Have you looked at various virtue resources as an educator or a parent and found good things but wish you could find an all-in-one virtue/character education resource? Well Monica Speach, Author of Program for Achieving Character Education: For Catholic Schools and Homes has written an all-in-one resource. She believes the missing link to all the character education programs is faith. She says in her introduction: “Character Education based on the firm foundation of faith is the best – and only- way to teach virtuous behavior.”
What I’m most impressed with regarding this resource is the comprehensive nature of it and how valuable of a resource it will be for any school, religious education program or homeschool family to use. In each chapter (which focuses on a particular virtue) it includes the following components:
- Quotations regarding that virtue by the saints
- A Definition of the Virtue
- Stories by grade level Kindergarten – 6th Grade (the stories are recommended from William Bennett’s two books: Book of Virtues and The Moral Compass.
- Bible Passages (Over 20 for each virtue)
- Mary and the Saints – each chapter gives a prayer or meditation in this section and a list of saints who were faithful in this virtue and those who struggled, at periods in their life, with that virtue.
- Book Recommendations – each grade level has about 6 to 10 book recommendations.
- Discussion Topics – over 20 questions to engage students in the virtue.
- Writing Assignments – over 20 suggestions on how to use/incorporate each virtue in a writing assignment which ranges from something that could be an english/handwriting assignment to a kind act of writing a card to someone.
- Enrichment Activities – These activities are divided up into suggestions under the headings of 1) Music 2) Art 3) Nature and 4) General Activities.
- How to Practice This Virtue – Over 20 recommendations on how to practice the virtue.
This is truly a comprehensive virtues/character education program which provides everything all in one place. But, there is more! She has a workbook grades K-6th providing multiple assignments for each week (Monday – Friday). For example, in the 4th Grade Workbook under the virtue of Self-Discipline it provides 4 weeks worth of assignments. Week One has Monday: Quotation and asks the student to read the 6th quote on page 2 of the PACE manual and copy it in the space below and then ask the student answer the following question: What do you think St. Francis de Sales means by “inner peace?” Write down a few thoughts about this. (Use complete sentences in your answers.) and on Tuesday it focuses on the Definition and asks the students to “Read the definition of “Self-discipline” on page 3 of your PACE manual in the spaces below, write down healthy habits that can help you be a disciplined person. (Example: exercise, study hard, etc.) Then write down habits that can be harmful to you in your efforts to be a disciplined person. The second part of Tuesday asks the students to read from a selection of 3 books and reflect upon it.
This resource is truly amazing and is a great way to help children grow in holiness, character and virtue. I highly recommend Monica Speach’s Character Education Program. For more information you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out this website for more details and to order it.