Saturday, April 25, 2009

Starting the PenPal Notes Challenge with Tej

Finally... after 4+ years of working on my pet project, PenPal Notes Series have arrived... all 21,000 boxes (7 series x 3000 packs)!! They look absolutely great and I am one proud Panda (though I would have preferred to be a Pappu Lion or Tiger... but Panda it is)

With all sorts of activities to promote and sell the product underway, and me constantly talking up the learning and connecting benefits of our education lunch notes, I recently reflected that while I am the INVENTOR... I am NOT an active user of the product!! My excuse... Tej no longer takes lunch from home since the British School does such a great job with their lunch program (all you can eat.. and they even serve sushi... we can't compete with that with our daily peanut butter jelly sandwiches). The only problem... we advertise Penpal Notes as "lunch time, bedtime... ANYTIME"

In short (very rare for me...cause i am one talking panda), I decided to start the ANYTIME giving of notes with Tej two (2) weeks ago, beginning with the "Meet the US Presidents" series.

Over just the 2 short weeks I have learned that a bit of creativity and training has been required for both Tej and I to make this work, have fun, and for the learning part to happen. I wont lie... it was a tough start... it felt like KUMON!! I had to figure out what to write as my personal message, try to contextualize it to the message on the note, find a surprise place to put the note, and then remember to talk about it later. My first big lesson... you don't talk about it... they don't reeeallllly read it!! So I started talking about it.

What seemed like a chore to start with, is now coming more naturally. I am discovering great spots to put the notes (ex: bathroom mirror for a morning message, my back pocket with the note almost falling out when i pick him up from school) and being creative with my own messages.

Tej and I are having fun and the learning retention is so phenomenal (because its ONLY ONE (1) fact and it gets so much time and attention that retention is inevitable) that I decided to blog my personal experience and experimentation with PenPal Notes: Education Lunch Notes, starting with Meet the US Presidents.

Pappu Panda

PS- I am using the Amazing Animal Series for the morning bathroom notes because they are 1 liners and fun for the morning.