Oh, my chalkboard. I love this piece. If we had to move and I was only allowed to take one piece of furniture from my house, it would be my chalkboard (OK, I might have to take a couple of my great-grandmother’s pieces as well). The story on how we obtained this chalkboard is a little miracle. A few years ago a nearby facility was redoing a building and they were getting rid of their “stuff”. Our friend Darrell (thank you Darrell!) called to let us know about it and he and my husband drove there with a trailer and came home with a lot of fun junk. In this heap of free junk, was my chalkboard. It’s huge. It measures about 4 1/2 ft by 8 1/2 ft. At first it sat in the garage and I wondered where I was going to put this enormous chalkboard. Then my husband suggested the living room. It was the perfect spot. I use it mainly to motivate, encourage and inspire me with homeschooling so as I’m making breakfast, it refocuses me on what’s important in my little “school” as I plan out our day. I change this chalkboard usually 5 times a year, with each season and at Christmas.
Here it is in little segments. On the far left, I plan out our bucket list for the season. On this list are fun things the kids and I would like to do for the season, including some of our field-trips. I am a list person, so this works very well in reminding me to include these things in our homeschooling. Sometimes we complete the list, sometimes we don’t. I try not to stress about it. This list is supposed to be fun, not burdensome. For my autumn chalkboard, I used this one I found on Pinterest for inspiration.
In the center is the meat of my chalkboard. I found this on Ann Voskamp’s website, aholyexperience.com. The “7 Daily Rungs” helps refocus me on what’s most important in not only educating my children, but in how I live my moments of my everyday. So on crazy days (and I have many of those) when I only make it through rung 5, I feel ok. Life is getting easier, but as those of you who homeschool with littles know, some days can be a challenge. Thank you, Ann Voskamp, for including this on your website. It has been a lifesaver for me.
I usually leave the “be still” on the chalkboard. These two words have a powerful impact on me throughout my day. They center me. Anytime my day starts to become overwhelming and I begin to unravel (again, most days), I am able to look up at the chalkboard and remind myself to “Be Still” and know there is a loving God who is in control, who is all powerful, who loves and cares for me, who loves my children even more than I do; a God who in my brokenness, is my strength. This phrase has not yet failed to bring me peace and comfort.
I usually include a memory verse or a thought-provoking quote on the chalkboard as well. I peruse Pinterest for inspiration with beautiful chalkboard art. Sometimes this quote is seasonal, sometimes it’s something inspirational that I need to focus on.
I use the bottom right portion of the chalkboard to write out a hymn or a poem that my kids use for their copy work. They get out their white boards and copy a portion or all of the poem (depending on their age and how long it is). We typically will try to memorize this as well so it’s convenient to have it in front of us.
I know a large chalkboard isn’t for everyone; but if you are someone who benefits from little reminders throughout your day, there are many ways to pin up quotes or bible texts around the house or in your office. Using chalkboards, pinboards, yellow sticky notes, even something on your phones, can bring you daily reminders that can help you to re-center or refocus on Christ.