20 August 2009

Retentive Tendencies

Here is a tribute to the exercising of my retentive tendencies! This is a sturdy box that my new (beautiful) silverware came in. Do you ever have a nice strong box and you hesitate to throw it out, because surely it would be useful for something? Well my oldest was driving her dolls around in this box, and making nests for her toy creatures, and I had a Brilliant Idea. (Doesn't it just seem so much more Brilliant when you capitalize it?!)

As you can see, this box is pretty jam-packed with the little junky things that can just clutter up your whole workspace. My kids have a tendency to let Play-Doh dry out, and I had a couple of these little cups... it grew from there. During our school time, we needed erasers. We didn't want a big bag of rubber bands out, because that's just an invitation to the baby. We'd get all settled to work, and I would be secretly focusing solely on how badly I needed some lip balm. We'd hit a wall with math drills and move to dice. We would need a ruler for only two math problems. The pencil would break a lead while the baby was sleeping. We would need an index card for a quick sketch. All these needs would usually cause me to be jumping up and down from the work table like a drop of water in a frying pan. Enter my sturdy box.

I collected these little bits together and some other items got added in the corners. I confess to an absolute infatuation of and addiction to the little post-it flags for marking pages. I got a cool cursive guide for free and didn't know what to do with it; I stuck it in behind the index cards as a reference tool. And those books on the left? Let me tell you about the books.

These little jewels are a few from a series called "God, I Need to Talk to You About..." We own "G.I.N.T.T.T.Y.A... Disrespect; Lying; Laziness; Stealing; Paying Attention; Bad Temper and Whining." Only one sinful trait is focused on per book (whew! Thank goodness!) Each book is written from the point of view of a child, about 10 years old, who has had a conflict and is being instructed on how to improve it. They are written as a prayer in which the child discusses with the Lord his bad habit and what his parents have instructed, and how he feels about all this. On a few pages of each book, in the drawings and not part of the main text, are some pertinent scriptures showing the two sides of the problem. For instance, in our dog-eared, sad, worn-out copy of "G.I.N.T.T.T.Y.A. Whining," there are these three scriptures:

"A fool's mouth is his undoing." Proverbs 18:7

"A wise man keeps himself under control." Proverbs 29:11

"The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded." Ecclesiastes 9:17

Being in this sturdy box with all the other little supplies make them easily accessible. There will be a myriad of times when we must break from our educational plans and work on character issues for a while. There have been times when Claire has read me one of these little books 1 or 2 times during one worksheet. After a few times reading it all the way through, if there is still a problem, she then has to read to me the contrasting scriptures only. We haven't yet come to the point where I've had her write out the scriptures. After that, if they are still struggling, I would say call it a day and go have your favorite beverage.

And that red thing taking up so much space? It's my paper clip holder. Yeah, we don't ever really use paper clips, but I really like the container. It's a lame plastic apple with "Our School is Special Thanks To YOU!" printed on the side. I know, the king of corny. But now I appreciate teachers so much more, and I'm an under-appreciated teacher at my homeschool. So its my little boost during the day. One day I'll get little teacher-oriented presents. This is one to me, from me 'till then.


  1. I'm glad you have a little teacher pick me up- teachers need them the most! That is a GIANT paper clip holder- is that's all that's in there?

  2. That's all. Its really the apple, not the paper clips. And its not that many clips either, it's just what I put in there.