Here’s our new We Choose Virtues wall. It’s in our kitchen right next to our comfy futon sofa (with the wonderfully coordinated throw pillow) and right above our read-aloud basket.
Each week we choose a new virtue to study, the kids take turns choosing. Last week Jitterbug chose Hockey Stick Nick, I am Honest. I am a truth teller!! Jitterbug wants to know when he can get his own hockey stick. I cut down some sheet protectors and tacked them to the bulletin board to hold our flashcards and parenting cards.
The first day, during our snacktime, we pick our virtue for the week. We read the catchphrase, antonym, and Bible verse. We read the Virtue Kid’s story from the back of the parenting card and discuss what the virtue means.
The rest of the week: We colour the Virtue Kid colouring page. Here’s the one we did for Penny Jenny. Ladybug for some reason refuses to do these. Jitterbug likes to do two for each Kid, and Mama likes to do one too. 🙂 This bulletin board hangs above our art table in our schoolroom. I might move these to hang in our kitchen with sticky tac above the bulletin board in there instead. I will keep all these for their notebooks, I may bind them together into a finished book for each of them.
Something we need to incorporate: which of the three rules does the virtue fall under?
The extras on the bulletin board are printed from the teacher’s handbook. The handbook details how the program works, which is good, but it’s a bit lacking in terms of detailed ideas for teaching each individual virtue.
To fill in the gaps I’ve been using Kids of Integrity from Focus on the Family (Canada).
This is a free program. (Note that it is about growing Godly character, this wouldn’t be for secular use.) Their lessons match up really well with We Choose Virtues. There are some extra virtues, we will probably study those as well. For each virtue you can download the whole lesson (click the green ‘Download PDF’ button toward the top of the lessons) or just the sections you need. There are loads of suggestions in here: prayers, memory verses, practical activities, Bible stories with discussion questions. The lessons work for all ages, just pick and choose what you want to use for your kids.
Each day I pick something from the lesson to discuss. For perseverance we talked about Noah building the ark. For honesty we talked about Abraham saying his wife was his sister. I also read them some of the memory verses. If I can find a picture book or story related to the virtue we read it also. But I’m finding that after we’ve studied the virtue it is easy to point it out in stories we read. He was really patient, wasn’t he? Do you think she was a truth teller?
I’ve also downloaded some of the free character studies from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Each virtue has four days of lesson plans including Bible stories, memory verses, and activities. Between these and the lessons from Kids of Integrity, there are plenty of ideas for teaching each virtue.
I was glad that Jitterbug chose I am Honest this week. He’s been lying a lot, but I really don’t think he understands what it means to lie yet. He just tells us what he wants to be true. Sometimes I’ll tell him that what he said was a lie, and he’s incredulous. “That’s a lie?” He tells me that I’m lying if he doesn’t like what I’m telling him. He’s still figuring it out. He’ll get there one day, and in the meantime Hockey Stick Nick is his hero! (He glanced up at me just as I snapped this picture so I go that cute tongue-hanging-out-in-concentration look. And the dimples. Love the dimples on this kid.)
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