Book Series is Powerful Tool for Character Development

Like most households with small children, our family struggles with the topics addressed in the "God, I Need To Talk To You About..." series. We have purchased disrespect, lying, laziness, stealing, paying attention, bad temper and whining. Thank goodness, only one sinful trait is focused on per book!

Each book is written from the point of view of a child, about 10 years old, who has had a conflict and is being instructed on how to improve it. They are written as a prayer in which the child discusses with the Lord his bad habit and what his parents have instructed, and how he feels about all this.

On a few pages of each book, in the drawings and not part of the main text, are some pertinent Scriptures showing the two sides of the problem. For instance, in our dog-eared, sad, worn-out copy of "G. I. N. T. T. T. Y. A. Whining," there are these three Scriptures:

"A fool's mouth is his undoing." (Proverbs 18:7),
"A wise man keeps himself under control." (Proverbs 29:11), and
"The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded." (Ecclesiastes 9:17).

As a homeschool mom, I really like the "God, I need to talk to you about..." series. I initially bought these little books to just read over with my kids. I figured that they would just be an inexpensive lesson that we'd read through once or twice. However, they quickly became much more than that!

There has been a hundred times when we break from our educational plans and work on character issues for a while. The small size of these books makes it easy to keep them handy. (Ours are in a small shoebox on the school table that also holds our erasers, rulers, paper clips, and the like.) Whenever there is a disruptive issue- say, whining about the perceived length of a math worksheet- I pull out the little book and read it to her. If the behavior persists, my daughter has to read it to me. If there is still a problem, she then has to read me the contrasting Scriptures only. We haven't yet come to the point where I've had her write out the Scriptures.

After that, if they are still struggling, I would say call it a day! It can be hard to keep Scripture in the forefront of our discipline when we just want the behavior to STOP. These little books really help me to stay calm, cool, and God-glorifying in the hard moments of homeschooling my kids.

Teresa Dear is a homeschooling mother of four. She and her husband do not worry about socialization. You can follow the blog exploration of Classical Christian Education in general and their homeschool lifestyle in particular at Teresa divides her time between education, the home, shopping for curriculum, and stocking her storefront where you can find handmade cards and vintage photos.

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