Saturday, July 19, 2008

music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life

Liam has been asking if Clare and I would try to play parts on a Mozart piece he found (I don’t know the name but it’s a very recognizable one). It has three parts.

We actually have five guitars in the house — two acoustic, but three classical…. mine, and two that my father gave me last year since he doesn’t play anymore because of the motor loss in his left arm from neuralgia.

So we spent about an hour working through the first two pages. I had the melody line. We had such fun! Liam didn’t start playing the guitar until 2 years ago and Clare didn’t start till last year. They are close to me, now, who played for years and years but is very rusty indeed. They are still young, of course, but I always think of John Holt and his cello. I am seriously, very seriously, thinking of taking some violin lessons from Clare’s teacher. Never too late!

It has been cooler recently, though hot enough when we walked up and down hill to the Post Office (about 3 miles round trip, I think).

I have been spending a lot of time on the deck, where the pines and cedars rustle gently under what Brendan calls a “hard” blue sky — really, in central California the summer sky does often look as if you could chip it.

I scrubbed the picnic table and BBQ out on the deck and Aidan insisted on washing the big “car” that we got when Sean was a toddler. It is big enough for a preschooler to ride around in. So ever since then he has been daily filling a bucket with warm water and suds and spending quite a long time peacefully washing down the car. Yesterday Paddy got involved too; he washed his Radio Flyer scooter and then washed the table again “so we can eat outside from now on”.

Sean is done with football practice, now, until school starts next month. He did pretty well in the Ultimate 100 camp and there’s a small chance he might make one of the top 100 across the nation.

Liam was offered some contract work by the company he did the free internship for. That is really nice since it means they liked his work during the internship. He got an excellent reference letter from the company head.

Clare got a scholarship offer from one of the colleges she sent her SAT results to. So that is good news. We were talking yesterday about one of the peculiarities of our own homeschool environment — very few comparisons with others until they get to the “real world” stage. This is good, but difficult in that the kids usually tend to under-estimate themselves.

This is one reason why I started calculating Sean’s GPA last year and letting him know the results. Other kids on his team will ask each other what their GPA’s are and at first he didn’t even know what they were talking about (until middle school my kids usually don’t know or care what GRADE they are in). Recently he told how one of the kids in the weight lifting room asked a simple addition question (if I add 40 to 2 90’s what will the total be?) and he was relieved he solved it before anyone piped up with the answer.