Piano and CMNH Class

Today S8 had her piano lesson at Nelya’s. It went very well. Thanks to her prior music experience with violin, she has already finished one of the books. She is very eager and Nelya spends a lot more than her typical 30 minutes (lessons are averaging 45 minutes each time). I want to pay her more because she is doing a lot more than we agreed on.

S8 piano lesson

Nelya’s son, T9, was home today. He and O7 entertained each other with his iPad while S8 had her lesson.


S8 had to check it out at the end, too. Like moths to a flame…


After our lesson was finished, we scooted to Pittsburgh for our science classes at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. S8 had a busy time of things. They made a model of an eyeball, which she found rather disgusting (but gamely finished anyway).

eye spy

model of eyeball

O7 did not want to go to her class. Normally, I would chuckle and shoo her in, but she seemed genuinely terrified. Her face went white and then she started to hyperventilate and cry. I do not know exactly what an anxiety attack looks like, but this seemed like one to me. We took the day off and went to the park instead.



While I very much wanted her to have the opportunity to learn in her class, it is not worth it if she gets physically ill. We went home afterwards and read about similar material in our Mammals book while S8 attended her Symphonette rehearsal.


CMNH Class: Week 2

Today we attended the second of six classes in the Spring 2013 series at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  We missed week 1 since we were at Kalahari for our homeschool conference.

O7’s class is called “Animal Adventures”. 


When I dropped her off, they were looking at meal worms under a microscope.


S8’s class is called “Eye Spy”.  Today, they dissected a calf’s eyeball and looked at it under a microscope.  S8 was a little squeamish about it.  I regret mentioning it to her ahead of time, because she has been dwelling on the eyeball issue for a few weeks.  But she got through it and even wrote a little note about measuring eyeball sizes in class.  Next time, they get to look at a squid eyeball.  I think she was hoping they were done with eyeballs.


Eye spy class #2

2013-02-19 14.25.42.jpg

In the evening, S8 went to her Symphonette rehearsal.  She is a lot more optimistic about the music this time.  I think her sight-reading skills have really taken off and it’s helping her manage the sheer volume of music.  In her Suzuki lessons, we only work on a few short pieces at a time.  She has six lengthy (and difficult) pieces for Symphonette.  But not having to memorize it all takes a lot of the pressure off and makes it more enjoyable.

Symphonette 1-30-13

Tonight S8 went to Symphonette rehearsal.  They are working on Synergy, which S8 says is her favorite piece.

Because of a scheduling conflict, the concert has been moved up a week.  Between the date change and a snow day last week, they have even less time to rehearse for the concert.  We will also miss next week due to our conference at Kalahari.  I hope S8 finds that challenge to be motivating and not overwhelming.

Even More Swimming

Today, all the public/parochial schools in our district were closed due to “excessive wind chill”.  They were closed yesterday, too.  The temps were around 8-10 degrees F but I guess with the wind it felt like -10F.  Or -15F.  I don’t think you can really tell the difference, once you’re that cold.  And hoo boy, it was cold.    Symphonette was canceled for tonight, coincidentally, since the local schools were closed.

We had already made plans to meet my friend, G, at the Salem Community Center today.  I almost canceled, but decided to brave the elements and keep our date.  The kids have been cooped up for weeks on end due to the winter weather, and a couple hours of gymnastics/swimming a week just ain’t cutting it.  We all feel and perform better when we’re physically active.  On to Salem we went.

While I did freeze my figurative butt off getting there, it was a great way to spend a wintry day.  The pools at the SCC are warmish enough that we hung out for about 3 hours, swimming and playing.  A few other kids came and went while we were there, so the girls made friends and played a very long game of Marco Polo.  And now we know of a neat place to go when we’ve been stuck indoors and need to burn off some energy.

Symphonette 1-15-2013

S8 and I both ended up sick Sunday night, so we missed swimming and violin yesterday.  We are going to reschedule violin for later in the week, but swimming has a tight schedule and the policy is that if you miss a lesson, you are just out.  But missing was the only option, under the circumstances.

Today we felt much better and did our math and violin practice.  In the evening, I took S8 to her second symphonette rehearsal.  She was beaming when she came out.  Apparently she was able to play quite a bit of the music and felt a little surge of pride when she told me about it.  I am happy for her.


Symphonette 11-27-12

Tonight was S8’s last symphonette rehearsal for the fall session.  Their concert is this weekend, and then they will be on break until January.

They rehearsed at Powers on the big stage, where their concert will be held.  S8 was very excited.  She has danced on this stage several times with the ballet, and now she has a chance to play her violin here.  It felt like home for us to be back here.

Here she is at practice, looking very small around all the big kids.  She is in the center of the frame, sitting in the back.