Frequently Asked Questions about Alexander’s Amazing Adventures
Two decades ago when our book Teaching Your Children Values became the New York Times #1 Bestseller, we knew how universal the need and the desire is of all parents to help their children develop and internalize the values that will protect them and maximize their chance of living a happy life.
Because that book was so popular, we had many offers from companies and individuals who wanted to add products to go with the book – animated films, video games, you name it! But the only group that really impressed us was four incredible songwriters and actors who wanted to make each of the 12 values in the book (honesty, respect, etc.) into a dynamic audio story of adventure and music that kids would play over and over on the “monitors of their minds.”
The result was the 12-part series Alexander’s Amazing Adventures – twelve incredibly imaginative and dramatic musical stories – each about a half-hour long and each focused on one value from the book – that kids simply become addicted to.
Designed for children between 6 and 13, it turns out that these adventures also appeal to even younger and even older children, and they become the perfect way to teach these values subliminally so that kids understand them deeply and want to emulate them.
Simply put, the goal is to effectively teach children one basic, universal value each month is a way that they “really get it” and have a desire to practice it. We believe that kids don’t learn values by chance and they don’t automatically absorb the values we want them to from us. They have to be deliberately taught if we want them to take hold.
There are 12, so that each family can concentrate on one “Value of the Month” every month of the year. The values are:
- Loyalty and Dependability
- Unselfishness and Sensitivity
- Kindness and Friendliness
- Self-reliance and Potential
- Self-discipline and Moderation
- Fidelity and Chastity
- Justice and Mercy
Interesting question. Actually, when the Eyres were writing the book they worried that people would say “Well whose values are these?” They researched and polled parents, asking what they thought were the basic and most essential values. It was gratifying that there were 12 that emerged, and that parents everywhere in the world could agree that those were the values they wanted for their kids. The Eyres wanted 12 so there could be one a month, so in a couple of instances two similar values were combined into one so there would be a total of 12.
No. All families should start with the Honesty adventure, partly because it is the “foundation value” on which the others rest, and partly because that is where the Alexander story begins and where kids get familiar with the characters for the other value adventures. And all families should end with the Justice and Mercy adventure, because it concludes the Alexander story. Once you have done a month on Honesty, go to whatever the value is for the next month. For example, if you do Honesty in January, you go to the February value of Respect next.
There are many, but the two that parents comment most on are:
- How much happier kids are who know and understand the values they are trying to live by.
- The protection of values. Since we can’t always be there personally to watch over our kids, it is the values they have internalized that will protect them from danger, deception, and bad decisions.
We have found that, when dramatic and good enough, an audio story uses more of a child’s mind and imagination than something on a screen could ever do. We want kids to see the stories on the “screen of their mind.”
Here is a surprising thing. They were originally written and recorded for elementary age kids—about 6 to 12. But we have found that they hold the interest amazingly well of smaller preschool children, and that adolescents and teens still want to listen to them (though they probably won’t admit it to you.)
No, Alexander’s Amazing Adventures is a program for individual families. However, neighbors often have some group activities and love having their friend families working on the same value as they are so the kids will see it going on in many homes. Some Joy School groups stay together and have part of their monthly discussion about sharing ideas and experiences on the value of the month.
Simple, you start over! It is amazing what a different level of understanding an 11 year old gets from a values story compared with what he got from that same story a year earlier as a 10 year old. It is the cumulative understanding of many years of the values that has the most profound impact.
Listen to the 9 minute sample on the Values home page with a child and see if he wants to hear more. And remember that they don’t have to “get it” all on the first hearing. Kids like to listen over and over and actually like each adventure more after the third or fifth or tenth listening than they did after the first.
No. Nothing is. But over the course of a full month focused on one value, things will begin to get traction. Kids will feel comfortable and confident with the value, and will understand what it means and how it is applies. It’s not the immediate results but the life-long benefits and results that we are interested in.
Lots of options. The simplest is just to click the play button right on your computer screen. You can download an mp3 or audiobook file as well that you can put on any phone or device, or burn to CD.
Yes, first because you will be entertained and enlightened by them, and second because it will give you a great point of reference to talk to your kids about each value. (eg: Remember when Alexander found the crown? What was he tempted to do? What was the right thing to do?)
The Eyres found that parents who bought the Alexander series for their kids wanted some personal help themselves on how to teach each value. These are the original audios recorded parent-to-parent by the Eyres during the era of their lives when they were listening to the Adventures with their own kids. These parent audios have an example now and then that dates them, but they also have an authenticity and enthusiasm that came from Richard and Linda’s heart as they themselves were doing the program. Now and then the audio quality of these original audios is a bit lacking, but it is more than worth it to hear the real-life experiences of the Eyres and to relate it to your own desire and effort to teach the same values to your own kids.
Anytime works. Many families start in January so they finish their first round of all 12 as the year ends. Others like to start at the beginning of a school year. Still others like to start in the Summer. The best time to start, speaking frankly, is now!
No, like your Joy School membership, you pay dues only once and are a member, with full legal access to all the adventures and all the units and all the values for your lifetime.
No. Each family should sign up and get their own VP membership and their own password and access to the adventure tapes and the parent tapes. ValuesParenting works like a coop, and the reason the price can be kept low is that everyone shares in paying their small portion of the costs.
Introduction by Richard and Linda Eyre
Listen to a preview of the Honesty Adventure