FAQ
This was one of the greatest breakthroughs of the year for me. This came from a very disadvantaged student who had been stealing things out of students' backpacks and our classroom all year. We were working hard to break that cycle. She found a 5 dollar bill on the floor of the hallway and turned it in to me and said My head was telling me to steal it but my heart told me that honesty was more important.

What is the Honorable CHARACTER™ Classroom Management System?

This system was designed over twenty years ago by teachers, for teachers. Its emphasis is on the positive. Teachers "catch" students exhibiting positive behaviors, recognize their good choices, then reward those behavior by recording them on a classroom chart.

Do the elementary teachers come up with their own system of discipline and class management?

No. The entire elementary school implements the Honorable CHARACTER™ Classroom Management System in all classrooms, including the special classes like P.E. and computer.

On what is the positive recognition based?

Each classroom chart has fourteen honorable characteristics listed on it. Respect, obedience, diligence, wisdom, kindness, self-control, orderliness, service, attentiveness, cooperation, courage, honesty, forgiveness, and responsibility are what the teachers are looking for in each student. These fourteen character traits are based on moral principles which are esteemed and valued by everyone.

How does the teacher keep track of the good behavior?

Each classroom has a recording chart on the wall. Listed along the left side of this chart is the name of each student in the class. Along the top are the days of the week. As a student is "caught" exhibiting honorable character, he is able to write--beside his name, under the appropriate day of the week--the number corresponding to the character trait. At the end of each week, the teacher transfers all of the student's honorable character marks from the recording chart to a conduct card. This conduct card goes home with the student for the parents to review, sign, and return on Monday. This allows the parents to see and celebrate with their child all of the good choices they have made throughout the week. The recording chart in the classroom is erased at the end of each week.

This seems to require a lot of upkeep. Does the teacher ever forget to mark the honorable character chart after giving a mark to a student?

Yes, they do! The students, however, never forget! They love to receive praise for their good choices, and they always remember to give themselves the mark or remind the teacher to do so.

What happens when the students go to other classes, such as P.E. or music or computer?

Because this system is used throughout the entire elementary school, the "specialty teachers" use it as well. Any honorable character marks given to the students while in these classes are recorded on the classroom chart when the students return to their regular room. They are always excited to receive marks from other teachers as well!

How does this system address inappropriate behavior?

The Honorable Character system is wonderful for correcting poor behavior. Since this system is used consistently in every elementary classroom, year after year, teacher after teacher, students quickly learn what is expected of them. Therefore, when a choice is made, the student already knows the consequence and is not surprised. When a poor choice is made, a teacher will write the student’s name on the board, with the corresponding number of the honorable character that was not shown. This number will be circled. This serves as a warning to the student that the teacher has seen the behavior and it is unacceptable. Should another behavior issue arise during that day, a second number, corresponding with the character trait, is recorded on the conduct card that goes home each week. It is recorded on the "Defining Character" side of the card. The parent sees it, is able to address it with the child, signs the card, and returns it to school. The same is done for a second mark as well. Three marks in one day result in an office visit. At the end of the day, all names and numbers are erased from the board allowing every student to begin the following morning with a clean slate.

What do the students think of this system?

The students love the positive reinforcement as well as the consistently enforced boundaries. They know what to expect and what the consequences are for each choice they make, good or bad. This gives them a feeling of safety and security, regardless the teacher or class.

What do the teachers think of this system?

The teachers spend very little time correcting behavior and most of their time doing what they do best: teaching! The classroom becomes a place of peace. Students know they are loved. When they are young, they are motivated externally by the teacher recognizing their good choices and rewarding them for it. Motivation is internalized as the student grows older, with the desire for a character of integrity as the incentive.

What do the parents think of this system?

All parents desire that their children be treated equitably and be loved by the teachers who teach them. This system includes the parents by allowing them to see all of the choices their child is making while away at school. This gives them the opportunity to celebrate their child’s good choices while addressing the poor ones. Parents are also able to see the maturity in the character of their child as he/she progress through elementary school and beyond.

What is the Honorable CHARACTER™ Home System?

The Home System is a wonderful complement to the Classroom Management System, or it can be used as a stand alone system. The same fourteen character traits listed on the classroom chart are listed on the home chart. The two systems working together provide consistency in training for the students, as they are taught the same character traits at home as they are in school. The Home System includes a home poster small enough to place on a refrigerator and a 55-sheet recording pad. Each sheet is in a chart format listing the fourteen character traits and optional chores/tasks, on the left, and the days of the week at the top. Next to the character traits and optional chores is an optional point system.

To implement the character portion of the system, diligently watch your child’s behavior. When he demonstrates a wise choice or honorable character, praise him and ask him to mark a "+" sign beside the appropriate character trait and under the appropriate day of the week. To implement the chore list, explain to your child that he may earn money (or privileges) by accomplishing any of the tasks listed on the chart. When the child indicates to you that he has completed a chore, and completed it well, he may place a mark by the appropriate chore under the appropriate day of the week. Using the chore section of the system is a great way to introduce the concept of good money management! Children learn not only the value of money, but the satisfaction that comes from earning the money and working toward a goal. As children work toward achieving a goal, they also learn the significance of delayed gratification when they choose to save their money for the purchase of a more expensive item at a future date!

At the end of the week, tally up the plus signs and multiply the total by the point system number. Total the number for both character traits and accomplished chores and multiply by the pre-designated pay rate. (An example of a pay rate might be five cents.) The final amount is the child’s weekly earnings.

NOTE: All chores listed are optional depending on the age of the child. Extra blank lines are provided to offer flexibility and creativity to accommodate variations in a child’s age and ability.

On the Home System, some of the chores listed on the recording sheets are too advanced for my younger children. Do you have a different Recording Sheet pad for each age?

No. The Home Systems are divided into two age groups only -- Preschool (ages 3-5) and Elementary (grades K-5). However, the listed chores are designed to allow a child to ease into more and more responsibility as they get older. Since the chore section of the recording sheet is a goal oriented list, a child can begin taking the initiative to accomplish increasingly difficult tasks to achieve his set goal.

What happens if my child does NOT make a wise choice?

When you first purchase the system, introduce your child to the system and explain how you will be implementing it. Show him the character traits and let him know if he demonstrates one of these character traits that he is making a wise choice and he will be able to place a "+" sign beside the appropriate trait. However, if he does not make a wise choice or displays poor behavior, he must place a "-" sign beside the appropriate trait. When this happens, you can say to him, "I’m sorry you made that choice; you need to put a negative sign on your sheet." Having the child record his own mark teaches the child to take responsibility for his behavior.

At the end of the week, the total "-" marks will subtract from the total positives. In the event the total points for your child is a negative number, consequences for this occurrence will vary per parent. However, an option is for the child to pay the amount to the parent in money or privileges, depending on what type of "pay" is being used.

If I buy the Home System, do I need the Instructional DVD?

No. The Instructional DVD is geared toward the classroom environment. Instructions for the Home System can be found on the back of the Recording Sheet pad. For further instructions and assistance, you may call (817) 479-0901 or Toll Free at 1-866-416-5043. A representative will be happy to assist you.

Do I need to purchase a Recording Sheet pad for each child?

Although it is not required for the system to work, it is recommended. The Recording Sheet pads come with 55 sheets, making the system usable for one entire year for each child.

How can I implement the Home System when I am away from my home?

One of the best ways to implement the system away from home is to allow the child to take responsibility for remembering to mark the recording sheet when he is old enough to do so. Children seldom forget to give themselves positive marks! If the child makes an unwise choice, still allow him to take responsibility for recording his own mark. Consequences for failing to record a negative mark will be different for each parent. One option is to explain to the child that if he does not give himself the negative mark, he will receive two negative marks instead.

For younger children, parents may choose to take the recording sheet along on a clipboard or in a folder.

If my children are being cared for by another individual such as a family member or a babysitter, in what ways can the system continue to be implemented?

One of the ways the system can be implemented is to introduce the sitter to the system so she can be familiar with all fourteen positive character traits. Inform the sitter and the children that while they are under the care of a sitter, they will receive double marks! (positive or negative) Have the sitter use a colored pencil or pen to differentiate those marks from others.