Bringing up our children to be good Christian citizens who do their best to personify the character of Jesus is very important to my husband and I. Reviewing Volumes 1 and 2 of Character Building for Families by Lee Ann Rubsam from Full Gospel Family Publications has provided us with the ability to start focusing on the character traits we would like to see developed in our family. Each volume focuses on different traits and presents them in a similar manner.
Over the course of over 200 pages, parents can use the manuals as either family devotions or in a homeschool setting. One of the fantastic things about Character Building for Families is the way in which the information is presented. Even though each lesson is labeled by days, it isn't set up by weeks so you can work your way through each character trait and not worry if you don't use it on a set schedule (like Monday-Friday). The twelve topics of Volume 1 are spread out over 165 lessons while the five topics of Volume 2 are spread out over 135 lessons. If you are interested in seeing more, you can view a sample.
What Characters Traits Will Be Studied?
- Cheerfulness (Joy)
- Gentleness (Kindness)
- Desire for Jesus
Even though Rubsam has listed out the character traits in the order that her family studied them, she reminds us in the opening that families can follow any order that God wants us to follow.
What We Like
This is really a character study that can be tailored for one's own family. We can all learn together and improve all of our lives. Even through there are many lessons, they can be taught however they best fit the needs of your family. If your children need more time on a concept, you can extend lessons. Conversely, if your children are older, you may wish to combine lessons. For example, when looking at Contentment in Volume 1, you may not need 17 days because your children may be familiar with the Scriptures discussed or memorization may come easily to them.
I also find this to be an excellent way to introduce the idea of Scripture memorization to our family. As I was reading through the lessons, I was highlighting the verses referenced and creating images in my Bible app to share with my family. Another way to reinforce the memorization could be copywork.
These volumes by Rubsam are easy to read, understand, and apply to our family's life. But they still have a deep and powerful message of building important character traits that will help them be good Christian citizens.
Let's Highlight One Trait from Each Volume
Volume 1 – Gentleness (Kindness)
Gentleness is one of the Fruits of the Spirit and very important to display in a family. Being thoughtful of others' feelings and caring for others are important character traits for siblings. Over the course of 14 days, our family reviewed Galatians 5:22-23, the story of the Good Shepherd, how Jesus treated children, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and other stories from the Bible that emphasize gentleness and kindness.
Each day we were able to review Scripture, discuss the Bible, work on memorization of key Scriptures, and pray for thoughtfulness, sensitivity, and compassion. By spending two weeks on the topic, our family was thoroughly able to examine the character trait.
Volume 2 – Patience
Another one of the Fruits of the Spirit is patience or longsuffering. Even though this is a difficult character trait and will require constant practice and revisiting, I think it is an important one to work on with our family.
The character study states: "God is patient. Can you think of any stories in the Bible that show us God's patience with people?"
This is an excellent opportunity to review the Bible stories that our children already know. Day by day, the character study presents various examples of God's patience including examples from Genesis, Exodus, the Psalms, the Epistles, and more. Each day ends with a reminder to pray and thank God for His help.
I would recommend these books for families who are desiring to develop character traits that will help them be more like Jesus.
Do you want to learn more about the author – Lee Ann Rubsam?
Lee Ann Rubsam homeschooled her children for 25 years, until they reached adulthood. Character Building for Families was originally written for her family. She continues to mentor younger homeschool mothers through social media and writing, including The Character Building for Families Blog.
You can find her at: Character Building for Families