Virtues make us who we are. None of us are perfect and regardless of how hard one tries I think it’s pretty safe to say that we drop the ball on a virtue more often than we should. At least I know I do. Raising a child in today’s times makes it pretty hard to instill virtues in my opinion. I guess I could be looked at as pessimistic but things are so much different than when I was growing up ( there’s a phrase I never thought I’d say). With four boys in our house virtues are hard to drill in sometimes. As I lecture to one about being kind to their brothers, or to another about learning how to control themselves the irony isn’t lost on me. I mean who am I to be demanding perfection just because I say it’s so. Maybe I should practice what I preach since I’m sure over the course of the previous weeks they have heard me say something unkind or seen me lose my cool (self-control has never been my strong suit). It came to my attention that our whole house could use a refresher course on virtues (parents included) so a few months ago I started a search. I hopped on Pinterest and starting looking for character building activities, one of the pins I came across was We Choose Virtues. It looked so neat and I came so close to purchasing it but two things stopped me; it was religious and we are not (I teach my kids about religion in a purely educational way, I do not like to include religious aspects into our homeschool routine), and I felt inadequate I mean what kind of Mom would I be if I needed a program to teach my children how to be decent people. Now I realize it wasn’t so much that I needed it but just wanted something to guide me. Regardless I pushed it to the back of my mind convincing myself it wasn’t a good fit for our family. A couple of months later I was given the chance to review the product (and it had a secular option). I figured this was a sign to give it a chance so we jumped right in.
We Choose Virtues is based on the virtues I listed at the first of this post. Each virtue is represented by a child character that has a catchy little story that goes along. It is so parent and child friendly that you should slap a yellow cover on it and label it Virtues for Dummies ;-) I mean you just can’t screw it up, even if you let the kids color and just take a few seconds to read them the stories they are sure to get something out of it. I suggest taking your time though and utilizing some of the extra products available on the website to get the full experience. The first product I consider a must would be the Virtue Flash Cards ($14.99) on one side they have a short sentence and on the other a brief description of what it means to have that particular virtue. I’ll use obedient for an example (it was the first one we started with as our house was struggling in that department).
I have small children so the Kids of Virtueville coloring book ($3.00) was a must, each page contains a picture of a different character. If you want to spend a few more dollars you can buy a more detailed version Kids of Virtueville color my story book ($9.99). Another option to get the stories (I think the stories are a must, it helps the kiddos relate to each character) is to purchase the Parenting Cards ($34.99). Not only do they contain the character background but they provide great instructions on how to really get your point across. A con to the parent cards is that they are a little pricey but they are more helpful then just the virtue cards and coloring book.
We followed the program's suggestion and focused on one virtue per week. The kids loved it, I loved it and it worked!! That's not to say that we won't revisit a few if not all of the virtues later one down the road but that's okay. It will be just as much fun the 2ND or 3rd time around. I also spent two weeks on a couple of the virtues, that is one of the best things about We Choose Virtues you can tailor it to fit your family. Now I mentioned before that there was a secular option but that may not be entirely true based on what products you purchase. The parenting cards contain a bible verse on each card. This the only way they offer them. I loved the program and we just skipped over it so it was not a big deal to us but it is only fair to throw that in there just in case someone absolutely was not okay with that.
Heather the lovely lady who created We Choose Virtues has decided to be wonderfully generous and wants to give everyone a chance to try this great program. She has provided a couple of discount codes for everyone HOME20 is only good on the Homeschool Kit and expires at the end of April, VIRTUE15 is good on any item and never expires. I want to stress that you don’t have to be a homeschooler to appreciate this great product. We are and I incorporated into our class time but I wouldn’t hesitate to use it even if we were not. Take a look at We Choose Virtues sometime soon I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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