Monday, May 9, 2011

growing up, and concerts - week 31

Last week's big event was the Youth Chorus concerts. Here's J singing his solo, "Lean on Me," which the final night got some audience participation (clapping along, which surprised and delighted him) and a lot of cheers. (For the record, I did NOT start the clapping! It started somewhere at the back of the room and caught on pretty quick.) They had two nights of performances, plus two dress rehearsals during the week, so our entire week was pretty much devoted to this show.

It's fairly likely he'll have to drop chorus next year, unless he decides to drop a couple of dance classes instead. As I had to drag him out of ballet classes and rehearsals early to get him to chorus, it became obvious even to him that he's perhaps a bit over-booked. He'll miss it, though, he loves to sing, especially in front of an audience.

Here's the Junior Chorus (the older kids) performing, J is on the near end, dead center of the group in this photo with the blue shirt on. My camera did it's usual lousy job capturing any images from the concert, and the shots of the entire chorus (younger kids join in for the 2nd half of the performance) were so ridiculously bad, I won't bother posting them.

With all the rehearsal and performance mayhem over the next few weeks, I'm keeping our school schedule on the light side. This past week we read the Usborne book "What's Happening To Me?" This is my kid's first formal introduction to puberty, sex, and reproduction. I approached it as I have any other learning unit, read them a portion of the book each day for 4 days. There are half a dozen or so titles on the topic that are appropriate for kids this age, but I liked this one the best -- I thought it had the best balance of straight-forward information and light-hearted cartoons. Other books I read were either too heavy on the info or too silly. However, I would not have just handed them this book to read on their own, as I wanted to be able to interject here and there and involve some discussion, let the kids comment what they wanted/needed to, etc. I thought the book was a bit lacking in WHY you'd want to be with another person that way, so it was nice to be able to add in comments about love and what attraction is really all about. And Zoo Boy needed a boiled down simple "This is how it happens" summary to really understand the concept, so I was glad to be able to give that to him to help him make sense of the more detailed info.

It was a really successful learning unit, the boys were both very open in asking questions and commenting on what's going on with them in relation to the information. Their favorite part was at the end of the week when I turned the book over to them to review as much as they'd like -- they immediately dashed off to their room and poured over the information and drawings again, discussing various interesting items from the book. And now I feel like they are armed with the info they need to understand what will be happening to their bodies in the next few years. I have a couple of other books for them as they mature as well, but for now I think we've covered what we need to cover.

Last week we also began our final Monday Homeschool Classes session for the year. Zoo Boy is taking a stop-action movie class, which he is very excited about, and a martial arts class which he is absolutely in love with. Both boys are taking a fun knight-based math class called "Sir Cumference," based on a series of stories by the same name. And J is taking a fun engineering exploration class based on NASA projects, as well as the "History of My Hometown" class I'm teaching. My class is research-based and his homework has been mostly with Internet searches on the computer, which has thrilled him.

And of course we had our usual complement of therapies and music lessons. And all our usual handwriting and math practice work. No rest for the weary!

Next on the horizon, the dance recital for the school where J takes Jazz and Tap, this coming weekend. (Here's my little cowpoke, in the brown vest and chaps, amongst the cowgirls, tapping away.) And extra rehearsals for the show for his other dance school, which is the following weekend. Oy.

Oh, and we celebrated Mother's Day yesterday -- the kids each bought me a small gift with their own money, and we had a little cake. We had dinner at my favorite burger joint -- Five Guys. I know, not too classy, but within our budget and TASTY!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day to you. We met you years ago at the RDI conference in Boston (?) and I've loved checking in on your blog(s) ever since. Five Guys is one of our favorite places for a special night out, too! Our other favorite - Chick-Fil-A (but they're not open on Sunday).