As I mentioned last week, I switched my school schedule around to have some play/exercise time in the morning and school in the afternoon. I wasn’t able to stick with this arrangement though (sorry, mom!). I found that we were running very late into the afternoons and I would be rushed into evening chores and activities without any quiet or clean up time. I’m back to morning (combined) school and now I just make sure the girls have had some sort of physical activity prior to 9 a.m.
We are still struggling with implementing attentiveness going into week 3. The girls have memorized Bible verses and know what attentiveness means by heart, but it is not yet IN their hearts to behave that way. There is still an extreme amount of chatter and interruption while we have school together. I’m not sure how to tackle this yet, except to try and be as encouraging as possible when I see it take place. This is not an easy thing for me to do, as I’m naturally one to correct behavior somewhat critically. I’m hopeful though, since there are still many weeks left before we leave this character trait for the next one.
*This page contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
Movie: The Music Man
My book list was rather short this week. Mole Music was an adorable book that helped the kids visualize how our “private” actions can influence others. This is a wonderful story to prompt discussion on the importance of random acts of kindness and how God always has greater things in store than we can see.
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin was a great introduction into musical instruments and words. For getting a better understanding of individual instruments and their families, I preferred Meet the Orchestra. This book gave several examples into each instrument family and described their sound. I read a portion of the book each day, stopping after completing an instrument and letting the girls hear each one from my phone (sources below).
Surprisingly, I had never seen The Music Man. Even though I grew up watching plenty of musicals, my girls have not. They were confused at first by all the singing. After awhile though they got caught up in the story and loved it in the end. I always have them draw their favorite part of the movie after we finish watching and these pictures are such fun to see!
Instrument sound samples 1
Instrument sound samples 2
Chopin coloring page and music samples
Zin! Zin! Zin! worksheets
Making a kazoo
Classical cello video
Modern cello video
Brahms coloring page and music sample (Brahm’s Lullaby)
Tchaikovsky coloring page and music sample (The Nutcracker Suite/Nutcracker Ballet)
Prokofiev music sample (Peter and the Wolf)
After introducing many instruments through Meet the Orchestra, I used the free printable instrument cards to have the girls match up the instruments to their names (I read them out loud so my non readers could play). They really loved this activity and did a wonderful job at matching. The Zin! Zin! Zin! worksheets also helped reinforce which instrument belonged to each family.
I wanted the girls to understand that musical instruments aren’t always used to play classical music. One of the best lessons for them was when I played the classical cello video and followed it up with the modern work of 2 Cellos. They thought the performance of the latter was outstanding and were entranced by how the same instrument could be played so differently.
We continued building our composer study where I read bios for each out of Lives of the Musicians. The Nutcracker was a favorite and though we didn’t take time to watch the entire ballet, it was an excellent example for describing how music tells a story. The same was true for Peter and the Wolf. It was easy for the kids to hear the instruments and how each represented a particular animal or person.
We also created a few of our own instruments. The kazoos were incredibly noisy and they loved that! I didn’t have an empty shoe box for creating a guitar, so I used a large, sturdy plastic lid and put several rubber bands across it. You could hear the sound change as the the rubber band was stretched across the different lengths of the lid. They had fun predicting how each would sound.
By far, this was our most successful week. The girls thoroughly enjoyed learning about musical instruments. My 7 and 5 year old were even able to recognize Franz Schubert without prompting (his picture was on my computer screen when they came into the room and they both started shouting “Schubert! Schubert!”). I guess even through the chatter, they are listening.