November Character Foundations: Contentment

St. Johns continues to move through its innovative Character Foundations curriculum and in November Spartans of all ages are learning about and putting into action contentment, which is defined as learning to be okay with what you have. This can be a difficult skill for everyone, no matter the age, and you can reinforce its lessons at home with these tips to help your child learn to say it, know it, see it, and be it


Contentment means learning to be okay with what you have.


Parents, ask your child:

  • What does it feel like to be okay with what you have? How would you act, think and behave if you were content? How would you act, think and behave if you were NOT content?
  • Can you think of some people that you know who are content with what they have? Also, can you think of others who are discontented? How can you tell they are contented or filled with discontent?

Kids, ask a grownup:

  • When is the last time you really wanted something you didn’t have? How did that make you feel?
  • Are there people that you have come across in your life who were content? What are characteristics of contented people? What are some characteristics of people who are not okay with what they have?


To be content is to learn to be okay with what you have. There are several things that
contented people do regularly to remain okay with what they have. These include spending
their money on experiences rather than things, spending more time outdoors, and exercising
consistently. They also spend time with friends and family who are also okay with what
they have and therefore content. The Adventure Challenge Family Edition is a book that
challenges families to enjoy fun experiences together as a family. Examples include cooking
together, playing baseball with fruit, going on an adventure in the backyard, etc. The
challenges don’t require anything elaborate or extra to do. Everything can be done with
everyday items that can be found around the house.


Select a few days this month to venture out as a family and do things together. For example,
you could go on a picnic to your local park, hike some trails, pitch a tent in the backyard and
camp out together, or simply get outside and walk the dogs together. Taking time to slow
down and spend time together will be time well spent and will allow you to be content with
what you already have.


You can also reinforce Character Foundations lessons at home by reading about each character trait. Here are some suggestions for contentment.

Lower School

  • Too Crowded by Lena Podesta (Grades Pre-K3-1)
  • When We Go Walking by Cari Best (Grades Pre-K3-1)
  • I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty (Grades Pre-K3-2)
  • Churchill’s Tale of Tales by Anca Sandu (Grades K-2)
  • Flight School by Lita Judge (Grades K-2)
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena (Grades K-3)
  • There, There by Time Beiser (Grades K-3)
  • Stella’s Starliner by Rosemary Wells (Grades K-3)
  • Penguin Problems by Jory John (Grades K-5)
  • Town Mouse, Country Mouse by Jan Brett (Grades K-5)
  • Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant (Grades 1-5)
  • The King of Little Things by Bell Lepp (Grades 2-5)
  • The Blue Bird’s Palace by Orianne Lallemand (Grades 2-5)
  • I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott (Grades 2-5)
  • Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons (Grades 2-5)

Middle & Upper School

  • Jacob Have I Loved by Katharine Paterson (Grades 6+)
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit (Grades 6+)
  • Mare’s War by Tanita Davis (Grades 7+)
  • Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (Grades 7+)
  • Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (Grades 8+)
  • Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld (Grades 9+)
  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (Grades 9+)
  • Deadline by Chris Crutcher (Grades 9+)





  • Character Foundations