11 September 2012

Kid Calendars

Today is September 11th.  We'll never think of it as just another day after the events 11 years ago.  I still remember what it felt like when we realized what was happening...how fast parents started showing up at school to pick up their children and hunker down...what I was wearing (long black Eddie Bauer skirt & colonial blue ribbed sweater set, black hose & Aigner loafers)...my first thought, "where is Ronny?"...and I remember after.  Shelter in place trainings.  Preparing our home for shelter in place, as best as you can prepare a Heights bungalow for such a thing.  Praying.  And praying.  And praying some more.  It goes without saying that today and every day my heart goes out to the thousands of people who lost loved ones that day and after.  I'm more grateful than ever for first responders, and for our military.

But, today is September 11th.  Despite the horror associated with this day, I also associate this day with great joy, because 14 years ago one of my very favorite people was born.  I remember on the 1st anniversary of 9/11 we dressed up in red, white and blue for school (I wore red overalls, a blue & white gingham Polo oxford, navy slides--ugh, don't remind me--and red white and blue toenail polish).  After work we went over to Lynn & Hannah's apartment and ate Hannah's favorite dinner:  Papa John's pizza.  The two meanings of 9/11 are forever tied together in my mind, right or wrong.  But I'm grateful that God gave us Hannah...and I'm grateful that she gives us so much to celebrate each year.

We like special days in our house.  Have you noticed? ;)  Of course, every day matters, and what happens each day is important to my kiddos.  There are THREE calendars in their room, as a matter of fact...Kayci has 1 and Noble has two--one with Spiderman's picture, and one he made in school last year that has a picture of him each month.  He's not allowed to write in that one!

When Kayci was in Kindergarten and Noble started daycare several years ago, we hung two boards on the back of the laundry room door to keep track of menus, homework, etc.  For four years, we've drawn and redrawn the weekly calendar as it gets erased/wiped off.  And we've gone through periods where the boards stayed static and unused.  But now both kids are really interested in their own schedules, so this summer they started using the boards regularly.

(I should note:  my background as a special ed. teacher makes me a huge believer in visual schedules, which explains the responsibilities chart & these calendars.  Carry on.)

When school started this year, I promised the kids I'd spend some time and make their calendar boards work a little better.  I started with electrical tape...I was going to cut calendar grids out of black vinyl, but who are we kidding--vinyl's expensive.  I've got tons of electrical tape laying around for FREE!

Oh!  Before I did that, we swapped boards so Noble's was on bottom (previously Kayci's was on bottom so she could read it at her eye level and Noble's was on top so he couldn't reach his work/magnets).  Then I eyeballed it and slapped the tape on there to make the calendar grid.  Then I used my Silhouette software to design day magnets and magnets for things that are recurring in each kid's schedule...piano, AWANA, chapel, etc.--things that they either need to prepare for or things that affect their clothes choices for that particular day.

And that worked okay...but last week I noticed there were some things we were writing over and over and I was reminded of drawing that grid week after week, so we started a list of other things they might need magnets for.  (Horrible grammar, but you get the idea!)  And it was also confusing that I'd set it up with Sunday as the first day of the week so the weekends were split, half last week and half this week...so we moved the days this week so the weekdays are together and the weekend days are together at the END of the week.  Makes much more sense to Noble!

My phone pictures are blurry today...sorry!  Maybe someday I'll take time to take real pictures.  Oh, and see our silly recycle bags, too?  At least they're empty...I took recycling this morning because our bags were overflowing.  :)

Here's the door...

and Kayci's board...

...and Noble's board...see the notes at the far right?  I've got his schedule change notes made for the whole year.  Yeah.

Here's a closer look at Kayci's...

...and a closer look at Noble's.  I had to take some names off their boards for privacy, but I realized now that I'm online that the pictures are blurry anyway.  I could have saved myself some work!

Know what this cost?  Nothin'...I already had cardstock, ink, magnet tape, laminating sheets and electrical tape on hand.  But my kids think they got new stuff, so woo hoo!

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