On Valentine’s Day, I introduced Character Studies for the first time into our homeschool routine. I always thought, if we just talk about how we should act, and my kids see us (their parents) being a good example, it will just fall into place. Well that definitely was not what was happening. I began noticing my kids words towards each other getting more & more harsh, & their patience running more & more thin. When I felt like it had started wearing on our homes atmosphere, I decided I needed to do something that would really grab their attention. So I cleared our bulletin board and gathered them around the kitchen table.
I drew a few hearts on some colored construction paper and let them have at it while I talked.
I asked them “what do we know about Jesus?” Their answer was perfect – “He loves us!” “That’s exactly right!” I told them as they continued cutting their hearts. I went on to give them examples of how He showed his love to the people. He did it in three ways:
Showing Love Through Service:
Jesus spent his adult life serving the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. He healed the sick, fed the multitudes, stood up for a woman who was about to be stoned, gave sight to the blind, washed the disciples feet, and did so much more.
He used his talents and gifts to help others, and we can do that too! I asked my kids what are some ways they could use their own gifts and talents to show others they love them?
Showing Love Through Words:
I told my little ones that our words are powerful, and with them we can either build someone up or break them down. By using our words in a nice way towards others, we can really help someone feel special. Jesus speaks so many words of love and kindness to people throughout the Bible. When He spoke to the people, He did so with positivity and encouragement. He gave people hope! We can use our words to be a positive influence in someones life. When we love someone, we should tell them!
I asked them how they could use their words to show love to one another and to other people.
Showing Love Through Time:
I explained that when Jesus was on Earth, he spent time with the people who followed Him. He would sit and talk to them, He would eat with them and He would pray with them. When you care for someone, you spend time together and get to know one another. You get to know what that person likes or dislikes, and what kinds of things make them feel special. When you spend time together, you become friends and your love for one another increases. I explained that just spending time being close to someone shows them that you care and then I asked then how they could spend their time showing each other that they care about one another.
I then explained that we can follow the example of Jesus by showing love through service, words and time. We made up little hand motions to remember these three words and that helped it to really stick!
We then wrote “service” on a few of the hearts, “words” on a few, and “time” on the remainder. I wrote their answers to my questions on them and pinned them to our bulletin board. I told them that doing these things are ways we can increase the love, happiness & peace in our home. Whenever I see them doing something that shows someone love through service, words or time, I will write it down add it to our board & we can watch the love INCREASE!
The kids loved this entire idea and spent the day (for the most part) telling each other they loved one another, drawing pictures for the other one and sharing Valentine’s treats and goodies. It was a great visual reminder for everyone & made a real impact helping to keep them on the right track. (Plus, we snuck in scissor skills & a bit of a math lesson when we talked about what it meant to “increase” something!)
The happiness, peace & love has definitely increased in our house this week thanks to this activity!