Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: We Choose Virtues #hsreviews

We Choose Virtues Review

So, let's talk virtues and character education.  Which do you consider the most important virtues to teach your children and how do you go about teaching them?  Do you find that the best way to teach virtue is to model by example or do you spend time explaining what you expect and how to meet those expectations? Would it help for you to have a written curriculum to share with your students?  I want to make sure that my children are helpful and kind, honest and obedient, respectful and content with what they have and where they are in life.  I want them to pay close attention to those around them, to forgive others quickly, and to persevere through hard times.  I pray that we model these character traits to them, but know that when we fail (because we will), GOD has provided perfect role models through HIS Word.

We Choose Virtues Review
I recently had the opportunity to work through the Youth Virtue Journal ($17.00) by We Choose Virtues both at home and with my middle schoolers at church.  Written for students ages 12 - 18, the Youth Virtue Journal covers the following virtues:  attentiveness, contentedness, forgiveness, gentleness, helpfulness, honesty, obedience, perseverance, and respectfulness.  Designed for students to complete with a mentor, the Journal contains 100-pages with fill-in-the-blank exercises written directly to the student.  It includes questions to help you grasp the true meaning of virtue and to focus on lifetime dreams. This Virtue Set also contains PDF files for a Mentor Handbook, a Meeting Report Form, a Character Assessment to be done before beginning and after completing the Journal, and a list of Bible Heroes and Scripture references to accompany each virtue studied.

The Mentor Handbook is written to train adults how to positively influence students and help them make wise choices that will affect their entire lives.  Mentors are encouraged to meet weekly with students.

At home, I worked through the pages of the Journal with my 13-year-old daughter.  Serving as her "mentor", we read through all of the information in the Journal together and discussed each virtue in great detail.  She has been able to share her dreams and plans for the future with me and we have been able to have frank discussion on character strengths and weaknesses.  As we've focused on each individual virtue, we've spent a considerable amount of time answering questions to determine how well she embodies it in her personal life.  This honest discussion has served as a valuable outreach tool as it has made her much more aware of how her actions cause reactions in those around her.  She is developing a special sensitivity to the feelings of others and I love watching as her heart stretches to reach out to others.  Last week at camp, I was amazed by her sweet spirit as she willingly prayed over peers and adult volunteers and made special efforts to pay close attention to the feelings of others.

We Choose Virtues suggests that you spend two weeks studying each virtue at one hour per week. Working one-on-one, I found that it was not necessary for us to study each character trait for two weeks. Instead, we covered each virtue in depth (once a week) and allowed for more natural discussion throughout the following days.  We have had some quality bonding time as we've shared ways to improve each of our dispositions.  (Yes, I'm even working on several of the virtues taught in the Journal -- starting with being more gentle in my responses to my family.  Ouch.)

At church, I have begun teaching each of the virtues shared during Wednesday night Bible study with my middle schoolers.   I am finding it to be a perfect fit for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  I am able to teach through one virtue a week in our hour and a half meeting time.  We began by doing a personal character assessment. Once we have completed the entire study, small group leaders will share their opinions of each student's character assessment as well.  We discuss the definition of each of the virtues together, -- what they are and what they are not -- read the Scripture provided for each one, and examine the life of the corresponding Bible Hero.  Although the Youth Virtue Journal was written for use as a counseling tool in the Idaho Juvenile Court System, the added Scripture makes it quite beneficial to middle school ministry.  My middle schoolers are enjoying this study series on virtue -- and they are having ah-ha moments as we discuss the different aspects of each one.  I especially enjoy hearing them share how they can personally incorporate more of each specific virtue in their own lives.  They are sharing some great ideas with one another -- and speaking out in love.  Shouldn't we all speak more love in our lives?

The Youth Virtue Journal by We Choose Virtues offers students a chance to make positive change in their lives through attitude adjustment and it offers adults a chance to find the good in students through affirmation as they share hope and grace.  The partnership of students and adults is a good thing.  Children need more positive in their lives -- and adults need to offer it.  A curriculum that focuses on growing virtuous kids will ultimately help us all to make the world a better place.  

Make sure to check out the Summer Sales:

MAY-JUNE: *Promo Code BIG50 for 50% off of the amazing set of 12 11x17 Kids of VirtueVille Posters. This is the first time these posters have ever been offered at this price.  These brightly colored posters would work well for Sunday School classrooms, Children's Worship areas, or your homeschool room.  Kids love them for their bedrooms, bathrooms, doors, and hallways, too.

JUNE-AUGUST: *Promo Code BTS20 for 20% off anything in the WCV Store. This includes any product for kids OR youth. 

*Only one promo code per order

To find out more about teaching virtues at home or church, be sure to visit the following social media sites:

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Practicing GENTLENESS at home,

Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review the Youth Virtue Journal by We Choose Virtues as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)
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