Learning Character Qualities

As parents we want our children to learn to make wise choices and to walk in righteousness. However, teaching godly character can be a big struggle, especially when you aren’t sure where to start.

One way we’ve been intentional about teaching our children about godly character is by reading Crossroads of Character and Character Trails.

Both of these books are used as part of the Character Concepts Curriculum, but they can also be used as stand alone books to teach children about making wise choices–choices that honor God.

Crossroads of Character review @ AllOurDays.com #write31days #learningwithlittleones #character

Crossroads of Character is recommended for ages 4-6. This book teaches about the following aspect of godly character:

  • obedience
  • patience
  • honesty
  • gratefulness
  • respectfulness
  • responsibility
  • initiative
  • diligence
  • kindness
  • self-control
  • contentment
  • deference (sharing)

Each trait includes a simple definition, a scripture reference, and a practical example from the life of a child. Each story is 2 to 4 pages long and includes at least one color photograph on each page.

We’ve read this book to our children several times. It amazing how heightened we all our to each aspect of godly character once we’ve read about it. It also makes it easier to reference something the kids can understand when they are having trouble making wise choices.

If you have a toddler or preschooler, I highly suggest getting this book.

Character Trails review @ AllOurDays.com #write31days #learningwithlittleones #character

Character Trails is recommended for ages 6 to 9 and covers the following 12 character qualities:

  • attentiveness
  • availability
  • boldness
  • compassion
  • courage
  • decisiveness
  • endurance
  • flexibility
  • generosity
  • joyfulness
  • orderliness
  • thoroughness

Each quality is presented through three stories, one from the Bible, one from a hero from history, and one from the everyday life of the Boyer cousins. At the end of each chapter there are three application questions as well as three practical projects designed to help children internalize what they’ve learned and apply it to their lives.

There are also free Character Trails Coloring Pages that go along with the Character Trails book.

Is there anything you do to help teach godly character to your children?

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Learning to Have Fun in the Kitchen

Today’s Learning with Little Ones post is from my friend Kristin. Kristin is a mom of 5 little ones and blogs at Bits and Pieces from My Life.

My son, Owen, is eight and he wants to own a bakery when he grows up.  One Saturday morning, he asked to make chocolate chip cookies with his older sister who is 10.  I was on my way to take a shower but I knew they both had experience in the kitchen so I said, “Go for it and I’ll bake them for you when I’m done in the bathroom.”  They happily worked while I showered, dreaming of cookies for dessert.

When I put the first pan into the oven for them, I noticed the dough balls looked a little shiny and slid around on the pan a bit.  A few minutes later, a strange smell emerged from the oven.  The cookies still had five minutes to go and yet they smelled burned.  To make a long story short, when the kids measure the ingredients for the cookies, they interpreted 2¼ cups of flour as  two ¼ cups!  The result was a greasy, globby mess of inedible dough. The next weekend, they asked for another chance and the cookies turned out chewy in the center with crispy edges– perfection!

It wasn’t long ago that I avoided having my kids in the kitchen.  Sure, I let them do some mixing or helping on occasion, but asking for their help or letting them take over a recipe made me cringe because I could work so much faster and more neatly on my own.  Admittedly I still feel that way, but I’m learning the benefits of welcoming my kids into the kitchen and I’ve developed a few tips to make it pleasurable for all of us.  

1) Limit helpers to 1-2 kids at a time. 

It’s overwhelming to oversee more than a few tasks at once so let your helpers rotate.  Of course, you can make exceptions for special events like decorating Christmas cookies.

2) Teach kitchen safety early in the process. 

If your kids know to wash their hands after handling raw meat, if they can use a knife carefully, and if they keep their fingers away from hot surfaces, you can concentrate on the fun aspects of cooking without reviewing the tedious details.

3) Look for opportunities to initiate time in the kitchen with your kids so that you can say “no” without guilt when it is less convenient.  

Plan ahead and ask a child to help you toss a salad, knead the bread, or add toppings to the oatmeal.  Teach them to cut out cookies or brown ground beef or preheat the oven on a day when you are relaxed and not in a hurry.  On a stressful, busy evening, you can choose to work alone with no regret.  (Or maybe you will have trained your children so well that they can perform big tasks independently and you can thank them gratefully!)

Which leads us to…

4) Allow your kids to work towards self-sufficiency. 

While you are nearby to offer assistance, give your kids kitchen jobs to perform alone.  A 7-year-old can read a basic recipe.  An 8-year-old can slice cucumber. A 10-year-old can open cans, drain and rinse beans, and start a pot of soup!

5) Answer all questions, but allow kids to make their own mistakes. 

(Look away or leave the room if necessary!)  I tend to meddle when my kids cooks, but I’m learning to let them go to figure things out on their own. It builds their confidence and helps them develop their own style, too.

Kristin is a blogger at Bits and Pieces From My Life.  She writes about life with 5 kids, homeschooling, books, more books, food, and running. Her newest eBook Books for Christmas: What to Buy the Young People in Your Life will be available for free download on November 3.  You can also find her on Facebook and Pinterest.

Do your kids like to work in the kitchen cooking or baking? If so, what have you done to give them these life skills and what are their favorite things to make? If your kids don’t cook or bake what is one thing you can do this week to help teach them?

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Learning to Count to 100

Learning to Count to 100 with free printables {31 Days of Learning with Little Ones @ AllOurDays.com}

Our older kids have all learned to count to twenty fairly easily. However, at some point after that they’ve all become stuck–one at 39, another at 59, and another at 79.

Somehow that step to counting to 100 always confused them.

That was until we spent time with a hundreds chart.

A hundreds chart makes it easier for kids to see number patterns.

Here’s a free printable hundreds chart I’ve used with my kids. We simply say the numbers and talk about the patterns we see.

Free Hundreds Chart Printable {31 Days of Learning with Little Ones @ AllOurDays.com} #write31days #preschool #homeschool #math #freeprintable

>>>Print Hundreds Chart<<<

My two older kids have also enjoyed filling in their own hundreds chart. This makes it easy to determine if your child has really grasped the concept of repetitive number patterns. However, write all the numbers can be cumbersome.

Here’s a free printable hundreds chart with missing numbers.

Free Missing Numbers Hundreds Chart Printable {31 Days of Learning with Little Ones @ AllOurDays.com} #write31days #preschool #homeschool #math #freeprintable

>>>Print Missing Numbers Hundreds Chart<<<

Have your kids had trouble counting to one hundred? Do you have any tips for teaching kids to count?

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