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Character Education for ChildrenĀ {We Choose Virtues Review}

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Character Education extremely important to me. As with most things we teach in our homeschool, I find it so much easier to have a curriculum instead of attempting to “wing it” on my own. We Choose Virtues is a company with many resources to help you teach character education to your children in an easy, non-time consuming way. For this review, I was sent the Homeschool Kit, which includes everything you need to incorporate character education into your homeschool day.

 

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What is Included:

The homeschool kit has everything, and I mean everything you need to use this program. This program teaches 12 character traits (virtues) important to a happy, healthy home. They are:

I am Kind
I am Gently
I am Forgiving
I am Attentive
I am Obedient
I am Honest
I am Perseverant
I am Self-Controlled
I am Content
I am Helpful
I am Patient
I am Diligent 

The tools included to help you teach these virtues are:
Family Character Assessment- A “pretest” of sorts to help you see where your family’s strengthens and weaknesses lie.
Kids Virtue Poster- This poster has all the virtues, and their phrases listed for easy reference. You can use this for the kids to help them see all the virtues, or use it for the parents to see the “big picture”

Kids of VirtueVille Mini Posters- 
These smaller posters have all the Virtue Kids and their catch phrases to help your children memorize their virtues even faster.

Three Rules Poster- 
This program teaches your children that there are three rules, only three, that they really need. Hang this poster someone where it is seen often!

Flash Cards- 
These small cards have the “I am” and “I am not” phrases- another very useful tool to help your child memorize their virtues.

Parenting Cards-
These cards have the most “meat” of all the elements, and are the one part you really don’t want to miss. They include suggestions to help teach the virtues, and ideas to help your child when they make a mistake and aren’t living up to the virtues.
100 Days of Virtue Poster and Butterfly Stickers- This is a reward chart to help your child see their progress and they work on their virtues.
25 Virtue User Reviews is a small notepad where you can give your child a “progress report” on the virtues they have demonstrated well, and what they need to work on more.
Teacher’s Handbook- This is most helpful if you are working with a large group of children.
Official Butterfly Award- a treat to give your kids when they have mastered the virtues

Coloring Book- 
A coloring book with pictures of the Kids of VirtueVill for your kids to enjoy!
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Our Experience:

We’ve been focusing on one virtue a week with the kids since our kit arrived. Using this program is actually really simple, because it’s not actually a written curriculum that takes up any of our time. It literally takes no more time than what we were doing before (which basically consisted of the kids making silly mistakes, and me needing to discipline them- time consuming actions all on their own).

Here’s how it works- Each Virtue has a “catch phrase” to go with it to help your child remember the virtue. For example, the virtue “Obedience” says “Okay, whatever you say, I will obey, right away.” In addition to what your child WILL do (obey, right away, in this case) there is an example of what a child who is obedient will NOT do (“I am not argumentative, unwilling or slow, and I do not refuse to do what I am told.”)

If you order the bible based kit (which is the one I have, there is a secular version that is missing this element) there is also a bible verse to help your child solidify the information. Along with this information, each virtue also has a “Kid of VirueVille” who personifies the virtue and has a little story your child can relate to.

The parenting cards have been very helpful to us, because they contain most of the “meat” to teach this program. On the back, there is a list of ideas for “teachable moments” you can create/look for while teaching that virtue to help your family remember and understand the importance of the virtue.

My favorite part, and the part we use the most often is the “What to say after ‘I’m Sorry'” which is found on the back of the parenting cards. Here, there is a scripted apology that really details the virtue, and helps your child really understand what they did wrong, and what they need to do to fix their behavior.

In our home, the apology and the catch phrase have really lead to an amazing transformation in my kiddos. We really have been working hard at obedience, and now when I ask Mr. Man to do something, instead of kicking his feet, he responds “Okay! Whatever you say! I will Obey, Right away!” and he gets to work. I think he appreciates that the expectation is clear, and he also knows when he makes a mistake, that it’s as easy as apologizing to me “correctly” (which for us, means he uses the appropriate pre-scripted apology for the missed virtue) which also includes the line “I know I can change and (in the case of Obedience) I will choose to do all that I am asked right away with a smile.”

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The posters, and virtue flash cards have been a wonderful help in keeping these principles and virtues in our thoughts throughout the day. I hung the big kids virtue poster up on my fridge where *I* see it the most often to help me, too. I found that as we used this system, it wasn’t just the kids who needed reminders to focus on their virtues, I needed reminded that I had more tools at my disposal than just getting frustrated with behavior. When I felt myself getting annoyed or overwhelmed at how our day was going, I could look at the list, quickly find the phrase for the virtue we were struggling with at the moment, and throw it into action.

The times when we go back and forth with stomped feet and raised voices are coming fewer and fewer, and as a tired Mama, I am feeling relieved that there really is a tool to get the behavior I want out of my kids without yelling, threats and punishments. It’s been a beautiful thing!

Purchasing Information:

The kit, as pictured here retails for 98.99. I’ll be honest with you, and say that I have drooled over this for years, and never did find a way to get it into our budget. I wish I had sooner, because it’s made such a world of difference in my kids. The great news is that this week, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can save 30% on it (and any of the things in the We Choose Virtues store) using the code HOLIDAY30.

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If you miss that deal, you can use the code VIRTUE15 to save 15%

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