Monday, December 21, 2009

Character Training

In our life and homeschool, I put a high price on character and integrity. Our younger daughter was just making me smile talking about how when she tells the truth she only gets into a little trouble, but when she lies about it, she gets in BIG trouble. There have been many instances over the last week or so that have given us opportunity to teach and discuss the importance of honesty.

The first began as we were setting up a Facebook account for our oldest daughter, Kaitlyn, to communicate with her out-of-town family and a few choice friends. Then the surprise came--she must be 13.

Immediately she said to "just" add a couple of years to her age; that's what "everyone" does. I don't know if she had ever been so strongly tempted to lie. It was so easy. Is it lying when it is only a computer screen? O, she really wanted this! It became a great opportunity to explain how you do not compromise even to get what you really, really want or even when it seems everybody else is doing it. You stick to the truth even when it hurts. (We did learn about Kidswirl a couple days later. She loves it.)

This importance of integrity was additionally reinforced as we talked to my folks that same day. My father came to realize while looking at his long receipt from a home improvement store that they had charged him for only 1 of 4 same items he had bought. He took the receipt with all that he needed back and paid the balance of $38. That could hurt! I treasure that heritage of honesty and saw it register with my girls. "Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." Proverbs 23:23

Character training can be incorporated into the leadership of your homeschool group and your group meetings as well in a few simple ways.

  1. Live a life of character. People will duplicate what they see.

  2. Use words of character as you speak to your group, with other leaders or to problematic people. "Thank you for being here faithfully." "I know you desire to be dependable, however, this got missed."

  3. Send emails or devotions involving character training. has a free "TIP of the week" involving a character trait that is suitable for every type of group. They also have great materials on principle training for leadership teams.

  4. Add character quotes to each newsletter you send and put them on your website. A great resource for these quotes and so much more is

  5. Give character awards to highlight students in your group who show kindness, intiative, responsibility, creativity, etc. They will then value that character, too.

Character really brings us true success. Integrity is a prize worth more than millions of dollars. May your family and your homeschool group be blessed and exhibit this excellence of character.

To your success,


For more on the character of Attentiveness, including 85 pages of Creative Ideas and Solid Truths, get One By One: The Homeschool Group Leader's Guide to Motivating Your Members

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