Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Moving Along

Less than 3 weeks from now our oldest boy will be having surgery.  As nerves begin to rattle a bit and more questions come from his heart, I prepare him as best we can.  Summer.  I help focus him on summer and enjoying these long, hot days before school begins.  Jesus.  It all comes back to Him, how grateful I am to have our family foundation of faith to help my little boy stand upon.  See, those questions fade and he knows, even in his young heart, that we have Him greater than us to guide our way.  So the nerves settle, and summer carries on.  Please keep Aiden in your prayers as this is a big thing for an 8 year old boy to face.  I am proud of him already and will post updates when that time comes. 

In the meantime, we continue to prepare ourselves for school.  I love watching this come together.  With every piece of organization, resource discovered, and lesson plan, I find something even greater.  Confidence.  With a deeper understanding that this is exactly where God wants us to be, comes that  sweet peace of watching the heartbeat of our home fall into its perfect place.  Even with ideal routines not yet completely established, I find glimpses of a wonderful year ahead.

Assurance of being in God's will.  Peace in knowing we've followed Him into what's right for our family.  Understanding that He's had life under control through everything sweet and everything bitter.  Confidence through seeing how prepared He's made us.  Living grace through how He's guided and provided through following His direction.  Growth through standing for Him, His word, and what He's whispered in my heart as being true and right.  THAT is what I thank Him for today.

I was reminded this weekend of how roots must be strong in order for a tree to bear much fruit.  Reminded again and again in only that amazing way that He can-by bringing the same truths into our lives repeatedly.  In only ways and circumstances that He can.  And today I stand on His reminder and promises.  I can hardly wait to watch this next year unfold!

And the remnant that is escaped the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.  2 Kings 19:30

                 And for a peak into our schoolroom in the making...

Probably my favorite part of our schoolroom is these chairs!  A little background will help you understand!  My Grandpa passed in January of this year.  This man will always be such a huge part of our lives and hearts!  I grew up so close to him, learning more from him than I could ever tell you.  He was a part of my daily life, my school life, and as I said heart!  Him and my Grandma gave me these old folding chairs when I first moved out on my own.  I've hung onto them as they're so sturdy and have come in handy time and time again.  He put his initials on the bottom, so that's another small but priceless thing he left behind!  And come to find out, these chairs were actually given to him by HIS father.  So, the kids' school chairs actually belonged to their Great, Great Grandpa Oscar. 

I first took the chairs apart, which will vary with the type of chair you are refurbishing.  For us it was as simple as 4 screws, then popping the cushion part of the seat out of a second part of the frame.

I spray painted the frame-both pieces (the seat isn't pictured).  It took 4 coats, a little less than one can of paint per chair.

Then I covered the cushion with duct fabric from Hobby Lobby.  This proved to be thicker and therefore will be more durable for everyday use.  I've seen in other tutorials that crafters use staple guns for this step.  As our seat was metal, I opted for a high temp hot glue gun.  The trick is to pull the fabric tight at each step and to cut off as much excess fabric as possible, as this cushion was afterward popped back into the seat frame.

Piece it all back together and we have the final result!  LOVE THEM!

 Now for a bit of resources/organization to share with you....
I refuse to raise couch potatoes.  I not only want my children to stay active, fit, and healthy-but I also want their days to be filled with fresh air and the boost we get from physical activity!  Our curriculum encourages this as something we should add-and I completely agree.  So our school days will include P.E. 

I made a set of 'P.E. Pick A Card's.  The kids (or Mama, depending on the day) will choose a card filled with various activities.  If we have leftover time, they can choose a game to play.  I'll continue to add to this deck of cards as we see what works best.  They also include cards for 'Indoor Days' when good old Louisiana weather will get the best of us!

Master Lesson Plans-COMPLETE!  I've found a wonderful, and free online home school planner.  It's loaded with resources for planning and record keeping.  Click here to visit Mardel's A Simple Plan Online.  And, it's all printable, which will serve well for my record keeping!  I spent a few days making both kids' master lesson plans for the entire year.  I put the master pages into page protectors and have them in my binder with their course instructions!  So week by week, I'll be able to look and see where we need to be!  This will also help tremendously with their weekly lesson plans.  It was a lot of work, but will serve to keep us on track and let me focus weekly on teaching and their learning!

And YES, we are upside down-just work with me here :).  I've finished the kids' weekly lesson plans for the first 2 weeks of school.  It's helped me get acquainted with their specific subjects and texts, along with feeling out how our weeks will flow.  Using the same online program, I was able to print a list of their weekly assignments.  This will serve as a guide, but will also be great for my grading system.  I can enter grades for graded work and reprint the list at the end of the week to include these grades!  Their completed work and grades will be filed by the week!  The handwritten lesson plans include the actual 'guts' of what needs to be covered-these pages came from the CLASS Lesson Planner and include space for notes on what will still need review, etc.  And lastly, their worksheets for that week are pulled and attached!  I feel really good about this system and think it will serve us well!

 School in the Whitten home will begin August 19th!  The countdown is on!

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