Although it is anything but virtuous to covet, I admit, I have been intermittently coveting others' We Choose Virtues products for some years now. So, I was delighted last month when I was blessed with the opportunity to receive the We Choose Virtues NirV Parenting Cards ($38.49) and the WCV Download Bundle ($7.99).
These character education tools aim to make virtue training in children, ages 3-11, easy, and that's just what I aim for as I seek to create and maintain a happy homeschool home.
What are the Parenting Cards?
The Parenting Cards are full-color, heavy-cardstock, 8.5″ x 5.5″ cards designed to help parents easily teach their 3-11 year old children about 12 important virtues:
- I am Attentive
- I am Content
- I am Diligent
- I am Forgiving
- I am Gentle
- I am Honest
- I am Helpful
- I am Kind
- I am Obedient
- I am Patient
- I am Perseverant
- I am Self-Controlled
The backside of each card contains a family challenge for the day based upon the virtue, a quote about the virtue, suggestions for “What to Say After ‘I’m sorry’”, teaching tips for activities and discussions and a short story about a "Virtue Kid".
These cards also come in Spanish.
How about the Download Bundle?
The Download Bundle includes:
- a Family Character Assessment (which also comes as a free download with the Parenting Cards.) This handy assessment is easy to do and helps families discover which virtues they might be strongest and weakest in.
- a 16-page Kids of VirtueVille Coloring Book PDF which includes a page for each Virtue Kid as well as a few fun pages.
- a Teacher's Handbook PDF which is geared towards classroom teachers, but helpful to page through.
- Butterfly Awards for Kids, for families who wish to recognize the transformation seen in children as they choose to exercise virtues.
- a 13-page Sing Along song lyrics books with a catchy tune for each virtue.
How have we been using We Choose Virtue?
Shortly after receiving our We Choose Virtues Parenting Cards and Download Kit, I asked my husband to complete the Character Assessment for himself while I did the same for myself and, then, helped each of our children read through and complete the assessment.
We then worked together to find our average scores in order to discover what virtue our family is the weakest in. I completely expected it to be self-control, obedience or gentleness. To my surprise it was being content.
So, we immediately took out the content card, read through it together and, then, did a little exercise where I gave each child a random object and challenged them to see how long they could remain happily engaged by it.
It was rather amusing to see just how long they managed to enjoy such things as popsicle sticks and elastics. In fact, the activity evidenced creativity as well as contentment.
In subsequent days and weeks, we used the cards in a variety of ways. Our oldest, who has recently become comfortable with silent reading enjoyed simply taking our stack of them and reading through it.
Together, when the children and I felt ourselves falling to vice, we sometimes grabbed the cards and used them to help us find and refocus on an opposite virtue. And, at other times, we met together to chat about what virtues we'd been displaying and which we individually wanted to focus on to a greater degree on any given day. We then reviewed the cards for these virtues and posted them on our front door.
We also often referred back to the cards when living life outside the house. For example, after discussing the perseverance card, the children and I found ourselves noticing examples of perseverance in work and play and encouraging one another to persevere in all things.
Just the other day, in fact, when the children were building peninsulas, capes and islands at the pond, they wondered if they could create a new island in the water. I suggested it would be difficult to do so, but they worked together, encouraging each other to stick to their self-directed mission, persevering until, at last, they succeeded!
On another occasion, Nina demonstrated her kindness by deciding to bury a dead toad she had found. Luke and Jack jumped in with helpfulness. Then, all of my children and two friends exercised a host of virtues while teaming up to build their own child-led animal cemetery.
Of course, there were also non-play-based occasions of virtue exercise, too. Those moments just were not as fun to photograph!
What was fun for the kids was doing some of the coloring pages form the downloadable materials.
I also found the sing along songs catchy.
We did not, however, use the Butterfly Awards since I am increasingly refraining from reward-based parenting.
Would I recommend We Choose Virtues?
My children have enjoyed using the program and we will continue to reference and expand upon the virtues presented in the Parenting Cards and downloadable materials.
That said, I do find the price tag for the cards a bit high. While we enjoy the product, I am not sure I would have been happy paying $30+ for a set of heavy cardstock virtue cards no matter how cute and helpful they are.
So, while, yes, I encourage anyone to look into We Choose Virtues, I also suggest weighing budgetary constraints with product descriptions. For, most definitely, the cards are well-made and engaging. If there's money in your budget, they can certainly make a worthwhile addition to character training and development.
Visit We Choose Virtues on Pinterest, at the We Choose Virtues blog, or on Facebook.
Learn about the wide variety of We Choose Virtue products, including those aimed at youth, ages 12-18:
- Youth Virtue Journal (Physical Journal)
- Mentor Handbook (PDF download)
- Mentor Meeting Report Form (PDF Download)
- Youth Character Assessments (PDF Download)
- Youth List of Memory Verses and Bible Heroes (PDF Download)
Read what other homeschoolers thought about all these products at Schoolhouse Review Crew.
Enjoy a Discount!
THIS MONTH*: Use Promo Code BIG50 for 50% off a set of 12 11x17 Kids of VirtueVille posters.
JUNE-AUGUST*: Use Promo Code BTS20 for 20% off anything in the We Choose Virtues store, including any kit.
* Only one code may be used per order.