Today many parents are not only searching for schools that will set up their children for strong academic success, but also for schools that will develop their child both socially and emotionally. Strengthening and building a child’s character while in school can be every bit as important as learning reading or math.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.” Many preschool and elementary schools focus solely on the academic portion of education. Through character education, children can learn valuable life lessons and develop a more grounded moral compass. Programs that also teach character education are likely to far exceed parent expectations by encouraging positive character traits and ethical behaviors.
To wrap up our series on Building Cranium Character, it’s important to discuss the benefits of teaching your child how to become a good citizen. Defined by Merriam Webster as “the quality of a person’s response to membership in a community,” citizenship is a character trait that will have not only a personal impact on your child but a widespread effect on others, as well. When we do good things for our society and for others, it shows that we genuinely care about our community. When children learn these ideals from a young age, they also learn quickly that the feeling of doing good things for others is very rewarding and often contagious.
How you can help your child become a good citizen?
Discuss citizenship and find good examples. You’ll want to first define exactly what a good citizen is, and talk about the responsibilities that come along with being a citizen. You can read books with your child that depict examples of citizenship in action. These real-world scenarios will hopefully encourage your child to become a good citizen now and in the future.
Take your child with you to the polls. Next time election season rolls around, use it as a teaching opportunity for your child. Bring her with you when you go to cast your ballot and teach her the importance of voting in a democracy. Be sure to explain how the candidates and the positions they aspire to hold can have a big impact on your community.
Do community service together. The possibilities for community service are endless, and there are countless ways for you to get your child involved. For example, you can encourage your child to get together the clothes that no longer fit them, and the toys they no longer use, and donate them to organizations like Goodwill. You can take your child with you next time you volunteer to clean up a park or a beach and use it as a way to explain pollution and how it affects both people and animals. Take him grocery shopping with you and have him help you choose the foods that you will donate to a local food pantry. Use this as an opportunity to explain the importance of helping those in the community that are not as fortunate as your family.
Visit your local nursing home. Explain to your child that the elderly in the nursing home often get bored and lonely and that is the responsibility of a good citizen to put a smile on the faces of those that need a little extra cheering up. This is a great way to teach your child how to care for others! You can encourage your child to write cards to the nursing home residents, or help you bake cookies for them. When you arrive at the nursing home, encourage your child to make friends with the residents by handing out the cards and the cookies.
Citizenship at Cranium Academy
At Cranium Academy, we incorporate character education into our advanced, well-rounded curriculum. Our exclusive character education program integrates positive discipline techniques with leadership exercises throughout each school day. We focus on building character traits like citizenship through fun real-world scenarios in which children are encouraged to use creative strategies that align with their emerging cognitive abilities. Finding a school such as Cranium Academy that values character education helps ensure that your child grows stronger academically, physically, socially and emotionally.