Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Spring, Time to Sing Vivaldi!

OK, it's not spring but it might as well be with the weather we've had the last few days! It was 68 and gorgeous today. Too bad the kids are still sick. They were well enough to play in the back yard though and they really appreciated that one.

Since they were feeling better though, I figured I should bust out the books. Cameron finished off the last regular exercise in his math book and is two-thirds of the way through the second-to-last review.

I haven't been able to find Cassia's math book ANYwhere!! It just disappeared. I have a feeling that it got left out somewhere and someone "put it away" in a rush and it's now residing in a random toy bin somewhere. I glanced at most of the bookshelves and didn't see it there, but we have a lot of books so I could have easily just missed it.

Anyway, I finally gave up and skipped her ahead to the Primary Math 1A book. I doubt she'll miss the last third of Earlybird 2B and if we do find it, she'll probably have a blast going back and doing it for fun. She was thrilled to start the new book. Of course the first chapter is ultra easy - counting to ten. But it does have something new in that it's asking her to match the numbers with the words. Cameron was never able to do that but I have a feeling that she's going to pick it up pretty easily. She's got a great memory for stuff like that, where as he - like me - needs the rules and reasons behind it before it will stick.

Another difference between the two of them stood out very sharply today. There was an exercise that asked her to color a certain number of objects. She happily and carefully colored each one a different color and proudly showed off each set to me. I remember when Cameron did that exercise - he HATED it!! He hated to color so much. When he did do it, he would just kind of scribble the picture out. I remember I finally just told him to put an X on them instead of coloring because it was such torture for him. So his 1A book is a big scribbley mess and hers is a beautiful work of art, lol. Nothing against not wanting to color though!! I totally get that that's not his thing and I'm okay with it, but it was nice to see all the beautiful colors today. It flashed me back to my own brightly and carefully colored worksheets of decades past. And in her enthusiasm, she completed six exercises and begged me for more but I told her to save a few for tomorrow.

After that I asked them if they wanted to read a history story or learn about a composer. Cassia had found the Classical Magic books the other day and was looking through them. I am embarrassed to say that I had completely forgotten about them!! LOL. Anyway, I thought I'd let them choose what else to do and Cameron said "Histoser." Cassia also chimed in with "Compistory." So I followed their lead, like any good homeschool mom would, and we did both. ;) For history we read about Augustus Caesar and the kids were thrilled to learn that both their birth months were named for leaders of Rome. We followed that up with the first few pages of Classical Magic and learned some of the characteristics of the Baroque period and then read a short biography of Vivaldi. I thought we would finish off by listening to a few clips of Vivaldi's Springtime. We have a couple of fun versions of the first movement so we listened to those and then I went to Classical Archives to play a more sophisticated version. To my surprise though, they wanted to listen to ALL the seasons! Mostly we just listened to clips of each, not the full movement, but we did sample all three movements of all four seasons. And then they went through and listened to all of the baroque period kid's songs! (From the Beethoven's Wig and Classical Magic serieses - yes, I've sorted them all into iTunes playlists - yes, I'm a geek.)

So that was a lot of fun. I'm hoping we can listen to some more Vivaldi in the next couple days and then read another biography or two on him. There is a second biography on him in Volume 2 of Classical Magic (why I'm not sure) and I have several online sites bookmarked. Hopefully the interest will continue because this really is something I've been wanting to learn about with them. Cameron also got some art and science work in today by using his How To Draw Dinosaurs book. :) He did a really great job. He's got a skill for drawing. Cassia has the eye for color, but he has the eye for line. He can carry a better tune too. I wonder if that's related?

If this is less than coherent or cohesive it's because I'm starving and am having trouble concentrating but wanted to get this finished before I move on to getting dinner finished. Homemade pizza tonight! I wonder if Vivaldi inspired me?

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