Can I introduce you to something (and someone!) who really touched my heart this spring?
I met Heather McMillian briefly at the Titus 2:1 Conference in April and was introduced to her wonderful character training program for children, We Choose Virtues. I actually won the Faith-Based Homeschool Kit as Conference prize drawing!
And as I chatted with her at the Conference and later about how we don’t home school, but we’re still intentional parents and this seems like a great resource for any parent, she really touch my own heart when she told me that the program is a wonderful fit for homeschooling and Christian families, but her own heart was for public school children (and their teachers!) when she created the program. As a faithful Christian, adding the scripture references in her faith-based products was a logical extension of her original design.
But the original design was for public school classrooms!
Since Titus 2:1, I am so excited to be an affiliate of We Choose Virtues and support their work to help parents and teachers–any parents and teacher–develop lasting character in children.
Homeschool families and Christian private school families aren’t the only ones that care about virtue and character training and this is a wonderful, truth-based, simple to use, product that can reach across ideological boundaries to help teach children universal good behaviors–in just minutes a day. Truly, these products are great for any family, any teacher, any children. (Heather’s company is even reaching out to children overseas!)
How does it work? There’s detailed directions for using each of their products on their website, and each product or kit comes with directions and ideas for parents and teachers. But here’s how we’re doing it, since we’re a little short on space for posters…
We’re using the little, Personal Virtue Charts for each child and giving stickers any time we see them using the Virtue we’re working on that week. We stuck the Virtue parenting card right up top–in front of everyone as a reminder (and so it’s easy to grab to go over when we have a few minutes!).
Once their personal charts are filled (obviously we haven’t gotten very far on this one!) there will be simple rewards, like ice cream or something. The Virtue card changes every week, so they aren’t filling their chart with just one behavior.
And the card is right there for us to grab and go over for a few minutes each day.
Our kit also included the Virtue Flashcards.
They include parent/teacher suggestions for games and fun activities to help the kids enjoy and memorize their Virtues.They are great for older kids to go over with younger kids–our kids love to play “school” with stuff like this!!
And I love that Heather’s system doesn’t just teach what the Virtue IS, but helps kids understand them by what they are NOT. For example, GENTLE is not just “I speak quietly and touch softly.” It’s also “I am NOT rough, harsh, or loud. And I don’t destroy things or hurt people.”
I think this is a huge help comprehension. For us, it helps even our youngest to understand that what we’re really getting at here is a change in behavior–not just memorizing words. Virtues aren’t just words or feelings, they are behaviors and actions–and sometimes not acting certain ways.