In 2011, I'm working on becoming a More Mindful Mommy, which requires an easy yet accessible reminder throughout my day to put first things first. Hence my new invention, the Pencil In Priorities Jars...
Lorelei and Gryffy were really receptive to putting these things into action! Here's Lorelei doing addition with beads and a pipe cleaner for her Math pencil. Gryffy, meanwhile, made a bracelet (that's our manly boy).
For our Devotional pencil, it can be reviewing Awana's verses, or simple prayer/worship and Bible study (Lorelei made her devotional candle in school--it's perfect to mark a time set aside for God).
Baby Moses in his basket (watching Prince of Egypt).
Our "Tag Reader" is unstructured time for reading/phonics, but I'll also throw in a bit of instruction--here's flashlight tag with sight words.
A pirate's trail of gingerbread crumbs... goldfish, naturally.
Our other pencils are: Teeth/Hair/Clothes, Movement, Worksheets (Lorelei's preschool homework), Calendar (like the calendar station at preschool), Chores, Handwriting, Violin. The kids don't have to do all of these (some are musts, like violin practice for Lorelei)--I encourage them to play and be silly kids. But until all the pencils move jars, there's one thing the kids can't do: watch TV. It's the simplest tool (aren't those the best?), yet because of it I'm a more engaged Mommy, and I've got two kids learning to set priorities.
(Special thanks to Lorelei and Daddy for spending part of their Christmas gift cards on my new label maker--if only they knew what they were buying into... :o)