Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Choose Virtues

We Choose Virtues
Price varies

We Choose Virtues was created by Heather McMillan out of her love for children and her desire to see them reach their personal potential. As a preschool teacher and a children’s pastor, it concerned her how often she came across children whose lack of self control, honesty and perseverance was almost debilitating. How could they succeed in life without the skills that come from good character?

We Choose Virtues is not unit study that you use once and then move on from. It is actually a character development tool that you use every day, every year. You introduce the Virtues, then demonstrate them, memorize the catchphrases, then learn the antonyms, then capture teachable moments when they are being used…or aren’t. You will be amazed how fast you will all learn to obey (not just learn what obedience is, but actually learn to obey!)…and 11 other Virtues too! There are 13 Parenting Cards, one card is the Butterfly and Caterpillar Card. It teaches that everyone was born able to change.

We received the Virtue Clues card set which was a set of business card sized Virtues cards. The set includes one of each of the virtues, plus a card showing how the cards can be used. The cards are brightly colored with adorable characters to help the child remember the character trait being taught. The trait is stated in the affirmative...I am Attentive..and then it is described in the catchphrase: I watch and listen carefully... as well as in the antonym: I am NOT forgetful, distracted or distracting, and I don't ignore or interrupt! The back of the card gives something to work on throughout the day...Choose to go the whole day without someone needing to remind you "Listen!" or "Don't Forget!" Airplane Betty Jane knows you can do it! These cards are normally $7.95, but are on sale right now for $5.99

We also received the Teacher's Handbook which gives steps for teaching virtues and is available as a download for $4.99. I thought that this handbook was most likely more useful for a teacher in a classroom setting rather than for a momma in a home setting, but it had helpful information in it for me too. One thing I LOVED in the handbook was the three "classroom" rules...really I think they should be called LIFE rules...but they are:
Be Kind
Be a Helper

Then watch how the character traits fall into line with these three rules...
I am obedient
I am attentive
I am self controlled
I am honest

Be Kind:
I am kind
I am forgiving
I am patient
I am gentle

Be a Helper
I am helpful
I am perseverant
I am diligent
I am content

In the handbook it says: "The Three Rules cover three vital civil responsibilities...Just think about it! At the age of 16 we hand a driver's license over to a person who must know how to obey every law, be patient on the road, be attentive to other drivers, be honest about his or her mistakes, and use self-control at all times...all while they are under pressure from their friends (and themselves!) to do the opposite. Are we preparing children for this level of citizenship? The Three Rules cover those issues at a core level. OBEY (Honor authority), BE KIND (Respect others), and BE A HELPER (Be responsible)."

The next item we received was a Coloring book. It has coloring pages of each of the Virtue Characters. Each of these characters has a catchy name which gives a CLUE to the Character trait they represent...Cake Jake..Content, Hockey Stick Nick...Honest, Stop Sign Madeline..Self- Controlled, and so on... The characters are cute and memorable. I printed the coloring book off for my younger two, ages 5 and 9...they really enjoyed it. The Principessa tried to use the colors from the Clue Cards, DD colored the WHOLE page...(HIS emphasis...I guess he was being attentive and diligent!) The coloring book is available as a download for $3.00

We also received two items that are available as a free download on the website:

The Family Character Assessment which helps each of us become/stay accountable to each other...

AND...the Kids Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths, which is a list of Memory verses and Bible Heroes, one for each trait. We studied each trait for a week, reading the passage of Scripture listed a couple of times throughout the week and working on the memory verse each day. Since there is not alot of direction in how to TEACH the virtues on the Clue Cards (That comes on the backs of both the teacher and parent cards.), this sheet was a great bonus for me personally in structuring our time in using these cards.

One other thing I want to share that I loved about We Choose Virtues are the icons that remind us that we are doing a GOOD JOB (butterfly)...or that we can do better (caterpillar). The road to having good character is a process. It will not happen overnight...AND I am sure that there will be many successes and failures (speaking from personal experience!) These icons are a cute reminder that it IS a process without a lot of condemnation, lectures or finger pointing. From start to finish, it is very apparent that quite a bit of thought went into EACH ASPECT of the We Choose Virtues Product line. While I have talked about a few of the products they carry, there is SO MUCH MORE to choose from. Something I want to be sure to point out for those who are teaching or have children in schools is that there is a Community based set of cards that has been used in schools with a great deal of success. It might be something you would want to look into for your school.

While these say they can be used with children aged 3-18 (yes, they can!), you may want to look into the Youth based set if you have some in the 12-18 age range.

Confused on what would be best for your family? This chart may help...it does not have the youth items on it though.

And, because everyone LOVES a sale:you can only use ONE CODE...
VIRTUE15 for 15 % off your total purchase
FAMILY for $3 off the Kids Virtue Poster
SHIPFREE for free worldwide shipping
The Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book is FREE with ANY kit…
YOU get the 100 Days of Virtue Chart FREE in your Homeschool Kit purchase!

Finally, after having interacted with Heather via email about an issue I had (MY FAULT), that she handled in such a generous and gracious manner, I would say that this is a company that practices what they preach and I believe that you can buy their products with confidence. Just in case you couldn't tell, I really LOVED the items I was given and hope to be able to buy the parent set of cards soon!

See what my fellow crew mates had to say about We Choose Virtues here

Disclaimer: I received this item for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation. All the opinions expressed are my own.


Rachel said...

I haven't been keeping up on blogs lately so here I am and now I'm wanting these products. Must not read good reviews. hee hee

mpence said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I have ordered a couple of the things, and look forward to using them with my girls!