Character - Two Quotes And An Observation
The skipper of the Albatross teaches his "attitude" endowed crew, "You know what's out there? Wind and rain and some damn big waves. Reefs and rocks and sandbars and enough fog at night to hide it all." Dean Preston, teenage crew member and "king hubris" asks, "So why the hell do it then?" to which the skipper responds,"It builds character Mr. Preston, of which you are in desperately short supply. The kind you only find on mountain tops, or deserts, on battle fields and across oceans."
"One other very interesting thing we've just found out about these wonderful kids [home schoolers] is that they tend to be active in political affairs. They tend to be joiners. They tend to be people who are engaged in civic activities - just the opposite of what people have said. ... I think these kids are so filled with mother love-You know, so much affection and devotion from their moms and dads (Dads do occasionally play a role in homeschooling; let's get in a word for dads) - that they are just supremely confident. ...It is interesting to watch them. (Homeschool kids) They are very confident, as you said. they look adults in the eye and respond to them respectfully. There is something different about homeschool boys and girls, and that difference is good." (Dr. James Dobson, Bringing Up Boys, p 192)
More often than not, something happens at home, in the home schooling home, that builds and nurtures strength of character in our children. This, instead filling their minds with doubt, while their eyes seek the approval of others. Dobson observes it first hand, though his own children were not homeschooled. He later says if he were to do it over again, he would home school.
My observation is that the best meaning public school teachers often find their finest aspirations to build character in students, throttled back by laws and rules and influence of the educational trends of our day. All too often, character, or the strength to decide and live based on an inner compass more than values outside of ones self, is in "desperately short supply". While these dynamics often exist in the public setting, a home based education benefits from the ability to choose otherwise. It can be an advantage for the kids, when capitalized on. How does one build character in a child at home?