Tag Archive: parents



In the last post, I posted an idea or two about filing solutions that could help our children keep track of their schoolwork. But what about filing solutions that help parents keep track of their children’s work as it is brought home (or turned in, if you are a home educator).

When my children were much younger and attending public school, it seemed like my life was inundated with their paperwork, art projects, and permission slips. Does that sound familiar? 🙂  I thought, perhaps, when we decided to bring them home in order to home educate them that it would be different, that somehow, that pile of paperwork would disappear, or at the very least, lessen. After eight years, it hasn’t. Granted, there are no longer macaroni art pieces to be hung, but as I write this, my younger daughter (who is 14), has taken it upon herself to create “slime”. You’ve got it…SLIME! A budding kitchen chemist…Now, I ask YOU…How am I to file THAT piece of artwork?! As the ideas I am about to share with you, just will not do the job. So, seriously, if you have any ideas, let me know!

Okay, the way I managed our children’s files when they were younger, was that each was assigned a particular color. Three sets of colored files lined our file boxes, representing each of our children. Each child had a file for art work, finished schoolwork, permission slips and the last held notes from the teachers and friends, as well as their grade cards.

At the end of each week, we would go over the first two files and each of the kiddos would pick out two school assignments and two pieces of artwork they would like to keep. My husband and I would also choose two items from each that we would like to keep (if our preferences differed from our children’s) and these, too, would be lain aside. We would also place report cards, friends notes, or encouraging or comical notes from the teacher in the protective sleeves.

The rest are disposed of. I know this sounds harsh, heartbreaking, horrible and all the other synonyms that mete out this idea, but think about it. I have four children. The younger three, at this point, were still in elementary and middle school. If I had kept each and every piece of paper they brought home throughout their educational careers, my entire home would now be filled with boxes! What an overwhelming thought! It is hard to enjoy that which overwhelms, right? So, we chose the best of the best.

With the choices made, we slipped them into protective sleeves and placed them in binders where they would be stored.  At the end of the school year, we typically had 1-2 binders for each child. For those macaroni art pieces, take photographs of them, print them and then place in the protective sleeve. I completely understand the desire to keep them. I have kept some “one of a kinds” that just needed to be kept as the original. For those, I framed them and they still line our upstairs hallway. However, think about this. Each time these pieces of artwork are taken out and viewed, the risk of damage is increased and then, we can’t completely enjoy it, whenever we would like, either. With a filed photograph, you can!

This is how I have chosen to deal with the schoolwork, even now that I home educate.

As a side note, I know many mothers who scrapbook their children’s work at given times during the month. I think it is a fabulous idea if you have the ability to work that into your schedule. I think it would be a beautiful tribute to the work of our children. I, too, would like to do that, but for the time being, I have not had time to do that, so I have stuck with the binder system. Hopefully, when I am no longer a full-time student and instructor, I will get around to it.

I look forward to that day!

In the meantime, I will share some fun find links…

Here is a post from Megan and Jake at “The Nerd Nest”, where there are photos posted that perfectly represent the system I use. Their link is http://thenerdnest.com/2011/11/elizas-school-work-scrapbook.html

The scrapbook idea offered toward the end can be seen here by Beth from the blog site, “It Is What It Is”.

While Erin, at the Sunny Side up Blog, has some great pics of a similar file box system that I use. I like her colors better than my own though. I have mahogany boxes and while they work, they are just not as fun! By the way, she has some great scrapbooking ideas, as well, for those of you who would like that next step. 

Happy Organizing, ladies (and gents…should you choose to join us! 🙂 )

We will see you next post!

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I was speaking with a woman recently about the relationship she and her child have in regards to education. It occurred to me that this mother was trying to achieve meeting her own needs through her child. When they were not met the way she desired, she became angry; her daughter is struggling with being respectful, there is something that she is wanting, too. The breakdown in their communication has caused problems, because each can only see what they, personally, want and are not receiving.

The book of James says that the things that cause fights and wars among us is the fact that we desire something that we are not getting; that we covet and kill but do not get what we want because we will not ask of the Father and when we do we ask, often we ask amiss to use it on our own pleasure rather for the glory of the Father.

So, how does this apply to communication in the new school year? Throughout the next months that make up our school year, there will be things that we and our children will want from one another. And, there are specific ways in which we have learned to communicate; ways that are both good and bad. This is important to accept and understand, because communication is a tool. It can be used as an implement to build and restore or it can be wielded as a weapon to tear down and destroy.

We, as parents, can set the example of loving communication that deals with problems as they arise in gentle truth, allowing our children to flourish and grow as they begin to see that we are committed to loving them the way Christ loves us.

We can teach the way He did…consistently, lovingly and truthfully, with God’s glory in mind…not our own.

When we communicate to our children that we are “here” and willing to commit to responding to them in the love of Christ, we build trust.

As I mentioned before, however, communication can also be a tool of destruction…it can be detrimental to the lives of our children.

When our children’s mistakes arise ( and they will, just as our own do) it is imperative to remember, that like ourselves, they need to be corrected, but gently, kindly and with loving patience. Is that not what the Father does for us?

He does not scream, throw things, give us labels such as “stupid”, “dumb”, or “incompetent”, storm off or ignore us. Rather, He tells us the truth in love. He calmly addresses the heart, and then the actions that came out of the position of the heart. Then, guess what? He gives us room to grow…to practice! He is not intimidated by not getting exactly what He wants from us as His children. After all, if He waited to meet us and help us until we responded perfectly to Him each time, He would be waiting an awful long time, even among those of us who call upon Him as Savior! We do not respond to Him perfectly and yet, He is always faithful in every way. Our children will not do things perfectly, but that should not keep us from committing to loving them, teaching them, being faithful parents and setting an example that they can follow and respect, as we ourselves, submit our desires to the Lord.

As we look to begin a new year in school, what would you like to see as growth in yourself and your child by the end of the school year? Lay these before Him and let Him equip you to equip your child.

Set the example of praying for both your needs. You will not be sorry.

When looking at your goals for the year, begin to also examine what is working in your relationship with your child in regards to communication.

If it working, praise the Lord for it!!! We are so good at looking at the bad in a relationship and completely missing all that is good about it!

Let’s start off the year right…Looking to the Lord, looking at the good, noble things about our relationship, give thanks and rejoice over those things and then, set off to do what the Lord shows us. Communicating with one another in love, so that our parent/child relationship will show to the world that there is a God who cares that we stay together and that we stay together because of love, not just because we are a parent and child.


English: Fiddlehead ferns

When I was a kid, I was absolutely fascinated with plant life. So much so, I remember receiving a small terrarium as a gift from my Mother.

To say I was excited was a bit of an understatement! For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, a terrarium is a small enclosed container in which plant life and even small animals can be kept for growth and observation.

[I think I just officially revealed just how nerdy I really am! 😛 ]

At any rate, I loved that thing. I got started by planting the tiny seeds in the soil provided. I added the recommended amount of water, put it in a window with partial sunlight and waited.

And waited…

and waited.

It seemed like an eternity before my tiny little plants began to unfurl from within their humid enclosure, but there they were… growing! I was so excited! From here, I set out to help them grow. “The trick?”, you might ask…

Consistent watering. That’s it. They didn’t need anything more than I had given them in the beginning. Good soil, water and sun. The Lord did the rest.

The funny thing about looking back upon these little plants is they were not stressed out, running all about trying to make themselves bigger, prettier, more fruitful. I WAS waiting after all!

No, they did want they were supposed to do. They grew at a steady rate…much slower, I might add than my little impatient nerdy self would have liked, but they made it! They became a beautiful, self-contained miniature garden. They did what they were created to do, even in the midst of being impatiently observed.

My point? REST. Yep, you heard me. REST.

In the book of Isaiah, chapter 30, God told the people of Israel that “in returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength, but you would have none of it.” So, off to captivity they went to learn what it meant to rely on the Lord and rest in Him and His work in them.

For all you students running around trying with allllll your youthful might to make yourself the best you, you can be. Trying to bring in the grades. Trying to have the ‘right’ social life. Get into the ‘right’ college or grad. school.  Rest. The Lord knows who the ‘best’ you is and exactly how to accomplish it. Trust Him.

For all you parents running around not only trying with all your older might not only to be the best you, you can be, but you are trying to force your children to be the best of your ideal version of them. Rest. God declared that He had a good plan for both of you before either of you were even conceived! Rest.

Besides, for all of our rushing, fussing and stress, we cannot change one hair on our young, or more mature (for us older folks) heads.

The Lord knows what we need. He understands all too well that our lives, much like those of my precious little garden plants of childhood, are lived in a proverbially terrarium. People are watching…and people have opinions…and they talk!

Just like I was of the opinion that my plants were not growing fast enough, there will be those who just don’t think we are getting the job done. But the thing is, if we are waiting upon the Lord, we are trusting Him and we are allowing Him to transform us into His image, it will happen. Just not in their time. But it will happen. Rest.

Sometimes, we are the ones who analyze ourselves to death. I am a professional over-analyzer, when it comes to my life. You know what the message to me is? Rest. Let the Lord direct and grow me. He has planted me in the fertile soil of Himself, He waters me with His Word and He provides the warmth of trials to grow me. He knows what He is doing. Rest. In trusting Him, I have my confidence and my strength. It is when I am running around trying to make it happen that all of that goes away. I crumble. My relationships crumble. I need to learn to rest, too.

I know, I know…”But, But, But…”

Just rest. Ask Him what He wants you to shoot for today. Do it, relying on His strength and His provision. He will see what He began in us to completion. He promised.

Just rest…


So, to continue our thoughts about ringing in summertime, it has been my experience that when children are small (or not so much anymore) it is easy for them to become bored relatively quickly when they are not able to do what their little hearts want…or when they simply have no idea what to do, because there are so many choices since their not confined to the classroom!

Here is a cute little idea I stumbled across while on Pinterest…well, I thought it was more than cute…I thought it was BRILLIANT! In fact, I like it so much, that I am considering creating one for myself. Not for those days that I am bored, as I don’t have time to get bored…rather, for those times when there are so many things to do that I am having a hard time focusing. I can fill the jar with the items that I know must be done that day and pick one! But for those of us who have children, we can also use it to create ideas that will bust the boredom. Be creative, be fun, even the oldest kids still love being “kids” if we can light on things that represent their interests.

So, here it is…why don’t you check out this young lady’s site, as it is chalked full of other great ideas. Happy organizing!