One thing I love about homeschool is that learning never stops. Math takes place when we have to figure out how many library books we still need to find or how many calories are in the entire can of spray whipped cream if a serving has 15 calories. (not my idea) Science goes on when we find a worm or a cicada shell outside. The boys are learning to pull out their sisters’ chairs and open doors for them at snack. Home ec goes on quite often during chores. We are reading all the time, and Bible happens nearly every minute around here!
And character training? There seem to be opportunities for that quite often, too. ”Be a good steward and take care of the things the Lord has blessed you with.” ”Sometimes work isn’t fun, but we should show perseverance and work heartily for the Lord.” ”I know it is hard to choose joy, but this situation is from the Lord and being thankful is what brings God glory.” I find myself smack dab in the middle of character training moments throughout the day. However, even with all of those opportunities, I decided to do a little more intentional character training this year using the perfect textbook… the Bible.
I’ve always enjoyed the Duggar’s character qualities chart with definitions. I bet almost every mom has a copy of this somewhere. (If you don’t, you can click it and print it!) (OOOPS! Thank you to a reader for letting me know that this chart is from IBLP/ATI, the curriculum the Duggar’s use to homeschool. When you click the image, you will go to the Duggar’s site to print.)
I studied the 49 character qualities chart and chose 25 for us to learn this year with the Bible verses to be used as our memory verses. I made copywork / notebooking pages to go in our notebooks. (You can see our notebooks here.) I add the memory verse for the week to the top of the kids’ weekly checklists.
Whew! Mom needs to do some character training, too– right along with the children! Availability- making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I am serving… “I can help you NOW. I want to listen to you NOW. I am here for you NOW. ” Flexibility- not setting my affections on ideas or plans which could be changed by God or others... and Security- structuring my life around that which is eternal and cannot be destroyed or taken away… and Joyfulness- the spontaneous enthusiasm of my spirit when my soul is in fellowship with the Lord … and on and on and on…
Do you remember when I explained that I’d been reading a lot of Charlotte Mason? Well, I’ve also been reading a lot of Ruth Beechick. The two seem to agree on doing daily copywork from selections of beautiful literature and doing dictation often. So, these verses will also serve as dictation work / spelling tests for us this year, along with other passages from books and poems we read.“This is the key to simplifying homeschooling: Practice language skills in the content subjects and not in isolation separately in a language course.” Ruth Beechick, A Biblical Home Education
Not have an English book? Not have a weekly spelling list? Does that sound a little scary to you? It does to me, too, but we are going to try it. My third graders will be practicing skills — spelling, grammar, reading, thinking– in their history, science, Bible, and character building– and not in isolation… for now. :) I am going to give it a try and see how it goes. The character copywork pages I made using the Bible verses have already afforded us opportunities to practice compound sentences, several kinds of punctuation, parts of speech, the spelling of lots of great words, AND we are reading God’s Word! I am using the shorter verses first. Writing in our notebooks is great skills practice, as well.
If you are interested in reading more about this, you may like The Three R’s by Ruth Beechick. This post was also very helpful: Back to the Basics this School Year at Teaching with TLC.
I am including the Bible verse notebooking pages below. Click the images if you’d like to download. :) There are extra blank lined pages included, too.
- cursive part 1
- cursive part 2
- print part 1
- print part 2
I also use Handwriting Worksheets .com to make quick, easy copywork pages from poems, passages of books, or Scripture. Really, it takes seconds!
We are really enjoying our school year! Each day is a new blessing and a new adventure. I love some of our new curriculum choices and would love to share them soon.