Rich Kids, Nice Schools

I just recently found out how much many of my kids are paying to go to the schools I teach at. It astounded me, so I wanted a little feedback on what you’ve heard about Montessori, and if it works. So far, I do notice that the kids seem to be brighter and more confident, but I would like a little more proof than that before I shell out the money for my kids someday. Keep in mind, these are PRESCHOOLS.

Here is the most expensive of the schools- Castle Hills Montessori. They have electives in the afternoon, such as Chinese, Spanish, ballet, sports, drama, and of course, piano. It costs around $1100/mo. for an 8-3pm day (not including the extra for afternoon care and/or tuition for electives). They have cameras in every room, and they are projected to at least 10 tvs in the lobby so that visitors can see EXACTLY what happens all day. Here is their website. They also have a virtual tour at the bottom of the page where you can even catch a glimpse of my piano room.

Here is the website for the affiliation that a lot of my Montessori schools belong to called Montessori Unlimited (all of the schools have the exact same layout/floorplan). They only charge $800/mo. tuition for an 8-2pm day. Here is the website.

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Well, you asked for it and here they are! Pictures of our apartment. There were too many to post here, so I put them on a folder on facebook and posted a link.

Click Here

As a bonus, I am including 3 videos of my incredibly adorable piano students! These are just 3 from a school that I teach on Thursday nights- I couldn’t possibly capture every cute moment from all 150 of my students, but I did happen to get these:)

This is two of them singing my “Jack In a Box song”. It teaches them both piano and forte in an easy to remember way:)

This is Grace- she is 3 years old, and already a cheerleader!

Lastly, this is Lydia. She is five years old, and only been taking piano for 6 weeks now!

That’s all for now! Gotta get up and go garage sale-ing with the mommy and sissy tomorrow:)

Thanksgiving

Halloween is over- thank goodness! If you blame me for being relieved, let me tell you that EVERY teacher hates Halloween. In my case, picture tons of rich kids (who are normally on some sort of monitored organic-vegan diet) all coming to school with the WORST hangovers due to flooding their delicate digestive systems with hundreds of pounds of sugar. Yes, it’s a miserable day for everyone. What’s even worse is the week leading up to Halloween where their every thought is hell-bent on being the most selfish one yet, since they have a horrendous case of the “gimmees”.

Okay. But enough about Halloween. I shouldn’t complain, I got the night off and got to go to church on a Wednesday night! Ironically, Halloween was the only night that my schedule would allow it, as all of my kids were out shaking hands with the devil.

Anyways. Around this time of year, my head is always filled with all the good things God is doing for and through me. Perhaps it’s the autumn air, or the fact that I get to pretend I am going to ACTUALLY get around to baking Christmas goodies. But whatever it is, I have not been able to stop thinking about how good life is, and how grateful I should be.

So I will start with what I am most grateful for at the moment- Jesse.

It is amazing what a completely changed person he is now that he is no longer working the grave shift and instead studying what he was meant to. Sure, he stresses out about Greek and about how he hates doing little stuff like paying the bills, but he sticks through it- no matter what. Nearly every night when I get home, he has dinner waiting on the table. He takes care of all the budgeting, bills and paperwork and even does most of the shopping and housecleaning. The past few weekends, his breaks from studying have been filled with doing the mini decorating projects I have lined up for him around the house. For example, when I eventually post pictures of the painted walls in our house, most of it was him (okay, so I got pretty over ambitious and needed a ton of help…)

My personal favorite is that he has taken it upon himself to lead our little family in prayer and singing every night. Some of this is because he was asked to be a reader at our church (they even picked out a robe for him!), but it’s also because I confessed to him that I was having a hard time getting in a prayer routine. So he remembers for me:) Hopefully, I will form enough of a habit that I will be able to do it on my own in the mornings. It’s quite a shameful thing that I have been able to work out at least once a day for the last 8 years but have never formed a prayer routine.

Next up- my job!

I have now been through 3 stages. First, there was the Disneyland dreamworld stage, where not even the bad guys seemed all that real. Then there was the “I HATE WORKING!! I MISS STAYING AT HOME ALL DAY!!” stage, which I knew had to come someday.

I have now adapted well enough to see the truth behind it all- I love what I do!!! I have over 150 piano students, and I love being a part of their lives. Most of the logistical kinks have been worked out, and it is now such a joy. Every day when I walk into the doors of the different Montessori schools, I am bombarded with 50 hugs, and sometimes if I’m lucky, lots of little kisses:) It can be sort of unnerving at times, because kids have no shame and are willing to be completely honest about anything (<real conversation>”Miss Kelly, do all girls get boobies??”–“Yes” ….I lied), but this also means that I know they like me, and that the relationships I have been forming with them are real. I know that I am a huge influence in their lives- what I see is confirmed every time another parent calls Melodie and says, “My kid LOVES his piano class! He comes home singing all the songs…”. Sure I’ve had to go out of my comfort zone and dance and sing. Sure I have seen “C” and “D” so many times that I want to scream. But I know that I am good at what I do and getting better with every lesson that I teach. I especially love the in-home lessons, because I get to know the whole family as well. It’s nice to talk with the moms and have them remember everything going on in my life.

Then there is Bending Oaks High School. I never in a MILLION years dreamed that I would get to teach high school without having to go through the arduous process of getting certified. I always knew that there might be schools out there like North County Christian, but then again, I like getting paid more than minimum wage:) Now I get to make up my own lesson plans, have deep conversations with the kids whenever I feel like it, and even share with them about the Orthodox faith (every Wednesday and Friday they teasingly taunt me with cream cheese on their bagels::).

One of the most exciting aspects about both of these jobs is that I feel my specific gifts are being used in capacities I never dreamed that I had. Among getting a “real world” education from my high school kids about the world of drugs (sometimes they forget I’m there and try to sell things right in front of me!), I am also being bombarded with how much they look up to me and care about what I think. Many of the girls have been confiding their deep secrets and problems with me since I am “almost their age and understand”. I love knowing that they will remember me for more than what I taught about that day.

So there you have it- my two top thanksgivings for the time being. I will have more later, but it’s time for bed. Gotta get up and teach in the morning!

Kelly’s Lost Superpowers

Well, it’s happened. Jesse and I finally decided to skip church on a Sunday. I can’t tell you the last time that happened-probably when I graduated! Jesse usually goes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and although I can rarely join him because of work, we don’t intentionaly skip it, and certainly never on Sundays.

But that was before I got old.

Yes, it has happened. I, Kelly Marie Cone, have lost my superpower ability to survive on little sleep. YES, IT HAS HAPPENED!! For 4 intense years, I was able to get by for months on only 4-5 hrs. of sleep a night. Of course that means I took power naps during the day, that I occasionally fell asleep in my cornflakes, that weekends were a time of sacred sleeping in for 50 hrs. straight. Of course that means that I would kill people on the flag football field, simply due to the fact that I should have been on my fifth dream at 1pm on a Saturday instead of eating grass and mud.

But now, I’M OLD!! For goodness sakes, it’s like the minute one’s 22nd birthday approaches, you can’t operate on anything less than 9 straight hours!! At first, I didn’t quite catch on since sleep is sort of an accidental addendum to my life. But now, I simply have to fall asleep at 10pm in order to even STIR at7am!! This is scary since most of the time I need to be out of the door by 7:30.

Not to mention the napping. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays I have a 2-3 hour lunch break due to scheduling. This would be a great time to take care of my shopping, workout, or even the household chores. But no. I nap. That makes my grand sleep total per day add up to around 11 hours.

And I’m still getting ill from all the exhaustion! So far I’ve had the flu twice, sinus headaches, a cold, and the most recent and ongoing, migraines that threaten to make my eyeballs pop out of my head. This is what has ailed me for the past 72 hrs, and nothing, not even overdosing on every painkiller I can find has helped them. Jesse is worn out from life and caring for his sick wife and crazy cat, so he is taking a much deserved sleeping-in-time.

So there it is. One more has joined the ranks of the aging and the dying. One more spastic teenager has lost the residual effects of her youth and joined the assembly line of Capitalistic America. One more American will be joining her coworkers at Starbucks hourly for her much needed jolt back into reality.