What comes first, next, and last?
It’s time to prioritize! This marks the halfway point through Habits of Learning and we are starting prioritization. I am so excited about this week and I hope it helps you and your students work on your priorities.
If you are just joining us, you might want to start at the beginning:
- Habits of Learning: The Ten Skills Needed For Lifelong Learning
- Habits of Learning: The Grid
- Habits of Learning: Responsibility
- Habits of Learning: Respect
- Habits of Learning: Organization
- Habits of Learning: Time Management
This week’s lessons start are with a game, then move on to the daily trifecta and learning about eating frogs! Really, frogs!
Sounds pretty great! If you are enjoying your Habits of Learning journey…
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Once you have completed the last four weeks of lessons, you are ready to dive into week five: Prioritization. It is really important to have completed the Time Management lessons before you start on these lessons. Here is all you need to do to get ready for this week:
- Download the lesson plan (link below), print it if desired.
- Bookmark this blog post that includes live links to use for each lesson containing a video.
- Print the First, Next, and Last game board.
- Print the game cards, double-sided.
- Have paper and coloring supplies on hand.
- Print one frog picture for each student.
- Print one copy of the STING poem.
- Bible copywork page for each student.
Now you are ready to go!
Remember to Practice
The general instructions for these lessons stay the same from week to week. This week (and from here on out) you will want to encourage your children to do the exploration activities from the previous week’s lesson.
This may be a copy sheet, hymn study, or memorization. Maybe they might like to read a book from the list or watch one of the video links. It does not matter which activity they do, what does matter is that they are still thinking about and learning about the previously studied habit.
Furthermore, make sure you are always looking for ways to praise your children as they progress in the previously studied habits. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO DO!
This focus on continual practice and praise will help further development and generalization. It reinforces the idea that we are always working to improve ourselves.
Below are some of the special elements that you might want to read about before completing the lessons.
The Rule of Three (The Daily Trifecta)
The “Rule of Three” was taught by Chris Bailey in his book The Productivity Project. Simply stated it is the practice of limiting your daily to-do list to the top three most important tasks of the day.
It’s that simple.
This habit supercharges your productivity by giving you a laser-like focus on your top priorities. When you get those top three things done, your day is a win.
This is a smart approach that keeps you from overloading your to-do list. It also helps you become realistic about your time constraints and focus on the most important tasks of the day.
Tasks that don’t make the top three fall to the side and are put on hold (or are trashed) until they rise to the importance of the top three.
Eat The Frog
Self-help expert Brain Tracy uses Mark Twain’s metaphor of eating a frog for an effective prioritization strategy.
The principle is simple: do the hardest thing first even if you don’t want to do it.
Often we get stuck procrastinating a task that REALLY needs to be done but that we REALLY don’t want to do.
Other times we get wrapped up in the small, nagging tasks of life and never get to the really, big important tasks. We get stuck in the daily twaddle of life.
Both procrastination tasks and twaddle tasks leave us helplessly treading water in life instead of swimming forward toward our goals.
The moral: Eat The Frog.
Set the twaddle aside. Get the hardest task done first then move on to the rest.
The result: less stress, deeper peace, more accomplished, and added happiness.
STING is an acronym from the book The Procrastinating Child: A Handbook for Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off by Rita Emmett.
Procrastination can become a bad habit for many reasons. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed or nervous. Other times we might struggle with paralyzing perfectionism that causes us to fear failure, getting mentally stuck. Even low self-esteem can cripple our ability to get started.
Whatever the reason, the STING acronymic is a process that can help us get started and move on from the paralyzing effects of procrastination.
Select one task you’ve been putting off.
Time yourself. Give yourself a reasonable time limit for the task and set a timer.
Ignore everything around you. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, set aside your toys.
No breaks. Stay focused on the task until your time limit is up or you complete your task.
Give yourself a reward once the task is complete.
That’s it. Five simple steps to take the STING out of procrastination!
Seraphina Does Everything
This is a brand new book with a heartfelt message and delightful artwork. Although harder to find, it is worth buying a copy for your home library. Here is the teaser from the back of the book:
Seraphina wants to do it all.
And she does! From soccer to ballet to French club, her schedule is jam-packed. There are so many options and doors to walk through in life, and Seraphina doesn’t want to miss a thing!
So, if Seraphina is doing all the things she wants to do, why does she feel so blue? With help from her dad, Seraphina discovers that in trying to do everything, she is missing out on her favorite things.
Grow Our Community
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