Friday, October 18, 2013

Character Education for Christmas?

They knew it would be there. Under the Christmas tree. That small, colorfully-wrapped gift. Each child knew I had chosen it especially for her. I considered each girl’s interests, wants, and needs. The care I took selecting this present rivaled the care given by a surgeon when selecting an instrument. It was their yearly book that I added to their personal libraries.
One girl might have gotten a book on home chemistry experiments. Another got a book about basketball plays. And the third got a book of crafts. On another year, I chose fiction books that carried a strong moral lesson: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where each entrant with poor moral judgment is eliminated from the quest for the golden ticket. Charlotte’s Web, a tale of friendship and acceptance of the inevitable. And Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room to show how cooperation can accomplish great tasks. I didn’t have to teach them anything included in these books – the authors did that for me!
Today, each girl has made a wonderful mark in her world. One was a philanthropy chair in her sorority. Two earned Outstanding Teacher Awards. And they all are strong, caring wives and parents to my six grandchildren. Certainly, the books were not the only influence that caused them to be so morally and intellectually successful, but I’d like to think that the hours I spent choosing their books contributed to that success.
Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m about to make your life easier. In my retirement from education, I have begun a line of books and games with a co-founder that combines nonfiction intellectual lessons with moral lessons found in fiction. Toss in a literacy component and you have the recipe for a winning Christmas present under the tree. I challenge you to find any other book series with this valuable combination of attributes. Where’s Green? shows young readers how a rainbow is formed, the power of cooperation within a group, and includes a play on words with alliteration. What’s the Matter? explains the cycle of solid, liquid, and gas, while showing children about acceptance of change and includes a variety of participles. Each book features endearing characters called The EnteleTrons™.
Your children deserve a strong literary presence under the Christmas tree, too! At, you will find these books and extended activities you can do with your children long after the wrapping paper has gone to the recycle bin. In addition, you’ll find educational games that also include that important character education component of cooperation.
Certainly, there are other books you can get your children that will show them intellectual and moral lessons, so shop around and find the one that’s just right for your child or teenager. Don’t stop until you find one that practically has your child’s name written on the cover! Many years later, your child with thank you for the lessons you indirectly taught him or her with the books they got under the Christmas tree.
Start your own Christmas tradition this year! It’s not too late to build your child’s library with academic, moral, and literacy lessons, especially if you can combine them all in one wonderful book.

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