Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Yodeling is good for the soul

The boys and I are doing a series in History class about each country we plan to visit on our big trip, in the order we plan to visit them. We are learning about the history, geography, economics, culture, language, and cuisine. At the end of class, the boys are making a card with the name of the country, the capital city, the continent, and the flag. We are using a variety of Internet resources (like Global Trek by Scholastic, Where in the World? by Fun Kids, National Geographic Kids, and some other random sites with country-specific information), as well as excerpts from the book Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands. We are having a blast and are getting even more excited about our trip.

Today, our focus was Austria, which was super-fun. We got to practice some German words, learn about and listen to Mozart, participate in a yodeling course, watch an excerpt from The Sound of Music, and make apple strudel. All of it was great, but my favorite part was the yodeling. We would listen, and then practice, and then laugh and laugh and laugh. And, suddenly, it hit me: yodeling is good for the soul.

Some days, I feel like nothing more than a task master. "Do this." "Don't do that." All. Day. Long. I love that I get to do school with my kids, but it's certainly not always sunshine and roses. I want it to be fun, but sometimes, it's just not. But, then, every once in a while, we get to insert something like yodeling lessons, and it's just like breathing new life into our little school. I'm thinking we are going to have a new school policy that when things are getting tense or frustrating, or when we're just feeling burned out or task master-y, we're going to open up the yodeling lessons, and reset our day.

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