Since early recorded history the connection between music and the wonders of space has been documented. In Biblical times man was moved to song by God’s glory revealed in the heavens. The Greeks believed in the music of the spheres, that heavenly bodies produced an individual soundtrack all their own. Even throughout the present numerous composers have employed cosmic themes to spark their compositional creativity.
Continuing in this tradition, I have curated a playlist of classical music pieces, inspired by the sun and moon, for today’s Eclipse festivities. Y’all enjoy!
Today we commemorate St. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles. She was given that title as the first witness to Christ after He arose and the sharer of the good news of the Resurrection with the disciples. For our family’s festal concert hour tonight we will be listening to one of the few classical music works written in her honor.
In April of 1873, French, Romantic composer Jules Massenet premiered his oratorio Marie-Magdeleine in Paris. Written in three parts, this little know oratorio recounts the final days leading to Christ’s Passion through their meeting after the Resurrection from St. Mary Magdalene’s point of view. Your family can listen along with us below.
Week 4 – Baby Bric-a-brac
Week 4! I can’t believe we are here at the end of our eCourse. Thank you to everyone who took the time to work through this prep voyage with us! I have been so encouraged and blessed by all the feedback and wisdom shared in our Facebook group and pray this course has been a benefit to your family too.
If you are still working through the projects of each week or just now finding this course that is perfectly fine! You can refer back to the previous weeks all at the bottom of the Overview post here. If you want to share your progress with us over on Instagram, don’t forget to use the hashtag #babyproofyourhomeschool so we can see it.
Readying All The Baby Bric-a-brac
This week we will devote ourselves to the final preparations for baby’s arrival – locating and putting out all the everyday items that we will be using: clothes, swaddles, feeding supplies, etc. This is also when I complete gathering things for a hospital bag and complete any other priority projects that have been hanging over head. Because we never know when baby will decide to make his appearance, my intention is to make the last month or so of pregnancy as stress-free as possible by simply maintaining the systems previously set-up. In my experience, labor has been longer when I was worrying about the things undone and left waiting for me at home instead of just focusing on getting baby earth-side. Lastly, an enjoyable, memory-filled, worry-free time with your new squishy baby is what I pray for us all. The tasks on my final countdown include:Get out all the stored or new baby clothes and linens, wash them, and put them away in their new home. Set aside baby’s first outfit during this time. Get out all the stored or new baby clothes and linens, wash them, and put them away in their new home. Set aside baby’s first outfit during this time.
Get out all the stored or new baby clothes and linens, wash them, and put them away in their new home. Set aside baby’s first outfit during this time. For stubborn old stains I do an overnight soak with OxiClean then put the clothes out in the sun to dry.
While washing all the baby things, write down your laundry routine using the provided worksheet, in case you are blessed with help in that department. Post in a prominent place near your wash area.
Pack your hospital bag and put it in the car you will be taking.
Put a trash bag or dollar store shower curtain and a couple towels in the car as well, should your water break.
Place another dollar store shower curtain under your bedsheets to protect the mattress.
Put the final touches on you baby’s room or sleeping area.
If you will be using bottles, clean all the parts and arrange an easily accessible storage area for them. This may require clearing counter or cabinet space and relocating less often used items.
Like you did in your homeschool area, make little stations for baby gear like diapers and wipes at convenient places where you will be spending most of your time. Next to where baby will sleep or be fed are a couple to start with. The basket near my mama-bear chair for feedings also has other things I might need while nursing like water bottles, a bag of trail mix or granola, and a book. Tailor these stations to your personal tastes and preferences.
I can’t thank you enough for joining us for this eCourse! In the next week I will be sending out a super brief survey for participants to gather your honest thoughts. Those who complete the survey will be entered into a little give away. More details to come…
Finally, if you have any prayer requests you would like me to offer up for you during labor, please put them in the comments below or email me via the contact page above. It would be my pleasure to pray for your intentions!
Worksheet for Week 4:
(just click on the photo to download)
Week 3 – Schoolroom Shire
We’ve made it to Week 3 and I’m so thankful to have you on this journey. If you are a mom who has only recently stumbled upon this course, welcome! Join us by visiting our course introduction here and previous weeks of the course here and here.
I first came across the delightful phrase “schoolroom shire” in the classic primer from the 1870’s called Grammar-land. I’ve j’adored the Tolkien-esque moniker ever since. This week we will concentrate on two parts of our homeschools: where we educate and the curriculum we use to educate.
Setting Up Our Shires For Success
Last week when we focused on the home maintenance and the superficial cleaning of our homeschool areas. This week we will dig a little deeper into arranging those spaces to be as user-friendly during the newborn days as possible. These are some steps that I’ve found helpful:
Organize your schoolroom shire so that materials are easily accessible and you can easily find that you need.
Go ahead and physically babyproof this area. For us this just means keeping safe things in baby’s reach and placing questionable items higher up.
Gather the daily supplies you will need for baby while doing lessons. If I get up for a diaper or wipes then my little hobbits immediately scatter in search of a snack. Try to think of everything you could possibly need. Some of the staples in my basket are feeding supplies, diapers, wipes, and extra clothes.
Make a spot for baby to play and have toys available. We have a quilt or bouncer and later on an exersaucer as baby grows.
Determining Your Homeschool’s Essential Functional Level
With new baby, we scale our daily school requirements back to the basics or to what I call an Essential Functional Level. In our family that includes the Morning Liturgy we do year round, Read Alouds, Math, Reading, and Penmanship. Reading aloud fills a lot of the gaps until we gradually add back in everything else. It also has given our family some of its sweetest memories with all the kids snuggled up with the new baby as they listen. When my daughter was born last year, we read The Chronicles of Narnia and The Green Ember Series. This summer we started The Little Britches Series. Other good options are The All Of A Kind Family Series, The Little House Series, and The Five Little Peppers Series. What series would you recommend for postpartum?
To help you work out the Essential Functional Level for your homeschool I have provided 3 worksheets below. These are also useful for delegation if your husband or someone else will be providing help with teaching while you recover. Included are:
A Daily School Agenda Worksheet to be used for the whole family
A Daily School Agenda Worksheet to be used for each individual student
A Weekly School Agenda Worksheet to be used for each individual student
Have you joined our private Facebook group for this course yet? If you would like one-on-one troubleshooting help for specific questions our group is the place to be! You may join this group via the pop-up above or by emailing me through this site’s contact page. You are also invited to follow along and share your progress on Instagram using #babyproofyourhomeschool. I’m excited to get a glimpse of your journey!
Blessings until next Wednesday,
3 Worksheets for Week 3:
(just click on the photo to download)
Week 2 – Home
Welcome back! I’m so glad you made it here for Week 2 of our Babyproof Your Homeschool eCourse. If you are just now finding us, no worries! Jump on in! You can find out more information about this course at our Overview post and Week 1 here.
After a new baby joins our family, I’ve noticed that with the change in schedule and sleep deprivation it is quite easy for me to let the priorities in my home slip in their positions. Instead of choosing the greater good – sticking with Morning Liturgy first – I feebly grasp for some facade of visible order to make up for the surrounding uncertainty: an empty kitchen sink, a vacuumed rug, cleared counters. Once this realization hit however, resisting those distractions and maintaining focus on the truly important became much easier. Below are a few of the strategies I’ve used to prevent these pitfalls in the future.
Finding Clean Base Zero
Now as a preventative measure to safeguard the vital practices in our home during the newborn days, I do as much maintenance in our home before baby’s arrival that I can physically muster. Lists are made for each room and gradually ticked off until we run out of time and baby is here. I like to call this level where my home is at its most well maintained state Clean Base Zero. Achieving this individualized level gives me a physical buffer, as well as peace of mind, when I am recovering and my ability for house upkeep is greatly reduced.
A dear friend pays to have her home deep cleaned the month before baby’s expected birthday and swears by it. I have not been able to afford this option, but love the idea! If the funds are available, I encourage this brilliant alternative. But, for those whom hiring outside help is not feasible, these are our steps for reaching Clean Base Zero:
Start by decluttering. The fewer things you have in the house, the fewer things you have to maintain. Having less also makes the future cleaning easier as you are not moving as many things to reach the mess.
Go room by room and list what needs to be completed. I have provided two House Prep worksheets for this step. You can print them double sided to help keep everything together.
Be sure to consider the family car in your evaluation. Include installing the new baby’s carseat and any rearranging of the older children’s seats that may be required. Get them used to the new set-up before baby is born. It is so nice to bring baby home from the hospital in a clean vehicle and not have to climb over trash and junk when loading up for those early newborn pediatrician visits. If it is affordable for your family, have your car professionally detailed or just borrow a shop vacuum if available. The main objective for our family is the removal of trash and the random items from the house that magically migrate into our great, white 15 passenger van, Moby.
Once you have a breakdown of what needs to be done before baby’s arrival, set-up time in the upcoming days to tackle a room at a time until finished. I ordered the rooms on the worksheets in preference of our family’s priorities. Change the order to fit your family, then if you do not get to certain, less used, areas of your home you can shut the door without guilt.
As you are working through the various areas of you home, be thinking about what simple things would need to be done to maintain a functional space after this cleaning. I don’t mean “how can keep this space immaculate,” but “what are the minimal requirements for keeping this space livable during recovery.” Use another blank set of the same two worksheets above to list these thoughts.
Now that you have basic list of tasks for maintenance, divide those tasks up by one or two a day using the Weekly Housework Agenda worksheet. Use as many weeks needed until you rotated through all the tasks. Your health and proper healing is indispensable to the care of you family. Don’t over do it!!
Finally, transfer those same maintenance tasks to the House To-Dos worksheet and tack it to a prominent place on your refrigerator. Now, if your are blessed with help postpartum, you can easily delegate out things that need to be done with out racking your brain.
Don’t forget to visit the private Facebook group for the course if you would like feedback to specific troubleshooting questions. You may join this group via the pop-up above or by emailing me through this site’s contact page. Also you can follow along and share your progress on Instagram using #babyproofyourhomeschool. I’d love see your headway!
Blessings until next Wednesday,
4 Worksheets for Week 2:
(just click on the photos to download)