Teaching Character with a Habit Chart

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Teaching Character with a Habit Chart |

In my post on homeschool burnout, I mentioned how character was an important part of educating your child.  While I believe character is quite often more “caught than taught,” I also believe children are inherently foolish and need guidance and reinforcement.  That’s where a Habit Chart can be very helpful.

Habit Charts are a simple tool I use whenever I want my children to learn a new skill or work on a certain behavior.  (They are even helpful for moms to work on habits of their own!)

habit chart example

The easiest way to work on specific character traits is to focus on one at a time.  Write the character trait you feel your child needs the most help with at the top of the Habit Chart.  Give the child a solid definition of that character trait (see reference section at the end of this post to find links to character studies and definitions)  Tell them every square on the chart equals a day and you are looking for ways they show that character trait.

Every day they display that trait – even once – you mark with a sticker or a check-mark or other such notation.  Remind them often about the character trait they are working on.  You will probably find they will come to you and proudly tell you of things they have done to display their character trait.  That is ok too!  Encourage them to actively seek ways to live out their character trait.  Practice, practice, practice!

I’m going to state the obvious here – you don’t want to teach one character trait to the exclusivity of all others.  Continue to infuse your child’s life with all honorable and godly traits while you steadily work on the ones they struggle with the most.

Also, I would encourage you to have each of your children work on a different trait (which shouldn’t be difficult considering every child is different and will have unique struggles).  I’ve found that things become too competitive and soon miss the point if everyone is trying to display the same trait.  And of course, don’t feel compelled to have every one one of your children using a habit chart at the same time.  This could be a bit overwhelming for mom!


Download My Habit Chart Set 1
Download My Habit Chart Set 2

fruit of the spirit pinterest
Fruit of the Spirit Devotional for Little Ones from Raising Arrows & Mama’s Learning Corner

Character Traits with Definitions & Verses from IBLP

Character Sketches from IBLP
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
(we own this set and love the Audubon-like drawings as well as the lessons from nature and Scripture!)

10 Days of Character Studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler
Character Study Lapbook from Homeschool Share

Biblical Character Training Resources from Doorposts
KONOS Homeschool Curriculum (their original Elementary 3 book set is based on character traits)
Joyful Heart Character Curriculum for 4-6 year olds
Character Study Notebooking Set from Notebooking Pages

What good character habits are working toward in your home?

10 Comments on Teaching Character with a Habit Chart

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10 thoughts on “Teaching Character with a Habit Chart

  1. Thank you Amy for this information… You did a great job putting these thoughts in a post that I so much need… This indeed will be a blessing. We also have that set of books and have been getting the Character Sketches Booklet for an in the car read…
    Have a wonderful day…

  2. Thanks, Amy! Great resources you posted, too. I did something similar with my 3 1/2 year old. We called it the Happy Heart Chart. Each time she was “caught” practising the character trait we were working on, she put a heart sticker on it. It worked quite well and helped me not be so negative all the time in my training/discipline. I think I may need to bring it out again (and one for myself, too!)…:-). PS Your new baby boy is SO sweet! And the HAIR! :-) Congrats!

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  5. Thank you for these! I am so blessed by your blog. God has used you in a mighty way to raise my own arrows! I just prchased 10 Days to a Peaceful Home. Looking forward to reading it. Joy & blessings to you!

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  8. This seems like such a great idea! I am planning to implement it soon with my older two children but am still thinking through the logistics. Where do you keep the habit charts that are in use? Do you post them somewhere or keep them in a notebook or something else I haven’t thought of? Thanks for sharing your ideas!