Monday, February 4, 2013

Piano Lessons and More

I think I've mentioned it before, but I love Mondays!  Usually Mondays are my organizing/cleaning days, but not today.  We are completely off-schedule.  I have had such a hard time getting motivated today!  First, we didn't wake the kids up (usually not necessary) and I don't think they woke up until 7:30!  I just enjoyed the quiet of the morning and tried to get caught up on some email.  I couldn't reply to any of you as my email account is not allowing me to send replies right now.  I can read emails, just not reply to them.  Hopefully that will be fixed soon.
Handsome Boy!
Anna did finish her school today.  Sammy went with Eric to the city to run some errands and go grocery shopping.  Lydia and I did some school too.  I cannot believe how fast she is picking up on things!  She loves it!  I put off writing for a while with her because I was unsure how we were going to start - the normal manuscript way or jump right in to cursive.  Since I was leaning towards cursive, we decided just to jump right in to cursive.  Living in another country has really opened me up to that idea.  The schools here in Ukraine (or at least in our area) teach the kids to write in cursive.  After reading more about cursive in America, I was even more convinced that was what I wanted to do.  Lydia is doing well - and very excited at her accomplishments.
I love little boys in suits!  Daniel is getting too chubby for his though. :(

 Besides Abeka, I have used some of the information from the Spell to Write and Read program.  Though I feel like Abeka has an excellent phonics program, I think this enhances it even more.  I am using parts of this program to teach the English class too.  In the evenings we are doing piano lessons...somewhat irregular right now, but I am surprised at how much Anna is grasping.  Being a piano teacher before God called us to the mission field, I was familiar with many of the popular teaching courses (Alfred's, Thompson's, Faber...) but was introduced to a course on deputation that looked excellent.  When we were Stateside for furlough I ordered the Madonna Woods Piano Course for Christians Preparatory level set.  I love their approach!  Most of the other books start children out on the black keys, playing by finger number - slowly moving them to letters then to the staff.  This program starts them on the staff from the start - no letters written on the notes.  I cannot express how much I have enjoyed this course!  When we returned home I discovered that this wasn't the course I WANTED to order.  The course I meant to order was the Mary Jo Moore Piano Course.  I have recently just ordered the first book from that course as well and am anxious to see what it is like.  For me, I ordered The Concert Hymn Book.  I can't wait to play it!  Since I don't have time to play classical music anymore, I feel I have become more rusty.  This would help me brush up on classical skills and also see them in relation to the hymns I am playing.  While we were in the States I also ordered the first book of Draw Write Now.  We haven't gotten started with it again, but drew one picture when on furlough.  The kids LOVED it!  It really could almost be a complete curriculum.  Example:  We drew a hen the first lesson.  They talked a little about hens and gave recommendations for books on hens so you can learn more about hens, eggs, etc.  Love, Love LOVE it!  I wish we had a library near so we could do the book list too, but since we don't, my plan is to find videos and information online for us to read as we go.  It is an art, writing, history, science, etc. class all in one!  We will be starting with that again this week.

The girls and I brought home chocolate muffins the day we went out.
Daniel liked those MUCH better than his birthday cake. :
 Well, my time is up and I went a completely different direction with this post then I intended.  I think I was going to share a recipe or some of the blessings of modern conveniences (like skype). ;)


  1. You used to teach piano?! I wish you were just a bit closer! Or at least available for me to pick your brain and get some help with homework. Our oldest is in his third year of studying piano at music school. I think he's getting a great music education there, but sometimes I also feel like it's going to be the death of us.

  2. I love our Mondays, too! They are really more like a "real" Saturday for us. ha! Love your thoughts on Piano, I'll have to check those courses out!

  3. I was really surprised at how well my kids picked up handwriting in cursive as opposed to print first. They really are on to something there!



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