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Portraits of Integrity: A Family Treasury Review by Erin Slocum

(Real people who demonstrated godly character.)
Marilyn Boyer & Grace Tumas
Character Concepts
2430 Sunnymeade Road
Rustburg, VA 24588

Meet forty-five characters from history who will change your life in Portraits of Integrity. These are real people who lived and breathed and demonstrated Godly character through hard times. From them, we have many lessons to learn.

Each character trait that is touched on in this book has a definition and a memory verse to go with it. This is done before the character study takes place. We then learn about the person and why they exhibited this trait. We learn who they were and why they are important to us and to history.

This book makes a great study for a family. While I thought we’d just read some each day. I got this and made the decision to create a study each week around a character from this book. The characters vary from Civil War to Revolutionary War to WWII and so forth.

I think it would be neat to categorize them all by time period and then study them from oldest time period to newest, but I did not get this idea until we were three people in, so thought I’d share the fun idea with you! I love the verses that go along with the character traits. Our studies are focused on the trait rather than the person.

Because we’re focusing on the trait, our first day (Monday) is spent learning about the character trait. We read the short definition that is given in the book. Next, we look it up in the dictionary. I also have a character-training Bible that allows us to look up verses based on the character trait. We look up those verses and read a few. This is also when I will write the verse of the week on our chalkboard. This verse is the verse given in the book. We’ll work on memorizing it throughout the week.

Day two of the week is Tuesday. On day two, we read the actual story about the character and discuss it as a family. We practice our Bible verse and read a few more verses pertaining to our character trait.

Day three is fun day! This is the day we time travel. Because we homeschool, it gives us a lot of flexibility, which I love. I’ll work on preparing for this day from day one. Our whole day is a back-in-time day. Our meals are what our person might have eaten; we pretend we’re living in their world. To make this possible, I have to have done some research of course, but it’s worth it to let my kids have this experience. If possible, we dress in period clothes, eat period foods, and just spend the day exploring what their life might have been like. Oh, and work on that Bible verse.

For day four, we’re still working on our Bible verse, and we’re also taking a deeper look into who this person was and why their life was history-changing. Most weeks we do this through checking out biographies from the library and reading them out loud. We also check for any child and age appropriate movies about this person’s life. I really want my kids to get a sense of who this person was and why they’re important. It’s also good to help them realize that most people don’t realize they’re making history at the time they’re doing things. This is a teachable moment to influence our children to always embody these traits as you never know when you yourself are making history.

I currently cannot find this book offered for sale by itself on the Character Concepts website, but it is offered bundled with Profiles of Valor which is another great character training book. The two are offered in hardback format for $55.00 as part of a Family Treasury Collection. On the site, it suggests using them as a family-time reading to study the traits. This is basically what we’re doing but with a lot more added to it. Because, of course, this homeschool mom is going to get all the learning she can from it.

Our family highly recommends both Portraits of Integrity and Profiles of Valor for families to use to teach character traits and the value of them in our lives. I personally had noticed that this was an area we were lacking and love being able to study them in a fun literature-rich way.

When we’re not using these books for character training, they sit on our character shelf. Well, they’re supposed to sit on our character shelf. Most of the time, you can find this book in the hands of a child. Because my children love to read and history happens to be everyone’s love. I love encouraging my kids to read and love knowing that they are reading quality materials. We give all the thumbs up to this book and place it on our forever shelf.

-Product review by Erin Slocum, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2017