One of the biggest benefits I find as a homeschool mama is the ability to work on character training as life rolls along at its usual pace. And, to be completely honest, I'm not just talking about my kids' character development. I have not "arrived" nor do I expect to any time ever, so my lovies and I work on our character development together. I always take a step back when I hear my own negative attitudes or words being repeated by my children. Yikes! That's eye opening, for sure!
As a result, I am always open to new ideas for helping to shape our character. I, like many others, prefer to call this shaping "heart training." It is very important to me that our character training is linked with God's Word for we learn in the Bible that what comes out of our mouths flows from what is in our hearts (Matthew 15:19, Luke 6:45, Proverbs 4:23 to name a few verses). I want my life and the lives of my children to honor God above all else so we use God's Word as our guidebook for life.
Recently, I was introduced We Choose Virtues, a character training program designed to be fun, catchy, and simple to use that makes a positive impact in kid's lives. There are twelve virtues taught that fall under the three main categories: Obey, Be Kind, Be A Helper.
The "Obey" virtues are: Obedient, Attentive, Self-Controlled, and Honest.
The "Be Kind" virtues are: Kind, Forgiving, Patient, and Gentle.
The "Be A Helper" virtues are: Helpful, Perseverant, Diligent, and Content.
I received the Virtue Flashcards shown above. Each virtue has an adorable cartoon kid from VirtueVille and short story associated with that character quality. These flashcards teach each virtue by using the phrases "I am..." followed by its catchphrase explaining the virtue in simple to understand words. The flip side of each card also teaches the antonym of each virtue "I am not..." or "I don't..." along with a Bible verse connecting the character quality to God's Word!
For example, the "I am Helpful" card has the sweet boy, Hat Matt, on the front of the card. The catchphrase says, "I find things that need to be done and I do them." Helpful's antonym is "I am NOT...selfish, lazy, or unwilling to serve and I don't have to be asked." The Bible verse is Ecclesiastes 4:9, "Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do."
I really appreciate the way these cards are laid out with several different ways to explain and illustrate each virtue. With the variety of simple to understand words, it has been easy to teach the virtues to my three year old all the way up to my ten year old. Coincidentally, four of my children fall exactly into the We Choose Virtues target age range. Pretty perfect fit!
One interesting and helpful aspect of We Choose Virtues is the Family Character Assessment. This assessment allows each family member to grade themselves on a scale of one to ten for each virtue...one being that you really struggle with this virtue, ten being that you have a good handle on this virtue. I had one of my sons fill this assessment out and it's interesting to see where he placed himself on the scale. I agree with him on some areas but not on others. I plan to use this with each of my children and myself, then go over it with them individually. I am curious to see how my husband would evaluate me on each virtue... The point of this assessment is to see where each person needs individual attention, training, and goal setting in regard to each virtue.
Another aspect of We Choose Virtues that I liked was the list of Memory Verses and Bible Heroes. We were able to read about a Bible hero that displayed the character qualities we focused on during the review period. Again, this meets my goal of tying our heart training to the truth from God's Word!
My three and six year olds enjoyed the Coloring Pages of each sweet kid from VirtueVille. My two older boys were not attracted to the cute kids or coloring pages but they certainly benefited from the content we discussed. I am considering purchasing the Coloring Book in order to have the stories that tell about each adorable kid and help to explain their catchy names - Kind Kettle Gretel, Content Cake Jake, Forgiving Feather Heather, etc. Because we didn't know the background stories of each VirtueVille kid, we didn't focus on their names, but notice that each kid's name begins with the same letter as their virtue making it easier to remember the virtues you are working on developing.
As an alternative to the coloring book, the Parenting Cards also explain each Virtue Kid's story and character quality along with the basic information from the flashcards as well as helpful tips, what to do after saying "Sorry," and so on...
We Choose Virtues is jammed packed with valuable character training for kids of all ages. The materials are visually appealing, strong in Biblically based content, and easy to implement in whatever way works for your family. As an added bonus, you can purchase a kit that contains the essential elements or pick and choose the most valuable items to meet your family's needs!
Please visit We Choose Virtues for more information about the people behind the company and all their great products. If you decide to make a purchase for your family, please take advantage of these discounts codes! Any purchase you make can receive 15% off by entering VIRTUE15 at checkout. If you decide to purchase the Homeschool Kit during the month of April, you can receive a 20% discount by entering HOME20 at checkout!