Thursday, March 28, 2013

We Choose Virtues

Raising children comes with lots of hard work and instilling virtues in our children can be quite challenging at times.  Teaching them self-control, unconditional forgiveness, obedience, contentment, etc. are things that children need to be learning now or they will never fully understand these concepts.  With We Choose Virtues, we are able to teach our children these virtues in a fun and family friendly manner. 

Heather McMillian, of We Choose Virtues, sent our family the Virtue Cue Cards, a family character assessment, a Parent Card, downloadable Kids of Virtueville Coloring Book, downloadable Teacher's Handbook, memory verse guide and a comparison chart.  The first day, we sat down as a family and completed the family character assessment. Let me just warn you that this will bring out your true colors and may even step on your (or a family member's) toes but how can we begin to learn if we can't acknowledge our own sins and struggles?!  This assessment gives you an overview of each family member's strengths and weaknesses so you can easily adjust this program to address individual virtues based on the results or you can simply use the program by learning individual virtues.  We discussed the results of the assessment but we chose not to address individual needs rather to learn them together as a family.  
The kids loved the Kids of Virtueville coloring book!  I downloaded each of them a copy and punched holes in them to put in their individual notebooks.  They were not allowed to color in their pages for each virtue until after we had learned about them and discussed them.  I loved that during their color time they would even be discussing what we had learned or discussed among the 3 of them while they colored!  They also had a rule that nobody could copy the other one in their coloring so they each created very unique and different coloring books.  
We Choose Virtues has created 3 rules that all 12 virtues fall under one of the 3 rules:  
1) Obey  - Obedient, Attentive, Self-Control, Honest
2) Be Kind - Kind, Forgiving, Patient, Gentle
3) Be a Helper - Helpful, Perseverance, Diligent, Content
The Virtue Flash Cards are available in KJV, NIV or a secular version.  We love the KJV Bible and I use the NKJV with the kids in Bible each day so our family picked the KJV flash cards.  You simply read the front of the card and the back of the card features the character traits for that particular virtue. There are also really cute, short and catchy phrases that correlate with each virtue.  My personal favorite was the one for Obedient:  "Okay, whatever you say, I will obey, right away!"  Not only is that really catchy but what a great reminder for kids to hear in their heads when told to do something by an adult.  I've even used it back on my kids a few times when I didn't get immediate action to a request.  The Flash Cards don't take but about 5-10 minutes to read and discuss as a family. 

The only downside to the We Choose Virtues material is that our oldest daughter (age 12) felt like it was a little "childish" for her taste.  She would have preferred the designs to be more "pre-teen/teen" looking and not so cartoon character-like. Lucky for her, I learned that Heather is considering creating a line designed for older children.  Our daughter was a good sport despite the childlike feel of the materials and she said she did enjoy using the materials and learned from them in the end.  
I did not print out the Teacher's Handbook but I kept in on a flash drive so I could access it each day (or when needed to prepare for a day's lesson).  The Teacher's Handbook provides tons of great ideas and suggestions so you can easily and thoroughly teach about each particular virtue.  It was easy to follow and understand and a great asset for this material.  

We Choose Virtues is highly affordable as some materials (downloadable) are FREE and prices range all the way up to $200 for a deluxe classroom kit.  Church kits, community and Christian school kits are all also available.  This would make a great addition to any area where you want to teach children an easy way to learn to be more Christ-like in their everyday lives.

We Choose Virtues is offering some great deals and discounts on their program right now as well. In March & April, use coupon code HOME20 and receive 20% off the purchase of a Homeschool Kit ($98.99).   

They are also offering 15% off your total purchase of any items from their great curriculum.  Use coupon code VIRTUE15 to take advantage off this great offer.  

Some of their products are already on sale too!  As a parent, I would highly suggest purchasing the Family Kit ($69.99) to use with your family.  We Choose Virtues is something we will continue to use not only in our home but also possibly on the mission field in Mexico as well.  

Want to learn what other families thought about We Choose Virtues?  Check out this site (after April 2, 2013) to read more reviews.  

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