find me elsewhere

We’ve been doing a lot of painting & drawing this week! I’ll write about that soon.

I have neglected to update you on my posts over on the home/school/life blog these last few months, so I’ve got a lot here for you to read over the weekend. (If you want to!)😉

Citizen Science Project #2: The Great Backyard Bird Count

Citizen Science Project #3: Budburst

Citizen Science Projects #4 & #5: Project Noah & iNaturalist

Citizen Science Project #6: Citizen Science Soil Collection Program

Stuff We Like: 4.15.16

Stuff We Like: 7.15.16

At Home With the Editors: Shelli’s Kindergarten

At Home With the Editors: Shelli’s 3rd Grade

Don’t Cut the Screen Time — Just Make Sure It Counts

Getting the Education I Didn’t Know I Craved

The Music Gap That Filled Itself

Summer Has a Mind of Its Own

If you haven’t been to the home/school/life website in awhile, I urge you to take some time there. The Summer 2016 issue is out, and it’s full of great stuff! Besides a blog that Amy is updating every weekday, there is a store with some free stuff (and some stuff for sell and more stuff will be coming!), a podcast that I’m having a lot of fun listening to (it’s perfect for geeky homeschool moms!), and some online classes! That’s right. Amy has lined up some spectacular folks to teach some really interesting classes to homeschool students, and there will be more where that comes from. So please check it out!

The Difficulty With Homeschooling

This morning I had planned some lessons to do with the boys, and at breakfast, they reminded me of some things they wanted to learn, so we spent some time on the computer looking up videos to answer their questions.

My six-year-old’s question was: “What is bacteria, and how does it cause disease?”

My nine-year-old’s question was: “How do they turn trees into lumber?”

After watching a video for kids about bacteria and germs and also doing my best to explain it in easy terms, my six-year-old still wasn’t sure he understood what bacteria is or how it causes disease, but he was tired of trying to find out and didn’t want to explore the topic further. (Of course, I will at some point find a learning opportunity when I can help him understand this better. That always happens.) My nine-year-old enjoyed the videos though.

My nine-year-old also enjoyed the video about how lumber is made, but the six-year-old looked bored.

Then I had them watch a 15 minute video about the U.S. Constitution, which is in a series of videos on Amazon Prime. The nine-year-old said he liked it. The six-year-old was bored, and to tell the truth, I didn’t blame him. The video was more suited to my nine-year-old’s age, so I probably won’t make him watch these again. We’ll be going over U.S. History in many ways over the next several years.

Then I wanted to read them some books I got from the library which would hopefully show them the fun side of math. (We usually read fiction.) They were both stone-faced, sighing, and half falling asleep on the sofa while I read, so I fought the urge to get irritated and didn’t spend much time on those books. Then I told the six-year-old he could play while the nine-year-old and I worked on his science.

Unfortunately, in the science curriculum, we have finished the “experiment” (extracting DNA) in this week’s lesson, which my son enjoyed. Today we needed to finish filling out the experiment results sheet (I just required one sentence that I let him dictate to me), he needed to copy some definitions of vocabulary words (three words/one sentence each), and we were going to  go over the memory work again (verbally). (The five kingdoms, which he hasn’t been able to remember, although we’ve gone over it several times already.)

My nine-year-old (who his entire life has loved science) isn’t as attracted to science when he has to actually write something. But it’s not just science. It’s any subject that requires writing. (Sob….since that’s all subjects!)  It was a painful experience getting him to copy one sentence. It’s not that he can’t write…his handwriting is pretty good. He just hates doing it.

However, he willingly practices piano 2+ hours a day and memorizes the music fairly easy. And if you’ve been reading my blog all these years, you’ll know he’s quite an amazing kid who has accomplished many things. He’s smart and creative. But he hates writing. Obviously, this is a great argument for that whole issue of “Kids learn when they are interested in a subject. We shouldn’t make them learn things they aren’t interested in.” I am always wondering when to let go and when to push him forward.

While I want to homeschool my children so that they can spend more time on the things they are interested in, and I don’t like pointless busy work or excessive testing, I don’t think it’s wise to not cover certain areas of learning. I am not convinced that this will benefit every child once they are ready to move into the adult world. (Although, I’m sure there are examples of unschooled kids who go on to do great things because there’s always good examples in every educational option. Unfortunately, there are always bad examples too, which in my mind proves the point that every child is different, and every child needs an individualized educational path. Sometimes determining what that path is can be difficult though.)

The difficultly of homeschooling is that when I have these issues, it’s really only my husband and me who have to figure out the answer (not that we haven’t consulted with so-called “experts” on some matters). When kids go to school, you have lots of teachers and different people to ask their opinions about this or that. (This may be good or bad.) Sometimes there are extra services. You can opt out of them, if you don’t like them, but you can use them, if you want to use them.

You also have different people influencing your child. Again, this can be good or bad. Unfortunately, I think most of the influences children get in public school are not so good, but there are, of course, good influences. A child might perform better for his teacher than he would for his mother, etc. This is not a reason to not homeschool, but it is something to point out.

We usually have good homeschool days when I feel like we’ve covered a good variety of work and the boys benefitted from it. This wasn’t one of those days. That’s partly because I was trying out some new resources, and there’s nothing wrong with that…..I have to try things to see if they will work! Sometimes they don’t. But sometimes they do.

I feel confident that my nine-year-old will learn how to write well, though it may take him longer than some other kids. And I’m not even sure it’s correct to say “learn how to write.” He knows how to write; he just needs more practice.

I’m not sure how we’ll get over this hurdle, but I will keep doing what I’ve always done….take it slow, try different things, occasionally take breaks, occasionally push forward. I will ask other homeschoolers and the occasional “expert” what they think, but when it comes down to it, it’ll be up to my husband and me to figure out what is best for our son. Together we will ask our son, talk to him, encourage him, probably annoy him too, and eventually, I am sure, he’ll get it. He may never love writing, but I know he’ll be able to do it.

And, yes, part of me would love to just “unschool” him in this area. Let it happen when it happens. Or not. But for various reasons, I can’t and won’t do that. But we can, at least, go slow and look for ways to make it less painful for him.

{One thing I will be doing this fall is starting him on a keyboarding program. He might like typing better than handwriting, but we’ll continue to work on handwriting too.}

My experience with the PASS standardized test for homeschoolers

Here’s my son a week after taking the test, super proud of a fish he just caught!

This year my nine-year-old is in the third grade, and according to the law in Georgia, I’m required to have him tested every three years, starting in the 3rd grade. Fortunately, we do not have to show the results to anyone, so it seemed like a good way to assess how he’s doing. But as I started thinking about having to administer the test, and I went over a test prep book with him, I started to realize why teachers in our public schools are frustrated with all the testing going on. This was taking valuable time away from real learning!

And, frankly, I already know where he’s strong and where he’s weak. I am the closest person to him, teaching him all the fundamentals that he would be taught in traditional school. I know what he gets, and I know what he needs more work on, or what we haven’t gone over yet, and the test didn’t tell me anything new. So, it felt like a waste of our time to have to do this, but then again, it’s not a bad idea to occasionally assess how things are going, and unlike the public schools, we only have to do it every three years. I’m grateful for that!

I spent some time trying to research the different test options, and I mostly came up empty. At best, I found brief anecdotes by parents who had used a particular test and liked it or didn’t like it for whatever reason. There were no details about how to order and what testing my child would really look like, so that’s why I’m writing this post.

Because it seemed like the easiest to order and administer, I picked the Personalized Achievement Summary System (PASS test), which is produced by Hewitt Homeschooling. This test is similar to other standardized tests, but it’s made for homeschoolers so that it is easy to administer in their homes. Unfortunately, it’s not approved in every state, but the state of Georgia (and some others) has approved it, and I’m glad because it was easy to order and administer at home.

The first thing I liked about ordering the test, besides the simple online order form, was that I could pick the date I wanted the company to ship the test. So, if you’d like to get the ordering out of the way, but you know you won’t administer the test for another month or two, you can have them ship it a week before you want to use it. You have four weeks to use the test and then return it to Hewitt Homeschooling to have it scored. (You have to do this with every standardized test. You also have to pay for them in case you didn’t know that, which I didn’t know either when I started homeschooling. The PASS test was $36 for one student.)

The test has three sections in reading, language arts and math. When you get the test, you’ll need to carefully read the instructions (but they aren’t complicated) and administer a pre-test to determine what level of test to give to your child. (If you’ve used the test before, you won’t have to do this.) This is because each test booklet (reading, language arts and math) each contains all the levels, and they are numbered from approximately 1-25. (Or something like that — I don’t have the booklets anymore to refer to.) The levels DO NOT equal grade level.

The pre-test is simply 12 questions in each section. It took my son less than an hour to take the pre-test, and then I scored it, and there were instructions to tell me which level to give him for each subject. The instructions also tell you that you can read over the recommended level, and if you think it’s too hard or too easy, you can pick another level that you think is more appropriate for your child. It said a child should be able to answer at least 50%-90% of the questions correctly.

What I also like about the PASS test is that I didn’t have to time my son. He’s never taken a test before, so I really wasn’t sure how he’d feel about sitting there for a long time taking a test. But I took three days to administer the test, giving one section on each day. I let him take a 5-minute break half-way through each test. It took him about an hour to complete each section of the test. (I’m grateful he didn’t have to take all three sections on one day! Three hours would have been a long time.) But he had no problem taking the tests, especially since all it requires is shading in those little bubbles. He kept focused the whole time, and he told me he didn’t think they were too hard.

Once you’re finished, you have to return the bubble sheet with your child’s answers and another form to Hewitt Homeschooling. You need to use a cardboard mailer so that the answer sheet won’t get bent, and you’ll have to pay the postage. You sign a form stating that you will destroy the test booklets because they are under copyright law, and you should not show them to anyone else.

In a few weeks, Hewitt Homeschooling will send you your child’s scores, and not only do they give you your child’s raw score, they’ll give you a percentile of how your child did compared to other homeschoolers who took the same test, and on top of that, they’ll  give you a percentile of how your child did compared to a national standardized test. I have heard that other tests do not give you this much information, so it was helpful to see.

If you’re looking at the PASS test, I hope this was helpful to you. I’m happy to answer any other questions too.

Click here for a list of tests that Georgia homeschoolers can use.

 

Homeschooling: Summer Planning

Even after these last few years of homeschooling, I’m still not sure whether it’s better to take the summer off from doing lessons or homeschool all the way through. There was that summer that had a mind of its own, and we didn’t do any homeschooling. However, we took a trip to Chicago where we went to all the awesome museums and places we could go there, and the boys were in two or three summer camps…I would count that in my attendance sheet of homeschool days!

Last year, we took some time off and also did some lessons, and that’s kind of what I have in mind for this summer. There is a balance to strike between having free time and too much free time. I have noticed that having some structure to our days helps me, and it prevents the boys from getting too aimless and bored. But unlike last year, which (I think) I filled with math, this year I’m (mostly) letting the boys pick the lessons they want to do. This is great fun because I don’t get a lot of complaints, and they still learn a lot!

So I came up with a big list of what we could do, and I showed it to them, and they made their picks:

Nine-year-old’s picks:

Science — He loves science, and I would wager that he’s way ahead of his peers in his subject, but we’ve never used a curriculum in science. My husband and I thought it would be a good time to start, and we picked out Elemental Science Biology for the Logic Stage. This is a middle school secular science curriculum for homeschoolers, and we’ve just started it, but so far, my son likes it. And it’s actually going to give him some reading and writing practice (Shhh! Don’t tell him!), although I’m not making him do as much writing as the curriculum requires. (After all, he’s only in the 3rd grade.)

Music history — We’re going to keep reading about famous composers. We’re finishing up Meet the Great Composers Book 1 and about to move into Book 2. After we finish this, I’d like to find some more in-depth biographies of his favorite composers.

News/current affairs — We both love reading the news from the News-O-Matic app, which you can download onto an Apple or Android device. It’s definitely for kids, so I wouldn’t read it on my own, but I enjoy the stories too.

Piano — My nine-year-old will also be practicing piano everyday and having a lesson at least once a week.

**On top of this, both my boys will be attending a week-long day camp at the Botanical Garden this summer. **:)

Six-year-old picks:

Star Wars 1st grade Workbooks — Math, Reading and Writing Skills Can you believe it?! He wants to do workbooks! He might change his mind after he realizes that they are harder than the kindergarten workbooks he finished earlier this year, but I’m still super impressed that he picked these.

(What he didn’t pick was the Singapore Math, Handwriting Without Tears workbook, and reading lessons on Starfall.com and in the Starfall workbook. I guess since I picked those, they aren’t as fun as these workbooks which cover almost the same stuff. ;))

The six-year-old is also working on a project right now: a model of a barn owl. If it gets finished, I’ll blog about it.

Mama’s picks:

There are a few things I feel it’s important to continue with the boys throughout the summer, and that’s…

Readalouds — I’ll be picking some good literature and maybe history books to read to the boys this summer.😉

Memorizing the multiplication tables — We didn’t get very far yet, and I’m afraid after our short break, the boys have already forgotten the 3s and 4s! So we’ll continue to work on this a few minutes each day.

Art — I plan to continue Art Fridays this summer, and I’m hoping since we’re going light on lessons, I’ll have more time to plan art projects and art history lessons!

General Practice for the nine-year-old — We signed the nine-year-old up for Time4Learning so that he can review and get general practice in math and language arts. UPDATE: We ditched this because we just weren’t using it, and I found an app on the iPad I love and the boys like, so we’re using it instead. It’s the 24×7 Digital TeachMe Apps.

What are your homeschooling plans for the summer?

Homeschooling Is My Compass

There are times I get super busy such as when family visits or all our play dates and appointments get clumped into one week. No matter how much I try to spread out our activities, I go through periods of non-stop excitement and then the welcome reprieve of being at home for a few days with nothing pressing to do.

But…there’s always something to do.

It’s easy to think that we have this flexible lifestyle with all this time on our hands, but that’s not really true. I have to get the boys out of the house to socialize (What?!! Do homeschoolers do that?!!), and we have errands and occasional doctor appointments or what-have-you too. (Not to mention 3~4 weekly appointments/classes during the school year!) Then when we’re at home, I have to take the time to do the laundry, get the house into a “livable state,” plan homeschool, and oh yeah! Homeschool! My kids don’t always get to do anything they want to do. We have work to do! Planning it and executing it is a lot more work than you might guess. Even though I consider myself a “relaxed homeschooler” who doesn’t follow any prescribed deadlines or course of study, it takes a long time to figure out what I need to accomplish with the boys in order to keep them on track to becoming well-rounded, educated adults. (Actually, I think it would be a lot less work to follow the instructions in a comprehensive boxed curriculum!)

The mornings we do homeschool lessons are not always flexible either. There is a certain amount of work I need to do with the boys, even though I don’t worry about meeting certain deadlines or “mile stones.” I would like to cover a variety of topics, and I also want the boys to have time to explore what is meaningful to them. But it’s impossible to do all that — with two different children — in one day. I have to pick and choose what we do each day, and some items never get checked off the “want to” list.

On top of this, I take time to write, which is sometimes how I relax and sometimes how I…oh. do. I. dread. having. to. write. Or sort photos. Or any other mundane task that someone needs to do or it’s just going to pile up into impossible, insurmountable mountains of tedious work. (But sometimes I stop everything and watch a show on Amazon Prime too, and I don’t feel guilty about this!)

There are things that never get done. There are people I rarely go visit. There are weeds that never get pulled, and there are recipes I never try out. I can beat myself up over this because on one hand we’re flexible homeschoolers, and I really want to do all the things, but on the other hand, there are more important things — priorities — that must get done. I try to remember this.

And my #1 priority is my kids and their education! Luckily, spending quality time with them, doing fun things + educating them overlaps most of time. (When it doesn’t overlap: handwriting lessons.)

When I finally have time to sit down at my computer and I 1) don’t have a pressing deadline, and 2) I’m not bone tired, homeschool planning is my compass to  get back to what is most important. I make lists of what the boys are doing and what I want to do with them. I ask them if they have a project or idea they want to pursue. I think about the ideas I want to pursue with them. I also make lists of writing ideas, tasks to get done around the house, reminders for this and that….Because I’m growing older and I can’t remember anything anymore unless I write it down! 

But the thing is: when I think about the boys, their ideas, our goals, and I line them up on a page, and then I step into the activity room to get it ready for whatever lesson or endeavor we plan to undertake, I feel like I’ve finally made it back to the destination that all these busy days were part of and leading me to: our home, our education, a life well-lived.

And when I say “our” education, I mean our education.

Summer Break Begins

Note: This column was published in the Barrow Journal on May 25, 2016. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago, so some of the events I mention in it have already happened.

I am exhaling a sigh of relief as I write this column because this week marks the end of so many things. Our appointments are done until fall except for my nine-year-old’s weekly piano lesson. One appointment a week seems like a vacation to me.

I have also finished testing my nine-year-old. In Georgia, homeschoolers are required to administer a standardized test at the end of third, sixth and ninth grade, and this year he was in third grade, so it was time. Although it felt like a huge waste of time – I know exactly what subjects he’s weak in and what subjects he excels in – it was pretty painless. He was able to sit and focus and take the tests in reading, language and math, and he told me he didn’t think they were too hard. I don’t have the results back yet, but I’m not worried, especially since the scores are for our eyes only.

We are out for “summer break,” so to speak, although as homeschoolers, only a little bit changes in our daily routine. I plan to do lessons during the summer, but I’ll mostly let the boys pick their favorites. I know for my nine-year-old that will be science, and I won’t be surprised if my six-year-old wants to keep learning the multiplication tables. Unbelievably, he seems to like math. At least, he likes it if he thinks it’s a game and not “a lesson.”

We’ll be taking a break from lessons for the next couple of weeks because my boy’s cousins and their parents will be visiting us. We’re all very excited because we haven’t seen them in so long, and my six-year-old doesn’t remember them at all. This means I’ll have five little boys in my house for a whole week! This should be an experience I’ll never forget!

Expecting visitors has been good motivation to do my spring-cleaning and some decluttering, although my house never looks like I have successfully “de-cluttered” it. More toys and crafts and junk seem to grow out of the walls as soon as I deliver a box to charity.

I’m grateful it’s not quite summer on the calendar yet, and we’re having some nice spring weather. The boys and I planted green beans and tomatoes and some herbs – it’s a much smaller garden than we’ve attempted in the past because I know it’s all I can probably handle. As the boys get bigger and interested in many different things, the time we have to putter in the garden gets smaller.

I fondly remember those days when my eldest son was about five and constantly pulling seeds from bushes and flowers we would pass, and he’d want to plant them all. Or he would ask to plant the seeds we’d extract from the fruit we bought at the grocery store. (We actually have a lemon tree growing from one of those experiments!) Although he still loves plants, especially his carnivorous plants, he’s not as interested in spending that much time in the garden. At nine-years-old, he’s entering a new season of his childhood.

My six-year-old is much less a nature boy than his older brother was at that age. He would rather carry all his dinosaur toys outside and play with them in the dirt and a small pool of water, i.e. “the watering hole.” But he does love to go outside late at night with his father, carrying a flashlight, and look for frogs. Older brother joins them too.

Soon it will get hot. The mosquitoes will get worse. The green beans will need to be staked, and I’ll probably be tired of going out to water them. But for now, I’m going to relish the beginning of summer break, a change in our routine and this beautiful weather. I hope you are enjoying the benefits of the season as well.

Project-based Homeschooling: Piano

If you told me a year ago that my son would be taking piano lessons now, and not only that, but he would be showing talent, dedication and a deep interest in classical music, you could have knocked me over with a feather. This has been the most surprising development in our homeschool for me, and I am not sure when I’ll ever get used to it. As I wrote on the home/school/life blog, I thought music would be one of those gaps in our boys’ education.

(Note: After writing this post, I remembered this post: Music Appreciation with Beethoven. How could I have forgotten the year and a half he was obsessed with Beethoven’s 9th symphony?! I suppose music has always been with him, but it remained quiet for a while.)

I have to hand it to my husband when it comes to fostering my son’s love of music and encouraging him to continue. While my husband doesn’t play an instrument, he loves listening to all kinds of music and has much more knowledge about it than I do.

A while back, I wrote a post titled The Power of Time and Materials, which is my plea to parents that in order to mentor your children and find their deep interests, you must first provide them with the time and the proper tools. I referred to a good space to work in that’s located in the heart of your home, good materials such as quality art supplies, a good stash of recyclables, and time spent creating with these items. I would, of course, extend this to other areas of learning, if it were in the family’s budget.

Little did I know that my husband would naturally go with this line of thinking when it came to my son’s piano practice. When my son expressed interest in taking piano lessons, my husband spent time researching what kind of keyboard my son would need to practice on. (Granted, “research” is my historian-husband’s middle name!) At that point, we bought a digital keyboard with weighted keys, and we found a piano teacher nearby to begin lessons. We told each other that we’d be happy if our son kept taking lessons for a full year because we both agreed that music education is a part of a well-rounded education.

But our son loved taking lessons, and he loved practicing. He also seemed to have a natural talent for knowing where to place his fingers….I mean, I would have to spend a year memorizing the notes, the letters, and where to put each finger! I have never been musically inclined. But my son seemed to get the piano easily, much like my mother did, though she didn’t play piano seriously. I guess the talent skipped a generation!

Meanwhile, my husband continued reading about the piano industry, proper piano playing technique, and what you need to do, if you’re a serious piano student. One of the best resources he has found are the videos created by Robert Estrin on YouTube.

(I should note that in project-based homeschooling, it’s more proper to let the child do the research, if they want to. If they are motivated, then they will continue to learn about what interests them, and they’ll do it at a pace and level appropriate to them. We don’t always go along with this line of thinking. To be a classical pianist, you have to start early and do it the right way, and there is no way that at nine-years-old, our son would even think about these things. In his other projects, it didn’t matter so much, but in this case, we need to be pro-active and guide him. We still, however, give him the option to stop playing piano, if he changes his mind about it. I would never push my child to do something unless he seemed pretty motivated to do it. There is a big difference, in my opinion, about pushing a child through a temporary lag and pushing a child who isn’t interested at all!)

As time went on, my son showed us that he could advance quickly through the material. His teacher told me that in her 20+ years of teaching piano, she never had a student move as quickly as my son.

I’m not saying he’s a genius at piano. Far from it. It doesn’t all come easy to him (of course). There are times when he’s tired and would rather not practice. As with anything a person pursues, there are ups and downs. But he continues to say he wants to play piano, and he’s striving to play the hard stuff. We realize he has the potential to take this very far, if he wants to, so we feel we need to give him the right tools and opportunities.

I think what also motivates him is our support. My husband or I (and many times both) sit with him while he practices twice a day. Each practice has been anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour (and now getting longer), so it’s a huge commitment on our part. We love doing it, but it takes a huge chunk of our day. We also help him find music to listen to online, listen with him, read about composers, etc. (Again, I credit my husband with doing most of this.) Basically, we’re as excited about music as he is. 

And not only that, but because he progressed much quicker than expected, we advanced to an upright piano, and it wasn’t long after that that we traded it in for a grand piano. When we were shopping for the grand piano, we also met a teacher whose knowledge and focus were in line with the goals my son has, and when this teacher offered to teach our son, we felt we couldn’t pass up the offer. I’m sure plenty of people think we’re crazy, but they don’t know our son like we do.

I told my son that DISCIPLINE is when you have a goal and you work to get that goal even when you don’t feel like it. I told him he has discipline, and I’m very proud of him for that!

Through my husband’s research, we’ve learned that if our son ever decides to pursue a career in music, it’s essential that he starts very young and does it right. He’ll be competing against the best pianists that started playing at much earlier ages. Some of them are already well ahead of him. So, we encourage him to keep going because we see a talent and potential, and because of that, we know he might pick this as his career when he gets older and more mature. We don’t want to think that we didn’t do everything we could to help him, if he does.

Of course, we’re fine if he doesn’t pick music as a career. After all, music is a difficult career path, and most musicians make little money. But there are many ways to use music in one’s life, and there are other careers that a musical training can lead to. If nothing else, it will enrich his life and connect him to other people. This makes me happy.

A big part of project-based homeschooling is observing your child to see where he puts his energy. This is because sometimes actions speak louder than words. So with this in mind, here are some other ways we know music has become a deep interest to our son:

  • He loves watching classical music on television. He’s watched countless classical music videos on YouTube. With his father, he is slowly watching the entire 2015 Tchaikovsky piano competition This is at his request.
  • He doesn’t seem to mind hearing about the tidbits his father learns in his research on music and piano playing. (Which is quite remarkable, if you ask me!)
  • Most of all, in the last few months, my husband and I have started taking turns taking him to the free classical concerts at two nearby universities. He’s been to 10 this year! Faculty and student recitals are always free and open to the public, and some of the other concerts put on by the university are very inexpensive. Watching my son’s eyes sparkle with excitement whenever we go to a concert is such a joy, and a great testament to his love of this music. I mean, how many kids would be patient enough to sit through classical concerts?!
A selfie we took at a concert.

This has been a long post, so thank you if you’ve taken the time to read the whole thing! I am always so happy to hear your thoughts and learn about the activities your children are doing. Please leave a comment, if you have a moment.