Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

Our homeschool room

A lot of the homeschool books, blogs and web sites suggest that we don't want to take "school" into our homes. We aren't schools so we don't have to be quite so regimented in our approach to homeschooling our children. And Lord knows, I'm not. Any homeschool that regularly starts at 10 a.m. and finishes by 4 p.m. is not suffering from over regimentation!

But there is one part of school at home that I do think is important and that is having a special area for regular schooling. A few years ago, Mr. Pete gave me a space in the basement for all of my books and a computer for school and all of the kids maps, pencils, pens and crayons. It was a life saver! Because now all that stuff had a place to go besides being stacked precariously in a corner of my living room. That said, I still do a lot of homeschooling on my dining room table. How else can I cook up a pot of chili and help my daughter with her Saxon math? But we also do a lot of work in the school room, particularly work that needs a lot of concentration.

January 2012 003
This is how the room looks when you first walk into it. The blackboard has a story of its own. I wanted a blackboard and thought I really needed it, but had no clue how I was ever going to get one. Then one day we were walking by the church behind us and I noted they were using a blackboard outside, to keep the rain from dripping into their basement. I was able to negotiate a price ($30 I think) and carry it home where it has been in use ever since.

I'd like to tell you that the floor looks better, but it doesn't and it won't until I get down on my knees and scrub it - and that's not going to happen for a while.  In the mean time it is swept and vacuumed and mopped and that's good enough for now.

The table with the computer on it was given to us last year. All we had to do was carry it out of a garage and lug it home. I like it because of all the cubby holes and also because it has deep drawers for my teaching books and supplies.

January 2012 005

The computer I had saved and shopped for.  It's not the best or the fastest but it was perfect for our homeschool needs.  The monitor I got a deal on too at Staples.

The wood table on the left is one that Mr. Pete picked up at an auction.  He stripped all the paint off of it and it turned out very nice.  For a while it was in our oldest son's apartment, but when he moved back home (or at least his stuff moved back in) we moved it into the classroom.
January 2012 007

Each kid has a crate that they are to keep their school work in.  I'd like to tell you that looks neater too, but in the interest of full disclosure- this is how it looks most of the time. At least everyone knows where their stuff is and that's good enough for me too.  There is a drawer in this table for paper and other supplies.

The padded chairs I bought at a school auction.  The wooden chairs would be gorgeous if I ever got them stripped.  But even without stripping the paint, they are VERY comfortable.  They used to be the property of an electric company but Mr. Pete got them at a tag sale.

January 2012 006
This is the book space Mr. Pete built. Some of the boards are bowing from the weight of all the books! I guess next year we'll have to flip them around so that it starts to go the other way. I also purged a lot of things we weren't using as well.

I have resource books on the top shelf,  reading and literature on the second shelf, religion and language arts on the third shelf and math and science on the fourth and fifth.  On the ground level I have some art supplies.

I have two bookcases for general reading. January 2012 004
This one has all of the little house books and books for Sonlight Ancient World curriculum. January 2012 008
This one has all of the religious books as well as reading books for my early elementary aged child. Prior portfolios and the baby books are here as well.

homeschool classroom It's a work in progress but for this year, this is a good fit for us!

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