Dan the Working Man

Today is a glorious day, and I’m not just talking about the weather (although it is in the low 70′s with clear blue skies).

My middle son, Daniel, got a job today. He’s been hired by a local small business owner to organize and clean his shop. I’ve been literally dancing and jumping with joy (sorry for that mental picture) since I got home — Kathy and I are so pleased that Dan has been afforded this opportunity.

Dan wore a tie to the interview, but brought working clothes in a knapsack.

Dan wore a tie to the interview, but brought working clothes in a knapsack.

The business owner (and presumably Daniel’s boss) is a Christian man; we couldn’t be more delighted for Daniel to have his first job working for a godly man. The job is right down Dan’s alley, requiring organization and diligence (two of Daniel’s great strengths).

This job opens up many possibilities for Daniel, since I made it a requirement before he could get his Driver’s License. Like many young men, Daniel thrives when given a challenge and he is no stranger to hard work — but he needed a chance to apply himself on a larger scale. Today God gave him that opportunity, and we are deeply thankful.

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School Planning

This is my 15th or 16th year homeschooling. You would think I surely know what I’m doing by now. Ha! In some ways I do feel confident about things (I’ve settled on some curriculum choices that have fit our family well and prepared us for higher education), and in other areas I continually feel inadequate and ill-equipped to educate these precious children.

David and Sarah - the last of my homeschooling kiddos!

David and Sarah – the last of my homeschooling kiddos!

Thank goodness for the Lord’s guidance, equipping, presence and wisdom! Not to mention the amazing friends I’ve met and known over the years who gladly share their ideas and input.

Right now I’m in the midst of finishing up our school schedule for September. I’ve found a system that works for us, and I LOVE planning things out for a month at a time. I only have 2 children that I’m homeschooling this year. Gasp! Two in college and one in a full time program at the local technical school – crazy!

After much trial and effort, this is what I’ve developed for our school scheduling.

This oversize tablet is what I prefer to use:

Handwriting Chart

Handwriting Chart

Years ago I found this handwriting tablet at a school supply store. I used it for our science curriculum – I wrote notes on it and had the children copy them down in their own folders. After that it sat for a long time behind our piano (the storage place for random poster paper). When I decided to work on a large chart for the kids, this came to mind and I realized it would be perfect.

Originally I used it like this and hung it in the wall of our dining room:

Handwritten Chart

Handwritten Chart

I loved picking different colors for the kids’ school subjects and writing everything down. They liked being able to see at a glance what work they had to do each day and being able to check them off as they completed work.

At some point I realized the individual sections were exactly the size of our mailing labels from our holiday letters. A brilliant idea came to mind – I could use the template in Word to type out the kids’ schedules and then print them off. This would still allow me to color code things for each child, but would save me a huge amount of time in writing and re-writing each thing.

Copy and Paste is a wonderful thing!

Now the charts look something like this:

February's chart

February’s chart

I try to pick cute graphics for each month, and it still takes me a little time to draw the lines for the calendar, but the overall project is so worthwhile! I get to adjust our schedules easily and each child knows exactly what the month holds. Fridays we have co-op, so we don’t have much scheduled for that day.

A closer look of Sarah's chart.

A closer look of Sarah’s chart.

How do you organize your monthly school schedules?

Kathy

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