Are you a piano or elementary music teacher? Or maybe you’d like to teach music to your own kids or at a homeschool co-op? Read today’s review–because it might be what you’re looking for!
Music for Little Learners is an approach to teaching music (piano prep) for young children, ages 4 and up. Joleen Steel is the master teacher who created Music for Little Learners. I reviewed Kit #1 this summer.
My 5-year-old daughter has been wanting to start playing the piano for quite a while now. This kit was so fun to use with her this summer to get her prepared for real lessons.
Here is what is included in Kit #1:
* A Lesson Booklet, containing 35 lessons plus 6 added games
* A pair of white gloves (with velcro on the fingers)
* Velcro letters and numbers, 2 each of A-B-C-D-E-F-G and 1-2-3-4-5 (to put on the gloves)
* A Treble clef mat
* A Bass clef mat
* 32 pages of scale cards
* 3 song cards (“This Old Man,” “MAry Had a Little Lamb,” and “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,”)
* 2 “Lines of the Staff” cards
* Square green plastic tiles, 2 each of A-B-C-D-E-F-G
* Square blue pastic tiles, 2 each of 1-2-3-4-5
* Square red plastic tiles, one each of A#-C#-D#-F#-G#
* Round red and yellow tokens, 3 each of A-B-C-D-E -F-G
* Foam pieces of treble clef, bass clef, brace, 2 “4″s (for time signature), whole note, 2 half notes, 4 quarter notes, and a bar line
It’s all included in this cute little suitcase:
Here are some of the fun lessons you’ll teach:
The kids will learn about the staff and basic music notation with the staff cards and foam pieces in the box.
Here is a lesson on numbering the lines and spaces. The kids practice with the staff cards and number tiles.
Then they can play different types of games to practice it (speed drills!).
Here they built the grand staff with the staff cards, but it also works well with the blue mats.
My daughter really loved making the caterpillars, which helps them to recognize how the notes ascend up the staff in a scale, and that they repeat. See one way to do them at the top picture of this post. Below is another way we did it–to build 3 C Major scales. Included in the box were little googly eyes that you can glue to the head of the caterpillar.
Then, of course, there is lots of actual piano playing. The cards and gloves really help the young kids be successful at playing songs and scales.
See how the gloves can be labeled? You can use the numbers for finger numbers or the notes, changing them around or removing them depending on what the particular song needs.
My daughter absolutely loved using the gloves. She would go grab them out of the box with the song cards and play all by herself! We still need lots of practice with the scales, but that will come.
Kit #1 is really great for using at a Music 4 Little Learners Piano Camp! Joleen has done those this summer, so contact her for more information about it! Here is her blog where she shares lots of wonderful music teaching ideas. Or look into purchasing the kits (or specific items from the kit) for your own family or studio!
(Disclosure: I received Kit#1 in order to provide an honest review.)
After we finished our time at my sister’s house (including my Mom’s funeral), we headed out to Monterey, CA for a fun vacation time! There were 10 in our van and 6 in my sister’s car. I counted to 12 (the kids) over and over and over during our time there. And there always seemed to be someone missing that we had to search for!
It was Father’s Day when we left town, so we stopped at a Father’s Day adventure for the kids to explore the planes, helicopters, and trucks. My brother-in-law is a forest fire fighter, so he gave us a lot of first-hand information. Here is one of the helicopters he flies in.
And here is the heavy backpack that he carries when on duty.
One of the things my husband and I loved about driving around California were the wonderful orchards, fields of fruits and vegetables, and grapevines all over. We stopped at a luscious farm stand where we bought pistachios, cherries, and blackberries that lasted us for rest of the trip!
After arriving at Monterey and settling in to the KOA cabins in Salinas (which I do NOT recommend), we slept and got up early the next morning to explore. Our first adventure was to drive out to Big Sur and then do a little hike at the State Park there.
The drive along Hwy. 1 is so beautiful.
We had the ultimate tour guides in my sister and her husband. They were constantly texting us to give us information about the places we were driving by. Occasionally, they even pulled over and came back to our van to tell a story. Below is a picture of a military compound. During World War II they used this spot to search the ocean for Japanese submarines.
At the Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park, we walked over on this trail to see this pretty waterfall going into the ocean. A couple had built a house during the early 1900′s that had this view out their bedroom window. Pretty, huh?
Then, not too far away in the same park was a redwood forest!
Next we drove over to the beach in Monterey to let the kids explore the waves and sand. Of course, they got completely into the water. Here my sister and I are discussing why we didn’t have them change into their swimsuits first–which we had in the car!
Playing football in the water:
Getting buried in the sand–because it was pretty cold out there!
We headed back to the cabins for a quick dip in the pool and then to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.
The next morning it worked out perfectly that low-tide was about an hour before the aquarium opened. My sister and her husband knew an awesome spot to go tide-pooling. It was such a wonderful place to explore!
Then it was time to head over to the Monterey Aquarium. It made more financial sense for my family to buy a membership, even though we won’t be able to make it back there within a year and they don’t have any reciprocal memberships. The total amount is tax-deductible, though.
The Monterey Aquarium was wonderful. If you’re ever in the area, you’ll have to go there!
First, you can see all these seals sunning themselves right outside the building:
Here the kids are sitting under a wave which simulates the tides. (An extra child snuck in on the far right!)
My mom loved puffins. We had seen them in their own habitat when we lived in Alaska. So, it was special to me to see this puffin exhibit here at the aquarium.
We went at feeding time to the deep sea exhibit. A lady was explaining to us how they feed the different types of fish in there. For some of them, they just drop cut up pieces of food in. For others, they use a tool to get the fish to swim up to the top of the tank and they feed them up there. There is also a huge school of sardines that just swarm around the tank. They are supposed to stay away while the mahi-mahi are feeding. Right at the end of the presentation, one sardine was suddenly left all alone. The lady said, “I hope he makes it.” And right then a mahi-mahi chomped him right down as everyone was watching!
Next we walked out to another beach for them to explore. They didn’t get too wet this time. Then we got some ice cream.
Here are the Twelve!
We decided to do one more touristy thing and visit the Mission in Carmel before getting pizza for dinner.
Later that night we headed back to the beach to watch the sunset. A perfect ending to our Monterey vacation!
Stay tuned for the last leg of our vacation scrapbook: Los Angeles. And check out our Legoland California post, too!
Are you familiar with unit studies? I have done tons of them in my homeschool career. What I usually do is pick a topic and then head to the library to check out a bunch of books, CDs, and/or DVDs on the subject. We then try to add as many disciplines as we can that fit into that topic: science, history, geography, writing, math, art, music, Bible, read-alouds of fiction and biographies, etc. We’ve done lapbooks with them, too. They are a great way to do school with the whole family–all ages!
So, here is one of the things that is great about Once-a-Week Unit Studies. They have all the research done for you!
* All of the lessons are typed out for you to read. Just get some library materials and craft materials and recipe ingredients to add to it!
* Library book list (arranged by age, in alphabetical order, and with the Dewey decimal numbers)
* Photographs and drawings
* Suggestions for how to schedule your time (what to do each day of the week–it’s called Once-a-Week because the majority of the work is done on just one day. Read-alouds could/should be done each day of the week.)
* It’s very flexible. Use it for however it works best for your family.
* It’s Biblically oriented
* Field trip ideas
* Art projects
* The unit studies could be used at co-ops
If you have a child in Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, you’ll really love these unit studies. They have lots of badge projects included! It can be used for 4H projects, too.
At this time they only sell only physical copies, but plan on introducing digital versions in the very near future.
The first thing to do when getting your Unit Study is to read the section, Getting the Most Out of Your Once-a-Week Unit Study, located in the back. It will help get you off to a great start.
Here are some specifics for the Lewis & Clark unit study:
* It’s 80 pages long.
* It has enough material for 7 weeks.
* All books and DVD ideas are included.
* The cost is $21.95
* It’s really fun and interesting!
* Recipes are included (like Crawfish Etoufee) and some great projects (like making a journal and a mold of an animal track).
* Each week has a different focus:
Week 1: New France (animal tracks, beavers)
Week 2: Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Louisiana Purchase (zydeco music, architecture, Lousiana/Cajuns)
Week 3: Fixing for a Start (map, plants, Newfoundland dog)
Week 4: Sacagawea Joins the Corps! (American Indians, birds)
Week 5: Trials and Tribulations (buffalo, bears)
Week 6: Ocean in View! Oh the Joy! (otters, Pacific Ocean)
Week 7: Homeward Bound (wolves, Old Faithful, horses)
Here are the other titles of Once-a-Week Unit Studies that are available right now:
Birds of a Feather
Forest for the Trees
Weather on the Move
Knights and Nobles
Revolutionary Ideas: The Story of the American Revolution
Christmas Comes to America
Westward Ho Part I
Westward Ho Part II
We the People: Getting to Know Your Constitution
Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea
(I received a copy of Lewis & Clark in order to write this honest review. This post also contains affiliate links.)
The first ever “Build Your Bundle” – Homeschool Edition sale is here!
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(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)
I got a new pair of sunglasses, and am happy to review them for you today. They are from Firmoo, the Global Online Optical Store. My husband helped me look through the many choices, and we chose this fun blue pair. I’ve really enjoyed wearing them this past week.
The ordering process was simple. There are many good pictures of the glasses (not just sunglasses), and even a fun graphic where you can “try them on” a person that looks similar to you or even upload your picture. Then you can see different views of the frames and read reviews about them.
After ordering them, it took about a week for them to arrive. They came packaged nicely in a brown padded envelope, but were fully protected inside the glasses case that came with them. Also included was a yellow cleaning cloth, which works great! I really like that cloth!
The glasses are nice. They fit well (just a little loose when I wear them on top of my head, though). They seem strong–not like the cheapies I usually buy. I’m keeping them in the hard case to keep them protected in my purse. I was a little worried about the blue tint. Yes, things have a bluish hue, but I actually like the way things look through them.
Check out the options at Firmoo and see if you’d like to order your next pair of glasses from them. They have some coupons available right now, and even a first free pair option!
(Review: I received a free pair of classes, a case, and cloth in order to write this honest review.)