We have two traditions we look forward to every school year. On the first day of a new grade, Suzy gets what she calls school presents. It's a petty container filled with cutesy school supplies, art supplies, and her favorite candies. She looks forward to it for weeks.
The other tradition she hasn't ever noticed. It's more for me. I buy a Ward Lesson Planner. It is plain green with a spiral binding. I started with the six-subject model but this year I went to the eight-subject model. There is nothing charming about a Ward Lesson Planner. It's the sort of thing you picture a no nonsense teacher with a tight bun, circa 1932, grimly penciling in her week's lesson plans, lips pursed with a general distaste for anything frivolous or joyful.
That's not my personality! Still, I'm drawn to its sturdiness and simplicity. So every year I get one and dress it up in something cheerful. My lesson plan book always ends up my favorite school supply.
Here is this year's planner, Second Grade, with its companions, from left to right, Preschool, Kindergarten, and First Grade.
I really liked red and blue polka dots this year. Mr. Bear approves the color scheme.
The most special part of each lesson planner is the theme verse for the school year I write on the inside cover. I spend a lot of time deciding on the verse. I make a list of potential ones, and go over it several times, and read the surrounding passages. I mull it over a good while before I choose. Then for some inexplicable reason, I slap it all haphazardly in the book and call it a day. This time, however, I took more time. I did decorative stitching in the background, rounded corners, used matching ink, and added a wildflower sketch.
Here are the previous years' poor unfortunates.
It's the same verse. I needed to work on that a bit longer.
Let's end on a better note. Here's Mr. Bear admiring the cover page:
I don't know if you can see it, but the name of our homeschool is The Penland Academy for Young Ladies. It's been a running joke between me and Suzy. She's an only child.