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Be Yourself : Scrapbook Layout

AE_BeYourself_web
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Today I wanted to share a layout with you that has been sitting on my table for weeks.

Actually it's the photo with the ruler ribbon that has been on my table for weeks. Originally I planned to do a second page with a divided page protector (for slides) and I had been collecting bits of scrapbook supplies and other pieces of life I had come across recently to do a layout celebrating Simon right now.

And then yesterday we had Simon's annual IEP meeting at school. An IEP is an Individualized Education Program. Lots of kids have them for a variety of different reasons who meet certain criteria for special education. Each year we meet with a group of people at his school, including teachers and his aide, to assess his progress, see where he's at with his goals for this year, and set new goals for next year.

He's got a variety of different goals written into his IEP - everything from asking for help, to weekly time with a speech therapist, to encouraging more social time with kids at recess, to specific goals for reading comprehension, writing, math, etc. It's always interesting to go in and chat with everyone and see how he's doing at school vs. what's happening at home. We catch up on conversations we've had on the phone or email and just generally talk about how he's doing in lots of different areas of development. 

It was a good meeting.

One of my favorite parts of the meeting was hearing his second grade teacher & his aide talk about how hard he has been working.

For this layout I ended up writing a note to Simon from Chris and I telling him how proud we are of him and the work he is doing in school. I consciously decided to keep this note focused on the positive parts of the meeting. There's lots of areas where he's facing challenges; areas where we are all working to help him navigate the best possible route, and to make better choices (wanting to be first in line all the time, making his mean face to other kids & other social issues, being open to new seats in different situations, general attitude).

The point is, there's lots to celebrate about Simon every single day. And we do.

He is awesome.

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Here's a close-up on that second page with the journaling. I used some of the very cute Dear Lizzy rub ons on top of an American Crafts chipboard tag to create the main accent.

JOURNALING :

My dear Simon, I wanted to take some time today to let you know that Daddy & I are very proud of you. We had a meeting with your teachers yesterday and they had such great things to say about how hard you are working in class. Lately when I ask you “What was your favorite part about school today?” you reply, “Working.” From what they tell us, you have been really trying hard. They also have lots of praise for your lovely, meticulous handwriting. Finding a way to enjoy your work, whatever sort of work you are doing, is an important part of growing up. At home you have also been working really hard on your homework and reading as well. It’s awesome to see you “connecting the dots” in math and spelling and starting to enjoy some chapter books. We have been proud of the ways you transition between homework, play, and back to homework again if needed. Your teachers said you are definitely ready for third grade! We are all going to do our best to help you enjoy and thrive in your classroom next year.
Keep up the great work Simon! Love, Mom & Dad


SUPPLIES
PATTERN PAPER :
Basic Grey
from the Max & Whiskers collection
RUB ON : Dear Lizzy
CHIPBOARD TAG : American Crafts
RULER RIBBON : Unknown
LETTER STICKERS : Basic Grey

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53 thoughts

  1. Haley D. says…
    04/09/2010

    What a beautiful tribute to your son! Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to start now writing a letter to my girls about this school year.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Corey Marie says…
    04/09/2010

    Cheers to Simon - "Finding a way to enjoy your work, whatever sort of work you're doing" is a skill that a lot of grown adults I know could still work on. :D

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Melanie says…
    04/09/2010

    Yeah for Simon!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Shanie Christian says…
    04/09/2010

    Thank you again dear Ali. Wow. We have been struggling to get a diagnoses with my son Emery and it has been such a crazy process! These words of yours..."(wanting to be first in line all the time, making his mean face to other kids & other social issues, being open to new seats in different situations, general attitude)" are so familiar to me. Emery also likes to get in other peoples faces and scream a lot. So far, one doctor wants to just say ADHD and medicate. We have found another doctor. There are so many things that just don't fit that. The best thing right now is that he already has an IEP and the school seems to be moving along well without a diagnoses. Thanks again for being so open. Your words and story will and have helped so many including me! And, thank you also for helping me to know to keep it positive. It sure is a struggle sometimes! But, Emery sure is someone to celebrate as is Simon. Loves...

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Sarah says…
    04/09/2010

    ...what an amazing idea for a layout. I focus so much on the "events" that i forget the "be yourself" moments and documenting what my children are like. Making a page about something as important as an IEP meeting for which you probably didn't take any pictures but impacts your daily life. Yipee for Simon for making strides!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Ashley says…
    04/09/2010

    Great page!! I too have started to document the challenges that my son faces and the huge strides that he has made. Including an IEP and letter is a great idea! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Jonnelle says…
    04/09/2010

    Such wonderful news about his IEP meeting! All that hard work is definitely to be celebrated daily - I love that he'll be able to read all about it when he's older!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Diana says…
    04/09/2010

    Thank you Ali! I have so enjoyed watching Simon grow through your blog! It is so cool to see Simon today and all that he has accomplished ... so far! Thanks for sharing this important part of your life - and his - with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Joy Buss says…
    04/09/2010

    Great news for Simon and you!! Love this layout and have enjoyed posts and layouts this week from you Ali!I always enjoy your perspective. Very inspiring!

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. dawn says…
    04/09/2010

    First of all I love the picture of you two together. Second love how how you did this page with the ruler on the side and the journaling. My son is 8 also and I love to see what Simon does and how my son Sam is at this age. Sam has struggled this year and has a "I don't care attitude" at school this year for no apparant reason. The love of learning is already boring for him, his writing is very sloppy now, doesnt' read chapter books anymore, plays to rough with boys at recess,etc. We have been trying to make improvements in these areas which are only slightly improving. I am worried what summer break will do to this situation and hoping he won't continue this way into third grade. I'm happy for your family and for all the hard work Simon does and tries his hardest to do his best. I will need to do a layout like this for Sam. He has grown so much and I love reading about him. Have a good weekend.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Kimb says…
    04/09/2010

    I can totally sense your pride in Simon's accomplishments with this wonderful layout and journaling. Bravo Simon and thank you Ali for another inspirational layout. My 14 year old signed up to help out as an aid in her Jr. High's SH class as her elective this year and I have been struggling with finding just the right to document it.. I think I have found it with your terrific pages...Simply done and devine!

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Jamie says…
    04/09/2010

    Ali....this is great news! I love the idea of celebrating all of the positives...thank you for that reminder. I also wanted to say thank you for continuing to share parts of your life that are on more of a personal level. I've noticed that several of my favorite blogs and authors have taken more of a business approach to their blogging, and it makes me sad. I love hearing about what's going on in your life and relating to you as a person. You inspire us in the most beautiful ways. Thanks!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Kirsten H says…
    04/09/2010

    love what you focused on, it's the important stuff!

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Jacci Mulraney says…
    04/09/2010

    Congratulations Simon on your achievements and to Ali and Chris for the part you have played in his growth. I just loved the letter! I am a Prep/1 teacher in Victoria, Australia. I have a class of 23 children. 2 children have been diagnosed with Autism and 2 more are in the middle of assessments. We too have meetings each term to share the successes and challenges, set new goals etc, only we call them PSG meetings and we write ILP's (Individual Learning Plans). It is a lovely affirming time for the parents, teachers, specialists etc but the children aren't there. What a lovely way to pass on how proud you are of him.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Diana says…
    04/09/2010

    This is beautiful, I love the journaling, I love writing letter's to my kids, your is beautiful great picture and LO

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Erin M says…
    04/09/2010

    Ali--thank you so much for the inspiring ideas. I'm lucky to have an awesome 8-yr old boy too! Great way to document progress.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Debbie Servantez says…
    04/09/2010

    Love it! The photo is so familiar, mom and kid on the blacktop at school...in the morning? And as usual, your color choices are great! Inspirational...

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Helen says…
    04/09/2010

    Wonderful LO, Ali - you know, you're not just a wonderful scrapper but also an inspiration to many working Mums ;) Love the idea of so actively celebrating your son.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. noell says…
    04/09/2010

    So Ali, did you decide to abandon the idea of the second page with divided pockets? Or is it just not done yet.
    BTW, I love hearing the background of your layout. Thanks for sharing that part!

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Jennifer says…
    04/09/2010

    Yay for Simon!!
    {Heart} your LO!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Ali Edwards says…
    04/09/2010

    Abandoned.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Melanie K. says…
    04/09/2010

    I ditto what a lot of others have said ... and I know you get tired of hearing it! ... You are truly a wonderful scrapper - both the design of the layouts (how you make such beautiful layouts so flawlessly and simple I will never know!) but also on the emotion and honesty of them.
    Three cheers for Simon too. Way to go!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Kristen says…
    04/09/2010

    Love the layout Ali and glad that Simon is doing so well. We have our son's IEP transition meeting next month. He is in a SDC Preschool and has done remarkably well - so proud that he is able to mainstream into a regular kindergarten class. I may have to scraplift this layout to celebrate his success! Thanks! You always do such a fabulous job!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Ainsley says…
    04/09/2010

    Too sweet. It's so important to make a big deal about the good stuff. I also love that the layout was kept simple so that the focus is on the journaling.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. abbey says…
    04/09/2010

    I love this layout. The sentiments are so special and the visuals are great. Simple, and so complementary to the story... may need to scraplift a bit. Thanks for sharing and for being such an awesome parent as well as inspiration to us.

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