Well, yesterday was back-to-school after a lovely week off in honor of Thanksgiving (and, more importantly, having Daddy home). We're in our 13th week of schooling for the year. This week's highlights include a literature study on The Wingdingdilly by Bill Peet, building a paper arch bridge ala the Persian builders, baking a Swedish apple cake to commemorate the Swedish holiday Martin Day (okay, this actually took place on Nov. 10th, but better late than never), an art project using Rembrandt's pencil drawings as inspiration, and several chemistry experiments involving food (always a favorite).
In addition, the girls are preparing for their winter music recitals. My first and fourth graders will play Christmas songs on the piano. The girls are diligent pianists, practicing every day for at least the required amount of time and often longer, no complaining whatsoever, and both have attempted original compositions (the fourth grader's music is actually very good!). My second grader is preparing for her debut on the violin. Let me point out that this has been an extremely rocky road. She is finding the violin challenging, frustrating, and tedious and in the beginning her practice sessions sounded more like torture sessions based on the amount of whining and crying going on (and it wasn't all coming from the violin). Fine motor skills are not her thing, and the bow hold alone could take up her entire lesson every time, which of course leads to more frustration on her part. But she seems to have turned a corner. She even composed a short song entitled "Sweet Melody." I'm looking forward to both recitals.