A couple of years ago, we wanted to do a homeschool high school character-developing unit study on Mother Teresa.
Homeschool High School Character-Developing Unit Study: Mother Teresa
Teens are in the developmental phase of identity development (see Human Development for more info). Thus, a wise homeschool mom will help them by supplying powerful character-developing role models. It is nice when they can spend time with IRL role models. It is equally powerful to experience great examples of good character through their reading- and if we can create a unit study on a role model from history, that’s even better!
One unit study character developing role model that we did was Mother Teresa. Here’s what we did:
We attended a performance of Calcutta by 7Sister, Sabrina’s popular homeschool drama camp.
- My teen learned from the play about her answer to God’s call to sacrificial work for the poor and dying in India, about her inspiring together a team, and about her own personal struggles (which was good- he needed to know she was a “real person”).
We followed up the play by watching Olivia Hussey in the dvd: Mother Teresa.
- He learned the story of her life: her courage in starting her ministry, more about the people and culture she ministered to, her spunky personality and perseverance. Learning about her sacrificial lifestyle was one kind of character development tool.
My homeschool high schooler read Something Beautiful for God by Malcolm Muggeridge.
- He learned about her personal faith and dedication to God. He learned about her call to the “least of these” and about doing small things with great love and great joy.
He completed the 7Sisters Literature Study Guide for Something Beautiful for God.
- He learned more background information, extended his vocabulary, and answered thought-provoking questions. This is another character development tool.
He logged some Social Studies hours in Geography with some map studies and a brief internet exploration of the history of India.
- This added richness to the geography credit and helped my homeschool high schooler get a better grasp on context.
The things my son learned about Mother Teresa are ideas that will help him as he is developing his identity. If he has a vision of serving, of all people being valuable to God, and the power of one person in starting a cause- then he will have more courage to listen to what God may say to him about his own place in the kingdom, whatever that will be.