Monday, October 05, 2009

The Rundown

We started our school year at the end of August. The hardest part of planning for me is figuring out when all the music lessons will be. Piano will once again be on Thursdays and this year we're adding a new student to the teacher's line-up; Miss Abigail is pretty excited to finally begin piano lessons. (I also think it will help motivate her older brother so as not to have little sister pass him in the book.) That now makes four students of MLLA (Mumme Lutheran Latin Academy) learning piano.

Hannah's violin lessons are easy to plan, it was Ellie's flute that gave me the hardest decision. Last year she played with the 6th grade band in the local public school. It was once/week but in the next town over, so that meant a good hour out of my day to get her there and back. She could have continued with the band this year and we did consider the possibility. But when I talked to the band director I was a little more hesitant. Junior high band (7th-8th graders) meets Mondays and Wednesdays and every other Friday in the next town over. Three times a week? Even on our days off - aka Mondays? I wasn't sure I wanted that commitment, but I had yet to find another solution, so like other sticky situations, I put off the decision till later. Then the band director called and I felt guilty so we decided we would try it. I took her for the first time on a Friday before we left for vacation and the band director gave me the schedule. The week after vacation was homecoming. She would have the three practices plus two additional practices during the day at the football field plus a parade during the day on Friday and then the game on Friday night. YIKES! (The junior high band plays with the high school band.) All that potential running prompted me to look more urgently for a private instructor, and I was delighted to find one through a Bethany student. Now I'll take Ellie once/week to Bethany for her lesson and even though it will take more time out of my day to drive there and back, I will actually be able to accomplish more. The three youngest will go along, completing their math on the drive there and back and while Ellie is in her lesson, I will read to them either Science or a read aloud sitting in a nice lounge in the music building. Last week was the first week for her lesson and it worked quite nicely. I think this will be much better for my sanity (please, lets not talk about my pocketbook.)

Last week was the first week that we were able to see how a full school schedule would work, and overall it went well. I still never find time to get it all done, and I think I will have to rely more heavily on sandwiches, canned soups, other other easy, quick fix lunches as I simply don't have the time to make the big meal I once did. I have too many that still need my individual assistance and teaching and that is best done in the mornings.

We opted not to sign up the children for swim club this fall season. The thought of running three nights/week for practices and (lets be honest) the cost was a big detriment this time. We will consider it again for winter season (January-March). The three youngest are the ones who've commented about missing it. So now we have most our evenings free and that has been quite nice.


Ewe said...

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, I just took private lessons once a week for the same reasons you mentioned, instead of band. I think I was much more prepared for high school band than the ones that "wasted" their time in junior high band-for some of the same reasons as you mentioned-they were doing all the homecoming activities etc. Plus, I think I practiced more on my own.
It's all tough decisions. I don't think most people understand this part of homeschooling. Thankfully we only have one activity a week right now that all 3 boys do together. I dread the time that we get to a point like you. We live far from everything so it may mean 1 1/2 hour drive for some activities as they get older.

Karen said...

It's so hard to pick activities for all the kids. Every year it seems I struggle with a schedule that is too busy. This year seems particularly hectic. I love your solution for private flute lessons. She will get much more instruction with a private lesson than with a group band lesson. You may want to have her play some duets with your violin playing daughter so they still get the experience of playing in groups.

Glenda said...

Ewe- you're right, I think she will learn more and practice more (at least she better! lol) Oh and don't worry about getting to my point, when you do, you'll find that somehow it all works out.

Karen, why is it that it does keep getting more hectic? I guess it gives us something to do huh? Oh and they do enjoy playing duets although generally the oldest will play the piano while the flute player plays.