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Date: February 27, 2010

city, culture, and chinese food

Yesterday we ventured into our great city to pay a visit to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This was Aidan’s second visit to Orchestra Hall. We came for a school program on the work of Mozart, an outing organized by CAHFT (Chicago Area Homeschool Field Trips). It was good fun. [singlepic=570,300,300] The Chicago Symphony OrchestraThe conductor did a wonderful job of talking with the kids, and the whole show was made very kid friendly–complete with mimes, humor, and a fun dose of theatrical interest–without in anyway diluting the power of the music. Members of the CSO entertained us with their world-class musicianship but showed us that classical music need not be stuffy, pretentious, or high-brow. Everyone got in on the fun. The conductor explained how Mozart himself was fun-loving man, even though he took his music very seriously. He loved to dance and joke and entertain. He was also a bit of a rebel and made a few enemies along the way. Wolgang Amadeus Mozart began playing music at three years of age, was composing music at five, and was touring Europe at six. Among other pieces during the show, we heard the light and cheerful melody of Serenade in G Major (A Little Night Music), the dark and mysterious sounds of Don Giovanni, and the final movement of Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony 41.

After the concert, we decided to take advantage of being in the city and hopped over to Chinatown. Aidan’s been studying about China lately. We’ve be using a “learning box” approach–or, as Aidan likes to call it, a “fun box.” He decided he wanted to learn more about China, so each day he finds inside a little box we designated as his “fun box” a range of activities, projects, learning challenges, and other tidbits on China. One of the cards in his box read “Take a field trip to Chinatown,” and so, while in the neighborhood, this is what we did. We had lunch, popped into a few of the shops, and just explored the area. I think Aidan was having a good time, but it was getting to be a long day. I’m sure we’ll return again soon. In the meantime, we did snap a few pictures. Take a look.

around the world in four hours

Several months back Aidan started as a Cloverbud with a local homeschool 4H group. And last Sunday was our first fair–the International Fair. The fair consisted of a number of South Suburban 4H groups all presenting their work for the past year on a particular country of each group’s choice. Aidan’s group had chosen Egypt and had completed a great deal of work studying ancient and modern-day life–building pyramids, making sacred scarab pendents, visiting the Field Museum, cooking (and tasting) Egyptian food, etc. Here’s some photos from the day.

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