Saturday, 2 May 2015

Making Music

Our family is a musical family in that we all play an instrument and in some cases more than one.

We play guitar, recorder, piano, percussion (too many to name), trombone, baritone and flute.  We have also had a couple of violinists who stopped playing.

I enjoy making music and sometimes I find it frustrating. I have recently had to take an enforced break from wind and brass and it is hard to get back into it again. My embouchure is weak because of the break.  Practice and discipline are key to making progress in your instrument.

How do you do it when you have lost your routine? We have two people getting ready for exams (recorder, a theory exam and a music theatre exam). 

I have never done an exam but I have played and sung competitively when I was younger. I now fall to pieces at the thought of playing a solo. I am not practising as much now as when I was in my teens that is the reason for my nerves.

I would love to hear from other musicians about your routines and how much playing and practice you do each week.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Catch Up

We have been busily working and settling into a new routine. We have been reading some literary classics of bygone days and M has been enjoying them. We take turns reading to each other and then I have her narrate or summarise the story in her own words. Sometimes I ask her comprehension questions if she doesn't seem to be able to retell the story.

We have been doing a mixture of lapbooks, and unit studies as well as using the resources from Ambleside Online. Ambleside Online is a Charlotte Mason Method curriculum. It is a free online curriculum and many of the resources are available for free as they are in the public domain and if they aren't available for free, they aren't generally too expensive. I pick and choose the resources that we use and tailor things to suit M. We tried using AO when she was younger and she didn't like it.

Sadly, I had to put it on the back burner because there is no point to using something that your child doesn't like. A few weeks ago, I decided to try again and she absolutely LOVES it :-) I am very happy.

I have used some unit studies from School Expess. You need to sign up for their newsletter and each week you can have a free unit study delivered to your inbox. I ended up buying the entire bundle which wasn't too expensive. There are lots of free resources on that site.

We get a lot of our lapbooks from either Hands of a Child or from Currclick. There are often sales throughout the year and you can get lapbooks and unit studies for good prices. Hands of a Child has membership packages and Currclick has both free and paid resources. They are all downloadable and it is your curriculum in a click - Currclick. See what they did there?

I have found a few good Facebook groups for getting wonderful free resources that I can use and I have started a Facebook Fan Page called Freebie Education Resources where I share freebies that I find. I have also liked a few other education pages and you can see that in the 'liked pages' section.

This year so far I have organised two Science Fairs and I set up a board called Science Fair Project Ideas on Pinterest. I put quite a few ideas for Science experiments for various ages. We did two different experiments, one was called 'Walking Water'and the water 'walked' from one glass to another up some paper towel because of capillary action. This means the water moves or 'walks' up the paper towels into the empty jar. Capillary action is the action of the water being drawn up going against the force of gravity.

We also did dancing raisins and used carbonated (fizzy) water and put raisins in that and also in tap water. The carbonated water made the raisins appear to dance. The carbon dioxide bubbles made the raisins float to the top and when they reached the surface, the bubbles burst which caused the raisins to sink. They accumulated more bubbles on the way down and floated back up again. In the plain tap water they didn't float to the surface until they were fully bloated.

We have one more Science Fair to attend this year and they were so popular that people would like to have them every six months. I am on the search for a free venue that is large enough to host everyone!

Until next time, take care of yourselves and each other.