New year, first week back to (home)school

Our new year got off to a bit of a rocky start. Rick missed a great New Year’s eve party and New Year’s Day party because of a neck problem (couldn’t really turn his head). Simon and various members of five other families contracted a stomach virus at the New Year’s eve party. But the party was totally worth it, kudos to Karina, Paul, Zoe and Theo for showing us a great time!
Our homeschool start went much better. The boys were ready on Monday and we got through all of the things on our schedule that day. Once or twice this week they even played together nicely for 20 or more minutes at a time!
Among other things we read poetry, made a water xylophone, worked on math equations and learned about prepositions. We also worked on thank you notes for all of the Christmas presents the boys were lucky to receive.
One of the highlights of my week came from our music lesson this week. Something from the “pull it out of your butt” homeschool curriculum plan I’ve been using went really well. I saw someone on a blog talking about using YouTube videos and sharing with children the music of John Williams. Simon, as most young boys do, loves anything Star Wars. First we listened to the Star Wars theme music. I had Simon write down any instruments he thought he heard in the piece. Next we watched a video of John Williams conducting an orchestra playing the Star Wars theme. He was able to see which instruments he was hearing correctly and look at all of the others that were involved in making the music. After that we did the same thing with the Harry Potter theme. Simon is not yet familiar with this but it was a nice contrast to the Star Wars theme, a completely different piece of music. It turned out really neat and I was happy to think of many other ways we could use the same pieces along with other YouTube videos.
Owen really enjoyed using water colors on too of white crayon drawings. He was fascinated as the “secret” messages appeared!
All in all it was a great week, despite our extra cold temps.

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