Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Homeschooling and the Suzuki Method
I took this photo just before their last piano recital for the school year. It was June 3 and they did very well. Their teacher uses the Suzuki Method. I really like it. When I was a kid and I would learn by ear, my piano teacher would get annoyed, but with the Suzuki Method, learning by ear is actually encouraged.
That said, when I compare myself to some of the other "Suzuki Parents" I feel like a dead beat mom. Suzuki parents are very involved in every aspect of their child's music experience. You must attend all classes, and sit with your child through practice every day and learn all the pieces with your child. We record lessons, and listen to pieces on CD in the car, and at home. I must confess I don't know how to play Musette, and that gives me twinges of guilt. Kealani plays it like a pro though.
This Summer we are going thorough the "Classical Kids" curriculum, and I am enjoying it. It sat on my "home school bookshelf" for 3 years because I was kind of intimidated by it. I wanted to be able to devote time to plan it out and do it right. So far we have studied Vivaldi and Handel. I know more about Vivaldi,Venice,Handel, and Georgian London than any ignorant American should. I even know what color Vivaldi's hair was.
I have been homeschooling for 4 years now. I am still learning, and feel like I don't know what I am doing half the time. 7th grade kind of scares me. My son just finished 6th and my daughter just finished 3rd. I am a BIG fan of Saxon Math. I don't make them do the tests and all the extra stuff though because Saxon is really good about reviewing everything constantly. Other than Saxon Math, Suzuki Piano, and Tae Kwon Do,Boy Scouts,and horseback riding, they journal, do essays,and read really good books with excellent vocabulary.
I really love the book series "What your ___Grader should know". I have all of them up to grade 6. We read discuss and essay about many subjects. I try to let them study things that they love because my #1 goal for homeschooling is that they come away with a love of learning.