Our Journey of Character Development
I am not a quick decision maker. Just ask my husband who’s been sitting in the car waiting while I’m assigned the job of picking out a dessert at the grocery store to bring to a friend’s dinner night. (I usually try to make something at home, but honestly, with four kids underfoot I am lucky to get 3 meals on the table everyday.) I’ve been hemming and hawing about this for awhile…deciding on whether to start a blog on this site. I admit upfront, I LOVE the Burgess books. They are such a delight to read to my kids. There is something about Thornton’s writing that is so captivating. His characters are funny and mischievous and he creates many opportunities to teach important life lessons and encourage character development.
I hope that you take a chance on these books and apply some of the fun activities we list for each one in our available lessons section. I wish I was an outdoor enthusiast who could write endlessly on exploring nature and North American wildlife, but the truth is, I love reading more. I also spend large amounts of time with my four girls since I homeschool. A few months ago, we started a series of posts about character traits, with book and activity ideas for teaching these traits to your kids. We’ve had such a huge response, specifically from the patience post, that it got me thinking about parenting and that we all have areas of struggle. I want to offer you real examples of what character building is like. Oftentimes, blogs can give the sense that life is blissful and sweet for everyone else. Up to this point, the only things you know about me are on the “Who We Are” page. But I think I’ve made my decision…and I’m ready to get personal.
I am a (stressed out) mother of four girls, ages ranging from 2-10. A few years ago, my husband and I took a leap of faith, left a secure job in Austin, TX, and relocated our family to Missouri. This wasn’t totally unfamiliar territory to me, since I grew up in St. Louis. We live in a smaller town closer to the Kansas City side of the state now, in an old Queen Anne Victorian house built in 1891. We bought it as a fixer upper while we continue looking for a small farm to call our own.
In the meantime, amid all the remodeling, we run a woodworking business from our house and I homeschool. This year I made the decision (albeit, not quickly) to change my curriculum to one where I can school all the children at once (except for subjects like math and English). Instead of following a typical, chronological history, the curriculum I chose focuses on units of character traits and applying history, science, geography, literature, music, etc. to each. The curriculum is called KONOS. (I am not affiliated with this company in any way. This is my own personal experience and opinion.)
I haven’t started school yet for this year. I’m actually waiting on our roof to be re-shingled this week since the chaos of footsteps and scraping from the ceiling could prove to be a bit of a distraction for the kids. Speaking of which, the opening unit is on attentiveness, which is appropriate since you certainly want kids paying attention while teaching. I’m going to write about our journey through the character traits: what books we read, what activities we do, what worked, what failed, and how the kids are (hopefully) learning something about themselves and how to treat others.
My sister, Melissa, who is my co-contributor to this site, will also write in when she can. She is a homeschooler of three kids, ages 3-7. Even though she still lives in Texas, we talk (and when I say “talk” I mean text) every day about everything imaginable…but mostly about parenting. We are going to be honest about our experiences and let you know how we are surviving this crazy train called life.