When you homeschool, or really when you try to teach anything at home, you are limited by your own virtue level. How consistent are you? Do you get up every day and teach your children to [insert important life skill here]? Do you model diligence as you tackle mundane tasks like doing the dishes? Do you get up and do your math every day?
There is no teacher to make you do your homework. There is no one to report to. It is easy to let things slide and say that you will get to that subject tomorrow. And suddenly too many tomorrows have come and gone. This happened this last year in Latin for my oldest and cello for my next oldest. I was feeling that frustrated feeling that comes when you feel ineffective.
My kids were probably 50%-ers in their least favorite subjects. I sat and thought about how to address this and realized that I am a 50%-er too. I was motivating for 2-4 days running and then I needed a break. I started looking for something that would help me have more diligence and patience, and I stumbled across this gem of a program on my Facebook feed.
We Choose Virtues is exactly what I needed to fill the gap. Each week we focus on a different virtue to teach. We do it at our weekly Accountable Kids family meeting. The big flashcards have a virtue saying on one side that matches the posters, and a lesson and challenge on the other side. There are a few biblical versions and a secular version available so any family can use the program.
There are multiple styles available including family, homeschool, and classroom kits. I bought the Deluxe Homeschool version complete with giant posters because I am the kind of person who wants big, colorful posters all over to remind me that I am trying to develop patience, diligence and several other virtues.
As a family, we have rated ourselves based on how we feel we are doing on each virtue, and we are working on filling out the 100 Days of Virtue Chart. I have tied this into our Accountable Kids program by giving Best Behavior Cards when I see the virtue of the week. I feel that this strengthens both programs as the kids really understand the virtue in focus, and I am on the look out to praise them when I see it.
I bought the program for younger kids, since my oldest is only 10, but there is a program for older kids in grades 6-12. The Youth Virtue program has the same virtues in it, but some of the sayings that you memorize are different. When my children get older, I think I would want to include some philosophy discussion with this program. Aristotle’s thoughts on virtue and vice would be a great addition to the program that they have set up.
I have been really happy with the direction our family has been heading since starting We Choose Virtues. Whenever I find myself wanting to just send the kids away and let them play on their tablets or watch a show on Netflix, I find myself saying, “I am Perseverant. I can do it even when it’s tough.” and “I am Self-Controlled. I make myself do the right thing.” And I have been better about other things like driving without road rage because “I am Patient. I wait and wait and wait with a smile.” And even doing laundry and dishes has gotten easier because of my new mantra, “I am Diligent. I start fast, work hard, and finish strong.”
Side Note: When I bought the program, they were running a sale for 25% off with a code VKIDS25. I believe the code still works as of the day I am writing this review. It is definitely worth a try because it is a bit pricey for all the big posters and extra materials.