Now's about the time I sink into desperate curriculum wars and general can't-seem-to-crank-back-up chaos. I have grown weary and overwhelmed, especially this year with my eye surgery, followed by our bout of flu over Christmas break, and then this week, our middle son's eye injury, but he is now healed, praise the Lord, and I am healing a bit more every day, praise the Lord!
At times like this, I find myself feeling pretty grouchy as we complete our homeschooling "tasks" because it's just not so joyful to feel like you have to "catch up," and what does that mean in the homeschooling realm, anyway? Still, it's a trap I must guard myself against about this time every year (even when we're trying to cram our IEW writing assignments into 1 to 3 days per week instead of the normal 4... and for those wondering, that's because of another tutorial and 4-H and the doctor's appointments that have been so much a part of our lives this year; the Classical Conversations Essentials Program works so much better when you have a full 4 days at home each week to work on it).
I seek the immense joy of learning and discovery with my children, even though at times it eludes me. Can anyone else out there relate?
But... then I read this article about how one mom handles the Homeschool Winter-Blues that seem to hit around January or February. So... even if no one else out there in the CC world gets to this point, I'm relieved to know I'm not completely alone!
And after reading that encouraging article... I decided that something that "makes [me] happy and lifts [my] children's spirits" is Orchestra and Composer Study. So, we've already started even though it's still 4 weeks until we "get there" in our tutorial. And I am grateful that Karen at Wisdom and Righteousness sent A Complete Study Guide and Lapbook for the Orchestra with Composers Handel, Bach & Mozart to us at just the right time because we have enjoyed it so much this week. It has lifted my spirits, just as it did last year. Now we're all around here humming Water Music this week (mainly because Well-Tempered Clavier is just too complicated for us to hum any of it). And so... adding in studies like this is how we're going to combat those mid-winter blues.
|(Uploaded to CC Connected, File: Handel Flowchart.pdf)|
- FUN (EVEN FOR BOYS): First of all, the boys were just plain excited to get started on it because they remembered how much fun we had last year when we studied Tchaikovsky, Debussy and Stravinsky. And having fun while learning = defeat the mid-winter blues. They couldn't wait to do many of the linked activities in the Orchestra section (including their favorite Peter & the Wolf activities).
- WELL-PLANNED: This Orchestra Study Guide is a well-planned, week-by-week study guide that can be used as a family, as a class, or as a community! It's useful for both the orchestra novice and the musically-gifted expert! Each week contains four sections: Scope (an at-a-glance summary of goals), Preparation and Materials, Instruction, and Digging Deeper. View a sample here.
- SCRIPTED: Never studied orchestra or composers before? Don't know anything about the Baroque period? Don't know what a Fugue is? That's okay because this entire thing is scripted! Perfect for the homeschooling parent, and a big help for an instructor!!
- TIME: You can make this a 30-minute-per-week study or extend it to hours or even semesters of study! The "digging deeper" activities are extensive. Matter of fact, I am thinking that next year we will spend part of first semester just digging deeper into this resource. I'm hoping to study composers across the entire year next year instead of waiting until the end of the year. A couple of weeks for each composer just is not enough for me! (If anyone out there thinks I'm crazy for saying that, I did not always enjoy composer study, as I have mentioned before...)
- STAND-ALONE STUDY (or use with Classical Conversations): Although these are the composers we will be studying in Cycle 1 of Classical Conversations, this is a stand-alone study guide that may be used for any family or co-op wishing to do an orchestra & composer study.
- EASY & INTERESTING LAPBOOK: This is a study guide WITH a lapbook. That means: if you have a fear of lapbooking, that's okay. You can use it with or without the lapbook. But let me say the lapbook is SUPER SIMPLE. The base is just one file + one card stock paper total. So... for those of you with an aversion to lap booking, this is a good one to start with. And if you don't know how to make a single fold or cut, Karen has included detailed instructions and video tutorials on how to put it together. The lapbook itself has a great orchestra-seating-charts spinner and covers necessary vocabulary, orchestra families, and musical time periods (focusing on Baroque and Classical). It includes biography mini-booklets for each composer and even contains a pop-up timeline that super-fantastically feeds my obsession with timelines!
- DIGGING DEEPER: I know I already mentioned it, but there is just so much. And for those who do not own a copy of Classical Music for Dummies, the study guide has links to free mp3s or videos of the music. (If you download a copy of Handel's Water Music, note that the flowcharts I have made and uploaded to CC Connected start after the first movement (or does it begin with a prelude? I'm still learning the vocabulary of
classicalbaroque period music!), which is where the music starts on the Classical Music for Dummies CD.)
And now.... here's the greatest news I get to share! Karen has graciously supplied me with two copies of this lapbook to give away here at Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood!
This giveaway ended on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:59PM---------------------------------------------------------------------
HOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this blog post answering one of the following:
Are you facing the homeschool winter blues as you try to get back into the swing of things after the holidays? (Can I pray for you?)
How do you handle the homeschool winter blues? What makes you happy and lifts your children's spirits? (I'd love to hear!)
What are your thoughts on studying classical music or composers? (Are you intimidated? Excited? Why?)
I normally do not offer this option because I so enjoy the answers I receive to my made-up questions. I'm genuinely curious about and interested in those who read this blog. And for non-bloggers, this is the only chance I have at getting to know you! But... I offer this option for those who fear sharing their thoughts: Share this post on Facebook or another social media site and leave a comment stating you did.
NOTE: If you enter your email address in the email address field, I will have it even if it does not display. Rest assured that your information will not be used for solicitation - it will only be used to contact you in the case that you are the winner (or if anyone responds to your comment via the comment forum).
This giveaway ends on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:59PM. Winners will be selected and announced on Saturday, January 26, 2013.
Thanks for entering!
This giveaway ended on Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:59PM
And... if you don't want to wait to get a copy: Visit Wisdom and Righteousness to order an Instant Digital Download. (Go to this site to see sample pages.) Choose from:
For having it all organized in a logical format, this study guide is well-worth the cost. But for those wishing to embark on a composer study without the cost (and without the organization), visit our Orchestra & Famous Composers page.
DISCLAIMER: We received this product in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed herein are my very own and have not been influenced by any outside source. I just plain love this Orchestra Guide.