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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scheduling, music & curriculm

You are the music while the music lasts.T. S. Eliot

Some days just rock. You know the feeling ~ the sky is brilliant blue, the sunshine warms your very bones & things tick over the way they are meant to tick. It doesn't happen all that often round here so days that rock, well they're treasured.

Over our break, while Ditz was doing nothing much, I was thinking ~ & don't ask if it hurt! While I humped furniture & lugged timber & passed things like hammers & clouts I thought because I am so tired of fighting with Ditz about her work & I was trying to pinpoint where it all started unravelling. Don't get me wrong. Ditz usually works hard but it was very clear she was not a happy camper & learning is a blessing, not a curse so...

With homeschooling it takes two to tango & as I reviewed our homeschool journey it dawned on me just how busy we've become. That business is good but in the process I've allowed my priorities to shift until they are not my priorities I'm concerned with but someone else's ~ in our case worry about meeting our umbrella school's criteria. As this is not the first time this has happened you would think I'd cotton on faster. Unfortunately I rattle from day to day not thinking too much about this stuff because most of the time I'm just exhausted.

First thing: I know perfectly well Ditz works better & more happily if I work with her but we do that. However, over time, the structure of our days has changed. When I stopped to look I found we'd managed to eliminate almost all physical activity. This is so not good but not all my fault. We've had so much rain & our music schedule clashes with all the sport on offer. Today we walked before we settled down to work. Bingo. One happy Ditz. Then I decided trying to do every subject every day was insanity making. It's overload for both Ditz & I. I reverted to doing two subjects a day ~ only one on Thursdays when we are extra tired. This way I know math & science can't keep disappearing to the bottom of the pile, never to get done at all.

OK, I cheated. I put the two subjects least likely to have Ditz kicking & screaming up first: English & Music. For some strange reason Ditz likes dictation & grammar work. The music I've been itching to get stuck into but Ditz was rolling her eyes & making gagging noises. *sigh* Before we'd even begun I was thinking I'd made a very expensive mistake but away we went anyway. Ditz happily did the map work, making a side list of all the places she wants to visit that we now have to learn about. Uh~huh.
This curriculum comes from Beautiful Feet. I've never used them before & going through the IG I wasn't so sure how it was going to work as we're not really bookwork sorts. More reading for Ditz too.
It starts with Corelli & the baroque period, when the orchestra as we know it began forming, up until Stravinsky, detouring along the way to look at the spiritual lives of the great composers.
What had really attracted my attention though & ran up my bill was the CD set. I think there's about 20 & this really had Ditz cross because she keeps telling me she doesn't like classical music. For a child that was singing the aria from Mozart's the queen of the night in the Magic Flute since she was 8 that is a really weird statement but Ditz made it.

Surprisingly, given how vocal Ditz had been prior to us starting this, she was pretty engaged from the beginning. I gave her the Wagner disc to put in & told her to find the Ride of the Valkyries ~ you know, the Star Wars bit, pointing out that she'd know this from the movies ~ & of course she did! Her face was a study in disbelief! She then went hunting through the discs saying she wanted the Swan Lake one. Well, Swan Lake is an entire ballet & there is more than one piece of music to choose from & of course it wasn't nicely labeled Swan Lake! Thankfully Ditz did know Tchaikovsky! And she did eventually work out Symphony no.6 in B minor was the bit she wanted ~ which is the bit Billy Eliot ends with. At this point my ho~hum daughter got excited & was conducting away with both hands. Then she found the Nutcracker suite & began dancing round the room. I think we have a hit.

This curriculum seems to be multi~sensory so should reach most learning styles but after just one lesson it seems to be very intense & the lessons quite long. I had pre~prepared the map but Ditz still had the capital cities to put in, her first time~line figure to do, a list of Baroque composers to do & the music to listen to ~ & I never got the colouring books or card game! They suggest 2 ~ 3 lessons each week. well, I know straight up we'll never manage that. Just the same, it's pretty cool that my disinterested, disengaged, cynical little daughter got excited about this curriculum.

Oh, & our whole day rocked. Ditz was on a roll & a really happy little vegemiter, school or no school. I thought she might be flagging by the afternoon but she sailed through a two hour violin lesson, vibrato included, with barely a wobble ~ almost unheard of. Maybe I should think more often...


MamaOlive said...

See where thinking will get you!
Glad you had a good day. I am so stopped up I can't think. I spent the morning feeling sorry for myself and then turned into a slave driver after lunch. It's amazing how much work 6 slaves can get done in just 2 hours. :-D Maybe they'll be ready to sit down and study now. Ya think? Oh well, I can still dream.

Mrs. C said...

Ok, that's a LOT of work. It overwhelms me thinking of doing even a teensy bit of music. Our recorders are gathering dust. :]

Mrs. Darling said...

Oh that kind of a day is what its all about. I never see enthusiasm from Tink. NEVER But im hoping I will see this in Peter some day. You amke me wish I knew music better. I just cam barely tell what is classical and what is rock and what is jazz and what is...well you get the idea! LOL

Sandra said...

No Wagner for me! How DO you get anything else done?

Constance said...

I have a lot of respect for home schooling families. My best friend schooled their children until high school and then they went to a small private Christian school. It's a LOT of hard work (I figured that out just watching her!) It's wonderful when you see that proverbial light bulb come on in a kids mind! It's funny how Classical Music is inserted here and there and everywhere. I remember my oldest girls watching Bugs Bunny when they were kids and there was a piece from "The Barber Of Seville" in it. When they heard it on the radio later they laughed and called it the "Bugs Bunny music". Little realizing that it had been around much longer than Mr Bugs himself!

I LOVE reading the book of Revelation as well. It's not easy to grasp but like you, I love getting to use my imagination with the imagery. The best part: I peeled at the end and we win!


Constance said...

I didn't peel at the end, I PEEKED at the end! Oops, should've proofed that before I entered it!

kimba said...

A lot of classical music is stolen for advertising. Mozart "La Donna e mobile" for pizza for example.
Connie: The Barber of Seville bugs bunny is a favourite cartoon of mine along with the one with Bugs and Elmer Fudd doing a potted wagnerian opera.

seekingmyLord said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seekingmyLord said...

You and I are doing it again! I have been thinking down these same lines with an unhappy Princess and Mama a few weeks ago, but things are getting much better now. I think in homeschooling, when the "priorities" (education) have become the priorities, we lose the real priority of fostering the love of learning--and it is so hard not to get wrapped up in that when teaching day to day.

My daughter has always, up to the time being at least, preferred classical music, thankfully!

I am so glad to hear Ditz is likely the curriculum. Keep me posted as I am thinking to get this one also.