Tuesday, March 26, 2013

We Choose Virtues Review & Coupon Code

We Choose Virtues 

As parents, especially homeschool parents, we sometimes get caught up in the academic teaching and forget to focus on the real thing we are called to teach our children....virtuous character.

Children are ready to learn about virtuous character at a very young age.  With  love and encouragement, even a pre-school child can begin to understand and embrace virtuous character and weave it into their identity and daily behavior.  Heather McMillan, creator of We Choose Virtues, knows this and has developed a wonderful approach to sharing these characteristics with your children.  Her love for children and passion to help them reach their full potential sparked this unique product that can be used at home, in a classroom, in Sunday school, or in missions.

We Choose Virtues is primarily for grades 3rd - 5th.  But, that doesn't mean that your little ones can't join in and learn, or that your older children can't benefit from this product.  This can really be a family journey.  I'll share some examples in a bit about how everyone can get involved.  First, let's take a look at the different products and kits you can get with We Choose Virtues.

There are many products to choose from, so I'll talk about the ones I received for the purpose of this review.  First, we started with the Family Character Assessment.  This item is free!  It is just a little scoring tool to help each member of your family evaluate themselves and identify their strengths and weaknesses.  Here is a pic of the one my son filled out for himself.  He is 13.

I was pretty impressed with how honest he was.  I would have given him some different scores in some areas, but looking at oneself with full truth is pretty hard!  Especially for a teenager.  He identified Helpful and Forgiving as his two weakest areas.  I was a little surprised that he scored himself so low on the Forgiving category.  I find him to be quite gracious and forgiving.  But, this prompted a conversation between us about his feelings of unforgiveness about something someone did to him.  It was a silly something, but he still felt bad that he hadn't let it go.  After a nice talk, we ended in laughter as he realized how silly it was and just let it go.  We Choose Virtues was already helping my teen explore his character and we hadn't even really gotten started!  

Now, the Helper part was a pretty accurate score.  He gave himself a 5.  Don't get me wrong.  He is a great Helper around the house.  He will do anything I ask him to do.  But, he is lacking in the area of just doing something because he notices it needs to be done, or going out of his way or out of his comfort zone to be helpful.  Yes, an area to improve upon.  So, we decided he would spend time focusing on Helpful and Forgiving.  Here is a pic he wanted me to take with his "yeah, I'm slacking in these areas" face.

The cards he is holding are called Virtue Flash Cards.  They are $14.99 for a set of 13 double sided cards.  You can get them in NIV, KJV, or secular with no Bible verses.  The cards are beautifully illustrated and colorful!  One side has the character trait being addressed and a character that exemplifies the trait.  For example, Hat Matt is for Helpful, and Feather Heather is for Forgiving.  This is a fun way to talk about the traits with younger children who often relate to cartoon like characters and what they stand for.  

On the reverse side of the card, you will find a brief statement about what it means to have that character trait, antonyms to the trait and a Bible verse (if you choose this type of card)  They do come in secular.  For example, on the card for I am Helpful, the back reads:
"I find things that need to be done and I do them.  I am NOT...selfish, lazy or unwilling to serve and I don't have to be asked!"  Ecclesiastes 4:9  Two people are better than one.  They can help each other in everything they do. (NIV)

I also received a sample of the Parenting Cards.  Mine was "I am Attentive".  How appropriate that Heather would send me this one!  I do need to work on being more attentive.  I am a uber multi-tasker.  That can be a good thing, but it can also mean that when my son or husband is talking to me that I am listening, but also doing something else at the same time.  I need to be more attentive and just look at them and listen, but not do something else.  So, can you guess what I've been working on?

Parenting Cards are the family or homeschool version of the Teacher Cards, which would be used in a classroom setting.  They are $34.99 for a set of 13 cards.  They are bright and colorful just like the Virtue Flash Cards.  On the back of each card are tips on how to implement the virtue into every day life, teachable moments that will emphasize the virtue, and ways to help yourself remember the virtue without being reminded.

I also received the Teacher Handbook as a PDF file.  This is $5.00 or it is included for free with any kit.  It is 48 pages and full color!  Heather doesn't recommend printing this tool, but rather using it as a reference to help you teach the virtues.  It was easy to follow, gave great tips and ideas to incorporate the virtues into every day, and helped me to stay focused on the task at hand.

The next two items are an excellent addition for younger children.  The Butterfly Award is a PDF file that is a beautiful, full color award you can give your child in recognition of their hard work on a virtue.  The file is  $3.00 or free with any kit.  The Kids of Virtueville Coloring Pages PDF is a fun and creative way to explore each virtue further.  Your child can color these beautiful illustrations and create his own book of virtues as he moves along from one to another.  The file is $3.00 or free with any kit.

I keep mentioning kits!  Yes, We Choose Virtues offers complete kits in many areas:  Classroom, Family, Homeschool, Church, Kids, and Teacher.  You can see these kits, all of the products I mentioned, and many more products by clicking HERE to go straight to the online shop.

Now, as I mentioned earlier, this product is primarily for grades 3rd-5th.  However, it can easily be used with little ones.  Heather recommends using The Three Rules for little ones:  Obey, Be Kind, and Be a Helper.  These are the foundational virtues that all children can learn at a very early age.  For older children, this is a wonderful opportunity to serve and guide their younger siblings towards learning these virtues.  My son is 13 and an only child, so we tailored this a bit different for him.  We focused on the memory verse, holding one another accountable, and using this as a tool to open conversation about the virtues we struggle with and how we can move forward to be more Christ-like.

Are you ready to get started?  Hop on over to the shop using the link above.  While you are there, I have two awesome discount codes to share with you.  Use HOME20 to receive 20% off the Homeschool Kit during the months of March and April only.  Use VIRTUE15 to receive 15% off any product and this has no expiration date!  These coupons can not be used together.  Only one per order.

I would love to hear your thoughts!  How do you think this will help your family find greater virtue?  visit Mosaic Reviews HERE to see what the rest of my review team had to say about We Choose Virtues.  There are dozens of reviews to check out.

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