Last week, I wrote about our family’s new focus on character development and our search for a tool that will serve as anchor. After researching on different materials, I got in touch with “We Choose Virtues” creator Heather McMillan. To make a long story short, she generously offered to send me a kit for review on this blog, and also a set of parenting cards to give away… double yay!
What Do I Like About It?
I kept exclaiming “Ang ganda!” (Is “so nice!” a correct translation for this?) the first time I read the Teacher’s Handbook, which Heather emailed before I even got the kit.
I find inspiration and learn something from the handbook every time I read it, which is often! Here are my favorite elements of the “We Choose Virtues” system.
- Catchphrases and Antonyms
Each virtue has a catchphrase that is very easy for children to memorize. For example, the catchphrase for contentment is “I have my WANTER under control,” and the antonym statement is “I am NOT bored, greedy, or always wanting more and I don’t beg or whine.”
These have become part of our family’s vocabulary and enable us to effortlessly talk about and reinforce virtues everyday. It’s so easy to tell Little T that she’s whining, and what virtue should she work on?
- Sense of Ownership
All virtue statements are stated in the positive and create a sense of ownership: I AM. It is said that you become what you claim to be. “We Choose Virtues” promotes this excellently:
I am Diligent. I am Kind. I am Helpful. I am Obedient. I am Forgiving. I am Perseverant. I am Gentle. I am Patient. I am Self-Controlled. I am Content. I am Honest. I am Attentive.
- Caterpillar and Butterfly
Little children know that a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. So, it’s so easy for them to understand the idea that they can improve themselves by working on the different virtues, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. This idea is integrated in discussions and tools.
Can you tell that I really like “We Choose Virtues?” I love that it’s so easy to use (almost no prep time!) and that it gives us a common language that makes talking about virtues effortless. I can see our family using this for the long-term as our main character development tool, with lots of books to supplement it.
Products That I Recommend
If you have the budget for it, you can check out the Homeschool Kit – Faith Based ($98.99), or the Family Kit – Faith Based ($69.99). Both have the materials that you will need to be able to implement "We Choose Virtues" at home really well.
If you want to just buy some of the products though, here are my top choices to make your own kit.
- The Parenting Cards
The 13 Parenting Cards are the heart and soul of “We Choose Virtues.” Each card contains the catchphrase and antonym statement, and instructions and tips for you on how to teach and reinforce the virtue. Paired with the Teacher’s Handbook ($4.99 if you're not getting a kit), you’re good to go!
- The Kids Virtue Poster
This is Little T’s favorite! I always find her in front of it reading and memorizing the virtues and catchphrases, even those that we haven’t focused on yet. All catchphrases and antonyms are in the parenting cards and this poster, making the system simple, consistent and unified.
We love the silent and constant reminder of the attitudes that we are working on. It takes out the big possibility of my nagging! All I do is ask Little T to go to the poster and point to the virtue that she needs to work on. On the other hand, I love letting her know that I've noticed her acting like a butterfly.
|We put our Virtue Poster on the wall by the playroom|
door. Below it, we post the downloadable coloring page
of our virtue of the week.
- 100 Days of Virtue Poster and Butterfly Stickers
This poster makes saying goodbye to caterpillar ways more fun and tangible! When you notice your child using the chosen virtue of the day, he can cover a caterpillar with a butterfly sticker. You can use this as a family, with everyone contributing a butterfly for the day. This perfectly rounds out the whole system, in my opinion.
You may use coupon code SHIPFREE for free shipping to the
Please note that the links in this blog to the "We Choose Virtues" site are
affiliate links and that I will get a commission when you do buy any of their
products. I will gladly answer your questions about our experience and the
products themselves before you purchase anything.
How We Have Been Inspired
We love the catchphrases we are learning. Recently, we created our own “Family Sharing Time” to get us to talk about how we are all striving to be God's butterflies. We take turns saying the virtue, the catchphrase, and then a personal story about how we are trying to live it. For contentment, I said:
I am content.
I have my wanter under control.
I want to have a new phone, but since my phone is still working perfectly, I will not buy one.
I am content.
This proved to be fun as Little T was excited to take her turn. Using the same format, she said that she wants new books but since she has a lot already, she won’t beg for more. The next night, she asked us to do the activity again and volunteered to go first. It's now part of our nighttime routine. One hundred points for "We Choose Virtues!"
Want A Set Of Parenting Cards?
“We Choose Virtues” is giving away a set of parenting cards. This contest is only for Philippine residents and is open from September 25 to October 2.
Joining is easy – just follow the Rafflecopter and you’re on your way! We Choose Virtues will ship the prize directly to the winner. Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway