I started out the year of 2020 with a really fun birthday present–going to see “Hamilton the Musical” in its last week of performances in Chicago!
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Seeing it live helped me the following August as I was writing a masterclass for my new high school fine arts membership called “Hamilton the Musical ~ How and Why it Became a Sensation!”
I spoke in my first online conference of the year on “How to Use Music to Grow in Your Faith” and
created the course Use Music to Grow in Your Faith.
My youngest daughter and I had a ball this year filming a music education video each month for my elementary music membership called Music in Our Homeschool Plus. Here we are making homemade instruments.
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I’m so grateful for the month of February since I had two experiences that weren’t to be repeated for the rest of the year and are still canceled for the foreseeable future: a live musical theater performance and traveling to a special event.
Here is my second daughter who had a huge role in The Little Mermaid as Flotsam (one of Ursula’s eels). She had her first mic, sang, acted, and danced.
My oldest daughter was one of the Mersisters.
My third daughter played a lobster and a gull.
My third son was a fish.
And, I was the musical director, a job I absolutely adore.
Here I am warming up the cast before a performance:
It was so fun working with this talented directing team!
I miss these theater kids so much. I didn’t know I wouldn’t get to work with them again. 🙁
The other fun February event was sponsored by BJU Press Homeschool. They brought a lot of homeschool influencers out to North Carolina to show us their facilities, such as here where they film education DVDs:
I got to meet in person (or see again!) some wonderful homeschool blogger friends such as Rebecca Spooner:
Danielle Papagiorge and Ana Willis:
And Melanie Wilson:
It was truly a joyous time, a calm before the storm that none of us knew was coming.
Another final time was working with my Project Voice class students and hearing them sing in person together. We continued with online classes through May, but singers need to be together.
After The Little Mermaid, I accepted the invitation to be musical director for Newsies, one of my dream shows! I had never been a director for two back-to-back shows before, but. . . Newsies!
Another amazing team to work with:
We ended up having an absolutely incredible cast! We pushed really hard for the first 3 weeks, learning as much as we absolutely could. It was almost as if we felt a need to rush, without realizing why. Even pictures like this are usually not taken until a couple of months in. I’m so grateful to have them of my oldest two daughters!
Our church had a really fun cardboard box maze event where my oldest daughter did a lot of the painting such as this:
Our homeschool co-op served at Feed My Starving Children, packing food to be sent across the world.
I filmed another beginning music theory lesson with my youngest.
And then, Covid hit.
Here I did a tutorial for homemade hand sanitizer since I couldn’t find any in the stores.
My husband finished our boys’ bathroom update:
And, we started online rehearsals for Newsies:
April and May
We tried and tried and tried, with so many “rescheduled” performances, but eventually by the end of May, we knew that we would never be able to perform Newsies, and with lots of tears, let it go.
Project Voice, too, had to do an “online” concert.
In June, my husband, kids, and I decided to get away and head up north to the grandparent’s lake house. We’re usually so busy with camps and events during the summer, but not this year! We went there in 2020 more than ever before — in June, July, August, October, and December. We usually do a big summer road trip and I had planned on doing a family trip to Hawaii in late December 2020. Both of those were canceled.
We did fit in a couple of field trips in spite of the shut-downs. Here we are a the Milwaukee Zoo:
My oldest son and I participated in a virtual choir, singing the song “You Will Be Found.” (He starts and ends the song in the video.)
I spoke at the online 2020 Charlotte Mason Inspired Conference on the “Charlotte Mason Way to Get a High School Fine Arts Credit” and wrote the Charlotte Mason Inspired High School Fine Arts course.
I continued having fun with the Get Your Pretty On outfit formula style challenges.
We attended a drive-by funeral for a dear 11-year-old girl from our homeschool co-op who passed away from cancer. We’ll see you again someday, sweet Makayla.
In the fall another dear girl from our homeschool community was lost to suicide, another victim of this tragic year. I dedicate this next video to Makayla and Izzy:
I wrote American Music for Elementary, an online course that I’ve been wanting to create for a long time.
My husband decided to add a deck off our master bedroom, with stairs leading down to the backyard.
Back to the lake house for Independence Day.
I attended another online conference–Entrepreneur Experience with Amy Porterfield as I continued to grow my online business this year..
We filmed some active musical fun videos during the summer, such as this one for bucket drumming.
I created a printable pack called Countries of the World Fast Fact Cards and Notebooking Pages.
My big online course World Music for Elementary came together this summer.
And I purchased a course from Kathy Gossen to expand my offerings beyond music. My First Amazing Journey Around the World is a full-year elementary world geography curriculum.
And, we finally got the shipment of the trampoline that had been ordered months before!
Back to the relaxing and fun lake house.
I started learning to watercolor.
I also started learning to play golf.
My son and his friends did a band concert.
After “attending” the Tribe Experience conference, I decided to move my high school membership launch up to September 1 from the previous date of December 1.
My Fine Arts in Our Homeschool Plus high school membership experience is meant to fill a void and a need for high schoolers who need a fine arts credit and for those who can’t get enough of music, art, dance, and theater! I am loving filming advanced music theory lessons (yes, I’m a music theory geek!), and connecting with other teachers who are providing masterclasses for the students each month.
In October I spoke at the 2020 Charlotte Mason Inspired Fall Retreat about “Composer Study with Lesser-Known Composers” and pulled together another course called Composer Study With 10 Lesser-Known Composers.
In the brief reprieve in between lock-downs, we went on a field trip to a corn maze adventure farm.
And, back to the lake house where we celebrated our 22nd anniversary.
My father-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s this year. It was great to spend some extra time with him.
We visited a cranberry bog, but had just missed the harvest.
I created a new lapbook for Martin Luther and the Reformation.
And, my kids made friends with the new dog across the street.
Filmed more music videos. This one is on sight-singing with solfege syllables.
My oldest two boys came home from their sophomore year at college. (They were also with us from March through August. Thankfully, they had jobs the entire time since they worked at restaurants.)
My second son got engaged.
Thanksgiving. Yes, there is so much to be thankful for.
I filmed my last lessons in our basement.
Then, my husband completed the remodel of my upstairs office!
Now, video lessons are filmed in there!
More fun with fashion.
I wrote a new class called “Homeschooling Multiple Ages Without Losing Your Mind” that I presented (online) with a local library and will be speaking at January’s Makeover Your Life Summit:
I’m proud of my 2nd daughter who created a new nail business this year through Etsy: Nail Sets By B.
She has made enough profit to purchase this desk and chair where she handpaints the acrylic nails.
And, we spent Christmas at the lake house.
Baking cookies with Mumsy:
We played a lot of Mah-jongg
And, I’ll leave you with this. I saw this note hanging in my mother-in-law’s sewing room. It’s a good reminder to us all as we enter 2021!
Here’s looking forward to an amazing 2021!
Top Ten Posts of 2020 (that were new in 2020):
- The Ultimate List of Elementary World Geography Resources
- Countries of the World Fast Fact Cards & Notebooking Pages
- 2020-2021 Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 3rd – 11th Grades
- Photo Snow Globe Tutorial
- Scrabble Tile Christmas Ornament Tutorial
- 15 Basic Items for Every Homeschool Mom Wardrobe
- How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
- Alternatives to a Traditional Homeschool Co-op
- Night at the Museum Summer Camp or Unit Study
- How to Make Your Own Floam Tutorial
- 10 Easy-to-Make Homemade Musical Instruments
- 15-Minute Music Lesson on Bird Songs and Calls ~ Music in Nature Series
- Christmas “Lessons & Carols” 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie
- SQUILT Listening Maps to Guide Children in Understanding Classical Music
- Using Chants and Songs to Learn English Grammar
- Free Music of Israel Music Lesson
- World Music for Elementary ~ The Online Course Where Music Appreciation Meets World Geography
- Music for Mothers to Encourage and Inspire
- Ways to do Music When You’re Stuck at Home
- Free 15-Minute Music Lesson about Music Inspired by Evergreen Trees ~ Music in Nature Series
- Free 15-Minute Music Lesson for Juneteenth