Friday, March 25, 2016

7 Quick Takes Friday


Spring is 'springing'!

Reading our daily chapter of "Robin Hood" in 70 degrees while the children draw with sidewalk chalk


About once yearly, we experience a little invasion by mice: this year, the rodents are my Holy Week penance.

One evening, I was standing in the kitchen working, when a mouse dashed out, looked at me, and dashed away. The fur-bags are fearless! He dashed out twice more within five minutes, during which time we quickly placed a trap and--snap! He was gone.

Hunting mice
The broad daylight of next morning brought the mouse's little friend looking for him. Joseph donned a soldier costume over his pajamas and informed me (loudly), "Look out! Mice are dangerous! He could bite you, or chew your clothes!" Then he put on his stern soldier face (see photo) and began hunting the mouse, ultimately resulting in four children chasing this mouse as he ran crazily room to room.

By that night, mouse #2 was snapped and gone as well.


Desperation: strapping the baby into a stroller and parking him in the garage, with the door open, so I could just please, please wash the dishes because he likes that better than being strapped in his high chair, where he screams and cries. Mysteriously, Thomas was very happy in his stroller. I will not question these things.


Our power went out one day and, not only did Mary voluntarily set about doing her piano practice, but she sought out a head lamp to play by. That's dedication!

(And lest you think that musical dedication is always the state of affairs, let me say decidedly that no, we still have the occasional stand-off that lasts all day!)


Moments from school . . .


Music Theory

Music Theory
Speaking of music theory, I have at times doubted and criticized myself for bothering to start Margaret in piano lessons just over one year ago, when she was just shy of four years old and begging for lessons. But at times like this week, I think it was well worth it: Margaret just turned five, she doesn't need to use the 'strips' showing the notes on a keyboard (you can see one in the below picture), she knows all her keys when writing them out on paper, and she can take a song from the keyboard and write out the keys (ABCD . . .) on a piece of paper to make her own 'sheet music.'

Playing Concerto in Classical Style

On Wednesday, I heard Concerto in Classical Style being played in the den, albeit more slowly than is the standard tempo. I opened the door, expecting to see John, since he is the one learning it, and found Margaret! She was interpreting the sheet music (notes marked by the teacher) and playing the right hand melody, slowly but absolutely steadily!

It is moments like that when I think the year of piano was worthwhile. (Ask me other times and I'll say, 'Wait till they're six to start them!')

Occupying Thomas with Veggie Stix during school time
Speaking of Thomas eating, his new foods this week were: real chicken, Veggie Stix, scrambled eggs, more mixes of baby foods (a favorite was spinach, zucchini, and quinoa blend).

Occupying Joseph with Aqua Doodle during school time


I offer a sneak preview of Mary's First Holy Communion dress and veil, designed by her father and I, and hand sewn by Mrs. D. at Zelie's Roses--a seamstress I highly recommend!

Trying on her gown

Trying on her gown


Bonus reading: "To Educate Children, You Need Books on the Shelves" by Leila Lawler. Books, books, books, not invisible content on Kindles and other readers!

"Is All About Reading a Complete Orton-Gillingham Program?" at Homeschooling with Dyslexia. As we come close to finishing our fourth year of homeschooling, All About Reading and All About Spelling remain my favorite curricula. The above is one of the best reviews and explanations of the program I've come across. I recommend it for everyone! It just so happens to work very well for those with special needs in learning and I always think: one won't know if one has a child with reading difficulties when one starts on the journey, so why not start with a program that works fabulously for those who are going to have ease with reading as well as for those who are going to face challenges?

For more 7 Quick Takes Fridays, check out This Ain't the Lyceum.

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