The Friday Five: Made for More Than Screens

This Monday was my first day “back to school,” so of course, curriculum mapping, lesson planning, and school supplies have been on the brain of late.  Thus, I shall be kicking off today’s Friday Five with some back-to-school themed gifs!  Huzzah!

Here’s what I felt like doing when I opened up my teaching binder to find it still jam-packed with papers from last semester:

What?!  A gaggle of little elves didn’t magically clean it out for me over the summer?  Oh well, I  just shook my head at myself as I jammed in the new papers.

And then, I headed to work early because…


…and it was a good thing, too.  Because it took me nearly 10 minutes to turn left at the first stop sign!  (Like I saidmargin is your friend.)

And here was my reaction when I found out that two of my homeschooled students are now going to public school.

Their number one complaint: how heavy their backpacks are.  (I suppose some things never change.)

Playing theatre games, we were all a bit slow…like old trains starting up after a summer out of service!

Annnnnd this is about how I looked when I collapsed on the couch at home:

Exhausted though I was, it felt good to get back in the trenches again.

How about you, dear reader?  Are you or your kids back to school?  Any of these gifs apply to your week?

A Theme!  {Unplugged}

The Friday Five: Inspiration for Your Weekend!

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelmingly positive responses to My Week Unplugged post.  I delighted to hear how many of you really savor those times when you do unplug and how many of you want to be more intentional about carving that out in your lives.  Well, today’s Friday Five should be right up your alley then because as promised, today’s theme is “unplugged.”

So, I give you five links with five word captions on the notion of stepping away from screens in order to fill the creative tank, spend time with loved ones, and just live life!  It can be hard to peel away sometimes, but as these 5 links will suggest, it can also be exactly what we need.

The Friday Five: Made for More Than Screens

1.  What screens do to us.

2. 55 ways to take care. {Thanks, Johanna!)

3.  The power of the wilderness.

4.  Unplug your wedding.  Two articles.

Unplugged Wedding

{Photo: Sign for purchase from Merrygrams}

5.  The power of time off.

Oh, and if you need me to help get you started with the unplugging process, here you go.

Want More Inspiration?

Your new favorite blogger (that’s right, Thalita!  Who guest posted here last Friday!) has five more links to get your weekend off on the right foot.  So, be sure to visit her over at The Learner Observer and check out her installment of The Friday Five.

The Friday Five with The Thinking Closet & The Learner Observer

Annnnnd if you have a tip or two to offer up on the subject of shopping for a wedding dress (and how to say yes to the dress), then pop on over to Facebook to join in on the conversation.  Thanks in advance for helping me out with my post for next week!

And top of the weekend to ya!


Lovely comments so far...

  1. says

    Hey Lauren, out of curiosity are you a homeschooler too (of other’s kiddos) or are some of your homeschool students taking some mainstream classes? just curious when you said “your homeschool students”. Have a great week and hopefully next week will be better than the first! I remember those heavy backpacks and I still have dreams even last night where I am late for class and can’t remember my locker combo and don’t have all my books etc! uhg!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Actually, I teach at a local studio that offers after-school arts programming, so several of my students are homeschooled…or were, rather! Are you thinking of homeschooling the twins when they’re school-aged? I suppose in a way, you’re already homeschooling them!

      And that’s too funny about your school nightmares…I have similar ones, but they usually involve the school musical and it’s opening night, and I don’t have any of my lines memorized! Eek!

  2. says

    I love the gifs you include every week. I’m a bit of a gif-fanatic. Love ’em.
    And love the “unplugged” theme of this Friday 5. My favorite is the “Think Outside, No Box Required.”
    Have a wonderful weekened Lauren!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Harrah! I’m glad you appreciate the gifs. I always enjoy scouring Tumblr to find them…the only downside is that I usually spend an entire hour sidetracked, just looking at funny gifs, forgetting the task at hand. They have a mesmerizing quality, don’t they?

      Happy Labor Day weekend to you, Emily!

  3. Marmie says

    Falling on the floor exhausted resonated but it was a good exhausted!!

    I really like the 55 things to self-care in your busy life and the first video about what screens do to us! Powerful ending! I plan to go to the beach this evening with friends to watch the sunset. May have my cell phone, though, to capture the image…we’ll see.
    Turning off the screen right now for some people time! Wish we were closer and glad you’re happy to be back teaching! xxoo

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Sunset on the beach is the perfect way to unplug…and I think it’s best to live by the spirit of the law when it comes to unplugging rather than the letter of the law. I definitely pulled out my cell phone at times to snap photos at HoneyRock. Enjoy the rest of your weekend in the Grove!

  4. says

    What a wonderful post Lauren! I have been tring to be more aware of the time I’m spending on and OFF the computer. I find if I can schedual everything (tweets, fb, posts, emails) the night before I don’t feel so much of a need to be on the computer. Now I just need to work on turning my phone off. I forgot how much I could get done in a day without the computer on. lol

    I know you don’t have kids yet but this post really spoke to me, as well. I really thing it applies to everyone, not just moms. :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend.:)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Glad you found it so inspirational, Kadie! I, too, have been working on scheduling tweets and fb posts in advance…(although I’m a bit gun-shy since I somehow pre-scheduled a faulty link on FB and Twitter last week and didn’t get to it until several hours later. Thankfully, Kirsten jumped in with the right one, bless her heart).

      And thanks so much for the link to that Ann Voskamp article. Wow, I got chills multiple times while reading it…as well as convictions of things I really need to work on. Pinning that not just for when I have kids, but for NOW.

      Happy Labor Day weekend to you!

  5. says

    The top part of this made me laugh out loud. We were back at school all week and then kids come back on Tuesday. I am so excited and so unprepared but I’m teaching almost the same things as least year so it shouldn’t be too hard to get back into it.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Glad to give you a chuckle, Al. We teachers need that…especially after having to give up our time off! Hope the arrival of your students on Tuesday goes smooth as butta’.

  6. says

    A fabulous post. Not topics I have seen covered before. I know a fellow blogger who took a month off blogging. Interesting and thought provoking topics. I teach crochet, knitting and sewing and coupled with the rise in screens is a renaissance of all things “hands on”
    How interesting. Our schools music program, which has always been well received has also grown. :)

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’m glad that you enjoyed it, Sharon. “Unplugging” is a topic that has been on my radar only really the past few months as I’ve been “plugged in” more than ever before. And was that blogger who took a month off Katherine from Pillows a la Mode? I know she took a break, which sounded like a really worthwhile thing for her.

      And that’s neat to hear that your school’s music program is prospering! That’s what I like to hear.

  7. says

    Yes. Yes these gifs apply to my week.
    (I don’t have to say it again how much I love it, when you include them, right?)

    And how funny to see Marthes 55 tips now here! I read trough them from time to time to remind myself. Johanna pinned that a few days ago from me, how great that now they made it way to you! Everyone should read and remind them.

    Have a great weekend!
    Love, Midsommarflicka

    • thethinkingcloset says

      With all that thesis writing you’re doing, I have no doubt that the last one may apply all too often! Hang in there, girl.

      And yes, it was Johanna who shared the 55 tips with me! Or rather, it was you! I could benefit from re-reading that daily.

      Happy weekend to you, too!

  8. says

    Lauren, I’m so glad you liked the article I sent you – thanks for sharing! Sorry I’ve been so bad at being in touch lately, we had my parents’ 25th wedding anniversary, aaaand I’ve been sick to boot. Hopefully, I will finally get rid of this cold this week! Having your brain feel like a foggy forest on a rainy day is no bueno.
    Hope your second week back at school goes well!
    xx Johanna

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Never apologize for being out of touch! It feels like I’m always behind myself, so I never judge others for that sort of thing. I am confident in our friendship and know that even if we go days or weeks without chatting, we can pick up right where we left off! Hope your parents had a great 25th anniversary! That’s no small potatoes, especially nowadays. Way to go, them! And I hope that by now you have kicked that cold to the curb where it belongs. No bueno indeed. Hugs!

  9. Jessica says

    Those video clips were so fun! I could totally see you in each of them, throwing the papers while spouting off a socially inappropriate comment or rocking a surprised/excited face Michael Scott style. But my favorite mental image by far was you with a slug trail making your way to theatre class. Speaking of back to school, I wish someone had told me back to school is even more exhausting when you’re the mama. Turns out I was a bum this summer because being back on a schedule has worn this mama out! Thanks for the fun diversion.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I’m glad that those gifs gave you a mental image of me going back-to-school, and it cracks me up that the slug one resonated the most! Ha ha. It would.

      And I’m bracing myself for those days when I’ll have kiddos of my own to send back to school…I’m sure it’s a tough transition, especially after a relaxed summer schedule. Though I am looking forward to an excuse to buy more school supplies and ready a backpack (always).

  10. says

    Thank you for this beautiful reminder, friend. I have been on a semi hiatus – hence the being so behind on blog reading and posting. Twice a week is my norm now because honestly, after starring at a computer screen all day long, I want to go home and play with my dog, not stare at yet another screen!!

    • thethinkingcloset says

      Play with your dog! I’m realizing that I’ll never be able to keep up with everyone online AND live a rich and vibrant life…so I’m trying to live life to the full and do what I can online, but not feel this pressure to be super-blogger-woman. Otherwise, we become slaves to screens! And that’s not good for anyone.

    • thethinkingcloset says

      I know, right?! The internet seemed endless, but apparently not. It’s such an important reminder, isn’t it? To go outside and play?

      Glad you were entertained by the gifs (you who got me into gifs in the first place) and that you got a little enjoyment about the image of a gaggle of elves. Why should geese be the only ones allowed to gather in a gaggle? :-)


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