Sunday, July 31, 2011

Raising Virtuous Kids

I've loved We Choose Virtues from the second I saw their site! Go visit that link then come back here to read more details about the program and about how we use it in our home with our four monkeys... ahem ... I mean our four adorable children. ;) did you look their site over? Looks like some awesome stuff, right?! Did you see Chuck and his duck? Cute, huh? ;) Each virtue card shows a VirtueVille Kid and the kid's object which rhymes with the kid's name and starts with the same letter as the virtue it represents. So, this is Chuck with his Duck for the "I am Diligent" card. I love the art work on all these products! Very well done, Pete! (you can read about Pete as well as WCV author on their "About" page!)
Each of the virtues has a catchphrase which defines what the virtue is in action, an antonym which defines what the virtue is NOT, and if you choose the faith-based option, then it also includes a scripture relevant to that  particular virtue.
Virtue Flashcards
Chuck's card reads "I am Diligent" (notice it's not I want to be...or I should be...but I am...POSITIVE thinking y'all! OWN it! They all start this way.) So, like I was saying, "I am Diligent" is on the front. The back says, "I start fast, work hard, and I finish strong. I am NOT....slow to get started or lazy, and I don't quit early." The back of each also displays the verse. It's fun to call out the catchphrases and let the kids tell you the virtue that it goes with, and vice versa once they get those down! 
11x17 VirtueVille Kid Poster OR
NEW PRODUCT: Family Size Posters!
So, can  you see how saying "Stay on task!"..."Get back on task!"...."Do your job!"...."Why are you playing instead of picking up your toys?"... "Why haven't you started yet?"...."You haven't done your job (at all, well, all the way, your best, etc...pick one)" can get tiring, but with these cards when I ask my child if he's being diligent or tell him to be, there's actually a real meaning to it besides "GO WORK NOW!" And this child is going to understand exactly how they aren't being diligent and how to fix it?? It truly has clarified these things in my home! It keeps me from having to be wordy in the midst of chaos, it let's me know my kids DO understand the rules and the offenses. They see they have a choice. I can do my job right away and do it well without dawdling....or I can be slow to get started and lazy or just plain quit in the middle of it. Then, they either choose virtue, or they don't. WCV is great for basing correction off of as well, since there's now a common vernacular that we all get. Also, see this post for more ideas for when they don't choose virtuously.
Just cute kids that are learning to choose virtue

So, what do we use? I've started off with the flashcards (faith based) and the virtues poster that lists all of them in one place. I've had great success and love the program! There are some game suggestions that come with the cards. I'll be adding (just for fun, not because the program is lacking without them) the teacher cards, three rules poster, the 100 days of virtue poster, and I'll hang the youth poster up in BookWorm's room. The teacher cards add a story that goes with the character and virtue, activity and demonstration ideas, a prayer (faith based only), what to say after "I'm sorry", a challenge, and a teaching tip. You can see samples of all of these items on the site. Click the "Products" tab at the top to see everything. There will be some great new products released in the future as well!!
back side of a teacher card- Classroom version
NEW PRODUCT: Family version teacher cards!
So, just how DO we use it with these four adorable little virtuous angels? (can I get a "yeah, right!"?) 
A mom asked me,  “Can you tell how you used them exactly, and what makes them so wonderful? (As opposed to my current situation of seemingly wasting my breath with all my talking and repetition!)"
Here's my reply: 
The first few days I went over each card...The "I am..." and both the definition and the antonym and then the scripture. After a few days of going over them and telling them that these cards and words are helping them learn exactly what behavior we expect to see and exactly what behaviors we will not allow, I had each child pick one or two to be their personal "virtue in focus". This is one they'd decided and I agreed was a weakness they had and needed more help with. So several times a day, I'd randomly say to my son for example, "I am diligent" and have him say back "I start fast, work hard, and I finish strong. I am not slow to get started or lazy, and I don't quit early." 
After internalizing the virtues and phrases, when I foresee a problem brewing, I can ask them if they are being diligent, helpful, obedient, etc. And not only do they KNOW EXACTLY what I mean, they can then recognize how they were not living up to our expectations without me having to waste my breath long-windedly explaining it for the zillionth time. It really has simplified things! Also, on the “I am Helpful” virtue, I've been able to get them to realize being helpful isn't just doing what I tell them to help with or just what they happen to see, but FINDING ways to be helpful… and I shouldn't have to ask them to do everything (some yes, but not all)..."I am helpful. I FIND things that need to be done and I do them. I am not lazy, selfish, unwilling to work, and I don't have to be asked." it's just brought meaning and clarity to my words and instructions and a peacefulness to me because I can be certain when they need discipline they completely understood the offense and that it wasn't allowed.Now, we spend a few minutes discussing one in particular or maybe go over a few or even all of them. Just spend a few minutes each morning and as needed. I laminated the cards and can take them with me when we go out. If they are getting wild in the van, I can hold up the “I am Kind” card or “I am self-controlled”. It works very well!
All my monkeys
Oh! And I must mention, another great early learning author at Teach Me Joy has made copywork books in both print and cursive to go along with these! You can see samples of it here. I plan to add this in as well for MathMan and BookWorm. If you purchase her curriculum, you get a 15% discount code on WCV! In place of copywork for WiggleWorm and WildMan, I'll add in the WCV coloring pages! I'm sure the big two will want to do them as well, just for fun.
Cover of downloadable and reproducible coloring pages
Download this for $1! Or Sept 5-9, download for FREE!
I hope this gives you a glimpse into this fantastic product from which anyone and everyone can benefit! Pass along this link ( to all your friends that are parents, grandparents, teachers, daycare workers, school and private counselors, youth mentors, or anyone else that cares for children and teens.
There is a new affiliate program, which I have joined (as of July 30, 2011). If you'd like to join as well, you can! And please help a homeschooling mama by purchasing through my link, please?! :) I pray this program will bless the children in your life, and your entire home, as much as it has mine.


Knit 2 Sew said...

It looks like you all had a great time at the Old Mill. There are some pretty spots in LR. We lived there quite awhile haha!! Military life haha....
I am going to have to chk out this book thanks for the heads up ^smiles^

Tamara said...

Yes! The Old Mill is beautiful for pictures! Worth the drive and craziness of chasing all the kids. :) You'll love WCV. I'll be posting more about it soon since I've accumulated more of the items to use. I just love it, so I keep getting more components. LOL At least it's a worthy ministry to spend my money on as well as a blessing in my own home!

Joyfulmom said...

I like this product. The first value I would teach is patience. Or maybe sharing.

Blessed Beyond a doubt.... said...

I ♥ We Choose Virtue, too!

Thanks for the copybook pages!