Character Comes First

/ / - Character Development, Articles, Blog


I have read this over and over, but it’s really starting to “finally” sink in that it’s so true. Character really does come first in homeschooling. I guess I’m a little slow sometimes, but I have figured out until I teach my son diligence that all the schoolwork in the world won’t make him a good learner. He HAS to learn to put forth his best effort and really that is no fun to teach. But it’s totally necessary; so I’m diving into that right now.

So, really the copy-work I’m giving him is doing much more than teaching him to write well, memorize verses, and read. It’s teaching him to do his best, to not give up, and to not procrastinate. Those are all things I wish I had learned far earlier than I did. Sometimes I STILL procrastinate, sadly, because I always regret it. The task does not get easier because I put it off.

One thing I am noticing as I work on character is that my character matters so much! If I am grouchy or harsh with him, then it’s actually counterproductive. He does not respond well to criticism or harshness, but even though he may react badly at first to calm firmness, he comes around much quicker; and I don’t have to repent of my attitude (which is definitely a bonus!).

I am a relatively new homeschooler (our oldest is 8). So I’m still learning as much as my children and I am thankful that God doesn’t give up on me—I need to be extra diligent to not be weary in well doing with my children for in due season we will reap if we faint not.



I was reading a great homeschooling book that was talking about how the early years should really focus on building good character in our children. I think this is foundational to all real learning. What good will all the math facts in the world do if our kids don’t have diligence, wisdom, attentiveness, etc.?

So, how do we go about teaching good character? First, I think we need to model it (which is not the easiest task). Second, we need to encourage the good character we see and reward it and discourage the bad character we see (and take away privileges as needed). Third (or maybe this should have come first), we need to take our children to God’s Word and show them what He says about that character trait. Fourth, we need to pray and seek God as we go through this very important chapter in our children’s lives.

Remember 2 Peter 1:5 says to add to your faith virtue and to your virtue knowledge. You can see where the Bible puts the first importance. They need a faith in Christ and then virtue (or character) and then add knowledge (or book learning). Let us focus on what God focuses on!


Jenny is a wife to her amazing husband of 17 years and stay-at-home momma to 3 kids with another on the way.  She blogs at where she is learning that blessings aren’t always convenient.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).