Friday, November 16, 2018

Swimming Regionals, Geography Fair, and Studying Jan Brett

We started our week off at Regional Swim Competition.  The girls did really well.  The whole team did!!  Very proud of all their hard work at practice.

As soon as we got done with swim competition we headed home to a fundraiser for our local volunteer fire/rescue.  They demonstrated some of their new equipment.

Geography Fair was coming we had to kick our butts into gear!  We had been reading about our country, but didn't have our display ready yet.  So we spent a couple days working on that.  Our country is Japan, so Monday's lunch had a "fast food" Japanese feel.  Especially since they use a lot of vending machines there.  So they had Menchi Katsu with fried radish chips and a cup of ramen (just like they saw on the vending machine videos we had been watching).

Lydia loved the radishes.  We also learned some interesting facts about how to lay your chopsticks when not in use.  If you lay them crossed on the table, it means death.

They tried this fried tofu recipe.

Caty really got into ramen and broth.  She added shredded pork that I made in the crockpot to eat on this week.

Their finished board.

Their presentation about Japan at Geography Fair.

They made Gotchapons.  These are little toys that you get out of vending machines.  We ordered plastic containers and mini-squishes.

Caty also made easy mochi.

Lydia at Geography Fair teaching how to make an origami whale.

Lunch another day this week...

In a couple weeks we are getting to go to a Jan Brett book signing.  So the next few weeks we are reading through her stories and doing some drawing activities from her YouTube channel.

We finished our Story of the World Volume 2 curriculum last week, it was a little rushed.  So we are finishing up with a couple more movies and story books and we'll start Volume 3 next week.

We also watched some more video on the Magna Carta and also on the Reformation.

We also read...

For Science club this week, the kids studied Meiosis.  After watching the Amoeba Sisters, the girls did an escape room activity I found on Teacher Pay Teachers.  They spent an hour trying to escape being trapped in a cell that was dividing.  I think they really enjoyed this activity.  

They also made themselves lunch of easy chicken empanadas and Caty made homemade chocolate with coconut oil, cocoa powder and Splenda.  They had a fun couple hours together.

Another Jan Brett story we read this week was The Mermaid.  It went perfect with our Japan geography project.

We have been watching the Jan Brett channel on Youtube and working on her drawing tutorials.  This was Lydia's mermaid drawing.

I created Multiplication War cards for Caty and I to play and practice her facts.

The boys started basketball practice this week.  They both have moved up to the mens teams.  It's an exciting new adventure for us all!

We had bowling and swim practice.  The girls are training for state competition in a couple of weeks.

On Friday night the kids went to Kaitlyn's Cottage for movie and popcorn night.  It gave dad and I a couple hours of free time.  Which we spent looking at a book store.  Wish we lived closer to here, we could have watched a movie at home.  But oh well...they had a good time.  This is Caty's favorite club spot.

We got our first measurable snow of the season.  Lydia was super excited and went out to play right away.  The other half of our kids sighed...they don't love snow!  She was making large snowballs and lining them up on my grill hoping they wouldn't melt.  What she wanted was to put them all in my freezer!  I hated to change her plans, but there was not space.

We survived another week.  I will be honest that the stress of dealing with all the unique needs we are balancing is taking a toll on both Joe and I.  We are experiencing some major teenage issues with hormones making things that were already present even worse.  Hormones and autism/anxiety disorders DO NOT go well together.  Caty has been experiencing some sugar swings up and down that are unnerving.   Changes in diet are frustrating to her.  We are still working on lifestyle changes.  In fact, we are working on it as a family.  So watch as more is to come. 

I hope everyone had a great week!  Can't see what you all are doing on your blogs too!  Linking up with other Homeschool Families at:

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-Up

Homeschool Coffee Break

Homeschool Coffee Break

Homeschool Blog Link-Up

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Online Guitar Lessons!! - Guitar 360 Method - Semester 1 Bundle Review

Guitar 360 Method

Lydia is a sponge for life learning.  She recently had the opportunity to review the Semester 1 Bundle from Guitar 360 Method.  What a fun new option for learning how to expand musical literacy!!

Like most parents, we really try to make sure that the kids get to try as many new things as they possibly want to.  Lydia is definitely our "try everything that she can" kid.  She tried guitar lessons several years ago, but switched to violin.  At the time we just could not fit in extra guitar lessons too.  So she had to choose.  She started piano, but still wanted to try guitar again.  She really was small when she tried guitar.  But looking at balancing the schedule of all 4 kids, plus Joe's travel schedule, I had no idea how to fit more lessons into the week.  Until now..... Our most recent review from Guitar 360 Method has opened up a whole new world of online music lessons to us.

Guitar 360 Method

Guitar 360 Method - Semester 1 Bundle is a different approach to music lessons.  There's no driving or traffic to fight.  You save time and money with zero commute!!  And I can assign her guitar lessons to fit into our weekly schedule.  So I'm not completely at the mercy of a set time every week, especially since Lydia's attention span and ability to concentrate well can change quickly and changes often.

Guitar 360 Method style of teaching is video based instruction.  You can purchase a Semester long bundle that consists of 13 weeks of lessons.  There is also an Absolute beginners course, which is where we started.  Lydia did not remember any of the material that she had learned was several years ago.  So she needed to spend a couple weeks re-learning chords and holding the guitar properly.  In fact, she actually needed to spend 4 weeks on that practice, since she is a perfectionist on these types of details.  

Each lesson is not overwhelming and she can rewind and pause whether she wants to practice that skill longer or she just needs to get up and move a bit to stay focused.  I really liked this option for kids with ADHD.  They can make the needed adjustments and still continue their lesson without complete frustration.  When you are trapped into a set timeframe for a music lesson, and you cannot concentrate, you will not be able to learn or retain any information given to you.  That is a huge waste of money.  It also keeps the student from progressing.  The Guitar 360 Method gives students and their families more freedom to adjust to what the student really needs.

I typically set up my laptop where she wanted to sit and be comfortable.  Since the lessons are the perfect length for Lydia's attention span, she would watch the lesson, practice, and then re-watch the lessons each week and practice more.  I did attempt to schedule her guitar lesson for the same time each week, just so that she would feel like it was important.  I did not want this to turn into another online class that could easily be pushed aside and forgotten.  (That happens way to often in our house.)  I like that I can schedule these for outside typical times.  But if she is struggle with anxiety, mood swings, etc, I have the flexibility to move her lesson....without paying a penalty fee to a music studio!!

The interface for the Guitar 360 Method is extremely user friendly.  So I would just make sure the laptop was set up and could go and sit on the couch to watch/listen .... just like I would in a waiting room if we were actually going out to a guitar lesson.

She simply clicked on the lesson, and the video lesson would come up on the screen.  If she felt comfortable, and read to move to the next lesson she simply would mark the lesson complete.  And could move on.

Something else I really liked while we have been using Guitar 360 Method ... she could repeat and listen to the videos over and over if she needed to.  We all need that.  Maybe we just do not completely understand, or the sound we should be producing is just like what it should be.  Lydia could watch and even pause the video to compare her fingerhold to what Krisz was doing.  

Krisz's video really makes you feel like he is sitting in the room with you.  I think really sets this program apart from other video programs you might see.  He even includes two bonus songs, which we have not gotten to yet in her program.  

Lydia is absolutely loving what she is learning using Guitar 360 Method.  I usually have to tell her it's time to move on to other things as she is practicing.  I am absolutely loving so many things about the Guitar 360 Method.  The fact that Lydia loves it is at the top of the list.  There are so many benefits of learning to play at home.  The cost of Guitar 360 Method is so much cheaper than what I have paid in the past for music lessons.  Plus I'm saving on gas and I can stay at time is valuable too.  I can fold laundry or get supper started while she is working on her guitar lessons!!  The ease of use and the upbeat personality that Krisz has during each video just keeps encouraging Lydia to continue, even when she is frustrated.

I definitely recommend checking out Guitar 360 Method.  There are lessons for beginners, and also those who already know the basics of guitar.  Guitar 360 Method has a lot to offer!  We cannot wait for them to continue.  I just wish that Krisz played drums too....I need a program like this for Caty to increase her drum skills!  

Several members of the Homeschool Review Crew were given the opportunity to review Guitar 360 Method - Semester 1 Bundle.  Click on the banner below to see how they used this program in their homes, and what they thought of it.

Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}
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