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Character Trait for March 2017: Courage

March 2nd, 2017

{photo by S Khan via flickr / CC BY 2.0}

“Smooth seas do not make good sailors.”

~African Proverb

This month we turn our attention to the character trait of Courage:

Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile and facing difficulties and challenges with determination to do the right thing even when others don’t.

Catch phrase: Dare to be different!

How many of us parents need to "take courage" about this time of year? After helping our kids wrap up their science projects, keeping up with weekly grids, all the reading, upcoming progress reports... it's easy to focus on the difficulties. But let us remind you again that you are attempting the most worthwhile things by engaging with your children on this learning adventure. Courage is required! 

As for our kids, courage can be a fun trait to discuss and work on even though it can also be scary. They can often spot and talk about umpteen examples of courage found in our history and literature readings through SLOCA, and we always encourage finding examples of character traits in our readings. This brings to mind a book that some of our classes recently read: Never Forgotten by Patricia C. McKissack. This beautiful story, told in verse, is about a young African boy who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, and the father who mourns the loss of his son. It has a hopeful and redemptive ending, but courage is certainly a theme, such as in this verse, which was used for copywork for some of our students: 

Fear is a leopard; Courage renders him toothless.
When the drumbeat changes, you must change the dance.
Learn by reaching back with one hand
While stretching forward with the other.
Kings may come and go, but the family endures forever.

Although we most often associate courage with the military or people undertaking daring acts, it’s important to discuss that courage doesn’t only have to do with physical strength. Many of the other SLOCA character traits we pursue require courage in the first place - you can ask your kids “How does it take courage to be honest, kind, diligent, or to be a good citizen?” Share with them about times in your life when you had to be courageous in small ways.

For those who like practical suggestions on how to intentionally work on courage with kids, here’s an article with (no joke):

101 Ways to Teach Kids Courage


And below you’ll find a link to this month’s character trait mini-poster (click on the link or image for the full size pdf):

March Character Trait: Courage







We look forward to learning about many courageous inventors tonight at our Invention Convention – see you there! 

What are some unique ways your family can grow in courage? Leave a comment!

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