Character Concepts Curriculum is the result of the Boyer family’s teaching character to their 14 children over the past thirty plus years. As we looked for a way to address the character needs we observed in our children, we sought to find a way to make character practical to them at their level of understanding. Now that I have graduated all but the last two of my children, I have begun to assemble for others a curriculum based upon the concepts I’ve taught my own children. As many of them have grown to adulthood, I’ve asked them what things we did that benefited them through the years, so I pass on to you what we’ve been perfecting as time as gone by.
In order to help you prepare to teach character to your family, I will explain what studies we have available and the features and approximate recommended age levels. I always have a hard time assigning age levels as having raised 14 children, I always taught multi-age levels together. You will notice that the age suggestions overlap, so if you have a child who is a year or two older or younger than the suggested age, it would work to do it with them together. I often had one study for my elementary aged kids and another for my junior/senior high kids. Every study is unique and beneficial to all, so choose what looks like the best fit and when you finish that one, just choose another.They don’t have to be done in sequential order. We even know of a couple using our Kids of Character study with a family Sunday school class. As always, I’ve found that as I have taught character, we have actually learned as a family how to put it into practice.
Character Concepts for Preschoolers – Character Concepts Curriculum Level 1
Suggested ages: Preschool-1st Grade
This is a 36 week curriculum suggested for preschool through 1st graders which teaches 12 basic character qualities and instructs you in how to lead your little ones to apply it to their lives. Each quality is studied for 3 weeks. The first week, there is a story from everyday life to read from Crossroads of Character, illustrated with the Boyer cousins as they learn to choose wisely. Kids love to have real life people with whom they can relate. For the second week, a Bible story is supplied featuring a person from the pages of Scripture whose life demonstrated the quality in action. A perforated coloring page is provided so you can make as many copies as you need for all your children to complete as you read them the story. The third week Uncle Rick tells a story from the life of someone in American history who demonstrated this character quality in their life. Inside the Mom’s Guide is a picture of the person he tells about so the children can see what they looked like.
Practical application is a very effective part of this curriculum, so the head knowledge they receive will be transferred to the heart as they learn how to change the natural way of responding to life to actively choosing to practice what they are learning. The parent is supplied with hands-on projects to accomplish this and often are referred to Hands-on Character Building, which is also provided.
Also in the Mom’s Guide are full instructions for using the two sets of flashcards. Learning Character with the Cousins teaches a simple kid-friendly definition of each quality as well as a Scripture verse to learn. Learning ABC’s with the Cousins helps you to teach the basic sounds of the alphabet through colorful photography.
The Mom’s Guide is chock-full of fun, seasonal activities as well as recipes, patterns and directions for craft and nature projects as well as suggestions for more history and science teaching if you desire. It’s designed to make learning fun, practical, and doable, not overwhelming. The basic character teaching can be done in approx. ½ hr per day.
Character Trails – Character Concepts Curriculum Level 2
Suggested ages: 6-9
Character Trails Curriculum features a full-color, hard-covered book, Character Trails, teaching 12 different character qualities than those covered in Level 1. For each, there is a story from the Bible, one from history, and one from real life, following along with the Boyer cousins. (Bible coloring pages are supplies online as a free download- instructions in book) At the end of each chapter are 3 practical application questions and 3 projects. If you wish, you can read one story per week, answer one question, and do one practical project as well. In this way, it would also cover 36 weeks. The only thing is, your children may want to work through it more quickly and that’s okay if they do!!
Read the stories again and again! Full-color laminated Character Trails Flashcards are provided for learning the simple definitions and accompanying Scripture verses for each quality. That way, your child will learn what each character quality means and what God’s Word says about it too!
Uncle Rick has recorded a set of 3 CD’s , Uncle Rick’s Character Trails Stories, reading the actual words of the Bible account for each of the Bible stories, commenting as he reads to help guide your child in choosing the right paths. We suggest playing the CD’s at bedtime, rest time or travel time to reinforce what he is learning during “school time”.
Our grandson Luke called me a couple of weeks ago and told me he’d been reading Character Trails. He said, “My dad told me to clean my room. I did what I thought was good enough, but then I remembered what I learned in Character Trails about thoroughness, so I went back upstairs and did it right and then went and told my dad.” That’s what it’s all about!! Presenting character qualities on the level of your child’s everyday life so they can learn to use information learned to help them make wise choices everyday!! It’s a fun way to learn, too!!
Kids of Character- Character Concepts Curriculum Level 3
Kids of Character is based on a handout Marilyn has given for years called Character Qualities for Kids. It teaches your child 45 essential character qualities,providing a kid-friendly definition for each, as well as a Scripture verse for memorization. There are several short answer questions to answer for provided Bible references and also what we “If’s” for each of the 45 character qualities. “If’s” are derived from a game we often played with our children through the years in order to prepare them for situations we knew they were likely to encounter. For instance, “Rickey, you are at Travis’ house. He says, “Rickey, come watch this T.V. program. It’s a good one. Your Mom won’t mind.” What should you do? Our rule was that the kids were not allowed to watch any T.V. program without our approval. Or it may be something simple like, “You just finished building a skyscraper with your legos. Your baby brother comes over and knocks it down. What should you do How can you practice forgiveness? “
This way, you can help your kids work out what you and your husband feel are acceptable solutions to the problems and temptations they are going to face. What your family decides may vary from another family, but the idea is to train them before they encounter the temptations, to handle them properly. Our kids have attested to the fact that many times, it helped them to make the right choices as they felt prepared ahead of time instead of when the pressure was on them.
We’ve included our newest book- Portraits of Integrity in this curriculum. This 344 page, hard-cover book has 45 stories from history about a real person whose life demonstrated one of these character qualities.
This volume will be of interest for your 6 year-olds through adults and would also make a great gift for any family. Questions are supplied at the end of each chapter if you decide to use it for family time to reinforce what they are learning in their character study.
A set of 45 laminated Kids of Character Flashcards is included with a character definition on the front side and Scripture verse on the back side. As you learn one, review previously learned verses and definitions until you know them all!
Proverbs People Collection – Character Concepts Curriculum – Level 4
Approximate Ages 7-12
Proverbs People Collection- Level 4 of our Character Concepts Curriculum, was designed for use with my own children. I wanted them to learn to apply the Word to their own life in a practical way to change the way they lived their lives. I looked up different types of people mentioned in Proverbs, the Book of Wisdom. I had my kids study the slothful man and what Proverbs says about how he will end up if he doesn’t change his ways. We compared him to the diligent man and made note of the blessings of diligence in one’s life. We studied the five types of fools in the book. One, the “nabal” fool you are to have nothing to do with. Another, the kesil fool, should be instructed and he will respond to wise teaching. Rick wrote example stories to help illustrate the character being studied and we asked them application questions, such as, “What would a slothful boys room look like?”
As my kids worked through this study, they gained wisdom from God’s Word not only on how to deal with people they might encounter in life, but also insights into character deficiencies in their own lives with exhortations to purposely seek to choose wisely.
Our Proverbs People Collection includes both Proverbs People Book 1 and Book 2, laminated flashcards enough for both books 1 and 2, and Uncle Rick Reads the Proverbs, a 5 hour audio where “Uncle Rick” reads through the entire book of Proverbs (KJV), explaining difficult words and giving example stories to help kids remember what is being taught in this practical book. Our kids learned volumes of Scripture in this way when we played their CD’s at nap-time and bedtime. They have also attested that later in life the verses from Proverbs would come back to them in situations they faced. God’s Word never returns void!! Let Uncle Rick teach your children the timeless truths of Scripture!
Growing in Wisdom –Character Concepts Curriculum Level 5
Approximate Ages 8-13
This study was inspired by the negative character traits I saw my kids struggling with as I sought to find a way to teach guide them in choosing the right way instead of just reacting to life. What do you do when your kids struggle with anger, complaining, tattling, teasing, unkindness, laziness? Do you know where to go to find Scriptures to address these behaviors?
Growing in Wisdom deals with 32 negative types of character behavior AND their corresponding positive behavior. Remember, every negative character quality your child demonstrates is just a positive character quality misused and your job is to direct him/her in choosing wisely instead. This study will make your job easier as your child looks up first the negative behavior from Scripture and then the corresponding positive quality to see what God says on the matter. A conclusion is drawn at the end of the study.
Laminated flashcards are provided for ease in committing these appropriate Scriptures to memory. Uncle Rick, in Growing in Wisdom CD set, reads the students many of the Scriptures from their study, commenting on what the Bible says about each and helping to guide your child in choosing wisely. For instance, for Anger/ Self-Control, he points out that the end of an angry man in Scripture showing them how cultivating a pattern of anger leads to becoming an angry man and in contrast, the blessings God will bestow on the man who chooses to practice self-control.
Topics dealt with:
- Disobedience/Obedience, Not Listening/Attentiveness,Selfishness/Generosity,Arguing,Boasting/Humility,
- Complaining/Cheerfulness, Lying/Truthfulness, Teasing/Wisdom, Bad Words/Discretion, Pride/Humility, Fearfulness/Confidence, Stealing/Contentment, Cheating/Honesty, Cruelty/Mercy,
- Mischievousness/Goodness, Scornfulness/Meekness, Vengefulness/Righteousness,
- Rejoicing When Others Get into Trouble/Wisdom, Bribing/Justice, Planning Wickedness/Righteousness,
- Greediness/Contentedness, Gossiping/Truthfulness, Flattery/Sincerity, Deceitfulness/No Guile,
- Arrogance/Humility, Not Admitting Wrongdoing/Humility
Living the Fruitful Life -Character Concepts Level 6
Approximate Ages 13-15
A Bible study course for junior high school students based on applying the Fruit of the Spirit to their lives and the blessings of doing so. It is intended teach kids to dig into Scripture and apply the fruits of the Spirit to their own lives.
This set fills the need for kids who are older as it leads them in study of a particular subject and then encourages them to find insights for themselves.
Included are 80 flashcards for memorization and application to daily life. As the student works through the Bible study during the year, they will learn the verses that correspond to the fruit of the spirit they are studying. They can move at their own rate through the pack of cards, reviewing previously learned verses to make them a part of their life and experience.
Words of Wisdom- Character Concepts Level 7
Approximate ages 14-17
It is amazing how many references are made in the Bible to our words! Our words are used to bless or curse others. Words of Wisdom Bible Study will help your student learn how to use a concordance to dig out insights about the crucial topic of the use of our words and their consequences. Words of My Mouth Flashcards ,used with the study, provide key passages for memorization, meditation, and implementation into daily life.
Power in Proverbs- Character Concepts Level 8
Approximate ages 15-18
Power in Proverbs is an exciting new self-study guide to help your teenager take advantage of the matchless wisdom contained in the book of Proverbs! This study teaches your teen how to use the concordance and his Bible to search the Scripture on topics applicable to everyday life.
This collection includes Power in Proverbs Concordance Study, two sets of practically applied flashcards- Daily Wisdom from Proverbs Set 1 and 2, and the Book of Proverbs CD set. The Book of Proverbs is a reading of the entire book in KJV to aid in memorization. They can be played at nighttime or travel time. Appropriate for highschoolers.
For You They Signed- Character Concepts Level 9
Appropriate for ages junior high through adult
For You They Signed Curriculum can be used with highschoolers to teach them history and character at the same time. It is crucial that we arm our young people with the truth about the founders who started this great nation. In 1776, 56 men signed their names on a document that they knew might well mean their certain deaths as traitors to England. Standing on principles of faith and liberty, these men forged a powerful call for freedom and human dignity still resonating today in America. Yet, historical revisionists have distorted or attempted to wipe away every trace of this nation`s Christian heritage, including the heartfelt faith of these founding fathers.
More than simply facts and figures, For You They Signed provides an abundance of resources within one volume, including: , over 90 illustrations, biographical summaries, and insightful quotes, character quality definitions, Patrick Henry`s speech delivered to the signers, the Christian nature of state constitutions, and the Christian nature of America`s universities. Thought-provoking questions are supplied within the text to help your young person retain what they are learning.
Endorsed by Christian historian, David Barton of Wallbuilders! Teach your family history, character and Scripture at the same time. This beautiful volume gives you the tools you need to train up young nation-changers.
For You They Signed Curriculum includes hard cover book, downloadable activity book, and flashcards of the signers with Scripture verses. A years worth of character studies!
We desire to assist your family in building a foundation of character in your home. Hope this helps as you plan your character curriculum for your family. Remember, the ages are approximate and you can go up or down a couple of ages and it would still be appropriate. We hope it makes your job easier to have ready-to-use tools at your disposal to train your family to be more like Jesus!