Adapted from a post on Minds in Bloom by Rachel Lynette. Used with Permission.

Character Traits
“If there is beauty in character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

Chinese Proverb

With all the academic testing that is currently an integral part of elementary school, character education is often not as much of a focus as it once was. But since most parents would agree that learning how to be good people and citizens is at least as important as academics, here are some ideas for how to weave character education into your day at home.

Each week choose a different word to display on your refrigerator or bulletin board. (We’ve listed some examples for idea fodder on the right.) Talk with your kids about what it means, then talk about how they embodied that word in the past or during the day during family meal time. Encourage your kids to try to demonstrate the trait as much as possible during the week.

Pick out a few character words that you particularly want to emphasize and put them all on the refrigerator or bulletin board. At breakfast, randomly pick two words. Ask your kids which trait they feel is most important, then ask them to think about this choice during the day. After school, do they feel the same way? Which of their peers or teachers do they feel is a good model for this type of trait? Why?

Rachel Lynette is the author of the Minds in Bloom blog and a top seller on She enjoys creating teaching materials with an emphasis on higher level thinking and has a background in gifted education.

What a Character!