7 Quick takes: first month of school edition

We’ve been schooling for a month now, and it’s time to take quick look back at how it’s gone so far.

One: I always have intentions to start slowly and ease our way into school, but I find the high school schedule is less accommodating of that plan than I’d like. On day 1, we dropped Jonah at the airport to head back to college, had a full day of school, and then Moriah and I took off for Red Rocks for the OneRepublic + Colorado CSO concert that was her birthday gift. What a great concert in a stunning setting. Seeing her happiness, watching the sun turn the mountains red, letting the music pour into me- my heart was very full that night.

In addition to their own music, OneRepublic played several of the songs Ryan Tedder’s wrote for others (Rumor Has It for Adele, Suckers for Jonah Brothers, Halo for Beyonce) and sang a stunning song by another songwriter. I appreciated his highlighting the often-invisible songwriter.

One and a half: I added a few OneRepublic songs to my running playlists, as well as Aftertaste by Shawn Mendes. It’s got a great beat for running, but the lyrics are confusing: “I’m PermaNick, you can’t replace me.” Who the heck is PermaNick?

Two: Our house has been full of music, between Owen’s recent trip to Vienna and the Harp Fantastia coming up. (I’m writing this from a coffeeshop while Moriah rehearses with a room full of harpists for a concert at the end of the month.)

Mozart’s Sonata K. 311 at the concert venue in Mozart’s wine-cellar Chopin’s Waltz in E flat Minor No. 64 at Ehrbar Hall, Vienna

Years ago, before I even met Sam, I imagined my future family as always singing. I thought we might have a quartet of singers- not quite the von Trapps, but something in that neighborhood. That’s not how it’s turned out, but my prayer to have a house full of music has been answered.

harp/cello concert in the living room

Three: While I generally love having lots of music in the house, I’m not thrilled about how it has become the latest bedtime stall tactic.

Me: Please go brush your teeth and get in bed. [5 minutes passes. I hear the cello. I run upstairs] What are you doing? I said to get in bed.

Her: [innocent eyeroll] But Mom, I’m flossing!

cello (and multitasking) in the upstairs bedroom

Four: P.E. in our school continues to evolve. I learned a long time ago that I have to exercise every day, or the teacher (and all the students) will be sorry. I keep running (and stopping every few minutes to take photos), but I also want the kids to find some sort of outlet for all those huge, angsty teenage feels they have. So Owen and Sam have been training for a triathlon (completed today), Moriah continues to dance four days a week in public (and eight days a week in the kitchen), and Phoebe and I have been riding our bikes everywhere.

set-up in the triathlon transition-zone: 44 degrees ballet exhibition testing out the new bike lane

Five: Imagining we could afford a new (to us) car with a kid in college (ha!), we went car shopping. Our prep work included all sorts of weird google searches, including “is the Subaru outback a harpmobile?” We found a 2011 outback (certified harpmobile) in good condition and were ready to trade in our 2004 minivan, until they told us the tiger-claw scratches on both sides meant it was only worth $1500 as a trade-in. (Good thing we’re not trying to trade in the garage.) No “new” car for us.

these musicians all drove harpmobiles to the rehearsal

Six: In case you were wondering, we are studying some academic subjects, too. Phoebe is working hard on her reading/spelling (and finally with some results, now that have a program that works with her strengths). She and I just finished reading The Vandebeekers of 141st Street– what a delightful book! Owen and Moriah have US Government and Comparative Politics and American Literature with me, and Moriah’s doing precalc at home. I’ve outsourcedAP Physics, Biology and Calculus (thank goodness!) and will add some Spanish into the mix soon.

We’re planning a trip to Washington, D.C., next month, which should dovetail well with our government studies. Between Trump’s antics and Brexit, there’s certainly plenty of supplemental material in the news to keep us very busy.

We’ve been using Rooted in Language’s Annotating Literary Elements for our American Literature class. It had us analyzing the plot arc of a children’s book to begin: super fun.

each trail of stickies represents the plot a different children’s book we analyzed

Seven: We also had a visit from Aunt Mandy for a week. Uncle Matt popped in for two nights. We used Mandy’s visit as an excuse to go to the Botanic Gardens for an afternoon, which met my goal of having a field trip once a month. I’m planning to count all of D.C. as October’s field trip.

family resemblance? maybe…

On to month two of school…

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