Wednesday, April 09, 2008

First Annual Pencil Contest

Sometimes the littlest things can be the biggest frustrations when it comes to homeschooling. A brand new box of pencils can quickly slip through my kids' fingers into some other dimension through an invisible Mirado Black Warrior Hole. The amount of time wasted in searching for a pencil could probably add an extra day to our yearly school schedule.

In February, I decided that I needed to troubleshoot the pencil problem before I lost my sanity along with my temper, sadly. I started a pencil contest for my children and myself, giving each contestant one pencil labeled with his/her name.

"Keep it safe. Keep it sharp. Keep it free of bite-marks. Above all keep it. The person who keeps his/her pencil the longest wins!"

Believe it or not, our contest is still ongoing!

Evan and Matthew wore their first pencil down to an ergonomically incorrect nub and were issued a replacement pencil. Sophie writes with more of a delicate feminine touch and still has her first pencil. They all wore out the original erasers on their pencils, but Evan hot-glued cap erasers to the pencil ends (the only way to keep cap erasers from falling into the black hole).

I have decided that if all of the kids keep their pencil (or mom-authorized replacement) until the end of the school year, I will give each of them a prize.

Our first annual pencil contest is saving us some time, money, and sanity and is contributing to a more peaceful homeschooling atmosphere. It may seem like a little thing, but it works for me!


Ellen said...

This is the best tip I've heard in a long time. Every morning, there is a long search to find pencils. Where did they all go? I am definitely going to use your pencil contest tip. And I also love the idea of gluing the eraser to the top of the pencil. How come I never thought of that?

Lorna said...

Our children have a trading game for little paper towns they make, lttle stubs of pencils become commodities. I have no idea how it works but somehow it means they value and look after their pencils very well.
Now, I wish I could say the same for scissors.

Judy said...

Simple and brilliant - I love it!

Michele said...

That is a brilliant idea! We waste alot of time on finding "the right" pencil too!

Michele B

Audrey said...

That is a great idea! I think that black hole hovers over the entire Homeschool Community!! Thanks a lot! :)

Family O'Foxes said...

In our homeschooling family it isn't pencils we have a hard time finding it is the scissors. Maybe I should do that with the scissors. It gets frustrating when you need a pair and you can't find one.

Thanks for the tip! My kids always like a challenge.

Amy said...

Love it! I may be borrowing this one!

Joy said...

I love this! Our family must have access to the same black hole, because our pencils are also constantly disappearing. I just yesterday labeled pencils for my 3 kids, but I love the idea of having a contest. They'll love that!

Sherry said...

Great idea! I need to do that with my daughter regarding her books, pens, notebooks, etc. She loses something almost every day. :)