Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I don’t know what age kids really start to study music. When my son was younger we used to sing all the cute little songs and finger rhymes. But then he seemed to tire of them. When we’re in the car he likes to make up silly little songs. My car’s name is Jeremiah. I know, silly isn’t it. All of my other cars have had girl’s names. But my son decided this car looked like Jeremiah. We have made up so many silly verses to the tune of “Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog.” He really likes that song.

We also listen to music in the car. While other moms are listening to country music, or rock, or folk in the car. I was listening to such great hits as “Dirt Made My Lunch”. Oh you’ve never heard of it. Well you have to learn this great little song.

“Dirt made my lunch.
Dirt made my lunch.
Thank you dirt
Thanks a bunch
For my salad, my sandwich, my milk, and my munch.
Cause dirt you made my lunch.”

We’ve progressed beyond that a bit now. We now listen to old remakes of Beatles music. Or the Bossy Frog Band.

So he is exposed to music on a regular basis but I’m not quite sure that counts as music education. Last year for the Winter Holidays I bought him a keyboard. I was going to sign him up for piano lessons until I checked the price. Wow, I had no idea they were so expensive. So I decided that I would put my years of piano lessons to use and teach him myself. So I bought a beginning piano book. I looked it over and decided I could do this. We got out the keyboard and plugged it in. We started the lesson. "Ohhhh, what does this button do? Oh listen to this mom. Oh let’s play with this for a while." Oh well, so much for mom teaching piano. Maybe we will try again in a few months.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little House On THe Prairie

We have spent a lot of time over the last few months learning about life in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. We love going to Historic Speedwell. Every month they have a homeschool class to learn about life in the Vail Family.

One month the class was about where they got their food. As part of that class that kids planted seeds for the garden. The following month they took the tiny seedlings and planted them directly in to the garden while they learned about tending the gardens and the tools of the time period. Throughout the summer they learned more about gardening.

After the harvest, they learned about what school was like in that time period. They learned that girls probably did not go to school. Instead they learned from their mothers at home. Boys went to school until they were needed to work the farms or help support the family. Only the wealthy boys went to school beyond elementary school. Most recently, the kids learned about crafts such as tin punching and quilt making. They learned how every scrap of leftover fabric was used. They could not afford to be wasteful. The kids all agreed that it is a whole lot easier to go to the store and buy a blanket than to hand sew a quilt.

We also visited a Grist Mill where we learned about how wheat is ground into flour. We also learned about tools that were used in the 1800’s such as wool cards, a spinning wheel, and a hand turned ringer washing machine. The kids also each made a bag on an old treadle sewing machine.

We learned about hand dipping candles at another farm. The kids also made a small oil lamp. They watched as applesauce was made and then canned to preserve it for use during the winter.

It’s been an interesting summer and fall as we have stepped back into the past. I hope you have the opportunity to see some of these wonderful skills brought to life again.