• Living Books for Composer Study: Antonio Vivaldi
    music

    Antonio Vivaldi Composer Study

    Growing up I knew absolutely nothing about composers or classical music. With the exception of the tune of Ode to Joy thanks to the Drink Milk Love Life commercials back in the 90’s (what I’ve since learned: the commercial lied; milk doesn’t make everyone love life). Was this commercial just a Canadian thing?

    So, despite my limited composer knowledge, or maybe because of it, I wanted to give my children a little more of a well rounded music education than I had.

    Even though I had good intentions, it was a slow start, but we are picking up pace now.

    For our first composer study we decided to go with Antonio Vivaldi. My daughter was actually briefly introduced to his work in her one year of piano lessons a couple of years ago and we already knew we enjoyed his Four Seasons so he seemed like a great composer to study a little more in-depth.

     

    Antonio Vivaldi Composer Unit Study

     

    I decided to document all the resources we used and turned it into an online Vivaldi Composer Unity Study. The composer study is filled with resources for learning all about Vivaldi and his music.

    The contents of this unit study include:

    * an unit study sample schedule
    * who is Antonio Vivaldi?
    * book list
    * playlists
    * how to document your learning
    * extended learning opportunities
    * and more!

    The study is now available to purchase!

    Antonio Vivaldi Composer Unit Study

     

    We will be studying Mozart next! Who should we study after that?
    Do you have a favorite composer?

  • Living Books for Composer Study: Antonio Vivaldi
    book lists,  elementary,  middle grades,  music,  picture books

    Composer Study with Living Books: Antonio Vivaldi

    I’ve learned over the past few years the benefit of  reading living books and I am making a real effort this year to add as many living books into our days as possible.

    Composer study and artist study are not something that are generally taught in the regular school system but hang around homeschoolers for a little while and chances are you will hear about them soon enough!

    Composer and artist study could be really overwhelming for kids but teaching them with living books makes it so easy, both to teach and for the kids to understand. Who doesn’t love listening to stories about the lives of people in the past?

    Lately we’ve been studying Antonio Vivaldi for our composer. Obviously we don’t just read books, we are also listening to his music, but we’ve really enjoyed the books and learning about him that way instead of from a dry textbook.

    Today I wanted to share some of our favorite living books we read about Vivaldi.

    Living Books for Composer Study: Antonio Vivaldi

    COMPOSER STUDY WITH LIVING BOOKS:
    ANTONIO VIVALDI

    Lives of the Musicians:
    Good Times, Bad Times (And What the Neighbors Thought)

    It’s no secret that Beethoven went deaf, that Mozart had constant money problems, and that Gilbert and Sullivan wrote musicals. But what were these people–and other famous musicians–really like? What did they eat? What did they wear? How did they spend their time? And–possibly most interesting of all–what did their neighbors think?
    Discover the fascinating and often humorous stories of twenty famous musicians–people of all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and lifestyles, from various countries and historical periods. Beginning with Vivaldi and ending with Woodie Guthrie, Lives of the Musicians brings musical history to life!

    Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery

    Vivaldi, Venice and violins: all three are celebrated in Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, a compelling mystery story about an orphan girl in the early 1700s who is in search of her roots. A central clue to the mystery is a missing Stradivarius violin that the Duke of Cremona has brought to Vivaldi’s school of the Pieta in the hopes of finding his long lost grandchild. You’ll have to watch the story unfold to learn its conclusion! This is the book that goes along with the audio CD, we listened to the CD and then read the book, the CD is excellent because of the addition of all of Vivaldi’s music!

    I, Vivaldi

    In this dynamic picture-book biography, told as if by Vivaldi himself, the famous musician’s energetic personality and steadfast dedication to music come alive.

    Despite his mother’s vow for him to become a priest, young Vivaldi is only interested in music. He soon grows from a feisty boy who wants to play the violin into a stubborn young man who puts his musical training ahead of his studies for priesthood.

    Beautiful, ornate artwork portrays the spirit and splendor of Vivaldi’s hometown, Venice. A historical note, musical score, and glossary will help readers more fully appreciate Vivaldi’s life and musical genius.

    The Orphan Singer

    The Dolcis are poor and cannot afford to train their daughter’s beautiful voice, so they give her to the”ospedalo,” where she is raised as an orphan and trained for the opera.

     

    Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

    In eighteenth-century Venice, Italy, the finest musical performances are heard at an orphanage called the Ospedale della Pieta. Hidden from the audience is an orchestra of young orphan girls, some with physical disabilities and illnesses.

    Padre Antonio Vivaldi, their music teacher, is inspired by the talented and determined young girls. When Vivaldi and his students are separated, Vivaldi is inspired to compose a set of concertos that mark the passing of time–the great baroque masterpiece entitled The Four Seasons.

    Back matter includes an author’s note with further historical and biographical information, as well as the text of the sonnets that accompany the music.

    The Story of Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day

    Discover what it would be like to travel through the four seasons in one day, following a little girl called Isabelle and her dog, Pickle, as they take on the adventure of a lifetime. As a sign of the changing seasons, Isabelle carries a little apple tree with her, and we see it bud, blossom and lose its leaves. Each spread features a musical note to press and a 10 second sound clip from the original score of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Illustrated by artist Jessica Courtney-Tickle, the book also features a biography of Vivaldi at the back along with a guide to the music.

    Want to go deeper with your Antonio Vivaldi composer study?
    Here’s a complete study for you!

    Antonio Vivaldi Composer Unit Study

  • Games in our Homeschool and some of our favorites
    games,  language arts,  math,  music,  science

    Using Games in our Homeschool

    My husband has always loved games, he even has a group of friends that get together every month to play games. So it comes as no surprise to me that both my kids ask to play games often.

    The only games I played when I was younger were pretty much Clue with my brother and endless rounds of Monopoly with one of my cousins (we did not play by the rules).

    We don’t have a huge selection of games but we are slowly building it over birthdays and Christmases, games are such a great gift to give kids.

    Thankfully almost every game out there has some kind of educational benefit to it so I can feel good with incorporating them into our homeschool day, the kids are still learning skills but they don’t even know it.

    Some of the skills kids learn when playing games include:

    • developing fine motor skills
    • social skills
    • learning how to win or lose graciously
    • cooperation
    • following directions
    • math skills
    • deductive reasoning
    • strategy
    • and lots more!

    I thought I would share a few of our current favorite games.

    [mybooktable book=”outfoxed” display=”summary” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]

    [mybooktable book=”circuit-maze” display=”summary” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]

    [mybooktable book=”sushi-go” display=”summary” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]

    [mybooktable book=”robot-turtles” display=”summary” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]

    [mybooktable book=”scrabble-junior” display=”summary” buybutton_shadowbox=”false”]

    What are your favorite games to use in your homeschool?

  • Our curriculum plans for homeschooling grade one and preschool.
    art,  curriculum,  geography,  history,  language arts,  math,  music,  preschool,  science,  spanish

    An Overview of Our Homemade Grade 1 & Preschool Curriculums

    Today is our official start to our first year homeschooling!

    I have been waiting for this day for about 3 years and I’m kind of nervous that it will all blow up in our faces, I don’t think it will but that fear is definitely there.

    When I started thinking about what I all wanted the kids to learn this year part of me got overwhelmed and just wanted to buy a full pre-made curriculum. BUT one of the reasons we are homeschooling is to have more flexibility in our days and our learning and I knew that wouldn’t be the best way for us.

    So, I decided to hack together a bit of a curriculum (have you watched the hackschooling Tedx talk, so good!). I definitely have a bit of an unschoolers heart but at the same time I want to be able to have a bit of an idea of what we have learned. Plus, at this point my daughter really want to know when we are “doing school” so we are taking a bit of a Charlotte Mason/Unschooling/not sure what else approach. Over all our curriculum is very literature (and notebooking) heavy, we love books here and it’s the perfect way for us to learn about subjects we are interested in.

    Below I’ve shared an overview of our curriculum and many of these subjects I have full posts on (or will soon) so you can follow those links as well.

    Our curriculum plans for homeschooling grade one and preschool.

    GRADE ONE CURRICULUM

    BIBLE

    We will be following the Ambleside Online weekly Bible reading schedule for Year 1. Later in the year we will also be reading some missionary biographies.

    LANGUAGE ARTS

    READING – Our language arts will mostly be a lot of reading, including me reading aloud, audio books and a lot of reading practice for Raeca (I plan on sharing my list of read alouds for this year soon and you can always find out which books we did read in our monthly books we read posts). I also plan on incorporating poetry through a weekly poetry tea time.

    WRITING – we will do some work in a Handwriting Without Tears workbook to work on technique and then we will be notebooking for most of our other subjects.

    MATH

    We have a grade 1 math workbook we will be going through because my daughter loves workbooks but we will also be incorporating a lot of math into real life. You can read our full math plan here.

    SCIENCE

    I am following the grade 1 science plan from The Well-Trained Mind. For grade 1 that means we will study animals, the human body and plants. Here’s our science overview!

    HISTORY

    For history, every 2-3 months we will learn about a different time periods in history; Ancient Times, Middle Ages, Early Modern Era and Modern Era. We will be reading a number of books in each time period, putting them on a timeline and doing a lot of notebooking. I am working on a full post for this that will be coming soon, for now you can check out our elementary ancient times book list.

    GEOGRAPHY

    Geography was something that I was never really taught in school, it was my personal interest in travel (and reading) that lead me to learn where countries are in the world. My enthusiasm has affected my children because I am always showing them where places are on the map, every time we read or hear about a place.

    We are keeping geography super simple this year by focusing on a different country or city each month and reading lots of books about them. We will also learn about landmarks, some of the different foods, special holidays and more. We have actually started to read/learn about Paris so that’s our first city for the year, I’ll have a list of Paris picture books up on Friday and I hope to have a full post to share about our Paris studies soon!

    ART

    I was tempted to make art very formal and complicated but decided to take it easy, it’s grade 1 after all. I plan on purchasing a good art book where we can talk about a few artists and pieces of artwork and maybe try to copy a few here and there. We also plan on utilizing Art Hub for Kids’ free YouTube videos. I will share a post with more details in a few weeks.

    MUSIC

    For music we are focusing on three things: theory study, composer study and piano. You can see the detailed music post here.



    SPANISH

    Spanish is something we will just be doing a little bit. I’ve been learning it a bit on my own (via Duolingo) and because of that Raeca has been picking up on a few things and wanting to learn more. Our full Spanish plan is here.

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION

    I don’t have a actual plan for physical education but we hope to put Raeca into gymnastics this fall, we have a family swim pass and plan on just generally spending time outdoors playing in nature and riding bikes.

    As for a schedule, my plan right now is to do Bible, language arts and math each day. Then Monday and Wednesday we will also add in science, Tuesday will be geography and Thursday will be history. Friday will be more of a fun day and we will work on music and art and then possibly learn through some computer games or videos. I still don’t have time slots for our Spanish or poetry tea time, I’m going to see after the first week or two where it fits in best.

    Our curriculum plans for homeschooling grade one and preschool.

    PRESCHOOL

    Ephraim is 3 years old and definitely different than Raeca was at 3. He doesn’t like to sit still for long, has little interest in coloring and even less interest in writing, so I don’t have huge expectations for the year but I do have a few goals.

    For most of the reading I do with Raeca he will be sitting with us and probably doing something with his hands like playing with Lego or Playdough. I also want a bit of a learning plan for him so that he can be busy doing something while Rae is working on her work because as a highly sensitive child she needs it to be fairly quiet when she is working.

    Originally my plan was to use one of the free curriculums I found online for preschool but they were all so much more intensive than I wanted. Since he doesn’t enjoy sitting for very long and doesn’t have the hand muscles to write yet, the last thing I want to do is try to do too much with him and turn him off. All I was looking for was something that would tell me one thing to do with him each day and I just couldn’t find something like that, so I did what I always do in that situation: DIY.

    I’ve started to create a nice simple three-year-old curriculum with one thing for us to do together each day. Since I’m making this up for myself I decided to share it for anyone else that wants to use it as well. So far I have the first month planned out but I’m hoping to sit down and plan out till Christmas soon.

    The curriculum (using that term very loosely) that I am creating will follow the goals that I have for Ephraim for this preschool year:

    • know uppercase and lowercase letters
    • count and recognize numbers to 20
    • correctly hold and use scissors
    • be able to correctly count objects
    • draw basic shapes
    • learn nursery rhymes (I’ve been slacking with him!)
    • recognize and print his name
    • begin learning letter sounds

    Check out the free preschool curriculum here! (I am actually kind of tempted to write out our grade 1 curriculum in this way as well, if that would be helpful for you let me know!)

    And that’s the gist of our plans for grade 1 & preschool!
    Here’s to the first day of the school year!

    Linking up with the Homeschool Nook