Sunday, June 17, 2012

How to Have Kids with Character by Nadine Brown

I mentioned I was reading How to Have Kids with Character. Wanted to share a few things I like about it. First of all, I have no idea if it is in print or not. I purchased it from It was on the recommended reading list in a homeschool book I read (can't remember title; didn't make an impression on me, I guess). It's subtitle is "a 12 month plan with activities, slogans, and crafts to teach your children valuable character traits." Published by Tyndale in 1990, it may be OOP (out of print). I would try ABE if you can't find it via a retailer.

The first thing I liked is the author's note where Nadine states that she prefers to use the KJV, but the publisher changed some of the Scriptures to other versions to appeal to a wider audience. Now, my personal preference is the KJV, but I will not discount a book that uses another version. I think that's throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As a Christian, I take my Biblical worldview and use it as a sieve to filter what I read, listen to, watch, etc. I'm not going to throw away good writing because the author prefers another version. In conservative Baptist circles I know there are those that disagree but hey, this is my blog!

The character traits covered are: perseverance, honesty, obedience, dependability, gratitute, responsibility, stewardship, discernment, communication, purity, self-control,and generosity. Each chapter has a discussion by Nadine, key Scripture, slogans (more about that later), and activities for different ages.

I haven't gotten very far into this book yet. I looked at the table of contents and decided to work on obedience first. I admit that I tend to be the softy in my house; something I desire to change. I got a little slack with Will; he is so strong-willed he required so much more discipline that I started to ignore some of it. But lately I noticed he obeys Daddy a lot more than he obeys Mama. PROBLEM! Especially since we plan to homeschool this fall. Nadine gave the example of how we would react if we caught our kids doing a seance in their bedroom! We would flip out! But the Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Ignoring disobedience is like ignoring the seanse. Wow! Sobering. Thanks, Nadine, for that illustration (p. 32).

As an adult, I think the "slogans" are a little corny, but there is truth to them, so I'll probably start teaching or using them soon. For obedience she gives the following: "We all have to obey someone. You can't be your own boss - people weren't made that way. Obedience is more important than giving presents. Obedience to God gives us real freedom." (p. 42-43)

This is not one of her suggestions, but as I considered her activities, I thought that a lot of the times I speak to my boys without even knowing if they are listening to me. So we are working on answering "Yes, Mama (Daddy) or Yes ma'am (sir) when spoken to. The kids are doing okay with it; now if Mama can just be consistent! My thought with this book is to focus on one character trait each month. I think this is one thing I can use in my goal #2 from my building my house goals (mentioned on Facebook; will be here soon).

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