Several weeks ago I mentioned a virtue-training tool (We Choose Virtues) and how we’ve been using We Choose Virtues not just in our own family but also during opening assembly in our Classical Conversations Community for the first time this year. After receiving some questions about how we use it – and purchasing yet more We Choose Virtues resources myself – I wanted to take a moment to return to these thoughts as we head into a new calendar year.
Designed as a character-training tool for early-childhood through elementary-aged children, We Choose Virtues is a flexible curriculum that can be used with any homeschool method and learning style. I love that it is simple to use – that it gives me something tangible (a visual with a story) to use as a springboard for investigating virtues within scripture. In fact, I’ve continued to invest in other We Choose Virtues products for our family and community because I find great value in it. So I’ll start this out with three reasons I love the parenting cards…
1. The first thing I love about We Choose Virtues parenting cards is the positive catchphrase (a statement that can be easily memorized).
How many times have I caught myself saying something like, “WHY did you do that?” or “You are being so selfish!” (Oftentimes our boys have no answer for why they smacked their brother upside the head with the monster truck. Honestly. Maybe it’s just a gene running in our family, but the sibling-smacking thing seems to be an automatic reflex from birth.)
The catch-phrase offers a much better alternative. It’s a reminder of who my children are in Christ Jesus. Instead of accusing them, I can ask, “Are you being content? Do you have your ‘wanter’ under control?” It’s a convicting question even for myself and leads to repentance much better than pointing a finger and shouting at the top of my lungs. (Not to mention, it builds them up instead of tears them down. See Proverbs 14:1.)
The Kids of Virtueville give young children stories and characters to relate to as they learn how particular virtues can be fleshed out in their own lives. (e.g., Cake Jake’s family owns a bakery where he can have 20 different flavors of cake. But sometimes he gets tired of the same old twenty flavors. He wants something new. Do you think maybe he needs to get his “wanter” under control?)
3. The parenting cards include a variety of ideas for demonstrations & teachable moments, family challenges, and ways to seek forgiveness (and how to forgive others who have offended you in this area). We can cycle through these twelve virtues multiple times throughout the year and still have a new activity for practicing the virtue in our home.
The bulk of virtue-training in our home has been prompted by the We Choose Virtues parenting cards, along with searches on BibleGateway and in concordances for additional scriptures relating to the virtues. (We have also started using the Virtue-Training Bible to more easily find scriptures relating to particular virtues.)
Using We Choose Virtues at Home
I select a card that I feel we need to focus on as a family. We read the front of the card together, along with the story on the back, and then post the card where we can see it. (We may or may not use one of the teachable moments or challenge listed on the back.) Over the course of the next few days or weeks, we practice saying the catchphrase and look for opportunities to reinforce the virtue as we read stories or as we complete our Bible studies (or when they are staring out the window instead of focusing on their math lessons). At this point, we have been through all twelve virtues multiple times, so the boys have the catchphrases memorized. As situations warrant (which can be quite often) I restate the catchphrases to remind the boys of the virtues. The thing to remember with this program is that it is not meant to take up much time in a day. It is simply a ten-minute-or-less reminder after we have introduced the virtue.
Occasionally, the boys will also color a Kids of Virtueville Coloring Page. (You can download these for free if you sign up for the We Choose Virtues newsletter at Virtueville.com!)
From the creators of this program, here’s a bit more about how to use We Choose Virtues:
How to use this Tool:
- Memorize the simple action-definitions and antonyms for each Virtue.
- Practice each Virtue using the real-life demonstrations provided on the Parenting Cards.
- Reinforce each Virtue using the colorful Posters, Awards, Flash Cards, and more.
- Encourage your child’s effort as they become more Obedient, Honest, Content, Kind, Perseverant, Diligent, Patient, Self-Controlled, Forgiving, Gentle, Helpful and Attentive!
Using We Choose Virtues in Community
I take out our handy dandy Classical Conversations Foundations Guide and look through all the material (especially science and fine arts projects but also the memory work) to see if I can match up a virtue to something we will be doing each week. Then I search the scriptures to find additional verses that relate to the virtue (and CC activity) we will be doing each week in community. It usually takes me about thirty minutes per week to write the devotion. Writing a devotion is not necessary, though. If you’d like to use We Choose Virtues in your community, you can simply practice the catchphrase as a community, read the story (and/or the challenge or implement ideas from the Teachable Moments section) on the back of the card, and close with prayer.
During opening assembly, I read the catchphrase and show the card wherever it fits into my devotion, the students repeat the catchphrase multiple times, and we close with prayer. This takes less than five minutes. I also send a note to the parents in our community each week with a list of the scriptures I mentioned during the devotion so that they can practice it at home should they choose to do so.
Because there are 12 virtues (and the Classical Conversations program is 24 weeks), we are visiting each virtue twice over the course of the year. If you decide to purchase We Choose Virtues products through our link, we will send our devotions to you. Just send us an email with proof of your order.
We Choose Virtues Homeschool Kit
- 13 Double-Sided (8.5″ x 5.5″) Parenting Cards (mentioned above) in either KJV or NIrV
- 13 Double-Sided (4.25″ x 5.5″) Virtue Flash Cards for families for review games!
- Kids Virtue Poster (11″ x 17″) with a list of all twelve virtues, their catchphrases, and their antonyms
- Three Rules Poster: Obey, Be Kind, Be A Helper. The three basic rules for any home.
- Kids of Virtueville Mini-Posters (5.5″ x 8.5″)
- 100 Days of Virtue Chart with Stickers (consumable)
- Virtue User Reviews Pad
- Butterfly Award (download)
- Family Character Assessment (download)
- Kids of Virtueville Coloring Pages (download)
- Bible Resource Cards (download)
- Teacher’s Handbook (download)
- Homeschool Lesson Plans (download)
If you’re wondering how to use these items, Heather and Elty have updated the We Choose Virtues website to include additional details about each product and a “how to use this tool” section that is incredibly helpful (click on the links above to find out more about each item and how to use it!). If you have questions about using We Choose Virtues, Heather would love for you to email her as well!
Also be sure to visit the We Choose Virtues Virtueville blog (where you can receive the Virtueville Coloring eBook for free) and the We Choose Virtues Facebook Page for lessons and ideas that correlate with the virtues. You can also take a look at this comparison chart for more details on what is included in each kit. We Choose Virtues also has a line of products for older pre-teens/teens. (The youth kit is one of the items we recently purchased, along with Levi’s new Virtue Clue Cards.)
Special Coupon Code
For those making a purchase at We Choose Virtues, be sure to use the code HHAW for 20% off your entire purchase!
This giveaway has ended. The winner of the We Choose Virtues Homeschool Kit was Cory K. Congratulations, Cory!
A special thank you goes to the McMillan family for providing us with a great giveaway! We love We Choose Virtues!
Rules: This giveaway is open to United States residents, ages 18 years and older only. Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM (ET) on Friday, January 20, 2017. Entries must be recorded within the Rafflecopter form. One winner will be selected at random using Random.org via RaffleCopter and will be notified via email. You must enter a valid email address to win. In the event that the winner cannot be contacted by email or does not respond within 72 hours, the prize will be forfeited and and an alternate winner will be selected. By entering this giveaway, you indicate that you have read and agreed to abide by these rules.
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