Sunday, October 16, 2016

Club ideas

I was floating the idea to C that the more experienced beginners could help total beginners at ukulele club.

C told me, that in her opinion, the enthusiastic senior is not a beginner anymore.  On reflection, I think she's right about that--he was playing actual songs.

It's kind of a bummer that he's a senior and won't be around next year, but if he keeps turning up, I should encourage C to delegate some instruction to him, as well as make time to play something with him.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Ukulele Club!

C ran her October meeting of Ukulele Club today, having flyered earlier this week.  I brought five ukuleles in cases, four electronic tuners, three copies of Hal Leonard's Ukulele Method Book 1, From Lute to Uke and handouts.  The returning students were starting to use the tuners and look at the books by themselves.  We had six attendees total (C, three beginners and two self-described "ultra beginners") and then I think two who came in at the very end just as we were starting to pack up.  I believe our youngest two attendees were 8th graders and there was also an enthusiastic senior who wants to learn Hey, Soul Sister (an actual ukulele song, apparently!).    

Our first meeting in September was a little ragged (and HOT!) with people coming and going, but I really felt like things were gelling today.  Three students brought their own ukuleles, which shows a lot of commitment, and it looks like they've been working on their own.  I also was impressed by the fact that those three had technical questions and was thrilled that C was able to answer all of them.  The main problem was that there's only one C and there were at least two levels of beginner, so she was shuttling back and forth between the two groups.

Although we only get about 20 minutes of actual meeting time with these lunch meetings, I was really impressed with the amount of ground covered today.  I feel like the beginners are very close to the point where they'll be able to teach other people.

The current plan is to do another lunch meeting in November and then (if possible) try to do a longer after-school meeting in December to learn carols.    We'll also probably do just one meeting a month this year.

Next year, there are two things that would be nice to introduce:  twice a month meetings and an official organizational structure.  It would be nice for C to be able to share organizational responsibility with at least one other fellow student.

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Here's some of what's happening:

  • At Baby T's request, my husband machine and hand-sewed her a stuffed purple crocodile from an online pattern.  The back ridges are super.
  • We are gearing up for Baby Girl's birthday week.  (Baby Girl had lots of ideas for the cake.)  My husband and the kids made a cake for her--two layer chocolate, mini York patties between the layers, bright aqua frosting with whipping cream in it, bubbles made from white fondant.  Tomorrow, for the party, we'll be adding the big Dory-with-coral-reef candle.  
  • I've gotten back to using my recumbent bike at home.  ("Back" is kind of the wrong word here, as I did a lot of riding at the gym, we bought me a bike, and then I didn't use it...)  Chip and Joanna Gaines are helping me along--I'm 4 or 5 episodes into season 2 of Fixer Upper.  

Monday, October 3, 2016

C goes electric (again)

Here's some of what's happening:

  • My husband set C up with a piezo buzzer and Guitar Rig 5 and C was playing medieval lute music on an electric ukulele this evening.
  • I did some Wii yoga (carefully avoiding the one-legged poses) and D and I did downward facing dog together.
  • D got to do some cave exploring this past weekend with his daddy!
  • D also got to try a stand up paddle board at the marina this weekend.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Uke lesson

Yesterday, C was giving D a ukulele lesson in her room (I've been encouraging that, so that C gets more teaching experience for ukulele club).  Baby T came in with her ukulele and all three of them were sitting on a row on C's bed, playing.

I got pictures.  (A little counterproductive, though, as soon as I snapped the first one, Baby T ran over to me to see how it turned out.)

Other September news

Here are some other things that are happening:

  • Baby T is smitten with Kipper.
  • C and D are gearing up for Halloween.  C thinks that her ninja costume doesn't fit and she is passing it on to D.  C is planning to get a Pikachu headband and tail.
  • Baby T wants to wear her butterfly wings for Halloween, but I'm not sure that they're going to make it.  


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I've completed our escape from the old PDO.  There was a space in the 3-year-old room in a friend's kid's PDO program and we took it, walking away from two weeks of paid-up PDO in the other program.  The old 4-year-old program was just too hard, both for Baby T and me--so much gotta do this, gotta do that, so little fun, and Baby T isn't even 4 yet.  They had weekly homework and a book log in a two-day-a-week program that is theoretically supposed to be mainly about giving parents a breather.
  • Baby T was in the old program only three weeks this term, after missing the first week due to illness.  Despite having gone to this PDO program for two years and adapting easily to her previous two classrooms, she never warmed up to the 4-year-old room, and it was often hard to coax her into the classroom.  Not unrelated--they didn't have free play at the start of the day.  The kids were supposed to write their names (Baby T could only manage a T) and then do a picture suggested by a prompt.  Baby T just scribbled.
  • Talking to the old teacher just made me feel bad, pretty much every single time.
  • Plus, because of Baby T's birthday, she's doing pre-k again next year anyway--she'll be doing a nearly full day at the big kids' private school three days a week.  
  • Baby T's new 3-year-old program has free play first thing in the morning.  They have toys out, including a really enticing LEGO setup.  (At the old PDO program, Baby T had been asking me where the toys were.  GAH!)  I am happy to hear from D that the pre-k classroom that Baby T is going to next year has a lot of toys.    
  • One of the big issues with the old program was potty training--we've been working hard for the past month or so and Baby T has made a lot of progress, but she is only about 50% of the way there.  It was very disheartening to be working so hard on the potty training and getting put on the naughty chair by the teacher from the old program anyway.  It's early days, but it's so much nicer to have her be one of the oldest children in the 3-year-old room rather than one of the youngest in the 4-year-old room.  I think Baby T is going to finish potty training by Christmas, but it's going to be on her time.