Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We Choose Virtues

We Choose Virtues
Heather McMillan
Prices Vary: See Below
Ages: This can vary, but grade school ages for sure

We Choose Virtues is an AMAZING tool for parents to use to teach virtues and allow for the opportunities to practice them. I know often in my parenting, I have thought...why don't you do this or know that...well, it is because I haven't TAUGHT it...and We Choose Virtues is a wonderful way to be intentional with such foundational things our children need to have. Creator Heather McMillan has been VERY intentional with several parts of this great teaching tool.

Before I forget, I received the following items for this review

Virtue Flash Cards for Families $ 14.99 These come in KJV, NIV and a Secular Version...We chose the NIV set

Sample Parenting Cards $ 34.99

The Teacher's Manual $5 (PDF Download)

Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book $3 (PDF Download)

as well as two free items: the Family Character Assessment and Memory Verses, Bible Truths and Heroes.

Before you jump into the teaching, you can have each member of your family fill out one of the Character Assessment forms. This form will help you and your children identify strengths and weaknesses in each person's character and give a jumping off point to begin if you so choose. We did not choose to work on individual traits. For the purposes of this review, due to the ages of the children I worked with (My youngest two...6 and 11) we chose to focus first on the three rules and then move into the individual virtue cards. While my olders would benefit from these cards too, they do seem a bit childish looking and the older ones can be put off by that. Heather mentioned that she was considering creating materials for the older age group, but no date was set for its release. There is quite a bit of thought that went into making this program what it is today and Heather wants to be sure that she does not compromise on that for a teen program. Watch for it is SURE to be excellent....and I gather will include some thought provoking journaling. I cannot WAIT to see it!

Speaking of the drawings...that is ONE aspect that I think that draws you in. The materials are so visually appealing, you cannot help but enjoy the learning aspect of it. Heather has been very intentional with these characters. You may think the names of the characters a bit strange, but it has purpose. Oboe Joe, for instance is on the Obedience card and Hat Matt on the Helpful card...notice anything there? The first name of the character begins with the same letter as the Virtue, making it a little easier to remember. Want to know WHY these characters have the names they do...consider getting the coloring book that explains it all... Kids of VirtueVille Color-my-story Book. This is one tool I will be adding to what I have.

Another AMAZING aspect of this program are the catch phrases...they are SO MEMORABLE and easy to recite. 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!

Another VERY IMPORTANT part of the program are the THREE RULES...all 12 of the Virtues break down into one of these THREE RULES:

Be Kind
Be a Helper

Now...notice something...these are listed in order of priority...#1 has ONE WORD...#2 has TWO WORDS and #3...THREE we drilled these rules by holding up a finger...and it got to a point where I could hold up a number of fingers and they would say which rule it was.
AND...the 12 traits as they fit under the 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

Now, one thing I learned about We Choose Virtues and the priority levels...say, your child is setting the table, but you want them to pick up a toy they left out...and you tell them to do that...They come back saying that they are helping...which IS GOOD...but they need to Obey and pick up the toy, because that has a higher level of priority.

Something I love about We Choose is not something to be consumed and then is a program that can constantly be reviewed...there is ALWAYS room for improvement in all of us in regard to virtues. We plan on posting a card weekly and then change it out...reviewing it will only take a few moments at the beginning of our school day.

Well, I am not sure if you can tell or not, but I LOVE We Choose Virtues!!! They have some options to get the pieces to begin this Virtue Journey with your family...The I need to have it all kit for homeschooling would be the Homeschool is $98.99, but HOME20 will get you 20% off the Home School kit and will be valid through the end of April.

A good Middle Kit would be the Family Kit for $69.99.

In My Opinion the Bare Bones, MUST HAVES would be these
Three Rules Poster $ 6.00
Virtue Flash Cards for Families $ 14.99
Kids of virtueVille Color-my-story Book $9.99
(Some of these items are on sale right now...I could not find an end date for the sale the prices may be slightly higher if you wait.)
Also, Heather has so graciously extended another coupon code to us to pass on to you...this one does not expire, but you can only use it one plan well...VIRTUE15 is good for 15% off the entire cart...You will be prompted to enter the code on the last page of the check out process.

Oh, and I almost forgot...Heather really adds the personal touch...she is prompt on the emails, helps with any problems, even if it was my fault and adds a personal touch to even the mail...check out the envelope that my items came in...

Isn't that just so cute?

You can see what my fellow team mates thought about We Choose Virtues here


Anonymous said...

Great review!! I love how you pointed out The wonderful,personal touch Heather has in working with us.

Mrs. Stephens said...

Carrie I really like that you broke down the virtues under the three rules. Such a great review.

Anonymous said...

Great review. I really like the system about the rules - once my son is used it, will be much easier to remind just holding up a finger or three! And I agree - always room for improvement in everyone.