We have back-to-back Suzuki Institutes this month.
The Harpist just attended the oldest and largest Suzuki Institute in the Americas. There were students from 32 states and 6 foreign countries! She had the cutest little girl in her class who came all the way from London.
For one whole week I had the gift of giving one chatterbox child my undivided attention. We slept in a dorm room together, ate in the student cafeteria together, walked campus together, and practiced harp together. One ear fell off in the process but it was totally worth it ; )
This week I am downtown with The Pianist at the MacPhail Institute. This is a day camp so I can eat dinner with my family and sleep in my own bed. Now that she is over 12 I don't have to attend all the classes with her so I can sneak off and catch up on my blog and go across the river to noon Mass. I might even rent one of those green bikes.
ASI was our first out-of-state institute. I could never figure out the logistics of taking my kids before this year. Now that I have older kids and a work-at-home husband, leaving home for a week with one child is suddenly possible. This camp runs two sessions, two consecutive weeks, so next year I may take two kids one week and two the next. We'll make up for lost time!
I did take some videos of the performances. They are so easy to share on FB I put them there. Friend me if you want to hear a slice of heaven - 12 harps on stage! (I'm Tracy Fallaschek Dunne over there)
She had three harp classes each day as well as enrichment classes like Dalcroze and juggling. I was re-inspired by the parent classes to be a better Suzuki parent. I finally read To Learn with Love and came home with pages of notes from the book and the classes.
"A lot of the Suzuki method is the mom learning how to fight about practicing without making the kid hate music." - Penelope Trunk
Yeah, that's about the size of it.
Actually, I can't say enough good things about the Suzuki method. The nurturing "Every Child Can" approach, brilliant teachers, strong foundations, and top-shelf music, all work toward the main goal of forming sensitive, beautiful hearts. I have learned heaps about homeschooling and dealing with my kids simply from observing Suzuki-trained teachers work with them.
If I could give one piece of advice to new homeschooling mamas I think it would be to enroll in a Suzuki program and promote peace in your relationship.