Instrumental Invasion

Help!  We’ve been invaded by musical instruments, and they are overtaking the schedule!

In truth, I’m thrilled to see the children enjoying music–the amount of music practice just snuck up on me a bit.  Piano has been part of our routine for years; then recently the children began recorder lessons and Kaira added in harp practice.  Kaira also requested more piano practice time–she’d been doing an hour for a year or more, but then I cut her to 30 minutes a few months ago to  free other areas of the schedule.  Evidently it was too drastic a reduction, so we’ll compromise with a 45 minute slot.  (She often uses a bit of her free-time for one instrument or another as well, at her discretion.)

Music practice has always been the most challenging aspect of scheduling for me–especially with Ken on night shifts and needing a quiet home for certain hours.  We’ve discovered that some parts of his sleep schedule are more affected by noise than others (He hears almost nothing prior to lunch-time), so we work music practice around his sleep patterns.  Additionally there is the challenge of my having a low noise threshold.  I can’t focus amid background noise, so I can’t teach math or reading to one child while another is practicing. ( If I try, my head explodes, and it isn’t pretty.)

Ken helps out as “recorder practice” coach, and has risen to even greater hero status–and he’s always been our hero!

So, for those who find schedules fascinating, here is our new schedule, better arranged to allow the children to pursue their musical interests.

a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. 

{ Psalm 98:4 }

Side note: I’m still assigning work to each of the big girls for two days at a time.  I meet with Kendra on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and with Kaira on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  On their “off” days they work independently from what I’ve assigned.  Additionally, they work on tapestry assignments more on their “on” days, and on the “off” days have “buddy time” with Kieran.  This alternating schedule is working well and is accomplishing my goal of feeling less like a ping-pong ball.


9 thoughts on “Instrumental Invasion

  1. I find fitting in music and dance practice a challenge also. Especially with Elizabeth(8) who needs more assistance with her piano lessons.

    I like your schedule, it looks a lot like our days. But I do feel like a ping pong ball, we switch hourly for "mom" time.

    Thank you for your sweet comments,

  2. Hey! Just in time. Any chance you would be willing to send me a copy of your schedule so I can make one of my own. Or tell me what program you use to make it? I was hunting yours the other day because I remember it being awesome. Any help you are willing to give is great.

  3. A little off topic. First I wanted to say I love your blog! Second, I was wondering if you made your daughters dresses/shirts and if so, what patterns do you use? If not, where do you buy them? Expect to see me posting more. 😉 I have been an on and off lurker, but with my own blog now I can post your blog on mine and remember to read it regularly. 🙂

  4. "Chaos" and "Gather Brain" have me totally grinning here. 😛

    About the noise – can your hubby sleep with ear plugs? Just a thought…see, up until this week, my cousin has been living in the basement here – and he works a 5 days, 5 nights, 5 off schedule…those 5 nights, he needs to sleep in the day – while we're here. We're not the best at being quiet…so he brought home a bunch of the cute little ear plugs he wears at work and started sleeping with them in his ears. Worked perfectly! 🙂

  5. Thanks, All!

    Julie, I use Microsoft Excel, and just sent you an email. 🙂

    Stacy, I search the web for the clothes. Some are ebay–I have a whole list of the brands I search for that we love, some are from "cottage industries" run by homeschool moms or daughters who sew, some are overstock outlets… Many of the blouses under the jumpers are from, a school uniform supplier of all things. It just depends…. I feel like a merchant ship bringing goods from afar. *laugh*. I do sew an occasional jumper, or every few years a dress, but my sewing is very, very slow and limited. I usually find them elsewhere.

  6. Molytail posted as I was leaving my reply to the comments–absolutely amazing timing!

    He's tried the earplugs, but says they drive him more batty than the noise. Ah well… we may revisit it when we have more children playing even more instruments one day–eeks!

  7. Wow-Kaira does 2 hours of music practice a day!!
    I look forward to the time when if your children continue on their path-they release and album! Haha!
    I will buy one:)
    THankyou for sharing your schedules-its is a blessing to read and learn from different women!

  8. Thanks for the reply =) I'm going to check into that school site. I love the undershirts! ebay is great 🙂 I despretly want to go dress only for both my daughter and myself… but DH said "only if you wear sexy dresses" hummmm hard to find a good compromise.

  9. Hi, Jeaneen! Are you by chance, THE Jeaneen we know?

    I'm not sure about albumns–I have no idea where their interest in music will take them–it may remain just a passtime and beloved hobby. At this point, I'd not rush to contact the recording studio. (Although Keegan is getting pretty good at Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on that piano! *Laugh*)

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