Each month we focus on a different trait predominately drawing from Character First resources.  Learning character in such a systematic way doesn’t really achieve character development.  Character is established in our life as we make daily character based choices in the situations we face not by knowing what it means.  But the flip side is the more we know what a particular character trait looks like and involves the more we are able to decide to walk that path.  Focusing on one trait in our family life means that we intentionally instruct, train, correct and praise in any activity that shows this character trait.

This month we are going to look at “Availability” – we looked at this very slightly a few months back and felt to revisit it in July.

The definition we will learn is:  Availability is being ready to serve others.

A few key thoughts we will consider over the month:

  • What does it mean to be ready?  What stops us from being ready?
  • What does it mean to serve?
  • Am I ready to respond to God?
  • Time Management, boundaries and balancing availability with other character traits
  • Lending a helping hand
  • Learning skills today will enable us to be able to help tomorrow.
  • Heart check – am I available to help my siblings (as opposed to my friends)

Even though Joshua is studying at university there are still a few times that we expect him to join in with family studies such as our discussions on Character.  He will write one response/article  on Availability.  He will also watch a DVD on Shackleton and discuss that with the family (not suitable for all family members to watch).

Read about the lessons we covered last time we studied availability (link will take you to my website.)

Indicators of Availability

One way of encouraging our children in their growth is to ‘catch’ them making character based choices and praising them for it.  I have listed five things that I expect to see as availability becomes a part of our family life.  Isolating them like this, in this list, helps me be a little more alert.

  • Going the extra mile
  • Willing to change plans
  • Willing to help others
  • Responding quickly when called
  • Asking permission before doing something

Formal learning opportunities:

Though the formal learning activities (such as language, science, history etc) are not of primary concern to me during these lessons, because learning is so integrated we do touch on some of these subjects.

Language arts-

  • Using IEW write a report about Giraffes
  • Read “In a Pickle” and consider various idioms.  Idioms particularly raised with Availability:
    • “ready at the drop of a hat” and
    • “lend a helping hand”
  • Write response/article reflecting on character trait, challenges and applications

Art –

  • create a reminder poster for your one issue to learn or improve with Availability
  • Daniel will use his current interest in Claymation to make a short clip showing firemen being available.

Science –

  • stored energy / used energy

History –

  • Availability in WW2
  • Davy Crockett and Availability

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

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