Note: This is not a typical book review per se. Rather, this is a curriculum review for We Choose Virtues.
Heather McMillan started We Choose Virtues out of her love for children and her desire to see them reach their personal potential. As a preschool teacher and a children’s pastor, it concerned her how often she came across children whose lack of self-control, honesty and perseverance was almost debilitating. How could they succeed in life without the skills that come from good character?
Many grade school teachers she knew admitted that it sometimes takes from September to winter break for their students to follow even the simplest classroom instructions. This crisis in personal character seemed to be obstructing the learning process for their entire classrooms.
As her passion continued to grow, she realized that she wanted to teach children how to change. Not just a momentary change of actions, but a more lasting change in their attitudes as well. Her observation is that children needed to be inspired by simple, positive and consistent instructions, and parents and teachers needed an effective language with which to communicate these instructions.
It was out of this necessity that Heather created the original list of virtues and their unforgettable catchphrases. She used them at home with our four children, taught them in her own Preschool classroom, and introduced them to fellow teachers, parents, and professional counselors. They were enthusiastically received and the results were outstanding.
Our system uses 5 effective teaching methods to help you Introduce, Inspire and Integrate virtue into the lives of the children you teach.
- Clear Explaination
- Personal Application
The 12 Virtues covered in this system are: 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
Our product line includes teaching cards, flash cards, posters, awards and sticker charts and printable hand-outs.
Note: I am reviewing the Christian pack. They also have a “secular” pack that does not include the Scripture verses but everything else remains the same.
As a parent of five children, my wife and I have invested in numerous virtue teaching systems. We have used a number to decent success and still use many of the principles we have learned from these various resources.
My question now, is why didn’t I know of We Choose Virtues before now?!
To understand and be able to see what I am referring to, check out this link that shows one of the cards.
Clearly stated on the card is the particular virtue being taught. “I am __________” followed by another positive statement like “I can do it even when it is tough.” Below that in a slightly smaller font is what you are NOT. For example, on the card for helpful, it reads, “I am Not…selfish, lazy, or unwilling to serve, and I don’t have to be asked!” On the Christian cards there is a text of Scripture from the NIrV.
These are extremely colorful and work well with children of all ages. Furthermore, they have corresponding coloring pages that help the children to remain attentive to the teaching.
On the back of the card is a plethora of advice for teachable moments. Furthermore, the teacher’s handbook is so well written that anyone and everyone can be prepared and equipped to teach their children the important (and yes, Biblical) core values that lead to boys and girls becoming not only thriving and flourishing citizens, but, will ultimately point the entire family to the Lord Jesus who alone lived a perfect virtuous and sinless life.
There is much more information I could share with you, but if you perused the website, We Choose Virtues, for any length of time, you will quickly discover how well crafted this program truly is.
The caveat for me personally, is that we have not been using this very long as we just discovered this program. The truth is, the potential is profound and the foundation is built on the Word of God (even if I am going to have my kids still memorize out of the ESV!).
To that end, I heartily endorse We Choose Virtues and highly recommend it to anyone who is a parent, a teacher, or has influence over children and want to see them grow up into well-rounded, responsible citizens here on earth, and, Lord willing, citizens of heaven.