Program for Achieving Character Education
by Monica Speach
The acronym PACE is used because the program is designed to set the pace for children's character development in the formal learning environment as well as in the home. The exposure to and study of morally sound concepts can go a long way toward changing the attitudes and behavior of our children. Multi-sensory exposures provided by listening, reading, writing, as well as discussing these stories, help ensure that the moral content becomes part of the fabric of their knowledge. Most programs offered lack one important component: faith. Without faith, we can never hope to instill truly honorable conduct in our children. Character Education based on the firm foundation of faith is the best - and only - way to teach virtuous behavior. For this reason, Monica has incorporated more faith-based materials into the new manual. This edition of PACE is primarily geared toward the Catholic home.
In addition to the materials covered in the original PACE [quote memorization or copywork, virtue definition (including synonyms and antonyms), Classic Stories, Bible stories, recommended booklists (listed by grade level), discussion questions, writing ideas, and enrichment activities such as music, art, nature and family projects], there are supplements to this restructured curriculum. For example, a segment on how to practice the virtues in everyday life has been included. There is now a section containing specific references to Catholic saints (and lessons to be learned from studying them) as well as a Marian section aimed at incorporating our Blessed Mother and her actions into our study of character concepts. Who better than Our Lord, the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary to demonstrate fitting examples of moral conduct in our lives? PACE grows with your children and can be used over a long period of time. The flexibility of PACE allows you to teach the virtues in a number of ways. Some educators will choose to present one virtue each month, whereas others might prefer to study a particular virtue for an extended period of time. The virtues covered in PACE are: self-discipline, work, perseverance, faith/trust, compassion, friendship, courage, loyalty, responsibility and honesty.