Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Back in September I posted our plans for Haley's homeschooling for the year...more like a wish list for what we could possibly get done. (I always over-plan, heh.) We've followed through with many of those plans, adjusted some, and decided to go a completely different direction with others. Since we are about halfway through our "school year," I thought I'd post what we are actually doing.

This year has been a little different than previous school years because Haley is fairly independent and has more specific ideas on what she'd like to learn. She's a conscientious student so I can leave her a list of things to accomplish on the days I work and expect they will be done.

Here's what she is working on and a little about how things have changed since September...

-She finished Saxon Algebra so we've moved on to Geometry. We started with a couple different options I had around the house, Jacobs and Holt. Haley liked the Holt text better so we are going with that and adding in Khan Academy videos.

Language Arts
-Haley is very interested in writing so she is visiting a mentor once week. With her mentor, she has started a blog and will also work on other writing assignments. Her mentor gives her ideas for books to read...right now she and I are reading Pride and Prejudice and Haley is working through The Young Visitors or Mr. Salteenas' Plan by Daisy Ashford (the book was written when Ms. Ashford was 9 years old and not edited when printed so Haley is working on editing the book as she reads).
-Wordly Wise Vocabulary
-Editor in Chief
-Magic Lens I by Michael Clay Thompson

-We've finished up weekly dissections and Cells by Ellen McHenry. She is working through Biology Coloring Book.
-PLATO High School Biology

-Human PreHistory by The Teaching Company...listen to lectures and take notes

-First Form Latin
-Rosetta Stone French
-Duolingo French
-French in Action

Confessions Time: We have not done well with following any art curriculum. We run out of time during the day and art is the first thing to go. I don't feel too bad about it since Haley spends a lot of her free time doing crafts of some kind. She is learning to sew with Grammy and makes her own projects in her free time including fancy violin mutes.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend Ramblings....or Concert Weekend Part 2

Haley tuning up the orchesta.
 Last weekend was solo concert weekend and this weekend was orchestra. Friday night Haley had a dress rehearsal for orchestra and Saturday afternoon was her first concert as concertmaster of PRYSM. The concert went beautifully. They played St. Paul's Suite by Gustav Holst, Five Variations of Dives and Lazarus by B. Vaughn Williams, and Fiddle Faddle by Leroy Anderson.

Haley had a number of solos and loved the pieces...all were more fiddle-y than most classical music. Dives was variations on Star of the County Down, a popular Irish song and they had a lovely harp part. The last movement of St. Paul's was known by us as The Irish Washerwoman and Fiddle Faddle, well the title says it all. Though it isn't Irish fiddling, it is fast and fun to play!

Full side-by-side orchestra

Haley with her stand partner.

After the concert we drove back to our side of the bridge and went out to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in the town where we had to be for another concert. Haley's buddy, Paraic, gave us tickets to the Clannad concert in our area. So, after dinner we went to take in the concert. (I didn't realize they wrote and performed the theme to the Last of the Mohicans movie...I love that movie.

Haley and Daddy at dinner.

Haley waiting for the concert to begin.
Sunday, we made a quick trip to New York for a fiddle lesson.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Weekend Ramblings....

It's been a busy but fun weekend. Looks like we get an extra day because schools are cancelled for inclement weather which, right now, consists of rain. I am beginning to wonder if my senior will ever graduate. Unluckily for Haley, school is never cancelled for weather. (insert evil grin)

Friday night was the last regular rehearsal before next weekend's concert for Haley's orchestra. I was amazed at how good they sounded because the rehearsal prior was a little rough in some spots but what a difference a week makes! I love the way it sounds when all the kids play together and it just works.

Saturday morning we headed down near the shore for Newt's wrestling quad match. He improved his wrestling record to 114 wins and this past week was named Wrestler of the Week by the area newspaper as a result of his big win by pin last weekend against a former State place winner. The match ended rather quickly because none of the four teams had a full squad. After the match, I drove Haley and Dylan into the city to meet with Haley's friends, Alex and Keegan, so they could work on a couple sets for the "grand finale" of a concert they are all doing in March. We meet at a pub in the city, Fergies, because it is a central venue for all of us and usually are able to use the upstairs room to rehearse but this week it was taken so they had to rehearse downstairs in the actual pub. The other nice thing about meeting there is the session after their rehearsal. It is one of Haley's favorite session venues.

Sunday was our busiest day...and the only day I remembered the camera. Haley had her classical teacher's studio recital where she performed the 3rd movement of Mendelssohn's Concerto in E. She did a great job!

Tuning up before the concert. It wasn't that long ago when Haley was the tiny one in line!
Then we rushed off to Sacred Heart Church where she and Dylan performed at a concert to benefit Heart of Camden, an organization that buys and completely refurbishes homes which they then sell to low income families (they have sold over 200 refurbished homes so far!!). The kids have participated in this fundraiser for the last three or four years and really enjoy it. There is a wonderful crowd, great performers, good sound, and the venue is beautiful.

Caught Dylan smiling!

Okay, Haley is the one looking serious.

Concert grand finale! That boy dancing on the far left was absolutely awesome!

Here's a little video sampling from the concert! Check out the tiny little dancer at 2:47!