January’s Character Trait: Integrity - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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January’s Character Trait: Integrity

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We start the new year (and new month) with a new character trait – Integrity:

Having the inner strength to be truthful and trustworthy, acting justly and honorably, and being consistent in words and actions.

As we study the founding and growth of our nation, we can easily talk about this character trait. Many of the American Heroes we look up to endeavored to be men and women of integrity and honor. George Washington said:

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”

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Many would agree that he was. Ask your kids why they think George Washington was known to be an honest man. How did he become a man of integrity? Talk about how integrity doesn’t just happen because we want it, it must grow inside us from the daily practice of doing the right things, telling the truth, and keeping our word.

Speaking of integrity and American heroes who did the right thing, parents, you may want to check out the current PBS Special entitled “The Abolitionists,” the latest in their American Experience history series. This three-part “creative documentary” follows five of the most important players in the abolition movement: Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimke, John Brown, and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

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The first episode premiered Tuesday, but you can watch it online here. (Some scenes may not be appropriate for children. Use parental discretion.)

If you’d like a hands-on way to work on this trait, here’s a craft idea (based on a lesson plan from kidsofintegrity.com), to help nurture integrity in your home this month. Using a piece of thick cardstock for each child, write “Certificate of Integrity” at the top of each page. Just below that, write something like “This certificate tells us that what (insert name) says is true.” Then let the kids decorate them using whatever art/craft supplies you have on hand, maybe adding a fancy border. During the time you want to focus on Integrity, give your kids a sticker to add to their certificate every time they tell the truth or keep their word, demonstrating that the daily practice of doing what’s right will help them grow in Integrity.

We’ll leave you with one final quote, which supports the rich education and character we are seeking to instill in our children and ourselves:

“Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.”

– Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), British author

How to you foster integrity in your home? Share your thoughts and ideas, and be entered into a drawing for a gift card to Target. The drawing ends next Thursday (1/17), so join in and leave a comment below!

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