We are back!
We have just started back to school this past week after having our six week summer break. It was well needed for all of us. Stepping back into schoolwork and prep is a stark reminder to me of one of my weak areas in life: spinning plates.
What I mean by this, is that I would love to say that I multi-task well…I do not. I have three major areas that I feel I need to focus on in this season of my life – school, home, crafting business. During the summer we take a break from school, there are few to no craft shows I attend in June or July, so that leaves me with home.
I had gotten into such a great rhythm, getting up early (just before the kids wake) to have some me time (I never thought I would do that in my life, but I have enjoyed it). Then doing my exercise video, reseting the kitchen, and working on the household chores for that day. It was a beautiful thing. I felt I was making progress, and then school starts and my next craft show is in four weeks. So, you can probably guess what my house looks like at this moment! Now, I understand my house does not have to be perfect, but I can tell you that clutter distracts and can agitate me. I get a lot less done when too many things are out of place. So, back to the spinning plates of life. Maybe, just maybe one day I will learn how to keep these three plates a-spinning at the same time. But for now, we may have a few metaphorical plates broken all over the not-so-clean kitchen floor.
On the up-and-up side of things, I did find this really fun resource at the end of last school year (May-ish). They were created by Lucky Little Learners over at the TeachersPayTeachers website. It is such a simple idea, and so ingenious at the same time! This is just the motivation my kiddos needed for some extra practice with no groans.
These Toothy Mats include a mat with a fun face and a wide open mouth. Each skill has a set of problem cards and either a blank mat or a mat that has some problem set up help.
The student works the problem and then checks his/her answer. If they are correct, then they get to draw a tooth in the mouth. Each correct answer continues to fill the mouth with teeth. It is just a lot of fun! I simply printed mine out and slid it into a page protector so that Princess and Builder can use a dry erase marker. Lucky Little Leaners has a post on her blog site explaining more about how she uses them in her classroom.
The Toothy Sets are offered as a bundle, or there are some individual toothy mat characters that you can purchase for a lesser price. I went ahead and purchased the Math Bundle, because it included skills that both kids are working on. I could also see Princess continuing to make use of these even after Builder has moved on from the included concepts. Another beautiful thing about these mats is that the blank mats can be used with any worksheet. So Builder will still be able to practice the Toothy way even when he advances beyond the skills included in the bundle.
I have not looked through the complete line of products Lucky Little Learners offers, however, I do know that the Toothy Mats come in math, grammar, and phonics. Follow this link to check out some of the Toothy (or Hairy) options she has to offer.
Your Turn to Play ~ What is one of the best resources you have found to keep skills sharp?