Character Counts Digital Classroom

Teaching Tips – Elementary School

6-8 lesson: uniquely you

Our children need to learn that not everything in life is going to be fair because we are not all the same. Instead of defining the differences and explaining how things are not always fair, show your children that fair is defined by who we are and what we need. Therefore, find ways to celebrate what is unique about each other instead of comparing ourselves to siblings or others. Teaching our children to celebrate their own strengths is important to building their self-awareness, self-esteem, and confidence. Therefore, take some time to distribute fairness in your home by celebrating what makes each of you uniquely wonderful.

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6-8 lesson: let’s play

Play often begins to dwindle in the middle school years, as children mature and take on more responsibilities in other things. However, play is one of the best ways to build resilience. Play encourages creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and improves outlook. However, it also affects the health of a child. It can decrease negative thought, improve self-talk and image, and improve the immune system through healthy interactions and laughter. Therefore, as parents, we should encourage our middle schoolers to play.

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6-8 lesson: family of respect checklist

Respect.  This word is often the character trait most people think can improve at home, school and within the community. There are a lot of opinions about what respect looks and sounds like. So, create a Family of Respect Checklist with your children about what respect looks and sounds like in your home. Consider their ideas and ensure everyone knows what it means to be respectful. Once you have completed the checklist you can laminate it or put it in a sheet protector and use wet erase markers to check yourselves in the respect you are demonstrating each day. Hang it in a prominent place in your home and use this checklist when your child needs reminded about what it means to be respectful.

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6-8 lesson: power of perspective

Perspective is powerful so consider having your child interview different citizens within your family and community.  Then have them share what they learned about the meaning of citizenship from the different minds and experiences of those around them. This could be a fun way to create a family blog or vlog based on their learning, and/or host a family share night when your child can report out all the wonderful things he or she learned in the process.

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K-5 lesson: to wear or not to wear

Our children need some direction on clothing choices and how to dress appropriately. When our elementary aged children start school, they may want to copy the clothing choices around them, or they want to wear their favorite shirt every single day for a month. Sometimes they want to wear the lime green boots with the orange sweater they got for Halloween last year. As parents, we may have expectations about dress that are not necessarily conducive to supporting the unique personalities of our children. Thus, there are often intense arguments over what to wear or not to wear that can be stressful for all involved.

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9-12 lesson: community service

Part of being a great citizen is serving your community. However, performing community service should not be about checking a box on a college application. Community service can be both beneficial to your community and personally fulfilling if you find the right opportunity. Work with your teen to answer the following questions to find great service opportunities in your community.

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9-12 lesson: courage

According to Brene Brown, “Our vulnerability is the most accurate measure of our courage.” Courage is not about being fearless. Courage is about doing the things you fear. Fear of failure is natural and happens to all of us. But, far too many people let their fear of failure keep them from even trying something in the first place.

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9-12 lesson: building connection

Connecting with your teenager can be challenging for many reasons – teens trying to assert their independence, busy schedules, and so on. Even finding a topic of conversation that interests your teen can be hard.

However, connection is critical to every relationship. Connection builds trust. Connection helps us assume the best intentions of one another. Connection makes it easier to hold one another accountable and provide important feedback.

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