Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day 2: How we teach virtues

Welcome to Day 2 of the 5 days of virtue training!  If you are new to this series, start HERE.  Don't forget to check out the 20 other bloggers who are part of this 5 days of Mothering and Homemaking series.

For our girls, we teach virtues using a program called We Choose Virtues.  I met the developer Heather McMillan at the 2:1 conference and she introduced me to her company and the virtue cards she created.  She spoke with such passion about her product that as soon as our conversation ended I quickly looked up We Choose Virtues online and ordered myself a package of her family virtue cards.

Since our cards arrived we have been using them daily as part of our homeschool.  We start the morning with our Bible lesson and then each child gets to pick a virtue that they will work on that day.  We read through everyone's virtue because the challenge is not only to learn your own virtue, but to encourage siblings to achieve theirs as well!  We make it a big deal around the table and everyone gets very excited about it.

A:     Each virtue card card has the name of the virtue printed colorfully on top, this makes it nice for my 3 year old who can't read and just chooses the virtue based on the color of the font and the picture on the front!

B:     Under the name is the description of the virtue in the first person.  The challenge of accomplishing the virtue in our home also includes memorizing the description.  We have used the description as our Kindergartners hand writing assignment for the day.

Learning the language of virtues is so important that we spend a lot of time on this part. In slightly over a month my 5 year old can describe almost every virtue!  Throughout the day I may ask one of them: What does it mean to have the virtue of Forgiving?  They would answer " I choose to love when others hurt me."

C:     On the front of every card is also a "character" whose story is told on the back of the card.  Each character demonstrates their virtue in a story and their picture on front has elements from their story.  This is how Maya, my 3 year old, has been learning her virtues.  When I ask her "What does it mean to be Diligent?" She answers that it is when Chuck cleans up after his duck!

D:     On the front of each card is also a Bible verse which refers to the specific virtue.  We have enjoyed looking up the verses in our own Bible and highlighting them.  In the future, I will use those verses as the children's memorization challenges!  We Choose Virtues also has a secular program without the Bible verses.

The back of each card has various features such as family challenge ideas, the character stories, what to say if  you are unable to use the virtue in a situation and teachable moments for families.

Phew, that's a lot of information on one card right?

Usually I let the kids pick which ever card they want to work on for the day (if someone has trouble with one and can't complete the challenge then we let them choose it again if they want.)  We really try to rotate through them so each child gets to practice all the virtues included.

If someone is going to have a particular challenge for the day I may choose one for them.  For instance, my daughter Sofia gets frustrated sometimes during her violin lesson.  When she doesn't know the notes of a new song, or can't play fast enough I used to hear her say "Ugh, I can't do it."  Now, every Monday she gets the Perseverance card which states: "I can do it even when it's tough" I have her repeat that too before the teacher arrives and it has worked like a charm!  I can see it happening right away.  As soon as she is about to say "I can't do it", she stops and takes a deep breath and keeps on going.  Usually she'll give me a wink because she knows she accomplished her virtue challenge for the day!

Sofia and her violin teacher Miss Sandy 
The children are SO PROUD when they have accomplished a virtue challenge.  The more they practice these virtues, the more I can see their fruits on a more consistent basis.  Since they know what the virtues mean I can ask them to try to use them in different situations.  Instead of yelling to my kids to be quiet when I get on the phone, I tell them that they will need to use their virtue of patience and self-control.

A perfect time to interrupt my 3 year old's temper tantrum with a virtue lesson ;)

Stay tuned tomorrow to find out why my kids weren't the only ones who benefited from learning their virtues.  Have you checked out the 20 other bloggers who are participating in the 5 days of Mothering and Homemaking series?  If not, click on the banner below to read awesome posts on topics near and dear to the bloggers hearts.


  1. LOL! Love that last picture! :)

  2. loves this and need the cards where do I order them?

  3. Great idea. I might order some of these cards for my grandchildren! Thanks.

  4. Thanks Maureen!! I was debating whether or not to include that last picture...but I figure we've all been there before, right? Thanks for visiting!!

  5. Scheris, click on We Choose Virtues on the side of my bar or wherever the name is highlighted. It will take you right to their site! Thanks for visiting today!