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3 Effective Strategies to Foster Character Education in Homeschool

Depending where you are in your homeschool journey, you might be exploring what you

will teach in your homeschool. Curriculum might be heavily on your mind, as well as your goals for your children and their own goals for themselves. As you plan, keep in mind the most important things you seek to achieve via home education. "As you are homeschooling, the strong base of character education is what you will do the most, along with all the other core classes," says Dianne Goff, veteran Utah homeschool mom. In this blogpost, I will outline 3 effective strategies that Dianne suggests to help you foster character education in your home. These strategies are Discover What Matters Most to Your Family, Build a Strong Base, and Develop a Family Motto and Display It In a Visible Location.

Discover What Matters Most to Your Family

In my family, scripture study and music study have been key parts of what we do. No matter what else the kids accomplish that day, we usually get at least one of these in. These are important to us.

Ask yourself, what is the core character development you value in your family? How will you structure learning in the days, weeks, months and years to come so that learning revolves around those values?

And if you don't know what you value, look at what is on your schedule. What do you always make time for no matter what? Cooking? The outdoors? Plays and Performances? Athletic activities? You'll find it as you see how you spend your time or wish you were spending your time.

Build a Strong Base

Diane Says "When I plan my homeschool, I think of it as constructing a lovely building. You must first start with a firm, sturdy base, especially if you are building a lofty edifice!"

We're no strangers to the need for strong bases here in Utah. With the risk of earthquakes, our buildings will collapse.

The Salt Lake Temple is on it's 3rd year of strengthening it's foundations with jack and bore methods. Some interesting comparisons that could be made with building a strong foundation and teaching our children:

  1. Under pressure: Our children will constantly be under pressure in their lives. Strong foundations withstand those pressures and help them stand strong.

  2. Different layers of foundation: Sometimes it feels like THIS month, THIS year is the one that is the most important and if it goes poorly, then you've failed at the homeschooling thing. Not so. Just like with all these layers of foundation for this historic artifact, each layer we put in to our child's foundation will help to support them in hard times. Every lesson, every small moment, every attempt will work to build your child a secure future.

Foundation view of SL Temple
This rendering depicts the base isolation system that will be installed in the Salt Lake Temple to prepare the temple to withstand a high magnitude earthquake. (Church Newsroom)

Develop a Family Motto and Display It In a Visible Location

One homeschool mom said, "Many families create a family motto or mission statement. Include your homeschool in those guiding principles, or make a homeschool mission statement to stand alone. One way to start is to picture how you want your life/family to be/feel 20 years from now and work backwards."

This mom says of a family motto, "Creating a family motto was a turning point in my parenting journey. It forced me to reflect on the kind of parent I wanted to be and the values I wanted to instill in my children." She also shares how to make a motto and some ideas of mottoes other families have chosen.

Diane finishes her thoughts on on strategies for fostering a child's character through education by saying, "Now, imagine: A child who has been trained to be honest and good, from the time of his babyhood. Taught to master basic education and skills, as he grows. Led to develop his talents in the special path of his interest. He is ready for life! He is ready to give the world his gift! This is the goal of education."

For the full text from Diana, go here.

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