Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Little Dancer and Little Mozart

OK, so scratch that last post. School looks completely, well, at least mostly different that previously explained. Rhea was supposed to have her music class on Monday mornings while I taught Stephen the piano in another room. At the time, this fit in perfectly with my workout schedule and it set us up for the "perfect" week. That was until her class was cancelled two days before the first class. My first reaction was "These things happen" and I went along my merry way to find her another class. My demeanor went from happy homeschool mom to crazed and frantic homeschool mom on a mission. There were many similar classes around the area, but they either didn't fit into our schedule/situation, or they too, were cancelled or full. This lead me to the Naperville School for the Arts. They offered the same class and were willing to let me use a practice room, free of charge, to teach Stephen. However, the class was cancelled. Not being a huge girly girl myself, dancing wasn't high on my list, but the class was open AND the same practice room deal was available to us. Rhea understood that we were registering for her class one day, but missed the memo that it wouldn't start until the following week. This resulted in foot stomping and a huge verbal "What about my class" as we left the building. My next stop was to Target and Payless for our dancing gear. I honestly thought I would be buying a Karate uniform before buying a leotard and ballet slippers, but it has turned our week into the best semester yet! We showed up early the next week to find our practice room and for Rhea to watch the class in progress prior to her time. I could tell that she wasn't completely wild about the idea of doing the class without me, but I had high hopes. I wised I would have had the camera with me that day, but you will just have to picture her peering through the crack in the door at the other little girls in skirts and tutus. After about ten minutes of complete silence (impossible, I know), she turned and said "I am ready to go in NOW". Her teacher soon arrived for her class and she marched in without even a glance back. It was almost too easy, so I watched for a few minutes before taking Stephen to the practice room. I am thrilled to say that I am VERY happy with the class and the teaching! Her teacher is a 15 year Disney instructor, so what do you expect. Well, apparently, flawless teaching that Rhea LOVES!

Stephen is enjoying most of his piano class. The sitting still parts are not as fun as the running and jumping to music parts. I have a non-traditional way of teaching piano that doesn't always involve a bench. This picture was at the end of class after he wrote his very own music. So far, we have talked about how to sit, arm and finger placement, high/low sounds, loud/soft sounds, bar lines, and quarter notes. Today, I handed him a dry erase board with staff lines to write his own music. I am sure that you can guess that only forte markings made it into his music since he wasn't much into playing soft. Here are the results

Now that our fine arts classes are taken care of, we can get on with our semester. I would not have thought that one 45 minute class would re-arrange the ENTIRE week, but it did and I am sure this is not the last time.

So, Monday mornings are spent doing our core curriculum, Winter Promise, and bible study followed by a trip to Lifetime fitness for the kids to play and for me to workout. Stephen gets to do his math and reading in the afternoon when Rhea goes down to take a nap.

Our Tuesday's start with Winter Promise and Bible study followed by a trip to the library. We then head to dance/piano class and then home for lunch and rest and sometimes reading and math if Stephen is in a decent mood.

Wednesday mornings are free play and then a second trip to Lifetime. When we come home, so shower while the eat in front of the TV before we head off to the playground to meet our homeschool group. Rhea is indifferent about the group, but has been getting to know a small group of girls that lead her around. Stephen, on the other hand, LOVES the group because the older boys treat him very well and include him in everything they do. The other mom's are nice too and we will be taking field trips together as the year goes on.

Thursday's are spent at home no matter how many times Stephen asks to go somewhere. We are, in fact HOMEschoolers. Well, mostly........ We do Winter Promise and Bible in the morning followed by a play date with our neighbor five feet away. We don't even need to change our clothes or shower for this one! Gotta love it! Stephen does reading and math again during Rhea's nap followed by some quiet time. Daddy isn't home on Thursday evenings, so it is a "No bath night", unless they just really stink!

Friday's are much the same and are spent getting caught up from the weeks chaos. Everyone will be happy to know that I rarely clean my house like I used to in order to soak up all the wonderful blessings or otherwise that God gives us through our wonderful children. Laundry gets done when we have no more underwear and Tom has been helping by preparing meals and freezing them on Sunday's. WOW, what a HUGE help!

I have committed (mostly) to not doing traditional school on the weekends. Saturday's are set aside for field trips after our third trip to Lifetime. The kids are also involved in a Preschool Sports class during my workout class which, in their words, "WE LOVE IT"!! It is as organized as you would expect a preschool physical education class to be, and most importantly, they have a great time.

Sunday's are the best day of the week since Tom will be with us most of the time, except the next two weeks :-( We have been more and more involved at church and have been asked to join the Counting Team which is a huge honor. Each Sunday, a group of people are locked in a room (literally), to count and document the offering. It is a bit overwhelming since the offerings are from all of our campuses, but we are up for the challenge. We considered it an honor when our pastor asked us to help and are looking forward to being locked in a room together once a month! Sunday's are then planning days for meals and curriculum. Tom takes Rhea shopping while Stephen and I go throw rocks in the lake at the library. He never has enough time to browse at the library when Rhea is with us, so he and I make an extra trip and get some exercise long the way. We then come home for the kids to take naps and the fun begins. Tom and I found that we are most efficient when we are working on separate jobs. We wanted to be together on Sunday, but we really do think about the same project differently. To remedy the situation, he does meal preparation while I make sure we have all of the supplies for the coming week of school. This guarantees us a happy afternoon while still being in the same room together. So far, we have been successful with getting everything done by the time the kids come downstairs from their nap/quiet time and we are able to finish the evening together.

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