The Great Summer Music Challenge

Well, it’s been a while. I took a blogging break as we welcomed our baby boy to the family. Which means so many wonderful and amazing things for our family and for me as a mother, but in the small world of this blog, it means: we need a new subtitle. It’s still pretty different for me to think we are not just in a world of daughters. Things are going to keep on changing around here, and while I have so enjoyed the last seven years of being a mother to daughters and loved living in a world of no-boys-allowed tea parties and fashion shows, I am so thrilled to see what the next years bring as we add some more blue into our home.

Now that we are all settled in to being a family of six, I’m slowly, slowly getting back in the swing of things, which is why I’m sitting here typing, coffee in hand (coffee with soy milk in it, by the way, thanks to baby, but the sacrifice is well worth it of course. Of course.)

So, it’s summer! Which for our homeschooling family doesn’t exactly mean we are on a total school break, because, ya know, we like to keep things moving year around, so that when things pop up during the regular school break, we can afford to take days off when we choose and still get in our 180 full days of school. (I always laugh about that 180 days of school requirement that many states have, because really, aren’t our kiddos learning something and growing into themselves everyday?) Nevertheless, it is summer, so we go a little slower, a little different, we drop of few things, and we add in so much more creativity, flexibility, and fun.

What’s on our family’s agenda this summer is a team building, music mastering challenge. Let me know what you think. I should add a poll on here (if only I knew how…remember technology is not something I am generally comfortable around…) to see how many people think we can actually pull this thing off. I’m not really sure that we will, but I am sure about one thing: I am not going to cut slack here on this challenge. We are sticking to the plan. And if we are successful, then, wow, what a lesson about the importance and reward of hard work and dedication, but if we aren’t successful, then, wow, what a solid lesson on the importance and reward of hard work and dedication.

Okay, here’s our plan (this is a copy, with a few changes to names, of the poster hanging up in our home):


Everyday we are home (for at least two hours, not including bedtime and meal times…music mastering can’t be rushed, right?), we shall complete the amount of time below of concentrated music practice. Minutes of laziness and whining do not count…that includes Mama and Daddy, too! 🙂

Mama Bear: piano practice 30 minutes per day
violin practice 30 minutes per day

Papa Bear: 1 hour and 15 minutes of guitar practice per day

Sister Bear: 20 minutes violin practice per day
14 minutes piano practice per day

Girly Bear: 20 minutes violin practice per day
10 minutes piano practice per day UNTIL her summer birthday, 

                     then she goes up to 12 minutes of piano practice per day

Little Bit Bear: unlimited singing of “Let it Go” and all things Frozen to be completed, along with concerts on her American Girl doll’s violin

Baby Brother Bear: daily vocal warm-ups

In June, July, and August, each day the family is ALL home and this is not completed results in one STRIKE. Three strikes and we are OUT, as in OUT of our family fun reward day after August 31st, which is:

Breakfast at our favorite coffee and tea shop, rock skipping and duck feeding at a pond, followed by a lunch picnic, go to a store to pick up a NEW movie we all agree on and popcorn, then back home for snack dinner made by all girls under the age of 8 (yep, they get to make dinner by themselves!), kids get a bath with too many bubbles, followed by family movie and popcorn night and staying up after bedtime. Woah.

Remember, three isn’t a lot, and three strikes and we are OUT. Let’s stay in this challenge. Did I mention the girls get to make dinner?…

Sickness Clause: Parent or Doctor confirmed illness does not excuse time, BUT can change the rules a bit: in the case of an ill musician, a family member or family members may take on the patient’s practice time until the illness passes. No minutes may be lost on a given day. We’re serious about this challenge…

MARK ANY STRIKES BELOW WITH X’s (Remember any Summer break day, JUNE-AUGUST, on which we are all home, is required to be counted towards the challenge).


Let’s see how this goes.