One Simple Change: Snail Mail and Personal Outreach

Last Month’s Review: August

Goal: Start Dorothy in a “pre-school” routine of sorts

Fail/Success? Success! Although it took halfway through the month for me really figure out what I was doing. Initially my thought was I just needed to start focusing on learning and teaching particular things and research some of the activities and ideas out there. Homeschooling is becoming so common and collaborative thanks much to do with the social networking we can do through the web. There are so many materials and such out there online. Honestly, Google and Pinterest searches were overwhelming! Eventually I realized I had to have a laid out plan. A schedule of some sort, but most examples I found were too structured for me. I get that it works and is best for many people, but on any given day our schedule is different—we have places to go or I have things to do for my work during the day. But by the last couple weeks of the month, I’d found a way that works perfectly for us: The School Fairy Box. 

Together, Dorothy and I decorated a special box. Each day, only after we have eaten breakfast, gotten dressed, and brushed our teeth, we open it up to see what the “school fairy” has left inside. Typically it is an activity involving nothing more than paper, crayons and maybe glue or sometimes stickers. Every so often it is a new book, flash cards or something more unique like Playdoh. I keep each week focused on one to two concepts and have outlined ideas for the next six weeks, not going further only because I wanted to see how this routine would work before planning too far out. 

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What I got out of it: By taking the time (which honestly was only about a day or two of hit and miss time) to determine how to approach incorporating focused learning into our day, I have created something that helps both myself and the kids accomplish what I wanted. Having the box makes Dorothy not only excited to do whatever is inside, but it also helps motivate her to go through the standard morning procedure. Additionally, the box forces me to not just plan in advance, but to have something fully ready the night before. I know I cannot afford to wait until morning to put my activity together and not have Dorothy watching or asking or wondering why I have the box out. The themes for each week are a huge help in driving a concept home. 

Moving Forward: I am excited to keep going forward with this and coming up with new things to excite my children’s learning. I am a lover of lists and planning so coming up with a weekly and monthly schedule is enjoyable to me. Doing this also makes finding ideas online less overwhelming because I can search for specific activities. September will be fun. In addition to more letters, we’ll also talk about the season of fall and have an apple week (because of the local Apple Festival, of course!)

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New Challenge: September

Goal: Write letters/Send mail to friends

Motivation behind the challenge: I did this for Lent a couple of years ago and loved doing it and recently I received a nice letter in the mail from a close friend whom I am not in touch with much anymore. Were it not for social media, I’m not sure we would know much of anything about each other’s lives! Even though social media gives us an easy sneak peek into certain people’s lives, personal contact is so meaningful. Of course, I also love writing and sending mail in general, so, in theory, this will be an easy challenge for me. I do know how the days get away from me, though, and even my evenings when the kiddos are sleeping are consumed by work. I’ve already sent an anniversary card this month, but I am not counting any cards I’d send typically (unless I include an extra note.) I’m hoping to send at least one a week. 

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