Monday, May 15, 2017

Growing, Growing, New Flute!

S is 9 years old and finishing up her second year of flute study. She is rounding out Suzuki Flute book 4, and will likely finish this in the next couple of months. She also uses Trevor Wye's Complete Daily Exercises for the Flute: Essential Practice Material for Intermediate to Advance Flautists for tone and fingering exercises

S just picked out a new flute. She picked an Azumi AZ3. We received three flutes in the mail to try out: a Sonari, a Di Zhao, and the Azumi. Her first flute was an Azumi, so it was no surprise to everyone that she picked this one.
S is sooo excited to have a new flute. Her mom is still having sticker shock. (I am probably going to have heart problems in a few years when we may need to upgrade again.)
I like this shot because her right hand gives away her age, and her level. So cute, those baby fingers!
We also did some glamor shots today, the day before it is supposed to rain for six days. I plan to print a couple and hang them around the house.
This is a shot from our last flute-photo session a couple of years ago.

This time we went for a more mature look, since she IS 9 now! Children grow and they don't stop. Here is to many more years of flute!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Montessori School for the Kids and for Me!

So the news!

A few months ago we found out that a public charter Montessori school would be opening near us this fall. We put the kids names into the lottery and with a stroke of luck all three made it in. After a lot of discussion about pros and cons we decided to enroll all three for the fall. So, T, S, and D will all be going to Montessori school full time for the first time.
 At first I had many reservations about this brand new public charter school. But after actually meeting the Head of School and talking with her about her new school, I found new optimism that this would be a wonderful place to call school/home in the coming years.

The school presently enrolls about 360 students ages 3-12. They are adding 7th grade and 8th grade classes each successive years as well as adding additional classrooms to each level. The middle school years will be modeled after the erdkinder school.

T will be entering 5th grade this fall so he'll have a possible 4 years at the school before a transition to whatever high school holds for him. S will be entering 4th grade and D will be entering 1st grade.

We know a number of other friends who will also be attending but we are excited about being a part of a school community once again and meeting and making new friends too.

I am so very much relieved to not be facing another year of homeschooling. I chose to homeschool because I couldn't afford Montessori school and didn't want public school. I've spoken to many moms who love homeschooling their children. I love my children, but I do not love homeschooling them. Sending them to a Montessori school feels like a dream come true. I am hopeful that they WILL have the chance to develop to their potentials and grow a lifelong-love of learning in a true Montessori environment. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. And now it feels like another larger challenge has just landed square in my path.

This all brings me to my next update which is that I will also be attending Montessori school in the fall. I am will be training for an AMI primary teacher training in conjunction with a masters degree in education starting in the fall. Additionally, I'll be moving to Maryland to study for the year. With some family helping here in Texas and some helping me in Maryland, I am confident that we will get through this challenging year apart with grace and growth.

I am so very very thankful to all of the guides and friends who really supported me during this discernment process. I really couldn't have stepped out into the unknown like this without my support village.

Taking this step out was, and still is, scary, daunting, uncomfortable, and a tiny bit thrilling. I was so scared to ask for help, advice and assistance. I hate not knowing what is coming next. I hate plans that evolve and change. And the financial state of affairs, well that is enough to make any sane person faint. In a nut shell, leaving your family, spending tens of thousands of dollars, moving half way across the country for a year, and getting a second masters degree (I already have an MBA) is just CRAZY. What I learned was that grace and huge blessings await on the other side of "no way, I did it!" If I had never stepped out and done it, I would have never been able to say, "I did it!" And in this case, "I did it," feels pretty good.

The application process is over, and now it is time to plan, budget, and plan more. I have another month of school and the whole summer to plan and prepare, but I am so excited to get there, and begin.

So, this blog will no longer be about homeschooling that is for sure. I haven't decided what to do with it yet. Perhaps it will become more about my personal Montessori journey, so stay tuned. (Wow, that is an old phrase, with iPods and cell phones, and Pandora, does any one "tune" anything in anymore?)

(The photos above are all S's plants. We have tomatoes!!! out back already!!! and we have cilantro, and sage, tons of zinnias, and gladiolas. And we have a couple of reseeded melon volunteers as well. Her garden is going to be a busy place this summer. And the last photo is of her amaryllis plants. A couple decided to make babies last year, and her grandmother gifted her another, the huge one in the center. S is going to have to find a larger space for all this, both indoors and out!)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lacrosse and Montessori Math

Lacrosse season is over! T scored his first goal ever! They ended the season with something like a 6-1 record. They were rained out a bit. So now it is on to a May tournament, and then skills camp, and then lacrosse camp, and then it will just be too hot to play, unless you want to suit up and jump in the pool.

T thinks he is funny, and is "fake" throwing the ball at me. You can see his stick is turned around so the ball will not release...funny guy.
Little D will also be going to skills camp this summer.

He thinks the chin strap feels a little weird. Wait till he tries out the mouth guard.
D doesn't need reading glasses. But since S does, he figures what the heck, so do I. Now his doggie...well he has cataracts, or at least that is what the scuffs on his eyes look like.

Half way through All About Spelling Book 2. This man loves spelling, but we are taking it kind a slow.
Big man math. Cubing a trinomial.
This is the last iteration of the Three Kings lesson. T is comfortable enough with the categories that he can do his multiplication like this. Hundreds cubed is millions. Hundreds (100s) have two zeros each. So, you have 100*100*100, you add the zeros, and throw in some commas, and then you get 1,000,000, a million. Gotta say, this is a good test prep thing. Makes multiplying numbers and estimating answers a lot quicker.

This was T's problem sheet for (243)^3.
And S is doing the bank game. (To find out more about the bank game, scroll down and click on the category to see more posts where I mention this presentation.) She's had a LOT of practice with the large bead frame, and understands decomposing your multiplicand and multiplier and how to multiply categories. She is pretty quick with her math facts as well, and this really, really helps because this activity involves a lot of mental math. She settled into this lesson quite easily.
There is a bit more to come...I have some exciting news about our homeschooling so stay tuned!!