We Choose Virtues
Does VirtueVille sound like a place you want your children to grow up in? I sure do! We Choose Virtues is a wonderful character training system to help your children practice growing their virtues. It is also a great way to incorporate Bible memorization into daily life. I recommend this program for any family with elementary and preschool age children. It’s not just for homeschool!
To make everything simple and easy to understand there are only 3 rules:
- Be Kind
- Be a Helper
This one change has made our home much more peaceful the last 3 weeks. When Mr. T begins to argue, ignore, or rough-up Mr. F I simply ask “What is rule number ____”. And he answers, sometimes huffs, and almost always corrects the behavior. We’ll work on the “cheerfully” part later, but this progress is awesome. Instead of “don’t do this” or “no”, having a solid base set of rules that he can remember has allowed Mr. T the understanding to know what is and is not acceptable behavior.
The Parenting Cards. Are. Awesome. Each virtue (there are 12 total) is covered with a fun card that includes one of the kids of VirtueVille in a short story, a list of teachable moment activities for that virtue, a family challenge, and what to say after “I’m sorry” to help little ones gain more understanding of the heart changes they need to work on. The front of the card shows the character, an “I am” statement about the virtue trait, an “I am NOT” statement about the virtue trait, and a Bible verse to help show that God has something to say about this action, too. We’ve been having fun making the “I am” statements into little rhythmic cheers to help Mr. T remember them more.
The way We Choose Virtues explains each trait goes along with their caterpillar to butterfly model, something we get really well here since we’ve studied butterflies before! The idea is the behavior that needs to be changed is a caterpillar, but with diligent work and relying on God, we can become a butterfly and choose to exercise virtues! The Family Kit we received even has a wonderful Butterfly Award printable certificate for when a particular behavior has been achieved. Mr. T loves awards!
The Family Kit contains two posters, 12 parenting cards, 12 Virtue Flash Cards for a fun game, a printable coloring book, a family virtue checklist to complete monthly (this is great for helping to show progress!), printable Butterfly Awards, and all the instructions you need to successfully use We Choose Virtues in your home or homeschool. There is also a secular version available for families and public schools as well as Christian versions for churches!
We Choose Virtues for Children with Special Needs
I want to take a minute to address how incredible We Choose Virtues is for the challenges in our home.
- As I mentioned above, having only 3 main rules that cover pretty much every behavior has really helped simplify things for Mr. T, who has overcome most but not all of his RLD. This has meant less frustration for both of us.
- With Apraxia, it takes us a bit longer to memorize new bible verses and we use NIrV in our home so having verses that are the same as the ones in the Bible we use with Mr. T is great! With his articulation errors, it’s easier for him to say the NIrV versions and to have that sense of “I did it!” when he gets a new verse memorized and says it out loud correctly.
- The way the parenting cards are written allows for discussion. We did need to modify the questions after the story. Mr. T didn’t really understand the “Why do you think that is?”, but if I asked a more direct phrasing of “Do you think he/she did that because ____” he was able to answer and then expand on it at an age appropriate level.
- Because of the way the stories help him understand, when he does have to apologize, the “What to say after I’m sorry” phrases seemed to sink in much more and he showed real remorse a few times. This is a huge step forward for a child that has trouble translating and appropriately expressing his emotions. Sometimes it’s just about trying until you find the way that an idea “makes sense” to your child, and these cards are working beautifully for Mr. T.
If you had to pick just one part, I would say to order the parenting cards first! These are so wonderful, and sometimes just as much of a reminder for the parents as the child! But the entire Family Kit is just awesome and I know we will enjoy it for many years! Look for more fun coming in June as we work our way up to the Virtue Flash Card Game with Mr. T and some verse memorization and check back in with our Character Assessment!
Disclosure: We were given a We Choose Virtues Family Kit to review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are honest and my own.