Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Piano Pals

Bee is loving having a piano while we're staying at my mother's house. We only had room for a small keyboard in our old house, and that just didn't seem to cut it for her, as she always waited until we were visiting grandma to practice. Since moving here, she plays for between one and two hours a day - needless to say, she has gotten really good really fast. We obviously need to invest in the real deal when we move into our house.

Baxter, our 12 year old tabby cat, loves it when she plays and always comes running from wherever he is to sit at her side and listen. Sometimes he even tries out a few notes.

I think she enjoys having such an appreciative audience, and happily indulges him with her feline serenade.


Chelee said...

That is amazingly cute! How wonderful she has taken to it and loves to spend time playing. I remember doing that when I went to visit my grandmother.

heather said...

i love this! yes, you'll certainly need a piano in your new home.

i have a question... are you able to recommend a math, grammar, and possibly latin (call me crazy) curriculum (grades 4-6)that you have used and are happy with. we are going to begin homeschooling this year, and while history, reading, comprehension, science, life skills and so on will be more life experienced, self- created lessons... we would like to try a "curriculum" for the above mentioned areas. just curious what you use. thanks for any help!

Shawna said...

That is so cute! I am wanting to look into piano for my son...in fact, I have no reason for not having done it so far. But we have absolutely no room for a piano--I am think the music rooms at a local university???

Cheryl said...

Chelee - Isn't it adorable? I'm sure B. will have very fond memories of playing here too.

Heather - Yay, congratulations!! What an exciting step for you guys!
We don't actually use a curriculum, but have dabbled with many things in the past. The math program that they liked the most was Singapore Math, and it's supposed to be one of the best. My son quite liked the Timez Attack game on bigbrainz.com for learning his times tables. We bake a lot and play with fractions and numbers that way (making 3/4 of a cup using 1/4 cup measure, doubling recipes, etc.).
The daughter of a good friend is interested in learning latin and she loves the Minimus books by Barbara Bell.
I think reading alot is the best way to learn grammar (but my kids love the old Schoolhouse Rocks videos that explain the different parts of speech - you can get it on DVD).
My best advice would be to take it slow this year, and don't go spending a fortune on supplies that will most likely never get used (a mistake that I definitely made)!
My favorite books on homeschooling are Family Matters by David Gutterson (best ever!), and anything by John Holt or David Albert. You can also read back issues of Life Learning magazine online for free.
I don't know if any of this helps or not, but don't hesitate to email me if you have more questions or just feel like chatting!

Shawna - A school facility might be a good place to check. Our last house was so small that we had to keep the keyboard under the couch, which worked fine.
I would really suggest finding a teacher who focuses on playing for enjoyment rather than for exams and such. I often hear B. and her teacher laughing and singing together, and she's so keen to play the songs when she gets home that I don't ever have to remind her to practice.

Cheryl said...

Heather - I forgot to mention Mad Libs as a great way for learning grammar, my kids love them!

Debbie said...

What a great photo. A framable one even. :)

jenn said...

Hi Cheryl, I love your blog. This is my first visit here...and won't be my a child I was pressured to practice piano and the result is that I don't play today. It is awesome knowing that your daughter is learning/playing because she wants to :)


dawn said...

That is a great photo. I have often heard about cats liking pianos. Our Eloise has like the piano since she was a kitten and would go in when the kids practice. Every once in a while she decides to play the piano and walks back and forth on the keys. This is really only a problem at night when we are sleeping because due to the size of our house, the piano is in our bedroom.