Monday, September 24, 2012

We Choose Virtues: Review and Giveaway

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!
There are 13 cards in all, one for each 12 virtues, and one general card for
the parent/teacher.

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.

  1. 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?  

  1. 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.


  1. 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. 

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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 Philippines! 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

Make magic!

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Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Chel! Haven't received it yet, but this comment will do. Good luck on the giveaway! :)

Rachel Anne Del Rosario said...

i sent an email i don't know if the email add is correct mariel(at)thelearningbasket(dot)com 

My FB Name: Chel Legaspi Del Rosario

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Thank you and good luck Cris! :)

Cris said...

Hello! Joined your giveaway. My FB name is Criselda Pablico-Alano.

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

bwahahhaa! i'll give you a butterfly sanne!

sanne said...

 I am honest.  I really want to join this giveaway but because I am part of The Learning Basket, I won't.  I am honest. :D

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

How do the tickets and smiley faces work? Interesting!

kim/angeli E said...

We used to do something similar with tickets and smiley faces. I love the positive statements of We choose virtues. Can't wait to try it at home :)

TrulyRichMom/TeacherMamaTina said...

Yipeeee! :) So excited to try WCV in our own homeschool! :) 

Ia Adam-Lim said...

The kit looks very colorful. Ang ganda nga (it is beautiful!). Praying I win the cards as I will use it for the class I will be teaching soon which will target social skills. 

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Ia! Thank you for letting me know. Updated it already. Good luck on the giveaway! :)

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Let's swap books when needed ha! Though I can't lend you the books from my "secret" source hahaha

Pinay Mommy said...

Thanks for the opportunity. I have joined. :)

TrulyRichMom/TeacherMamaTina said...

"Secret" source? :P Where? Haha! #forgetful mode

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Good luck! :)

Daisyvirtudazo said...

I joined too! My Fb name is Daisy Esmer Virtudazo. Thanks!

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Daisy! Good luck! :)

Juli Salgado So said...

This looks interesting! :) At what age is it recommended to start this with your child? :)

Hope I'll win so I'll be able to try this out with my son! :)

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Hi Juli! I think you can start introducing it very gently when your child is around three, even before your child is reading by himself. It's really all about talking about and setting examples for your child :) Good luck in the giveaway! :)

Regina Lu said...

great! hope i can get this one :) 

Anonymous said...

love to have this for the lil one
poala merckie

Ia Adam-Lim said...

Saw your "last 50 minutes" post and so I hurried to tweet and comment again. "And may the odds be always in my favor" 

Juli Salgado So said...

Thanks for the tip, Mariel! Sige, I hope I can try this for my little one! :)

Sheryl Agustin said...

Oh goodness. Finally had time to see this and join the raffle, but tapos na pala! :P

Mariel @ The Learning Basket said...

Waaah Sheh! Sayang ! Haha! :D