Every year, I pick a theme for my children and myself for our schooling year.This year I was compelled to pick “building character” as our theme. We try to do special things during homeschooling to build on that theme. For example, we have been enjoying special readings on character every morning before we start our work. We also have gone an extra step to actually live out what we are learning.
Every year, once or twice, my husband and I go overseas to a third world country to do humanitarian work. We love having the chance to give back, and to grow in our own characters. We even lived in Uganda, East Africa with our children for a time when they were very little, taking care of AIDS orphans.
This year, the destination is the squatter camps of Cape Town, South Africa. My 11 year old son will have the privilege of accompanying my husband on this trip. He is nervous, and very excited to go and give shoes to children who literally walk around in bare feet constantly. He is even having his school, Stony Creek, raise money to buy as many shoes for the children in need, as possible. Even his classmates have a chance to develop their character through this project!
My son now gets a chance to apply what he is learning about character, in a very tangible way. He may miss two weeks of school, but he will be building a life-long supply of character; and that’s worth it. We can always catch up on school, we can’t always miss opportunities to grow in character.
Jenn Banas home schools her two children ages 11 and 8, three days a week, through the Stony Creek program. She is passionate about being a positive, active member of her community, by raising children passionate about the world around them.