MACHS Homeschool Conference 2011- Keynote Speaker Andrew Pudewa

Homeschool Conference 2011

What an amazing experience! This weekend I was able to attend our local Christian homeschooling group, MACHS, homeschooling conference. It was held for two days at Calvary Temple in Winnipeg.

I have to say this conference was AMAZING. Much to my excitement the keynote speaker was Andrew Pudewa, the director of the Institute for Excellence in Writing. While this was very impression, what really got our attending was the fact he was trained under both Suzuki and Doman. He actually worked with my hero Glenn Doman(author of the book “What To Do About Your Brain-injured Child“) at The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential.

Another early learning mom, who happens to be a good friend of mine, and I had the opportunity to talk to him after lunch.

Ok ok… We may have formed an attack to corner the poor man to try and pick his brains. He was busy looking for his missing cufflink, so we took this opportunity that he was in one area to speak with him.  As brief as it was, he was able to tell us about some interesting things.

– According to him, the IAHP is not open to new research. They have the mentality, if they didn’t come up with it they are not interested in it. After hearing this, I also heard something similar from somewhere else. This is really sad to hear and I hope it is not true because there is still so much to learn about the human brain. By limiting their interest in other studies they will eventually become dated.

– We talked about EK flashcards. He went on to tell us how the connections are made. Basically if you never saw anything you wouldn’t think about anything. By showing EK bits you are providing your child the chance to think about something, there for making connections in the brain.

– He also told us about another person that he use to work with at the IAHP that left the institute and opened his own clinic the Family Hope Center. I’m under the impression the founder of the Family Hope Center was fed up the IAHP would not consider new research on Brain Injured children. Another thing that seemed to bother them was the fact that the people who are now in charge of the IAHP are Scientology and as a devout Christian he did not agree with the way it was run. So I spent some time on their website and decided to place a call. They were already closed for the day so I left a message. I’m interested to see what this place is about.

We then spent time listening to the keynote speaker sessions, wondered around the 3 exhibit halls and ate lunch. I managed to control my spending habits. I bought Wesley a new bow for his birthday, 2 workbooks and and parents guide. I loved there was so much about Suzuki music this time around. I’m not sure if they will be able to beat it next year.

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Suzuki Update. Bow-Nut Donuts to the rescue!!

Wesley LOVES his Suzuki Violin lessons. He tends to do better at home then the actual lessons. His lessons are at 10:30am on Saturdays and this early in the morning he tends to be hyper. So the first 10mins is showing the teacher what we have been working on all week. She then spends the next 10mins telling us how to improve or take it to the next step. 5mins practicing, and then the last 5mins is her talking about what we should work on this week and maybe a game of Simon Says as a reward(using some violin exercises)
Turns out his violin IS a touch to big for him as someone pointed out to us, we are having issues right now with him holding the violin with just his cheek. He told his teacher on Saturday that she was “choking” him. However she said that it is only a touch to big and one growth spurt and it will fit perfect. One thing that will help him though is making sure he stretches his arm out properly. He tends to tuck it in too much.
Wonderful news! He FINALLY has learned how to hold his bow properly. We were having so much trouble because he was holding his bow too tight. We would place his hands properly and he would start doing his exercises and they would just slip into a tight grip hold. But now he can hold it properly and move his bow around while still keeping a good hold.
All of this happened in a one weeks time practicing using “Bow-Nut Donuts”. I saw them online and told his teacher. She had never used them but had seen them too. She said lets give it a try so I placed an order. By him knowing where to place his pinkie, the rest of the hold just improved 10 folds. in a few weeks I will remove the Bow-Nut so he doesn’t rely on it. So far I have nothing but positive things to say about this simple but effective product.

Our first Suzuki Music Lesson

Well…. Wesley had his first violin lesson this morning. In my option it when ready well. He was only a little shy with her, but not to the point where he was hiding on me. We spent the 30mins session, just learning how to hold our bow and violin. She also toned his violin for him. I noticed she was doing it by ear and I asked her if she had perfect pitch and it turns out she does. This wonderful because I would really like Wesley to learn perfect pitch.
She gave is some exercised to do. We have to practice moving our fingers individually, practice our bunny finger hold on the bow, and practice holding our violin with the giraffe stretch. She also taught me how to rosin our bow. Which I did as soon as I got home because I know life will get in the way if I didn’t do it right away.This was a pain at first because our rosin that came with the violin just didn’t seem to work, the hair was not turning white. Just as I was about to give up, I guess I worked it enough and it started to coat the hairs on the bow.
She said the violin we purchased is perfect, and makes great sound. The bow that came with it is less then perfect. However she said we would use it for now till he gets use to holding it. I’m going to contact the company I bought it from to see if they will replace it for us. If not I priced one out at our local music store where I bought him Suzuki book and shoulder rest today and they are only $28.
Anyhow all is well and Wesley even waited to practice in the car. I’m planning on having a practice session before evening story time. Lets hope this is still fun for him in a few weeks.

Our Violin arrived

Well my son was in his glory yesterday. I got an email that from UPS saying that our violin had been delivered. I started thinking, “What?” Then I looked and they delivered it to our old address. So called the new people that live there up and the husband was just walking in the door and he said “No I don’t think so.” Then I heard the wife say “No something DID come in for them, I was going to tell you to call them when you got home.” So we drove there and picked it up.
We got in the car and Wesley wanted to open it right away. When I opened the case he said “Can, Can, Can I please hold it!!!”
Now I was really worried. I bought this 1/8 violin on ebay and with shipping the total cost was $65. Yes that’s what I said $65. So needless to say I was concerned about quality. So I took it to the local music store and the guy looked it over. Besides the fact that one of the strings is slightly kinked(this may have been when I was installing the bridge*blush*) it looks to be an excellent violin. He told me not to replace the string until my son gets use to handling the violin.
On the way home we had to stop at Superstore and my son wanted to take his violin in with him. The case was sitting on his lap and he DID NOT want to leave it. LOL. I convinced him it might get broken, so he left it.
When we got home he ran upstairs and told my hubby and step-daughter “Look What I Found!!” Then he told my hubby to “Be careful not to break it.” When he was looking at it.

So I’m hoping this excitement will continue after we start his Suzuki lessons on Saturday

Red Suzuki violin

Well it’s official! Wesley is starting Suzuki violin lessons in two weeks! We will only be doing the private part of the lessons, because a) the group lessons would be an additional cost I’m not sure I could afford right now. b) Wes doesn’t do will in large group classes c) the time slot is not convenient for us. Maybe we will reconsider for next year but for now once a week us a good start. 
This afternoon Wesley and I shopped for his new violin. He picked on a metallic red 1/8 violin. I was surprised on the color selection because his favorite colors are yellow and blue, but we talked about it and that’s what he wanted. He showed the picture of it to my dad and said “Isn’t it beautiful! Now I get a French horn” LOL! What a kid.