Friday, October 26, 2012

Music in the Home

I try very hard to have all the parts of a good CM school in our homeschool - but don't always succeed.   One of the struggles we have had this year has been doing the music things - composer study, folk songs, and hymns.  They just are not happening.

But I was reminded of something the other day.  I had gone to the store to run an errand, and when I came back, Mike had the family dancing to music....  and I reminded myself of the variety of music our children are exposed to in our house....

Here are a few things that played that day (or other days very recently...)


  • Double Bach Concerto
  • Vivaldi's Concerto in A minor
  • Vivaldi's the Four Seasons


  • MANY Stan Rogers songs
  • The Capitals Song
  • I'se the Boy
  • Squid Jigging
  • Ketchup loves Potatoes  (Stomping Tom)
  • Big Joe Mafferaw (sp?)
  • The Crusaders
  • The Highway Man
  • Canada's Really Big  (Rocks and Trees....)
  • It's Not on the Test
  • The Pickle Song  (I don't want a pickle......)

Other Instrumental:

  • "Noisy Bagpipes"  (this is our family's nickname)
  • Royal Canadian Air Force March Past
  • Armoured Core March Past


  • Sneaky Snakes
  • several country songs

and more!

So - I just have to remind myself what I told Mike a few years ago when he said he wanted us to do folk music in school.......   "Our kids know more folk music than most people just from hanging around you....  do we really need to schedule it?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Still here!

Ok, I realize that it probably feels like I've fallen off the face of the planet.  I do have a couple of draft posts that have been sitting.... but honestly I just haven't had the time or energy.... and I'll also admit to not feeling like I had anything "profound" enough to say.

Either way - I think I'll give you a basic update.   Because of my health issues, as well as a few other reasons - it made sense for me to go with a move towards independent studies for my kids.  However, that hasn't meant that we had to get rid of a Charlotte Mason method.  It did mean that I had to reduce the family studies, however.

I'm pretty sure that I put up a post earlier this fall that we were moving to doing AO again, with Canadian modifications.  That has been working out really well for us (after a stressful first week....).  Delta (9) is doing Year 2, and Echo (7.5) is doing Year 1.  Delta did notice that his lists say Year 2 - but I talked to him about that not being a grade level... and that many of the books are at a grade 6 or so level.  This has not been a difficulty with him.

One thing I did to make things easier to be independent is to download audiobooks from librivox.  I created a webpage (just on our computer) for each student with the links to each chapter in their books so they can easily get to their readings.  So they can go to their computer (thanks Computers 4 Schools!) and listen to their books, reading along with their book or the Kindle.  They come to narrate to me when done.

Each child has their schedule with a planner page, and the list of readings (taken off of the AO website and modified with the Canadian changes).   They follow the schedule - picking the readings.  they cross them off the list.

So, what is their schedule like? Well, it is pretty much the same each day, and is pretty basic....   Scriptures, Copywork, Pick a reading from the list, Rotation (ASL/German/Drawing), Reading from the list / free read, , Math, Reading from list or free read, rotation (picture study, mapping, music study, map drills, timelines) and that is it for now.   I do want to add in the Hymn Study and Folk music - at the moment it is just random listening to it.  I also want to get them back to practicing violin and/or learning the organ (violin has been not happening since we lost our teacher)...  but this is working at the moment.

A few of the readings are not independent, Math (RightStart) is not independent, and Foxtrot is doing a little math and reading with me - and that takes my time - as well as Golf running around...   But if I'm sick - I can just get them started on their stuff, and I can have them play one of the math games for math.

So - motivation for them.  This probably isn't CM - but I created a little race-track for them to compete against an opponent (not each other!).  I used a printout from when we did workboxes, which had 2 rows of 6 boxes - perfect for a 6 week "race".   This was laminated (with map-tak) and velcro added.  I created little character boxes that velcro onto the places.  Every 5 days, the opponent moves 1 spot.  When a student has completed a week of their readings (assuming they are doing the other things), their character moves.   If they win the race against the opponent, they get a light day (a day off, except for family subjects.)

This is working well.... except I have noticed recently that Echo is starting to not want to do the free reads (she'd rather do the scheduled readings and be done the week early...) - I may have to specify a minimum number of free read chapters must be done as well.......

Oh, and was also had a birthday recently!  It is so hard to believe that Delta is 9.  I made him a birthday cake... I think it turned out good. (See picture at the top)