Saturday, July 14, 2007


Oldest peep and middle peep are both taking music lesson at a great local music store. The owners are simply fabulous. They are a true mom and pop store with a huge love of music and a strong desire to share that with everyone.

The lady owner is teaching oldest peep clarinet. She began about 4 weeks ago now. According to oldest peep , she has always wanted to learn clarinet but I made her take violin. (I think made is a very strong words here since she begged for violin when we talked about lessons.) Oldest Peep is also taking private violin lessons. The home school band we joined last school year did not work too well so we went looking for private lessons. We were lucky to find the violin teacher we have. She is a great musician and a great teacher. They do not always go hand and hand as we have discovered.

Middle peep is taking guitar lessons from a great man. He is stressing the note reading middle peep has always fought me on. Despite having to be reminded to practice and practice exactly as the teacher tells him too, middle peep is making progress. He would rather just rely on his ear to play but now is starting to understand that note reading is necessary.

Today was their lessons. After the lesson, the violin teacher tells me that oldest peep needs to work on her intonation. She is reading notes very well. She can figure out how to play pieces easily. She is doing things the teacher has not exactly taught her yet. She remembers how to do something easily. However, because she feels she knows it she doesn't bother to play it with great tone. She stops at making it sound beautiful. She promised to practice intonation this week.

A few minutes later the guitar teacher comes out and tells me middle peep is doing great but we still really need to work on reading. He has a great instinct for the sounds. He is still relying on his ear. He can hear something played once, remembers the sounds and stops reading the notes on the page. He promised to read notes this week.

As I was going to the car and explaining to Papa peep what the teachers said, something hit me like a ton of bricks. My children are true to their learning styles. I have pegged them right on. Middle peep is 110% auditory. He simply needs to hear it and it is ingrained forever. Oldest peep is visual and kinesthetic . She must see it, imprint the picture in her brain and then manipulate it. She is 0% auditory. If I talk talk talk at her she stares at me blankly. It only goes in if she reads it herself or experiences it herself.

Way to go kids......

(i will soon post a pic of them with their instruments)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Scheduling....planning....and more..

OK so July is here and I did not do half of what I had planned in June. We had a lot of swim team things to concentrate on. Now that summer league is over and there is a lull for a little bit I can go back to planning. I am not sure when officially we will start the next school year. We are still finishing some stuff from last school year. This is only because we did not start until October some time and we took too many breaks this year. I had a lack of energy and had a hard time fitting baby peep into the plan. I hope to do better this year as he is officially 1st grade and we still need to get some basic basics down.

So for Oldest Peep the plan is as follows:

Math - finish Lial's BCM and begin Lial's Introductory Algebra. I have found the DVT's for the Algebra program so I hope to stay out of her Math learning. She seems to do better with me not involved. We will also work through Right Start's Geometry program. I feel like both S and M need more practice in that area. I admit at being less than enthusiastic about teaching this to them. They both seem to be clueless when it come to geometry and I admit I have not had the patience to walk them through it. I just don't see the difficulty. That is where I need to work on slowing down. I need to remember they are not going to get it on the first try especially if I am impatient. I also thought the focus on drawing the shapes before manipulating them would be something they would enjoy. I hope it is.

History - We will finish SOTW 4. We are half way through it at the moment and will work on 2 chapters a week until it is done. Getting this done involves more of me planning it then any level of difficulty. They are enjoying listening to the chapters read by Jim Weiss than me reading it to them. For some reason S focuses better when someone other than me reads aloud to her. Go figure. Once we are done with SOTW4 we will begin right away with History Odyssey Ancients and Middle Ages. S is in 7th grade so I have 2 years in which to cover the 4 year cycle with her. We will have to do this round lickety fast. I think it is doable since this is her least interested subject.

Writing - We will finish Classical Writing Homer A in a few weeks (4 maybe) and start Beginning Poetry A then finish the year with Homer B. I think the Poetry books will be a nice change of pace from the regular CW layout. I will post about this as we begin.

Grammar - We have dropped Harvey's not because we did not like it; it was just not getting done. It required me to be involved and with J in the wings waiting for me it was the first thing to get pushed aside. Grammar thankfully is not something I am worried about with her so we can skip this. I did get the Warriner's texts and she can work independently through those.

Science - We have a little more to finish the Prentice Hall Life Science book. I think in August we will start the Earth Science one with Miles joining us. I want to get some rock kits and other Earth Science stuff to make it more fun. I am so not an experiment mom.

*UPDATE* They want CHEMISTRY!!!!!! I was all set for Earth Science and they all want Chemistry WITH LABS! What am I going to do?????

Latin - finishing Latin Prep 2 and start on Latin Prep 3 sometime in January. We are so very thrilled with this program. I can not rave enough about it. The publisher, Galore Park, really understands how to teach languages. I am impressed with Latin and Spanish from them.

Greek - After looking at a copy of Elementary Greek we decided to go with them. I was really hoping to find something Attic but nothing is available for children and I just can't wait for Galore Park's series. They are not sure when that will be available. Perhaps baby peep can take advantage of that.

*UPDATE* Galore Park has an Attic Greek book. They don't publish it but they carry it. I hope since they carry this book, it will prove useful. If not I think we will just wait for their Greek Prep series.

SPANISH - Of course I have a warm place in my heart with this one. We are happily using So You Really Want to Learn Spanish. We should finish book 1 before Christmas and then start right into book 2. We will hopefully go to Ecuador in March for a wedding and the peeps will really be able to communicate this time. (cross my fingers) I will give a review of this program soon. I just need to sit down with it in front of me.

French - Oldest peep insists on learning French this year along with the other languages. I am all for it. I just wish I knew what to pick. At first I tried holding her off but if there is something I have learned from homeschooling oldest peep, is that when she wants to learn something I better hop to it. She will not stop asking for it until she has mastered it. I am torn between the Galore Park's French series or Breaking the Barrier. I love GP but since this is a living language that I do not know well, I think an audio component will be better. The GP cd's are very expensive. I have heard a few complaints about the Spanish audios so I am hesitant. However, I have never heard anything about Breaking the Barrier.

*Update* I am waiting for the GP French book. I just decided to go with my gut. GP has not let me down yet.

Logic - I am still looking for something appropriate. I may end up writing something myself from the Introduction to Logic by Copi and The Open Minds and Everyday Reasoning by Seech books I have.

As always oldest peep will join swim team again. She has been moved up and will swim 6 x a week for 2 hours each day. I think I will only make her go to practice 5 x a week.

Boy Peep's schedule coming soon..........