Monday, March 25, 2013

Mosaic Reviews: We Choose Virtues




We Choose Virtues is a character based curriculum for ages 3-5th grade.  Heather McMillan,  the creator of We Choose Virtues, is a mom, children's minister, Christian school administrator and family pastor that has a heart for helping families.  This product is designed to "help children become everything God created them to be."  It's our responsibility as adults, parents, grandparents, and teachers to help develop character in our children. 


As a part of the Mosaics Review Team, I received for free from We Choose Virtues the following items:




1 sample Parenting Card


Teacher's Handbook
Kids of Virtueville Coloring Pages 


Butterfly Award

as well as 2 free for everyone printables:
Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths
Family  Character Assessment
 


I purchased with my own money the two posters Heather listed as the top essential items...(see below).


We started using this program by picking 2 virtues a week to focus on.  Each virtue card comes with a catch phrase, an I AM statement, an "I am not..." statement and scripture verse. (cards come with KJV, NIV or no verse options) We used the Memory Verses, Bible Heroes and Truths handout to read stories from the Bible to go with certain virtues.  We displayed the cards and worked on those for the week.  I would use the catch phrase to redirect behaviors.  Instead of reacting harshly to misbehaviors, the catch phrases allowed me to be "firm, but kind" in my correction.  

I found that I was reminding myself of certain virtues as I went through my day.  If we were focusing on perseverance or diligence, I would remind myself of those phrases when I wanted to give up on something worthwhile.  

I took Heather's tip on using one, two, or three fingers held up to remind my children of the 3 rules.  

1 finger = OBEY
2 fingers = Be Kind
3 fingers= Be a Helper

If you'll notice, the number of words in each rule matches the fingers you hold up.  When you are in public and need to redirect your child's behavior, it's easy.  We were out with friends' recently and I noticed my children's banter was bordering on being unkind.  I held up 2 fingers in their direction and they got the message.  They were corrected without me saying anything. Their language changed immediately.  



What I like:

  • This program strikes a balance between positive praise (affirming I AM statements) and punishment when virtues are not met.  Too  often we as parents focus on the punishment end without reinforcing positive character traits.
  • Biblically-based curriculum.  Although you have the option to use this without the scriptures, I believe character education has to point us back to the God who created us to love and serve Him and to love and serve our neighbors.  
  • Catchphrases for every character traits...these just seem to roll off your tongue.
  • Bright, colorful,  high quality products
  • There is a priority on obedience.  Obedience is the first step in building character.
  • All character traits stem from the 3 basic rules:  OBEY, BE KIND, BE A HELPER  
  • Some older children may think the illustrations are too pre-schoolish....that was not the case in our family.  Since our family has a 12, 10 and 4 year old, we use "the older ones teaching the younger ones" approach.  So, that was not a problem for us in particular.   There is a new version in the works to address this concern. 
What I struggle with:
  • The price could easily be out of reach of some families. These are high quality products.  When you buy high quality, it comes with a price that can be hard to afford for those on a tight budget.   
If this is a concern for your family, you can also purchase individual items without comprising the effectiveness of this program:

In a conference call to the creator of We Choose Virtues, Heather McMillan, I asked if you were on a budget and could only purchase individual components of this program, what would you consider essential?

Here are Heather's top essential items:

1.  Virtue Flash Cards - $14.99

Virtue Flash Cards for Families

or even lower budget 

Virtue Clues- business size cards $5.50

Virtue Clues 

2.  Virtue Poster- $15.00

3.  Three Rules Poster- $6.00



You can purchase several different complete kits:  classroom, church, teacher starter kits, and the two following:

Homeschool Kit- $98.99 

(Use Promo Code:  HOME20 to receive a 20 % discount on any Homeschool Kit through the end of April)
Click here to see the entire contents:

HOMESCHOOL KIT 


Family Kit- $69.99
Click here to see the entire contents

FAMILY KIT 




We Choose Virtues has given me another Promo Code to offer my readers :  VIRTUE15 gives you 15% off  ANY order!

If you have any questions, you can contact We Choose Virtues:

Call: 541-255-5084
Email: 
Info@wechoosevirtues.com to reach the We Choose Virtues Studio (your order)
Heather@wechoosevirtues.com to reach Heather McMillan (product questions, affiliates)
Elton@wechoosevirtues.com to reach Elton McMillan Jr (marketing)
or visit their website @ http://we-choose-virtues.myshopify.com/

In the works are a Spanish version as well as an older children's version, to keep up-to-date on everything about We Choose Virtues, you can subscribe to their blog:  http://www.wechoosevirtuesblog.com/ or like them on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/wechoosevirtues

For more perspectives on this product, check out Mosaic Reviews!


5 comments:

  1. Great review,and I love how you have the cards displayed over the doorway.I also love the background info. you shared on Heather-very personal tough.

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  2. This is a great review. I really like where you placed your cards.

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  3. Great review and I like where you placed the virtue cards...what a great idea. Gonna have to copy you!

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  4. Love your review. Putting the cards in the door is a great idea and I have to agree that the poster of the three rules is a great visual aid. I have that on my "to buy" list to help give my son a visual!

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  5. The 1 finger, 2 fingers, 3 fingers rule also works great on older children (and, especially, in public). I love not having to say anything to them - they just look at me and they KNOW. We also have silent gestures / requests for using the bathroom and needing to interrupt. Thanks for sharing your views - I enjoyed reading them!

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