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About Harpymom

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  1. I'm a lurker here, never a poster, but today I'm stressing about having an abdominal/pelvic CT scan this morning to figure out blood in my urine. Urg. Then moving 2 harps in son's car because the harpmobile is asleep in the yard. Lecture/concert by DD late in the day. Fretting.
  2. Yes, DD 14 had them - horrible! She had them once a month for the year she was 12, basically instead of getting her real period. She would spend about 20 hours crouched on the floor, writhing and moaning at intervals - it really reminded me of labor. She would throw up 6 or more times and we would have to cancel all activities. She would then be just fine the next day. I took her to the FNP to see if it was appendix related, but got no diagnosis of anything. Finally she had the whopper one where she threw up so much we had to take her to the ER. They gave her a bag of fluids, did an abdominal ultrasound to check for...everything...gall bladder, cysts, etc, then were talking about a CT scan when by chance our family doctor ambled in and said, gee, this looks like a tummy migraine. Huh? So they gave her a suppository that ended the nausea (and a prescription for more in case of repeat) then home. I then took her to a DO and a homeopath, after which she immediately began having normal periods and no other tummy migraines. I'd never heard of these, but after the diagnosis other women started telling me they had also had them. Migraines definitely run in my family.
  3. DD22 finally received her "official" acceptance to Haute Ecole de Musique de Geneve. She'll get a Master of Music in Specialized Performance: Historic Harp Why: An amazing dream teacher How: Fulbright Scholarship, Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship
  4. Thank you all for these kind words. It's not really sinking in yet, though her papa did dig out his passport to check how long it's been expired.
  5. DD22 has received a Fulbright for a Masters program in Geneva, Switzerland in historic harp. She's been waiting and waiting to hear with the other semi-finalists and received the email tonight. She's so excited! She will study harps and repertoire from the years 800 - 1700, focused on the arpa doppia which is the Italian triple-strung harp. I'm truly grateful this night. And yes, we did look up if homeschooling is legal in Switzerland before she submitted her application last fall.
  6. 4th and last 9th grader. DD14 is a fiery, motivated learner who breathes drama into every subject. I think I've finally figured out her complex learning style. The Devil Makes Work For Idle Hands is our guiding rule for this one, same as her oldest brother. Pile on work and activities, allow plenty of downtime for recharge but with knitting needles or spinning wheel so the hands are literally never idle! Very similar to oldest DS, with the difference that 25 years ago, there was no internet for homeschoolers. Remember the Timberdoodle paper catalogue? I don't have a smartphone, I'm not on social media, but I am grateful for the resources available now. 9th grade so far: English - continuing her 8th grade experience with an amazing mentor who worked with my third child. He is a retired PhD English teacher who worked at independent high schools throughout his career. His way involves close reading, Socratic method, excellent writing guidance and an incredible list of classic and new Great Books. Math - geometry with Mr. D. She adores Mr. H as this year's algebra teacher so will continue with him. She has completely changed her tune from math-rage to math-competency - I am deeply grateful for this program! Science - taking the plunge and will sign up for Athena's biology. Thanks to all the lists here I was able to research, especially Lori D. Fingers crossed. World History - this is a bit different. We're going to use the History of the World in 100 Objects by the British Museum director Neil MacGregor. It's not a text but rather a beautiful compendium of 100 era-defining objects with intelligent curation. We'll go through and select multiple geographic areas and different types of objects, then build a visual and verbal timeline of essays with further research into the ideas and eras. Foreign Language - continue with German, Duolingo or something new, haven't decided. Art - glass blowing apprenticeship with local glassblowers. Carschooling the drive there. More science - 3 hours/week doing water quality testing and phytoplankton ID with local marine bio lab. Shakespeare - continue with the same group, even though now the others will all be in school. (This is a tragedy waiting to unfold that I experienced with my older kids and now I know what's in store for this one.) ECs - show choir, theater at local public high school. Dance at...? Her favorite dance teacher is moving 3 hours away. More photography with "extra kid" graduated homeschooler. Spinning, knitting, drawing, hiking, swimming, and metabolizing the hormones.
  7. Thank you. This list is easier to navigate than the one specifically for biology on the high school page, though I appreciate the work that went into both!
  8. Last year I helped one of my "honorary" kids apply to colleges; he ended up at Green Mountain College. Now that GMC is closing, he is having to make some new choices but I haven't heard yet. I'm sorry that GMC is closing - 185 years is a long time. I've been doing college visits with another honorary - this time the older daughter of a homeschooling friend who died when her two girls were 9 and 11. Now the older one is a junior at public high school, and we've looked at Bates, Colby, Wheaton, and Boston College, and will travel to Bard and Oberlin next month. We both loved Wheaton - small and friendly, great energy. I'm so grateful to be able to take this young woman on these visits and talk about her future plans. She loves history and will probably major in it. I sometimes imagine myself as a reflecting mirror, trying to beam images of her to her mom in heaven.
  9. Edited to be grateful I'm still able to enjoy this journey with my youngest. My fourth and last has been doing the Groovy Kids Online "Sparkers" course and Mr. D Algebra 1 with Mr. H for the teacher. She LOVES these classes! Blessings to Mr. H for turning my math-tears-and-rage-filled 7th grader into an 8th grader who say she loves math and does quite well in the class. Amazing. Groovy Kids is just as great as it was for her last term (The Disappearing Spoon class.) She loves the Sparkers book, the discussions, the learning brought to life. My favorite element of these classes is how truly interdisciplinary they are. One nice feature of the two above classes is that they are both synchronous - at least she sees the faces of other still-homeschooled kids out there! I'm looking for a synchronous, on-line high school bio class for next year and it looks like WTMA is the only secular one - any other suggestions appreciated.
  10. I'm sorry to quote, but does "100% music" mean a performance degree? I was repeatedly told at my daughter's conservatory auditions that auditions count for about 80% of admission, academics for 20%. They also want to see attendance at intensive summer music festivals during the high school years, which he's already been doing. It doesn't have to be basket weaving, but it sounds like he has the academic bases covered. Prioritizing practice time is my best advice. My best to you and him!
  11. My oldest was a chemical engineering undergrad at WPI - currently in a nuclear engineering master's program sponsored by his job. He was homeschooled all the way through high school and found WPI to be a great fit for his learning style - hands-on, project-based - but also great for professional work after in the sense that engineers at his job tend to work on projects in small groups, which is what they've been trained to do at WPI. He graduated in the height of the post-recession hiring slump but had a job offer before graduation, which I agree with Dotwithaperiod is something the school does well. He liked Cornell and Bucknell, but instantly clicked at WPI, possibly a function of having grown up in a small New England town. He avoided RPI because he didn't like Troy but ended up living and working in nearby Albany, ironically. One unusual feature of WPI which my son loved but others may not is the academic calendar. They do every class every day for 7 weeks then a week break and a new semester. If you get behind it's a problem, but if you stay up on the work it's more like the real world into which you'll be hired.
  12. I have two currently at Oberlin, both homeschooled all the way through high school. DD22 is a senior in the Con. There is a tenor who practices in a room close to her practice room, and I get to enjoy hearing him practice when we talk on the phone! She speaks in awe of the double degree kids, many of whom become that after a year or two in the Con. DS19 is a sophomore in the College, and everything you describe for your transcript is exactly what we did for his. He included course descriptions, a book list, an English paper, a chemistry lab report, and photos of his watercolor paintings in the arts supplement. He had two grades from a local LAC and a couple of art classes at the high school. Best of luck to him, it is indeed a special place.
  13. Finally found my way back after the change during which time my ancient computer had decided this site was unfit to load... My honorary DS19 will be going to Green Mountain College in VT. Closer to home than Warren Wilson, excited about the soccer coach and team. FA unknown to me, but his "real" parents have picked up the thread and I have to assume will make it work for him. He wants to do the Outdoor/Adventure Education track, which will allow him to give forward to kids who can use what helped him. So happy for him!
  14. Are auditions held in the middle of the week? I have only heard of auditions being on weekends, which was my dd's experience. It's difficult for me to imagine how much harder it would be for kids in school to schedule sample lessons and travel time, let alone the right amount of practice time while maintaining a functional school presence! Grateful to homeschool... How do you ask how much they charge for a lesson? She always asked in the first contact what was the fee for a sample lesson, and always paid one. The teacher with whom she now studies has a busy performance schedule and so offered sample lessons only on certain days of the year, and never at the school where dd now goes but at her other university studio where dd had no interest in going. and he just announced that he is leaving his position at the end of this year AND not going elsewhere (he's changed careers entirely). I'm so sorry - that's rough. Hopefully he can give your dd his best suggestion for the best fit teacher - it seems like the music world is pretty small and well-connected to each other. Did you usually set up these class sit-ins through the auditioning/professor or through admissions? Always through the conservatory admissions office - but she only sat in on music-related classes, so would've set up gen-ed classes through the college admissions side. Some stand-alone conservatories offer gen-ed classes through nearby universities, so you'd probably have to ask through those other admissions offices. Music is ridiculously expensive to study through the high school years at this level - instruments, travel, lessons, summer festivals. Getting her into college with solid scholarships and away from our household budget was definitely a net gain financially! Which sounds crazy, but isn't. Best of luck, break a leg, and blessings to your young people. When people roll their eyes and ask how will she support herself as a musician/why did you let her go to college for music I say two things: it's who she is and she can't not do it, and that music is more important than ever in this conflict-filled world.
  15. My dd is a performance major at conservatory. She did all of the things you ask about over the course of junior and senior year. Junior year, she visited multiple conservatories and did the following: asked for and took a sample lesson ($100 - 200.00) to feel out the "fit" with the teacher, sat in on a theory class, did the typical college tour and info session, went to a concert and a masterclass if one was happening at the time, and actively approached current students in the studio to ask questions and to get the feel of the fit of the studio. The sample lessons were great to both feel out the teacher and also to help her focus on the practice schedule for auditions - she knew more of what they were looking for. She also found that meeting the teachers was really inspiring and helped her push herself through the exhausting preparation for auditions. The conversations with current students were super helpful both in terms of imagining herself at each school, and also for actual tips about auditioning for the particular teacher. These were not set up by the department or teacher during the visit, but happened quite randomly at the coffee shop and in the hall. She's really shy and surprised herself by reaching out - maybe being out of her usual comfort zone made it somehow easier. When it came time for auditions the following year, she felt more prepared because she had met the teacher and knew the school. I think the teachers may have remembered her from taking the sample lesson. During audition season, the schools all had conservatory-specific info sessions and we also went to a few cheese-and-crackers events with current students, set up by some of the schools with the purpose of prospies asking questions. You tend to see the same students and parents at every school as auditions are staggered over several weeks, with the parents carrying audition clothes and coats and snacks and tea. She was never cut off during auditions, though told not to "repeat" during certain pieces. This may be instrument-specific though, I also heard other parents say their kids had been stopped. Some of the more popular instruments have pre-screening requirements, which means they won't be asked to audition unless they pass the pre-screen. I believe voice, piano, flute, and cello are some of the ones with pre-screening. Like you, I had an older student who lived in a totally different academic world and so had to figure it all out anew. Auditions were a sweet season of our lives together, despite the stress. I learned the tricks of how to support her - hot mugs of tea to keep her hands warm, bringing every bit of clothing and gear you might possibly need, double checking the music/tuner/tuning key, and of course keeping a steady stream of calming jokes at the ready. Depending on your child's instrument, you have to think about where she can practice - in a hotel room? On campus in a practice room? In the car? A big question on the East Coast is fly or drive to auditions? Auditions are always in the dead of winter, and they almost never re-schedule, so if you fly and your flight is cancelled you are out of luck. If you drive and the road gets closed for lake effect snow, you are out of luck. If you arrive after a white-knuckle car ride and your child is tired and flustered, she needs to have that inner reserve of groundedness to power through. My daughter's year happened to be a year of enormous snow storms, so we drove to several schools and hauled her massive concert grand harp over snowbanks. We flew to one so she couldn't have her own harp, and then got stuck at the airport on the way home due to another storm. No practicing for three days but we played lots of rummy and I read her the Odyssey (which was weirdly appropriate.) The waiting for financial aid and merit scholarships is hard, especially if your dd is looking at schools in Canada. Some conservatories are need-blind and some are need-aware, same as liberal arts colleges. Auditions count for the majority of the admissions process to conservatory, but obviously not to the college side of the double degree programs. I don't have any info as to merit scholarships for double-degree, hopefully others here know more about the double-degree option. I do know that each year students at her conservatory apply to become double-degree after being there a few years, rather than starting out that way.
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