Discover an easy to use, literature curriculum full of the best stories to inspire your child’s character.
As parents, we often worry about our children’s character, but opinions of positive character traits differ from family to family. We also struggle with how to inspire good character in our children in a meaningful way. Unfortunately, this uncertainty leads us to two extremes, either over-moralizing or over-criticizing.
Neither extreme is fool-proof, and certainly doesn’t nurture the relationship with our children.
There are several ways to inspire good character in our children between these two extremes. In your homeschool, reading aloud gives you an excellent opportunity to consider and determine the characteristics of a strong character.
By enjoying a story of noble acts and perseverance, we can encourage our children to do hard things and make difficult decisions. It’s essential to do so without berating and shaming them for the missteps they are sure to make as they learn to navigate the world.
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The Importance of Good Literature
As parents, we often see the good and bad side of children’s literature. When a child begs for a poorly written book over and over again, it becomes painful for us to read and the book suddenly disappears one night.
No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.C.S. Lewis
However, when we read aloud a well-written book many children can enjoy and benefit from, our mood changes. We go from worries of failure to feeling the joy of homeschooling. We can’t deny the power of good literature to benefit our children and ourselves on this homeschooling journey.
Yet, beyond the enjoyment a good book can bring to our studies, it also provides the opportunity to dive deeper into human nature and how decision making can affect lives. We strengthen our child’s character by reading the stories of others and their good and not-so-good decisions.
By finding the best stories, we put ourselves in another person’s position for a moment. We consider what we would do when faced with similar circumstances. Is our moral reasoning up to the challenges faced by the character? Would we have the strength to make the right decision?
How to Find the Best Stories
Now we get to the big question: how do we find the best stories to develop our child’s character? Fortunately, that task is made easy by the wonderful creators of Beautiful Feet Books.
They have two levels of their Teaching Character Reading Packs, one for primary students (K-3) and one for intermediate students (4-6), and I chose to try the Teaching Character Intermediate Pack since it’s appropriate for several of my children. Even my little guy can tag along with some of these books.
He’s only 5 years old, but he has loved reading The Whipping Boy! He even retold the entire story to me the other night as we were getting ready for bed. So don’t feel confined by the age ranges given, a well-written book can be good for many ages.
Beautiful Feet Books also has a download to help you to determine whether that book your child grabbed from the library shelf is worth reading.
By using a collection from Beautiful Feet Books, you eliminate the time-consuming research and prereading that often never happens. With six children from 17 to 6, I gave up prereading years ago. Who has time for that?
Instead, I would rather go with trusted sources, and Beautiful Feet Books is a source to trust. How do I know their selections will be high quality? First, because some of the books we have read in our homeschool in years past, such as:
- The Hundred Dresses
- Caddie Woodlawn
- A Door in the Wall
- D’Aulaire’s Ben Franklin
These are books my children enjoyed and even listened to multiple times. Therefore, I know I can trust the other books in this collection. You’ll find them to be engaging stories that will capture their attention.
The other selections include:
- The Happy Prince and Other Tales
- The Whipping Boy
- A Gathering of Days
- Call it Courage
- The Little Prince
- The Green Ember
- Fables by Lobel
Also, Beautiful Feet Books includes a lovely Teacher Guide, which outlines the books to be read and gives you a few prompts to encourage your children in a discussion about the book. It doesn’t provide you tedious comprehension questions, but rather questions to promote a deeper understanding of the story and the motivation and implications of a character’s actions.
One thing I especially love is that there isn’t an overly-scripted schedule to follow. It’s much more in keeping with the way I homeschool, which is to do the next thing.
Growing Character Through Literature
There are many avenues in which your children will develop character, and most of those won’t be within our control. The difficult boss, losing the big game, or not getting in to their top college choice will possibly happen and they will learn to adjust and accept.
However, we do have control over the stories we read and the characters we admire. So let’s make the most of these years with our children and venture from the strictly academic. Our hope is that by doing so, we can help our children better handle those difficult life circumstances that are sure to come their way.
We use our homeschooling years for more than grades; it’s a time when our children learn what it means to live, even through the difficult times. So let’s find the best stories to help them in this journey of life.
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