete them on their own, hoping for the best. This oversight helps us to guide our children, identify areas of weaknesses and strengths, and even learn a little ourselves along the way.
Good Character Traits
It’s easy to get caught up in the pressure of academic skills and not see so many other important life preparations for our children. Skill Trek will help us as parents prepare our children for life. And the best part? We will know How to Instill Good Character Qualities The Fun Way!
Sara Elizabeth Dunn is a Christian homeschooling mom to 7. Having both typical and special needs children, ranging from preschool through high school, she not only understands the unique challenges of teaching several children with different learning styles and abilities, she has experience balancing therapy schedules with family life. She and her husband, Andrew, are the authors and creators of Skill Trek, a life skills curriculum for Kindergarten through young adult.