Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's All Good

I have a love-hate relationship with things going well.  I can never shake the thought that the ball is going to drop any minute.

W has formed the beginning thoughts of what he'd like his future to look like.  It all revolves around technology & computer programming.  He is already getting a great head start.  He's teaching himself things I can't begin to understand.  We're having fun finding various online classes and programs.  It's simply amazing how kids are like sponges when it comes to learning what they're interested in (but shut down almost completely when forced to study things that have no context and meaning in their lives).

He's all ready for the new semester to begin at his drama class.  We watched a production today of the 12+ group doing improv games, monologues, and dramatic scenes.  It was really really good.  The kids were like little professionals - very confident, funny, and engaging.  If that's what they teach there, then I'm over the moon ecstatic for W to join them.  His class was a 4-week trial with about 8 other kids in a different part of the building.  When the new semester starts, he will join those talented teens.  He's a little worried about the scenes and monologues, since they require a lot of reading - and some cold reading - but it's not scaring him away.  I think some out-loud character readings as a part of our week will help with that fear.

J has been working on her new dance solo like crazy, teaching her classes (3 classes - 3-4 y/os, 4-6 y/os, and 9-10y/os), and helping out with a brand new competition team at the studio.  These kids are 8-11 years old and need to learn the ropes!  J has been competing since she was 7, so she knows what she's doing.  She's also really excited for her senior year.  The studio owner has some great things lined up for her.  We were also looking at some different things like professional companies, conservatories, musical theater groups, choreographing opportunities, etc.  NYC has every kind of opportunity imaginable, especially once she's done with high school.

K went on an interview last week for an internship and they called her the other day to say she got it!  It's right in the heart of Manhattan's Fashion District and she can't be more excited.  She will intern there part-time (the hours are perfect) while still working her regular part-time job.  She was so nervous before, during and after the interview, but feels she is so right for this.  The fact that she went to a high school for journalism helped a LOT, majoring in marketing and management really impressed them, and her extensive experience with programs like InDesign and Photoshop blew them away.  I have to say, her resume is fantastic.  She did the research, found the listing, sent the email, got an interview, and nailed it.  She's grown up, she's responsible, and she's ambitious.  I can't ask for more.  This is the field she wants to be in forever.  I hope it's everything she wants it to be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Reawakened to Relaxing

It is going to be freezing cold this week.  W and I will be enjoying a week inside.  We'll get to the gym as often as we can, but it's so fun being wrapped up in blankets on the couch, drinking tea, and watching movies.  At home, he's been keeping pretty busy:  cooking, making videos, training his parrot, and learning more and more things about gaming, research, and computer programming with the gaming laptop he got for Christmas.  He is learning about new programs, watching tutorials, and creating his own sites.  He created his own Minecraft server yesterday.  It's so great to see him so focused.

He's doing great with academics, too.  We've been trying only 2-3 subjects a day only for the last couple of weeks and it's seems to work out better.  We get to stick with something a little bit longer each day and this has meant that more chapters are getting done each week.

He does 10-minutes of reading each day, gym is 3x a week, library is once a week, field trips are once or twice a month, and of course there's choir, theater, and CCD on the weekends.  Keeping things simple is the best way for W.  I will always believe in afternoons free, facilitating interests, and getting out and seeing the town as often as we can.  I so wish I got this kind of wonderful education as a child.  I almost feel like an unschooler again.  :)

Last week's academics:  Greatest Common Factor, Large number divisibility short cuts, Fractions, Past & present tense verbs, Hieroglyphics, Cuneiform, Papyrus, Science during the Dark Ages - up to 1500AD.

J went to her (hopefully) last Sweet 16 this past weekend.  I think she's gone to 2 every month since last January.   Dance competition season is in full swing.  She's doing about 5 or 6 of them this year.  It's a Nationals year, too.   She will be finishing up her solo this week, all her own choreography once again.  She also will be doing a duet, maybe a trio, a few small group numbers, and a few large group/production numbers.  These include tap, contemporary, musical theater, jazz, and lyrical.  I love competition season!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Staying Active

Going to the gym with W is really fun.  He's so into it.  We're spending a good 90 minutes there each day.  The routine so far is 30 minutes on cardio (we use the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc - whatever we feel like that day) and 60 minutes on strength training.  We work out the "push muscles" (triceps, quadriceps, chest) and the "pull muscles" (biceps, hamstrings, back) on alternating MWF days.  Three days a week is what we're starting with for now.

The theater class W started going to is wonderful.  It's run by all professionals and the kids are really serious about it.  W and the other beginners went to their own space.  B & I went for some breakfast while he was there.  At the end of class, the instructor said the kids did very well and told me it's obvious that "W is much farther along" than the others.  Hmmm.  He hasn't acted since that summer workshop when he was 8 and he's only been in choir for a few months.  I wonder why she said that.  He did tell me he answered a bunch of questions.  I feel weird asking for specifics, lol.  I'm just glad he gets to spend his Saturdays doing what he loves.

I'm trying to coax him into doing some daily independent reading.  He hates all the books we have so he's agreed to go with me to the library once a week and pick out a couple.  SOTW is nice and easy and relaxed.  We read it together and W answers all the questions in the activity book.  I like that the activity book has maps to go along with the chapters.  I usually have to figure out which one of our atlases has the best map of what we're talking about.  Then we take what we've learned and look up different things online about it throughout the week.  So simple and so effective.  Since the first part of the book deals a lot with Egypt, I think a trip to the Egyptian section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a month or so is a great idea.

That's the way I'm doing everything lately.  Relaxed and stress-free.  Life's too short for worrying.  Homeschooling gives us the freedom to live and learn as we like.  I plan on enjoying this wonderful and very fleeting childhood time with my son.  Having older teens has showed me how fast it all goes by.