Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Day in Our Lives...

Our days rarely follow a normal pattern. Many days Haley has lessons so homeschooling is done on the run. This is what a day looks like when we get to stay home all day.

I woke up early to get the boys breakfast before sending them off to school. Haley followed me up not long after. It's rare that she sleeps past 7am.

Daddy stayed home to paint the garage...yeah! finally he worked on my house instead of someone else's...and it looks great btw. Haley and I had the day at home for school. We started the morning with cups of a delicious, new Chai tea blend we had purchased in NY the other day then Haley ate breakfast while I took a shower and woke up.

Haley came into the bathroom while I was dressing to inform me that she had done her violin review. She loves to surprise me! She has a list with columns for each day of the week then all the Suzuki pieces from Books 1-7 written out in order so that each day she plays a sampling from each book and in a week all pieces are played once. She's not to Book 7 yet so when a piece gets polished and her violin teacher doesn't want to hear it any more, we include it in the review list. Current pieces are practiced later in the day.

Our first subject of the day was writing. I am helping to test out a new 5th grade writing program called Writing with Ease and just recieved the first few lessons in the mail so we began it by reading a passage for Haley to summarize. I wrote out her math for the next few days while she completed her assignment. She just started Saxon 76 which is in textbook format so, since she is still young, I write out the problems from the exercises for her except word problems where knowing what to write is important.

We had to take a short trip to town to get the ingredients needed for dinner...Chicken Chili (recipe at end of this post) and I was going to pick up prescriptions. They weren't ready not even called in so I left feeling a bit aggravated since that was the main reason for my trip.

We arrived home a short time later and began what we like to call Haley's "Suzuki practice" which now includes 2 octave scales in a circle of 5ths, 3 octave scales also in a circle of 5ths but 3 a day rather than the entire circle, reading through a few short sight reading pieces from various books many of which include 2 parts so I generally play piano for one part while Haley plays the other part, Wohfarht music reading study of the week, exercises from a book for shifting, then work on new pieces which are pieces in various stages of the working process. This week she has 3 pieces she's polishing up and some double stops for another as a preview for a future piece. She and her teacher are finishing up some lose ends since this summer was a bit disjointed. All in all, her "Suzuki practice" takes about 1.5 hours with an occassional hug break here and there.

After practice is lunch. Haley gets to read or watch a little TV while she eats. On this day, I had to download her video from her fiddle lesson in NY on Wednesday and while she eats, I go through it marking the items she needs to practice and deleting extraneous footage so she can practice efficiently the next couple weeks to prepare for the next lesson.

Following lunch, I set Haley up on the computer to do PLATO Life Science. When I purchased this through, I got a cheaper rate by agreeing to use it in a certain time slot. Our slot is 11-1:45pm. It has worked out well so far and she's been doing it since the beginning of August. Haley completes an entire lesson including the post-test and we place the post-test printout in her schedule folder.

We had a short break on the trampoline...Haley likes to call this "gym." Ha! Then we worked through her math and read some history. We are doing US Colonial History so we read a story about Jamestown settlement and some selections from a neat book called "We Were There, Too" which tells the true stories of young people present at various times in history often from their own writings or the writings of people around them. Yesterday was the story of Pocahontas and two other young boys in Jamestown.

Haley sat to do her "Brian practice." We've found the best way for her to practice her fiddling is for me to take video of her lessons with Brian, download them to the computer, label them, then let her practice with the videos. I tried writing the bowings on the music but it was difficult to keep up. With the video, she can watch how to bow her tunes and she can do it on her own. Occassionally, I will check what she's playing before a lesson to see if she made necessary changes but she does really well on her own. Yesterday, however, the electric went out while she was practicing...this seems to happen way too regularly here.

The boys got home from school then the kids played through one of the sets they are performing this weekend at Cold Spring Village's Folk Festival. I made dinner, we ate, then the kids all played outside on bikes, pogo sticks, and scooters and I got a few minutes to read my latest book. Later, Haley and I hung out with Grammy and Poppop while Newt walked across the street to see the high school football game.

White Chicken Chili Recipe

2lb boneless skinless chicken breast in pieces
1 med. onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced

Brown chicken in a pan with garlic and onion then add:
2 cans chicken broth
3 cans cannellini beans
4 small cans chopped green chilis
2 tsp each oregano, cumin, and salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring to a boil then lower heat. Cook uncovered for at least an hour on low.

Add: 16 oz. sour cream and 1 cup heavy cream.
Heat to warm then serve over rice.

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