April Catch-up Post (except Kew)

(Not a very busy month and very few photos!)

1st April: Art Group

The kids are still enjoying art group. I honestly can’t remember who this artist was (don’t yell at me!) But the kids had fun creating their own interpretations.



4th of April: Bank Holiday trip North!

We decided to drive up north to say hello to Michael’s family for the Easter long weekend. On the Monday we went to Quarry Bank Mill with his parents. It’s a National Trust sight well worth the visit. The Mill is informative and they have live demonstrations all day, and in the Apprentice House (no photos allowed) they gave a guided tour. I forgot I had the camera with me till the very end anyway! Oh well-here are the kids playing with a water wheel.







 The find of the weekend-we found a closer book shop to visit on the way home! We love a bookstore out in Buxton, but they’ve opened a twin shop outside Chester-so we spent a wonderful 2 hours or so browsing in Bookstore at Oakmere. Even I came away with quite a few books.

8th of April: Hedgehog Hugh

One thing I have learned about lectures is, it is best to go to one by someone immersed in the topic they are discussing. When I saw one entitled: How Hedgehogs Can Save the World, a talk by Hugh Warwick, I just knew it would be entertaining. And it was! I love when people are passionate about something, it makes it just that bit more enjoyable for all. Then on the Sunday while watching a BBC show-who was on it, Hugh! Kieran nearly jumped off the couch he was so excited! Then about an hour later it turns out Hugh is friends with one of my Facebook Home Ed friends! Truly is a small world!

Most notable, non photographed event of the month has been Hazel’s new flute teacher. Which she was, at first, none too pleased with me about!

I have been slightly dissatisfied with the current flute/recorder situation for awhile now-I’ve had a few concerns. Firstly-I never liked her attitude towards Kieran-he was definitely a second class student when she was teaching them both. Secondly-I was getting a bit tired of the silly songs Hazel was learning-there was no stretching her in terms of what she could play. The teacher followed a set of books for each and every student-and didn’t vary her teaching for the different students. Thirdly-I was frustrated that there weren’t any opportunities for Hazel to play what she had learned. I don’t see the point of just practicing each week and going to class-I wanted to find a group she could partake in. Fourthly-Kieran has put the recorder away for now- he’s too in love with his guitar! And lastly-I was tired of the 23 mile trip each way.

But I had no idea how hard it was to find a flute teacher! I tried every internet link I could find-and then gave up. Then I had a brainstorm at the end of March-I contacted the woman who used to own the Monkey Music franchise we went to! We had met a few times and chatted on the phone in the past. Plus-they had devised an older childrens class a few years ago-and my two were invited to participate in their experiment-so I knew she’d remember us.

And boy-was that not the best email I’ve sent in a long time! Not only did she know a teacher-her daughter was one of his students and has gotten to grade 5 with him, and has never complained once in all the years. And-get this—he runs two flute choirs!!! And-he’s two miles away, and would do school-hour lessons!! All we had to do was have a lesson to see if we liked him. Well-if I liked him, because Hazel hates change, and this was the last thing she wanted to do!

Of course, the day I phoned him, I could tell he didn’t believe a word I was saying. I was explaining her learning style, her sense of timing and that she could definitely pay attention for as long as she wanted-he was convinced most kids her age could barley last a ½ hour. Then we had the taster lesson. I think she rather surprised him. So much so-I basically mentioned that I told him she picked things up quickly–and he admitted to not believing me. He immediately offered her a place in his junior choir for the summer term. So far-it’s been a huge hit-even though she was quite annoyed with me for a week! Michael took her to her second lesson-and said he was impressed as well. The quality of her playing has improved dramatically already-and she is enjoying the new challenges. He loves her musicality, timing and that he never has to repeat anything. She’s been to two choir sessions already-and is eagerly waiting the next one.

Other things of note in April:

Kieran’s super cool guitar teacher also runs ‘Rock School’ during the holidays. It’s run by himself and members from his school and lots of different bands that come and help out for the few days to teach the kids. That week the band members from the Crave came. The kids that come are of all ability levels, his students or not, and they get put into groups and all learn about 3 songs in 3 days to play for a concert. Knowing Kieran was on the young end of the spectrum-we decided to let him have a go. Of course he wouldn’t let me leave-so I stayed with him. In his group were two of the teens from the teen band, two other guitarists and a 9 year old drummer. The drummer was taught by CJ the drummer for the Crave. If there was ever a naturally wonderful teacher-that guy is it! The kids played three songs-2 of which Kieran knew slightly. So his teacher, or another teacher from the school, played next to Kieran and he followed their lead-and he gave it his all! He certainly outplayed the two 11 years olds in the group. He would have had all the songs down pat if he decided to go back the next two days!. But-he never worked so hard in his life! He decided he needed ‘about 5 more lessons before coming back-he needed to get faster at switching chords.’ I thought he came to the right conclusion-and will sign him up for one of the summer Rock School sessions!

So other than the next post about Kew-the months have been fairly samish. The kids are progressing at home with their studies, reading away, playing their music with vigour, we’ve been gardening-and even I’ve managed to finish a few books this month!

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