Friday, May 30, 2014

Project Life 2013 | Weeks 31 - 33

I have divided August into two part since there were quite a few pages.  We had a busy, full summer.  It has been fun to look back at these pages from summer 2013 and look forward to the summer months ahead.
This was a weekend beach trip we took with friends.  I added it as an 8.5x11 insert.  More grids, more layers, more yellows and blues.  

Week 33 was all about our trip to Utah.  I snapped a lot of photos and added a lot of them to our album through an 8.5x11 insert and a 6x12 inserts.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

6 Steps to an Awesome Summer Series | Work

Step 5 | Summer Work

Today we are talking about summer work, chores, jobs, whatever it may go by in your home.  I'm sure many of you have systems in place for chores and jobs, but I wanted to share what we do.  We have worked with this system for the last few years and it has worked well for us.

We keep our system easy and lose during the summer.  We do jobs every weekday and have a set time that we work on our jobs each day.  I have a stack of job cards and magnetic containers.  Each child has two magnetic containers, one labeled To Do and one labeled Done.  Each day I have the option to look through the cards and I usually add 4-6 cards to their To Do container.  When it is time to get our jobs done, my kids can look at their containers, grab their job cards, and complete them, returning the cards to the Done magnetic container.

I love the versatility of this system.  I can daily add the exact amount of cards I need to add.  If we have a busy day, I may just add 1-2 cards, if we need to dig in deep and clean, we may do 7-8 cards.  If we are interrupted during our work time, it is easy to come back and finish the cards that are left.  I like how my kids can see what they have accomplished, that they can hold the cards in their hands, and move them as they finish them.  It is also easy for me to see what has been done.

Work has been a great part of our summer.  During the summer, I feel like I have a little more time to focus on training the kids to learn new chores and help them to do quality work.  It is great to work as a family to keep the house clean, especially with the extra messes summer can bring.

Find the Other Steps to this Series Below
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer Series | Work

My Girl's Room

This room was so fun to put together.  It really is a collection of things we had and handmade decorations. If you have read the blog for awhile, you will recognize a lots of things pulled from other areas of our home.  I love that!  I'll share more details in a later post.

Find the rest of our home tour here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Step 4 Summer School

Step 4 | Summer School

We have had some difficulties with our computer this last week, have replaced the hard drive, and are still having problems uploading photos.  So, no photos this week.  I will add some photos and update this post as soon as I can!

We have been doing summer school the last few years.  The system below has worked great for our family.

We meet in the morning before chores and summer school.  We pray, read our scriptures, work on memorization, and read from a couple other reference type books like Story of the World, Mathematicians are People, Too, or First Language Lessons.  We only spend a short amount of time reading from one or two of these reference books.

Read Alouds
I will read during lunchtime but I also sometimes read at bedtime and at other times during the day, as the mood strikes.  We will just be working on reading books from our 2014 reading list.  We need to focus on these since we have only read a couple from the list this year.  Below are the list of books we will be choosing from.  We also love to listen to books on tape in the car and at home.

The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers
Betsy-Tacy and Tib by Maud Hart Lovelace
More All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Babe:  The Gallant Pig by dick King-Smith
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Little Britches by Ralph Moody
The Railway Children by E. Nesbit (Free on Kindle)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery
Summer School Binder
This is their individual Summer School Program, catered to them.  They have a chart to mark off each day in their binder.  They each have 4 things to do for summer school: reading, writing, math, and typing.  Below is a breakdown of what they are required to do in each category and the amount of minutes they are required to work on each item.  They have to do writing, typing, and math during our designated Summer School time, but the reading they can do at anytime during the day.  My kids always read before bed, so this will work well for them.  My 5 year old will have to work on the items below for half the amount of time.   They only work on their binders Monday through Thursday. 

R - Reading – (30)  Read from a chapter book or read aloud a picture book to a siblings. 

W - Writing – (20) Write a letter, email, book report, worksheet, handwriting sheets, write in your journal, or write a story.

T - Typing – (20) Internet typing site.

M - Math – (20) Kahn Academy, Xtra Math, or worksheet.

Here is one of our summer school checklists.
We store their check off list, worksheets, paper, and zippered pencil holder in their own 3 ring binder.  I love having it all contained in one place.  We pull them out once a day, work on them, mark them off, and put them away for the day.  If we have to travel somewhere, the binders and a book are easy to bring with us.

I'm wanting to join in with the kid's summer school this year.  I'm thinking I will join them in working on my own education alongside them this year.  If you haven't checked out the Khan Academy, do, it is amazing!  Such a great site and it is free!

Find the Other Steps to this Series Below
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer Series | Work
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Summer School
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Activities
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer | Crafts
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Schedules

This post contains some affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Lemon Verbena!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Project Life 2014 | Title Page

Here is my simple title page for 2014.  I debated saving it until after I had shared my 2013 pages, but decided against it.  It has been taking me a long time to share all those pages from last year.  How about I share once a week until I finish sharing 2013.  Okay, now I'm commited.  We'll get that album shared and start sharing 2014.

A photo of all of us and one of each of my kids.  This year I'll be using the Project Life Midnight Edition and the Project Life Just Add Color Edition.  I used the  Just Add Color Edition page protector for the title page and plan on incorporating these throughout my 2014 album.  I'm loving the square inserts!

Below is a sneak peak at the rest of the album.  I'm working on this album quarterly.  I have made four cards like the one below with the months of the year.  I'm planning to continue the theme of neutrals and 1-2 colors on each spread.  I'm loving the yellows and neutrals but I think I will also incorporate oranges, pinks, and blues.  It has been fun this year to work on this album in larger chunks, taking the pressure off from recording and collecting weekly.  I'm still trying to collect and organize photos weekly and write down stories as they occur.  I just bring it all together quarterly.  It has been a fun way to work on the album this year.  I love that project life can be so versatile, it really can be whatever you want it to be.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Simple Days

I enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day and felt spoiled and loved by my little crew of people.  They take good care of me, my little bunch of mischievous rascals.

We have spent lots of time these last few days opening windows, playing outside, and breathing deeply.  In my home I'm letting go and purging and simplifying and it feels so good!  I want to be ready for this summer, with things in order, with less stuff in my house, less tasks on my brain, and more time to spend with my family and friends.

Spring soccer is in full swing.  We spend a good chunk of our Saturdays with all three of the older kids outside on the field.  It has been so much fun to watch and cheer my kids on, especially as they have gotten older and really try, push, and excel.

I have added a few more plants around the house.  I should post some photos of our hanging baskets and planter boxes.  I'm loving impatiens this year.  I planted some old favorites, shamrock, violas, alyssum, and petunias.  I've also added some white and orange poppies to the mix.  It is a pretty mix and I'm excited to see them grow.

I'm hoping to get out in the garden and finish all of the planting out there this week.  They weather is perfect for outdoor work and I'm hopeful I can get it all done.  Loving this time of year, the sunshine and the freshening up of spring and summer fill our days.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Activities

Step 3 | Activities

This week is simple.  We are making a list of activities that the kids can do during their free time on those long, summer days.  Sometimes kids just need some help, figuring out what to do. You will notice that I don't have household work or summer school work on this list.  We have systems for both of these and they are required parts of our day.  In creating this list I'm focusing on the things they may be excited about choosing to do in their free time.

Here are a list of the activities I chose:
Computer Typing Site
Scout Activity
Faith in God Activity
Ride Bikes
Sprinkler or Waiting Pool
Play Dough
Exercise Video
Write a Letter
Listen to Book on Tape
Write and Illustrate a Book
Plan an Adventure
Write an Email
Do Job to Earn Extra Money
Computer Educational Website
Write Outside With Chalk
Play Four Square
Build and Outdoor Fort
Play in Treehouse
Swing on Rope Swing
Play in Teepee
Have a Picnic
Pick Veggies from the Garden
Collect Bugs
Have a Tea Party
Play with Toys
Play With Bubbles
Imagine an Adventure
Build an Indoor Fort
Create a Library, Restaurant, School, or Store.
Play any Sport
Watch and Play with Baby
Take Photos
Play Cops and Robbers
Sew or Knit

Use the activities above or reference it to create your own list.  Here are some things to think about while creating your list.

1.  Self Directed Activites
The activities on this list have to be things that the children can do on their own.  We are already coordinating crafts, food, chores, family outings, trips, etc.  If they want to do something that needs supervision or your help, explain to them that it has to be done at a different time, that this is the time when they are able to have fun on their own.

2.  Variety
I tried to give some variety to what was on our lists.  I'm sure all of our lists will be a bit different, depending on what resources we have and what our circumstances are.  I considered having a variety of activities that included elements of quietly sitting, creating, actively moving, playing outside, imagining, and helping.

3.  Make It Visible
I've framed my list and am planning to display it in a easy to view location in our home.  We will reference it throughout our free time when children need ideas of things to do.

4.  Prepare
Make sure you are prepared for each activity.  It is such a bummer for kids to see an activity on the list and find out that you don't have the supplies to do it.  For my list I need to make sure I have art supplies available, play dough, chalk, bubbles, exercise videos, sprinkler, the kiddie pool, and writing supplies available for use.  I also need to set the kids up with an email account (that has been on my list of to dos) and check out some educational websites.

Good luck creating your list of activities!

6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Crafts
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer | Schedules

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fabric Hoops & Garland

I played with fabric, adding to my girl's room (almost done), and had so much fun!  The plan was to do the hoops.  They were so easy, I just used fabric and hoops that I had, and put them up in her room.   I decided to use some of the scraps of fabric that were left to make a fabric garland.  I cut the pieces 1x8 inches and tied them to a length of jute.  It is hanging above the window wall.  I'll show photos of it in the upcoming room reveal.