Monday, March 8, 2021

Spring: A Time for New Beginnings

 The groundhog was right -- Spring has been late in coming this year. I always look for my snowdrops blooming as a sign of spring.

They usually bloom in February, and here it is the 8th of March and they are just finally thinking about blooming. Yes, the groundhog was right -- a late spring.

So spring is a time of change. We let go of winter and begin to experience a little bit of warmer weather. We go through our clothes and put the warm clothes away, bring out the lighter outfits. (Well, not just yet where I live, but it is supposed to hit 70 tomorrow, anyway...)

For my family, this spring marks a big change. We will move from the only home my son has ever known and relocate south by one state to set up residence in a new home. The lad is away at college and will not see his childhood home again. He will come "home" to a different house (but at least we're telling him where we moved to, right?).

I was going to insert photos of houses, old and new, but my technology is not cooperating so I will have to do that later. Thanks for reading.

Comments welcome for folks who have done relocating. Tell me your stories. The new house is wonderful, but like any house is not perfect. We had hoped for a main level master bedroom, but it was not meant to be.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Menu Monday for 12-3-18

Here is my meal plan for this week. To say I feel like I am in a food-planning rut would be an understatement. Nevertheless, it needs to be done. I am beginning to make some meals that I can save a portion as a freezer meal to take to my daughter when the baby is born. The chili is one of these meals.

Saturday (12/1):  baked chicken thighs, carrots, orzo (this was originally planned for last week got bumped to this week)

Sunday (12/2):  spaghetti, meatballs, salad

Monday (12/3):  tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, potato chips

Tuesday (12/4): Beef stew, salad, rolls

Wednesday (12/5) (AWANA): Lloyd’s barbecue sandwiches, coleslaw

Thursday (12/6): leftovers

Friday (12/7): Date Night – dinner out

Monday, November 26, 2018

Menu Monday for 11-26-18

Here is my menu plan for the week after Thankgiving:

Saturday (11/24):  Turkey tetrazzini over spaghetti noodles, green beans

Sunday (11/25): hot turkey sandwiches with gravy, salad

Monday (11/26):  spaghetti, salad, Texas toast

Tuesday (11/27) (CAP)grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

Wednesday (11/28) (AWANA): baked chicken thighs, rice, broccoli

Thursday (11/29): chili, salad, corn bread

Friday (11/30)Date night -- dinner out

Monday, November 19, 2018

Menu Monday for 11-19-18

Menu Monday for Thanksgiving week:

Saturday (11/17):  leftovers

Sunday (11/18): rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli

Monday (11/19):  grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

Tuesday (11/20)pork chops, noodles, green beans

Wednesday (11/21): ravioli, salad, TX toast

Thursday (11/22)(Thanksgiving): turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, rolls

Friday (11/23)leftovers

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Guitar 360 - A TOS Homeschool Crew Review

In October I learned we had a new vendor opportunity: Guitar 360 Method
Guitar 360 Method

In exchange for our honest review, Crew Members received online access to the Semester 1 Bundle (including 5 weeks of Absolute Beginner bonus content + the 13 weeks of Semester 1), taught by Krisz Simonfali.

Guitar 360 Method

I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 14. Back then the available methods were to either pay for classes or learn from a book. I taught myself chords from books. I became proficient enough to play with another guitar player to lead the music for our school's Young Life Club meetings. So I started with the notion that I am not a beginner.

Nevertheless, I figured I would start with the Absolute Beginner course.

I really expected I would be giving a quick overview of the beginner's course and then be moving on to the 13-week course. I was very wrong. Clearly there is a lot to learn about guitar that I did not learn from a chord book starting at age 14. From Lesson 1, I was scrambling to remember all the new information that was being introduced. 

In Lesson 1, day 1, I learned the names of the parts of the guitar and the strings that are on the guitar. So, I had previously learned high E and low E, but I had never learned the strings in between. I didn't need them to play the chords C, G, A, Em and D, so I didn't bother. Here is the content in Week 1:

Then the instructor began introducing chords. I immediately learned that my fingernails were too long. They grow fast, and I have had to cut and file constantly during this review!

Not one chord that has been introduced so far is a chord I already knew (or that I hadn't forgotten)! So... I'm not even done with the introductory course for Absolute Beginners, but I couldn't finish! There was so much to learn! (In the photos below I would tell you what the chords are if I could, but I'm still struggling to remember how to play them, let alone which chord each one is.)
The first chord was introduced in Week 2:

The rest of the chords, progression, strumming, etc. for the song were introduced in Week 3, as well as how the chords all go together with someone singing the song:
After learning many chords which are played up and down the neck of the guitar, on frets up to frets 7 to 9, a song was introduced using all the chords. I wanted to finish Practice levels 2 and 3, but I wanted to be able to do the song well, and I just don't have it yet. There are strumming techniques that have been introduced that I just don't have down yet, and chords that I just can't play (and make sound good) yet.

Don't let me scare you away -- I am actually just trying to say, "Don't dismiss this "Beginner" course. It is not just for beginners! Check it out!"

The course is taught on an acoustic guitar. I only have a classical guitar, so that is what I had to use. I suspect that some of the problems I am having with some of the chords may be because of the guitar I am using. I think the neck is wider. I envy the instructor for his long fingers -- he makes things look easy, but I struggle to do the same chords with my shorter fingers and just... can't... make them sound right! It may, however, just be that I need more practice. This brings me to the beauty of a self-paced video course. 1) I can go at my own pace. 2) I can repeat the video as many times as I want, playing along with the video. This differs from paying an instructor for in-person lessons once or twice a week. When you walk away, if you aren't able to remember what was covered it is difficult to practice until the next lesson. You might be practicing something incorrectly, cementing improper information into the brain and improper chord holds into muscle memory. With video lessons you can repeat and repeat and repeat until you completely grasp it and are ready to move on.

To recap, this Semester 1 Bundle comes with the 3-Week Absolute Beginner Bonus Content, the 13-week Semester 1 course, and Bonus Songs Lessons 1 & 2. The beginner course teaches parts of the guitar, strings on the guitar, tuning, a series of fret chords that are used in a song that is taught, strumming techniques and some picking.

The Semester 1 course covers:
  • Fundamental chord shapes;
  • A textural 16th note approach to strumming;
  • Basic Chord Vocabulary;
  • Sharps, Flats, Chord names
  • Finding all A's, B's and E's on the guitar
  • Solfege
  • The Major scale
  • The Minor scale
  • Minor Pentatonic scale
This is in just the first five weeks, and there is so much there that I am not listing! This course is so amazing! I am really looking forward to going through it. There is so much I have yet to learn! I'm going to continue working on this program, because I hope to impress my son when he comes back from college for his winter break. Or, if he is not impressed yet in December, when he comes back from college after his spring semester I am hoping he will be so impressed that he will also go through the course! He also taught himself to play guitar, as I did, but with the advantage of learning from YouTube videos. His playing is so much more advanced than mine, but I still think there is a lot he could learn from this course!

The folks at Guitar 360 Method want my readers to know that they are offering a 20% discount on this course to my readers during this Product Review campaign with the Homeschool Review Crew. To get the discount, go to Guitar 360 Method, click on "Purchase the Course", and in the checkout process enter the HOMESCHOOL20 Coupon Code. The regular price is $149, which includes the 3-week Beginners' Course, Semester 1 (13 weeks long), and the 2 Bonus Song mini-courses. With the Coupon Code, their investment will be only $119.20 for 10+ hours of video content!

Other members of The Old Schoolhouse Homschool Review Crew also reviewed this product. To read more reviews and get other perspectives, please click the link button below to go to the page where all the linkies are listed.
Guitar Lessons with Krisz Simonfalvi {Guitar 360 Method Reviews}