Violin and Piano 9-24-13

Today we are back to our regular schedule, after two weeks out on the west coast. We are still a bit jet-lagged, but got up today for an early music day.

O7 went first with violin. She was reluctant (and tired), but got through her whole lesson with no complaint. She practiced Minuet I, then Tina had her play a G scale to get ready for Etude. They played through Etude together and worked on the second half (measure 9-end) where O7 had a few rough spots.

Next, we headed to Nelya’s for piano.S9 did her lesson and worked on a performance piece, the Spider, which she will probably play in a recital next month. This will be her first recital on piano, and she seems stoked about it. She did not do any theory today because Nelya wants her to concentrate more on her performance and technical pieces.  I opted not to take a lesson today since we were not able to practice while we were gone.

In the afternoon, we did some reading. My mom recently got the girls a few graphic novels that had been on our book list: Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe ; HG Wells’ The Time Machine, and Graphic Classics: H.P. Lovecraft.  We are enjoying these and the graphic format, which the girls have seen a few other times.

They are also working through the Warriors series and we are on the last disc of The Slippery Slope.  I can’t recommend the Series of Unfortunate Events books enough, especially in audio format (make sure to get the ones read by Tim Curry if you explore these!)  The story is compelling, and the writing does not assume your children are stupid, as so many children’s books are wont to do; but the thing I like most of all are the delicious and subtle word plays throughout the books.  There are so many turns of phrase and cool vocabulary words presented in the pages.  The kids don’t realize just how many interesting expressions they are learning by listening to these books, a phrase which here means Mom has no problem at all driving an extra lap around the block to get to the end of the chapter.

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Great Chicago Fire

I confess to not remembering where I heard about the Graphic Library series, but it is definitely a worthwhile series for engaging a young independent reader.  Who doesn’t love great disasters in history, especially written as a graphic novel?!

In anticipation of our Chicago trip, we read the story of the Great Chicago Fire.  The kids really enjoyed the story.  Though they are currently reading un-illustrated novels, each of them liked the graphics, too.

Graphic Library “Disasters in History” series.

I found this on Amazon, used, for a very reasonable price.  It is a welcome addition to our library.

Tunnel Books Class 3 of 3

Today we finished up our tunnel books class at the Butler Institute of American Art with Mrs. George.  They came out absolutely great.

S8’s effort is of the Kat Kits, some cat-esque characters she made up some time ago. They appear in her stories and drawings frequently and have very unique personalities.

S8's Tunnel Book

O7 did a forest scene. Here, she is showing off with her goofy friend, E8.

O7's Tunnel Book (with friend, E)

After class, we went for lunch at BK so the kids could run around a bit. I sat with A8 and E8’s moms and we talked about– what else– the kids.

In the evening, we went for our regular gymnastics class. O7 was with the preteam for the first hour, then S8’s class joined them on the floor for the second hour.

After dinner, the girls and I started Farmer Boy, second in the Little House series.  We finished up Little House in the Big Woods the other day.  They are constantly begging me to read these.