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Saturday, January 21, 2012

We Choose Virtues....Well, We Try To....

Our family got the chance to try out some We Choose Virtues cards and coloring pages. 

These products are intended for use teaching things like gentleness, forgiveness, patience, kindness, obedience, etc.  See anything wrong with teaching those to your kids?  Or yourself?  Nope, me neither.

From the We Choose Virtues Teacher's Manual:

The mediocre teacher tells. The good

teacher explains. The superior teacher

demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
~William Arthur Ward

It is a daily battle for me to be a great teacher and inspire the kids...not just try to shove things down their cute little throats!  So, these little Virtues cards help inspire me (maybe even more than the kids).

I strive for saying what I mean and meaning what I say....but, hopefully, in a nice way. 

Again, from the Teacher's Manual:

Excellent teachers balance firmness and

kindness for a purpose. There is just something

wonderful about the grown-up that is firm and

kind at the same time. Many students remember

their favorite teacher as being their strictest


Hopefully Rainman and I will be remembered fondly for our strictness!  Ha!

From the Virtues Teacher's Manual:

Every person is born with the ability to

change, because change is necessary! We all need

to grow in our attitudes and actions. We all need to

become more responsible. Children need boundaries

even if they fight against them. They need to know

the truth even if they don’t like it at first.

Did you catch that?  Children need boundaries even if they fight against them.

The South is big on manners, and saying "Sir" and "Ma'am"....but, even though I don't like it when my kids say Sir and Ma'am to Rainman and I....(frankly, to us Northern Folk, it sounds sort of phony/disrespectful to us), I like it when they use those terms with their friend's parents....because to them, it is a sign of respect.  I would hope that as they learn these other virtues, like kindness, patience, etc. that those would be used both at home and when they around their friend's parents....and not just in a Eddie Haskell-ish way.  That it would be a true heart transformation with their actions speaking as loud and clear as their voices.

Okay, just one more direct quote from the Teacher's Manual and I will be done....I promise!

Giving more choices works for the moment, but

it is only bartering for a right response in order to

delay a confrontation. These situations are perfect

opportunities for demonstrating virtue. If you miss

these teachable moments, virtue will only be a topic

of discussion but never a reality.

Other similar ways to defuse a conflict is

redirecting or distracting, but these are really just

manipulation. The real drawback to these methods

is that it only postpones the character building

opportunity with a temporary fix. We as teachers need

to be careful not to put too many band-aids on, when

the source of the problem has a genuine solution!

I liked being able to pull these out if someone was having a hard day and needed some encouragement to make....ahem... better "choices".

Sometimes that "someone" was me too.  Convicting...but, in a good way. 

The creator of this product, Heather McMillan, thinks that the virtues can be boiled down to the most important....or, Three Simple Rules:

1.  Obey
2.  Be Kind
3.  Be Helpful

Yup....again....those are basic rules at our house.  There is even a poster with those rules here

I liked having a way to gently correct behavior....that wasn't just lecturing. Sometimes, if no one had gotten a card for a while, they would ask when I was going to give out cards again. 

This Virtue Clue Card got a lot of use in our house:

And, on the back....

I think this one had been in someone's pocket for a looks well used, doesn't it?

We also had fun with the coloring pages and liked coloring the characters, like: 

Penny Jenny

 Kettle Gretel

Most of their products are meant for kids ages 3 to 11, but my older kids used them too....and I am pretty sure they learned from them too.  If I can learn can they.  :)

They have product for homeschoolers, schools, and churches.  They even have non-faith based kits that can be used in classroom settings. 

The Virtue Clue Cards are normally $7.99, but they are on sale right now for just $5.99. 

Click here to take a look at all of their products and then look at these special deals available from their site...

For the months of January and Februrary, The 100 Days of Virtue Poster and Stickers will be included FREE with any Homeschool Kit purchase during these months.

They are also have a Clearance Section will especially good deals on their posters.  Check out the Clearance section here.

Oh, and here are other special promotion codes that can be used with your order too....but just ONE at a time.  Just type in your code at check out time.
VIRTUE15 for 15 % off the shopping cart

SHIPFREE for free worldwide shipping

Trouble choosing which We Choose Virtue product is best for you, your family, your school? Click here to see all the products compared in one easy spot.

There is also a Facebook page where the creators share tips on parenting, leadership and inspiring lasting Virtue.

In case you couldn't tell, I agreed with just about everything that We Choose Virtues is trying to help you teach children.  Maybe all the quoting from the Teacher's Manual gave me away, huh?  Honestly, I didn't do everything the way they suggested, but sort of morphed it into what we are already doing....but I still feel like we are building character and becoming better people.

Check out what other TOS reviewers thought of their We Choose Virtues cards here

We received a set of We Choose Virtues cards for free in exchange for an honest review of their product.