Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My New Life and First Day of School Sign FREEBIE!

Hi Friends.

This next year I am starting a new chapter of my life. Ever since my kids reached the age where they began going to school, life kept getting busier and busier. Now that they are a bit older (ages 10,8,5) life is just CRAZY; sports, church, dinners on the run, taking kids to different practices, homework, projects, AHHHH!!!! I could not keep up! Last summer, my husband and I both agreed that we could not go on living like that. We did not like running on the hamster wheel. We wanted needed more family time. My husband works different hours than a normal "9 to 5" job so his day off are Fridays. My kids go to school on Fridays. See the problem? We had to make a change. We LOVE my husband's job so that wasn't changing. I LOVE teaching, so that wasn't changing either. We knew we wanted to kids to be home on Fridays so there was only one option. Change the way schooling looked. After 14 years of teaching in the classroom, I am taking a leave of absence to teach my kids...at home!

Yes... HOMESCHOOL!

I will be homeschooling my two boys (10,8) and my little one will be starting kinder at a school right up the street from our house. I felt that I needed to send her to kinder because seriously, I would not do kindergarten justice. I feel like I could not do all that learning through play and art projects well enough to give her a great experience.  Kinder teachers out there... YOU.ARE.AMAZING!!

Homeschool.   Ahhhhh.....I can hear the comments now. Don't worry, my husband (and I at times) felt the same way. Here are some concerns that ran through our minds and our answers to them that calmed our hearts.

Will your kids be "weird or awkward"? 
Well.. I'm weird and can be awkward and times....so yes. My kids will be "weird" and possibly awkward. :)  In all seriousness though, I think that the parents play a big part in if the kids come out weird or awkward. Our goal is "NORMAL" and hopefully "AWESOME!"  Ha!

Will they have enough socialization?
Oh friend, yes! Long gone are the days where there are no support for homeschooling mamas. We are doing a hybrid program where I drop them off a "school" once a week (Praise JESUS!) where I just signed them up for elective courses.  We will also continue camping with friends, being involved in club and city sports, church,  serving our community, and many more opportunities that we will now able to take advantage of.

Will they be up to standard academically?
Of course! My goal for my kids' lives have always been to first, love Jesus and love others, and to do things with excellence...whether on the field or off, doing chores, schoolwork, whatever! As I mentioned before, I just signed them up for classes that included STEM science, computers, Spanish, and Art and Drawing. I will be educating my kids classically (We are doing Classical Conversations).....which from what I hear, is pretty rigorous. This particular curriculum includes music theory, latin, history, and science (they will be dissecting this year). Because I am going through a charter school, my kids are also going to be taking the state test.

How can you be with your kids ALL.DAY.LONG?
I'm not sure. I'm sure that there will be days that I will be crying in the corner, rocking myself to self soothe. I'm sure the drop off program once a week will help.


A FREEBIE FOR YOU!!!

Since we are all getting ready for the beginning of the school year I have a FREEBIE for you that I created for my kids last year. I just updated them for myself and thought that you guys may want an EDITABLE copy. I think they turned out adorable!!  If school already started for  your kiddos, no worries. Just put this together, catch them before school one day, and make ask your kids to stand still so you can snap a quick shot.... AND no one will EVER know that it wasn't the first day of school. Shhhh.. I won't tell either. We mamas (and daddys) have to stick together here.

Your secret is safe with me. :)






You will need to download some fonts if you want yours to look like mine. You can download them for free from Kevin and Amanda Fonts.  Here is a list of fonts I used. WATCH OUT though! I can spend FOREVER downloading EVERY.SINGLE.FONT on Kevin and Amanda Fonts and not remember the project that I went there to do.

UPDATE: Although Kevin and Amanda Fonts have adorable fonts, I've heard you cannot find these fonts there anymore...BUT they are on Teachers Pay Teachers. Search the font by name and download for FREE.


Here are the fonts you will need:




This FREEBIE comes with this page so no need to write all this down right now.

You have different options as to how you want them printed.

* If you want them on a regular 8.5x11 paper (picture below), just print it as you normally do.




* If you want them poster size (picture below with my boys), you will have to go into your printing options. DISCLAIMER! There was some weird box thing going on around my apple clipart last year and I didn't have time to change it since I didn't notice it until it was too late. I fixed it and just used a different and cuter apple. So you will NOT have the weird dark square around the apple. My daughter (pictured above) has the new version with the new apple. :)


To get the poster size, all you have to do is change the setting on your printing options. I have a PC so these are directions for my computer. I'm thinking a Mac is not much different as far as the printing goes.


1. Go to your print page. Click Print Properties.






2.Go to the tab that says "Finishing".


3. When you get to the finishing tab, go to the drop down menu that says "Pages per sheet". I click 2x2. This will give you 4 sheets, which as you can see from the picture of my kids, is PLENTY big! You will have to put the sheets together. I print them on cardstock and attach them with packaging tape (scotch tape will also work) on the back. You can also laminate the pages FIRST then connect them with tape.

Here is my Back to School Gift for you....




Hope you enjoy this FREEBIE! Have a great year Friends! 


Blessings,

Angela Linzay

Thursday, August 13, 2015

How Do I Get Parents and Students to Remember Things?

Hi All!

Do your students ever forget to tell their parents about signing forms, events, due dates, or _________ (fill in the blank)?

Every year I have students forget about picture day, emergency forms,  or turning in school fundraiser slips/money/whatever else. I then talk to the parents and they always say that they never got the note. Ahhh.....THE note. We go searching into the abyss (aka the student's backpack) and find a crumbled mess padding the bottom of the bag.

I go through this EVERY.YEAR.

You always have "that one". You know which one. You can picture him/her right now. {sigh} The one who always utilizes your "extra" copies. EVERYONE has brought in their permission slips/forms/money/whatever back but not THIS special angel. Ohhhh no. She/he is the reason you make extra copies, so you don't have to send a note to your neighboring teacher asking for HER extra copies.

I used to send MORE notes home to replace the other notes that were lost/eaten/thrown away.  It was dumb.

Then I came up with a solution!

Introducing.... my You've Been Banned resource!



These bands are made in black in white to save ink on your printer. All you have to do is print them on colored paper, cut, and you are done!

I sat down and brainstormed all the things that I would need reminders for in my class.  Things that I have sent multiple letters home for..that never really made it home. Things that students forgot about.. like picture day, money due, fundraisers, etc.  I came up with a big list and added Celebration Bands, too. I love the thought of the Celebration Bands because 1) I wanted an easy way to celebrate a student's accomplishment. I don't always have time to fill out a little award and 2) I wanted to acknowledge these students in front of their peers. (During recess or lunch others will ask what that gold band around their wrist says/means).  Public recognition. Kids love that.

I thought you could differentiate the reminders and celebratory bands by only copying the celebrations on gold/yellow paper (or cardstock for durability).  That way when students get a "GOLD band" they know that they are celebrating something. :)

Currently there are 31 Reminder Bands and 15 Celebration Bands BUT this is a growing resource! That means that I will be adding new bands and if you purchase this resource, you will get FREE updates for LIFE! So if you have any ideas or bands that you want to see created, let me know and if enough people want it, I make it and you have it!

Just in case you were wondering what is included, here is a list.




Here are some close ups:










What I love most is that you can staple these colorful little reminders on a student's wrist and not hope/cross your fingers/pray that they will remember to tell their parents about the field trip money that's due or that library book that they've had for months that needs to be brought back to school. PARENTS are the ones that will ask what that little thing around their wrist is all about.

I love that you can gently remind that student who ALWAYS forgets to bring their homework or project or forgets that they have Show and Tell the next day and you've already slotted a time for them to share. Instead of screaming in your head, pulling your hair out getting a little frustrated, you can grit your teeth  just smile nicely, give them a reminder band at the end of the day, and send them home.

Is this a cure all? No. Will students ever forget again? Of course! But at least you have a better chance with these Reminder Bands as oppose to sending students home and watching them walk away knowing that they will forget to ______________ (you fill in the blank).

I hope you will give these Reminder and Celebration Bands a try. I mean, what have you got to lose?

Have a great school year Friends!


Blessings,