Calendar of Firsts

This is a post in The Living Page Discussion. But it's not the only one. Check out my others:
Nature Notebooks and the Gallery of Forms
Calendar of Firsts

I got a little confused and did my whole gallery of forms last week when I was only supposed to write about nature journals then and do the rest of the notebook this week. Oops. But that means I can write about our newest one today - the calendar of firsts.

I think this is a great one for families with little ones because everyone can really participate. To start, let's do as Larie does in The Living Page and go back to the source. What does Charlotte Mason say about this calendar?

It is a capital plan for the children to keep a calendar––the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favourites, and will, every year, be in a condition to add new observations. Think of the zest and interest, the object, which such a practice will give to daily walks and little excursions. 

Okay, that is inspirational but not too heavy on the details. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing as it means I am free to  customize it my needs and wants. I searched around and found several. None was exactly what I wanted but all had parts I liked.

Sage Parnassus uses a pre-made calendar of firsts put together by the Red Mountain Community School. I've seen it recommended several times on forums and it looks lovely but was out of my budget. While I didn't have the money for that one, I decided I did want to make sure it was beautiful and worthy of being considered a family keepsake.

Joyous Lessons made a monthly layout that is beautiful and functional and allows for lots of flexibility. I loved how the monthly layout could really give you a feel for the season and decided I wanted to get at least a week, hopefully more per spread to keep that aspect.

Grace For the Day uses a an actual wall calendar and simply jotes her observations down there. A great example of how these things don't need to be complicated! I have a tendency to over think things so that was a much needed reminder.

And Laurie Bestvater even shares hers online with us at Keeping a Book of Centuries.. It's a great source of inspiration if you are having a hard time thinking of what "firsts" to be looking for.

But what did I end up doing, you ask? Well, let me show you.

I started with a moleskin notebook. This is one of a 2pk I got for $13. So a couple dollars more than your standard composition book but pretty and sturdy. I purchased unlined notebooks and am adding my own lines to divide the page. A header and 8 sections per two page spread. The left side says the month and I hope to add a seasonally appropriate verse or quote on the right as time goes on similar to The Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady but I'm not in any rush. I'll just add them as I find them. Here is this week's as a sample.

No, I'm not trying to be artistic with the pen. I'm trying to keep it from closing and the pictures with my finger holding it looked creepy.

It's a sad sample because nothing is written in it yet. But in the last few days the weather has warmed up and I can tell spring is just around the corner (Yes, it is! Don't ruin my good mood by saying otherwise.) I'm quite excited to see what our first "first" will be!

These are just a few of the things I hope to document this year:
-First mowing of the grass
-First dandelion
-First tulip emerges
-First tulip blooms (What? I really like tulips.)
-First strawberry/blackberry/raspberry/tomato ripe and ready to eat!
-First egg

Part of the fun of the first year is even deciding what to document. Can't wait!

No comments :

Post a Comment