Seven year old Joel was being a bit disruptive as his mother read from the Bible the story of the lost sheep.
“Are you listening Joel?” his mother asked. She was convinced he wasn’t.
“Yes Mum,” he replied with a heart warming smile. Then he pointed to the model he was making on the floor. “I’m building a sheep pen for the sheep and over here is the lost sheep.”
My Character Big Picture Basket
This basket holds more than just books; it’s another year’s worth of living literature for my youngest daughter. And each book introduces new characters with different character.
Teaching character to my children is so important. And using the people in literature to teach them is a great tool for discussion.
In our stories there are:
- heroes and villains,
- good and bad choices,
- victims and saviours,
- poverty, adversity, wealth and prosperity,
- kindness and cruelty,
- holiness and evil.
My collection of character books includes:
- The Bible
- Christian biographies and fiction
- Historical fiction with noble characters
- Specific character training books.
Planning Character Lessons into Your Week
Most homeschool days we read aloud for up to 90 minutes. With each book that is read (I have around 5 going at a time) there is almost always character issues to discuss. This time has been the most valuable aspect of my homeschooling. Even though my children are quite capable of reading the books themselves I still choose a selection that I think will provide fruitful discussion on character. The stories don’t have to be “nice stories” but they need to show consequences for actions.
This year I have How To Ruin your life by 40 and The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis as two character books.
We have three Christian biographies: The God Smuggler by Brother Andrew , The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and Eric Liddle: Something Greater than Gold
A large portion of historical literature – see my list here
And three classic novels that look into human nature and character: The Great Gatsby, All is Quiet on the Western Front, and To Kill a Mocking Bird are all classic books on character and human nature. .
Teaching the Bible At Home is the ultimate character training book. My children privately read their own Bibles these days but we used to do it in our read aloud time. I also add books that help explain the Bible. This year we will finish reading How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth which will help them in their own Bible study times.
The Big Picture Basket
It doesn’t seem to matter if I’m planning for kindy or high school – its all the same and it always starts with a basket of books. Turning that big picture basket into a workable, achievable homeschool plan is the next challenge.
Today is the last day of my series and it has included:
- Tuesday: Science
- Wednesday: Humanities and Social Science
- Thursday: Art
- Today: Character
PS. If your wondering about math – It’s more of a tweet than a post. I use a textbook!
My Big Picture Basket Challenge
Over this past week I’ve shown you what was in my basket and I’ve shared with you why I’ve selected these books. Gathering good books is a passion and I collect over the years in preparation for a big picture basket collection. Even if you think it sounds too overwhelming to have this many books in your homeschool program I encourage you to start with one. It doesn’t take long to get hooked on a living literature approach.
And if you are looking for some book selections I have lots in my book lists.