The Prairie Family began our 2013-2014 school year last week. Yes, I know, it’s kind of early. That’s OK–we were ready. I like getting a good early start on the year so that we can take days off from time-to-time to work on projects or just to maintain our sanity! 🙂
So, what’s new for Brookside Christian School? Well, there are several things. First of all, I just formalized our ensemble practices as an official slot in our time schedule. We’ve been rehearsing together regularly for quite awhile, but it was not a planned part of our day. Now it is right on our schedule, so that should help things flow a a little more realistically as far as getting all of the classes finished is concerned.
Another positive change has been a re-arranged classroom. Most of our school tv’s now are the nice flat-screens, so it was time to get rid of our big, bulky tv stands. Instead, we put up shelves on the wall for the tv’s and scooted the desks up under the shelves. Then we scooted the dividers, and the result was opening up a large part of the room! Wow–I really didn’t realize what a difference it would make. Here is a picture of our nice, open main classroom:
Ahhh….breathing room! LOL! Of course, John and Brock are still in the adjoining room, and that works well too.
So, what’s new with the kids?? So glad you asked!
John is in 11th grade. Wow, can you believe it?! He has a full load of classes, for sure. He’s taking Life Management, Geometry, Language 11, Spanish 2, Chemistry, and U.S. History. He wasn’t too crazy about the idea of taking Spanish 2. He didn’t really enjoy Spanish 1 last year, but after doing some internet research, he discovered that having two years of a foreign language is important to some colleges. So, he was wise and signed up for Spanish 2 to keep his options open. John is also breaking new ground for the Prairie Family this year in that he signed up to take choir at the local college. I think that will be a great opportunity for him to branch out a little–we’ll see how that goes. If all goes well, he may take some summer courses or something.
Brock is in 9th grade and has changed so much over the last few months. He is so funny–so very, very funny! He has such a wonderful sense of humor and keeps us laughing all day long! He, like John, has a full load of classes. He decided to go back to playing the piano this year, which makes me happy! 🙂 He took lessons when he was little, but he just didn’t enjoy it that much. So, after he reached level 3, I gave him the option to keep going or to set it aside. He chose at that time to continue the violin, but not pursue the piano, and that was fine. His interest in music has really increased over the past year or so, though. So, I told him that if he ever decides to go further in music at some point in his life, he’d really wish he could play the piano. I told him I would not force him or beg, but that if he decided to give piano another chance, I’d help him out. Over the summer he sat down and plunked away and surprised himself at how much he remembers and actually how easy it is now that he is older. So, he said that once school started, he’d like to try lessons again. He has, and he is doing just great!
Cosette is in 7th grade, which means that she has begun A Beka Academy P. E. The older boys always chose to use the exercise bike for that class, but Cosette wanted to try a different approach. She really wanted to do an exercise video program. so I got her Leslie Sansone’s Ultimate 5 Day Walk Plan. She has been using it for a couple of weeks now and really seems to like it.
Luke is in 6th grade. He is very excited to be an official member of our string ensemble for the first time this year. His skills on the violin have reached a level where he can play some of our music, and he has looked forward to that for a long time. This Sunday he will be playing in the church’s instrumental ensemble with us, and we all agree that he is doing a great job!
Kara is in 4th grade, which in A Beka Academy means it is Kansas Notebook time. This is scheduled in the middle of the year and falls roughly in January and February for us. We had a few work days while we were waiting for our videos to arrive, so Kara and I just went ahead and got a head start on that Kansas history project. Once we got started, we have just kept working on it. In fact, it looks like we are just going to see it through to the end! Having that finished will be a great help later on in the school year. Kara is also taking trumpet lessons this year. Helping her practice for those lessons has been a challenge since I don’t play it! It did cause me to dig out my clarinet, though. Since the trumpet and the clarinet are both b-flat instruments, they can play the same music. Although I can’t help Kara much on how to play the trumpet, I can play with her on my clarinet and at least give her a pitch to match. So, after practicing her piano lesson each day, she and I play trumpet/clarinet duets. 🙂 One day, probably sooner than I think, Kara will be ready to play in our church ensemble as well.
So, our school year is under way. Sometimes my blogging gets spotty as we go through these school months, but I will try to keep up as time allows.