The kids have a fantastic piano teacher who comes to the house Tuesday mornings to teach them piano and theory. They have a recital coming up next week. They really enjoy their piano lessons (although practising is another story for some of them!).
Having a teacher come into our home works for so many reasons. I can homeschool the other kids while lessons are going on with each one. There is no travel time. The kids feel most comfortable at home and are able to relax. We have tailored the lessons (both the content and the length) to each of the kids and their individual needs.
For music appreciation, we are using the Zeezok Music Appreciation Program. It studies individual composers and their music. We are currently learning about Haydn. We also in the past have used Color the Classics in which the kids color pictures pertaining to a particular composer and his life while listening to that composer’s music. Both of these programs work well with my kids because they use a variety of senses, are easy to adapt and we can set our own pace.
Art is not my gift. I enjoy scrapbooking and crafting but can’t sketch beyond a stick man. I was always afraid to teach art so for all these years, my kids have taken Homeschool Art Classes through our local Recreation department. This year, one of the instructors had to recuse herself and the classes for three of my kids were cancelled. I consider art to be important so I mustered up the courage to give art lessons at home a try thanks to the Simple Start in Chalk Pastels tutorials. I shared how I used the Christmas Chalk Pastels tutorials to finally accomplish effective art lessons taught by yours truly last month. I have since started using one of the other books to continue their art lessons.
I love how easy they are to teach and the finished products are gorgeous! What I like the best though is that there is something about us sitting at the table and doing chalk pastels together that seems to calm the kids. It’s a great way to start the day so we usually do it first thing in the morning and it seems to work on chaos days to settle things down a bit if we pull them out in the afternoon.
We also have visited art galleries and art exhibits and discussed different art periods and influences throughout history.
The kids have taken homeschool drama classes over the years and some of them have attended one day or one week drama workshops. We haven’t had the opportunity to take them to many live theatre events but sometimes are able to attend one put on by a local high school. It is also sometimes possible to get very inexpensive tickets for dress rehearsals for major productions.
Fine arts are something that I do consider important to learn but even more critical is that some of my special needs children seem to have an aptitude for creativity. I want to give them a chance to explore and improve on those talents.
Miss Optimism has always loved fashion and may just become a fashion designer one day. We got her a sewing machine for Christmas/her birthday and she will start taking lessons soon (though lack of teaching has not stopped her from sewing a housecoat, cell phone snuggies, purses, and a quilt!).