“Today was such a rough day. I made the right choice though. Instead of doing arithmetic, I did character training. I just knew today was going to be a busy one. Choosing character was definitely the best choice.”
At the time, this comment completely baffled me. I didn’t understand the contradiction. Why couldn’t you do both, teach your curriculum and teach character? It seemed to me that this mommy was looking at the situation all wrong. To me, she was doing her child a disservice by not teaching them, using character training as a safe fallback.
In reality, things aren’t so clear-cut. I’ve come to realize this as my children get older and our lives get more busy. There are days you are going to need to put off the writing assignment in order to work on your child’s character. Moments will come when you would actually be doing your child a disservice by forcing them through those lessons instead of getting their hearts back in the right place.
This doesn’t mean curriculum and character are at odds, however. In fact, I would say they go hand-in-hand. Through teaching our children the importance of good penmanship (yes, I’m one of those) they are learning patience and grace. Through arithmetic we learn logic and reason. In all branches of study there is character training to be gained. All areas teach us diligence, self-control, patience, and so much more. Education is not only for the mind, but also for the soul and heart.
Granted, there are moments – sometimes days – when we need to stop everything and focus on the underlying character issue at hand. Hopefully those days are few and far between. In the mean time, consider looking at your education through a whole new lens. It isn’t just another opportunity to learn the ABC’s, but a possibility of teaching character.
Time to Chime In: Do you find curriculum and character to be at odds? Share your thoughts!