Sunday, March 31, 2013

{Review} We Choose Virtues

 *Disclaimer: My camera and computer are still not talking to each other so now personal pictures this post but I will update as soon as I can.
I have wanted to work on more virtues that are important to our family.  Things like being helpful, being kind (this is a BIG one in our house), being self-controlled (another BIG one around here) and being patient.  Teaching these virtues in a fun and engaging way was not easy.  I am sure the kids just thought I was nagging which is not a good virtue in itself.  Then We Choose Virtues came into our house.

                We Choose Virtues is a simple and engaging program that uses different and colorful items to teach these virtues as well as many others.  The program was sent to us and included twelve (12) flash cards, one (1) parent card, one (1) flash card with card game ideas, coloring pages and teacher’s handbook.  You can find more descriptions, prices and many other products at We Choose Virtues.

                I wanted to start our study with the “I Am Self-Controlled” flash card but decided to start with the “I am Helpful” because we received the coordinating parent card.  We started each day with reading the simple statement relating to being helpful and then followed that up with the included Bible verse.  We went over the verse two more times working on memorization.  Then we discussed opposite of being helpful.  Then I picked a teachable moment from the parent card for us to do together.  We finished each daily lesson with prayer asking God to help us be better helpers.  This took approximately ten minutes each day and it seems to be making an impact on each of us.

                On some days, I also gave out a corresponding coloring page and once we have the whole book completed we will bind them so to save as a keepsake.  After about a week, we moved onto another virtue flash card and followed the same schedule.  Dude, Lil Red and Chubbles all enjoyed this program and we are trying to figure out what exactly we want for our family.

                Pros: The flash cards are very durable and colorful.  The statements and Bible verses are easy to read and understand even if mom is not feeling well enough to lead a morning lesson.  The teachable moments on the back of the parent card were easy and fun to implement.  This program is very reasonable in price as well.

                Cons: These products are geared more for elementary age so my older one felt a little babyish when she joined in each morning but it has been shared that We Choose Virtues is working hard to release products better for teenagers.

                If you would like to purchase your own products to use, then there is a code available for homeschoolers for 20% off and good through the end of April.  Just use the code: home20

                For those that don’t homeschool, there is a code available for 15% off and never expires.  Just use the code: virtue15

                This review is part of the Mosaics Reviews: A medley of review perspectives. To see other perspectives please visit here.

                The next product review will be the Apologia Ultimate Planner(s).

                We are still looking for more product reviewers so if you are interested, leave a comment below and I will get you in contact with the wonderful ladies in charge.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

{Review} FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program

Do you have a child who wants to spend their money the minute they receive any?  Do you have a child that is always asking you to spend your money on them?  Do you feel it is time for your child to learn money management so that they will have a better understanding on how to provide for themselves once they are adults and out on their own?  Then the FamilyMint Money Management Certification Program is for you and your family.

I received the 60-page workbook and access to the online software.  I chose to use this program with Dude, 10, and Lil Red, 8, but we did not use the online part of the program.  My kids spend more time online than I would like and I really desire the face-to-face teaching so we used the workbook only.  Chubbles, 5 followed along with some of the activities using actual money but she did not use the workbook.  The creators, Mr. Masterson and Mr. Eusebio included a note that says that you do not have to worry if you do not have access to the internet.  The workbook is complete and self-contained. 

Taken from the FamilyMint website:

FamilyMint's Money Management Certification Program combines a 60-page step-by-step workbook with a fun online money management application for kids.  Kids that complete the 2 month program develop key money habits that will benefit them the rest of their lives.

The workbook consists of four chapters, an introduction, instructions for the parent, worksheets and forms, an answer key and parent checklist.  FamilyMint has a Special Introductory Bundle Offer from $29.99 and includes the workbook and a lifetime subscription to FamilyMint Premium (the online application).

The first thing I noticed about the workbook was the cute animated pencil character that is found throughout and guides the student with instructions.  The workbook is black and white and very full of information but organized simply so not to overwhelm boys and girls.

Each chapter includes sections to be read, vocabulary, short written assignments and fun money facts.  Dude's favorite activity was when the program asked them to do something physically with their money like counting and sorting.  Lil Red's favorite part was getting to fill-out the practice checks and deposit slips. 

Pros: This program is very easy to implement.  It is also simple to read and follow.  My kids enjoyed learning more about money and it really worked for us.  The online program includes the forms and activities that are included in the workbook.  The forms online can be used for a lifetime.

Cons: I did not find anything that I did not like but my kids did struggle with the information on interest but after a few tries they began to understand.  I think their struggles had more to do with their maturity levels and not the program itself  The program is originally intended for students in grade 5 and up.

If you would like to order your own program of FamilyMint's Money Management Certification Program for $29.99, then please visit their site above.
This review is part of the Mosaics Reviews: A medley of review perspectives. To see other perspectives please visit their site here.
The next product review will be We Choose Virtues.

Would you like to be a part of the Mosaic Reviews Team?  Leave me a comment and I can get you the information to join this wonderful group.