Character Q & A: How Can I Start Character Training With My Toddler?

So much talk about toddlers on Character Ink/Raising Kids With Character, you would think that I have a fifteen month old grandbaby or something! I wanted to re-run some old posts about toddlers to follow up the two Wondering Wednesday podcasts (Part 1) (Part 2) that I have done over the past couple of weeks about these amazing kids!

Character Q & A: How Can I Start Character Training With My Toddler?

Question: How can I start some of the character training concepts and habits that you describe with a toddler?


Back-to-School Study Skills–Textbook Previewing With Your Kids Part I of III

“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.” Robert M Hutchins

Sitting down with your student and his textbooks (maybe one per evening) during the first week will go a long way towards his comprehension and ease of use of those books throughout the school year. Try these specific strategies for previewing textbooks with your student to help him or her get the most out of his or her texts this year:

1. Graphs and charts—Remind your student that charts and graphs usually restate (in another form) what is indicated in the text. He can use these for quick overviews, as well as for reviewing before tests.

2. Enumerations—If his text uses a lot of enumeration, it could be that this subject has a significant number of lists to be learned. Point him to these lists and show him that often what is listed in the margins or sidebars is also expounded upon within the text.

3. Section headings—The more headings a book contains, the easier it is to learn from. The student is constantly reminded, by the headings and subheadings, of what the section is about. Show him how helpful these headings can be as he uses the book during his reading and for test preparation.
4. Pictorial aids—Maps are always in included in history textbooks. If his textbook contains a large assortment of maps, show him how they can help him see the big picture. Maps usually show where something that is discussed in the text occurred.

5. Glossary—Books that contain glossaries give the student an easy way to find definitions that may be more obscure within the text. Teach him to use this for quick finds, but encourage him to use the text itself for most studying since students who learn vocabulary in context retain it better.

6. Tables of Contents—The Table of Contents can be used somewhat like an index to find where information is in a particular chapter. It is especially good for getting a big picture about a whole chapter.

7. Prefaces, introductions, and summaries—If a text has any of these three, some of the work is already done for the student. Show him how advantageous these are for quick previewing of a chapter.

8. Footnotes—If a student is in a class that requires research papers, footnotes can be a real plus. We teach our research paper students to use lengthy works’ footnotes to find other credible sources that they might use in their papers.

9. Appendixes—Appendixes are the “extra credit” of the book. I always like to thin of myself as a prized pupil, so I tend to gravitate to these right at first, since they’re usually for those who want additional information—and I always want to know more! Tell your students that sometimes the appendixes aren’t even used in the actual course, but they are good for learning more, for research-based reports, and for cementing what is found in the text.

10. Indexes—If a book doesn’t have an index, I say send it back and get a new one! Show your student how quickly he can find information with the index. The more specific the index, the better it is for the student.

11. Bibliography—The bibliography gives lists of books, articles, and documents relating to the subjects in the textbook. Like footnotes, we direct our research paper students to these.

12. Pronunciation guides—These guides give the phonetic markings to aid in reading unfamiliar words. Many texts do not have these guides, but they are helpful in a class where a student will be giving presentations so the can pronounce unknown words correctly.

Any signaling or sign posting that a book contains is that much more opportunity for the visual learner, especially, to learn and retain. If you have an auditory learner, you might have to record his vital info on cd or cassette! Smile…More study skills coming soon!!!

Developing Strong Study Habits for Younger Students

I have a lot to say about teaching our kids God’s Word and ways as we “sit in our house”! I just haven’t gotten my notes all together due to computer issues (just got the last computer back from the shop AGAIN,..). So, August has come upon us quickly…and so has “back to school time.” I want to re-run some posts from last August about helping our kids with study skills, back to school routines, etc. for those who may have missed them or those who were not with us on PP last August.

So…here is the first one….a link to many links about developing strong study habits for younger students. Now is really the time to get serious about implementing some of these schedules and ideas (before the day before-back-to-school!)….so, get your iced water with lemon and click and read! 🙂 Thanks for joining us!

When You Rise Up: Age Appropriate Chores–Character Building in the Mornings

“You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” Deuteronomy 6:7

We really are going to move out of the “when you rise up” stage of “teaching them diligently”–honest! However, we have found that if you get the first hour or two of your day down the way you want it, you will have a much more successful day later on. Also, success in the morning motivates us to more success later in the day–success breeds success!

So, we have gone over and over the “faith in the mornings”–private devotions, listening in the mornings, family devotions and read alouds, and more.

The other area that we like to tackle following faith in the morning is character training via chores and responsibilities. We did an entire month of chores, morning routines, chore charts, and chore schedules last year, so I encourage you to go to the blogspot, look in the index under chores, and have at it.

For today, I am going to post the link for the “age appropriate chores.” Summer is the perfect time to establish new chore schedules, morning routines, and more!

Chore Resources:

Age Appropriate Chores (starting here with littles for several days):

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