Tomorrow you'll get to read our review of Diana Waring's Experience History Through Music 3 book and CD set, but TODAY I want you to get to know Diana better. We have been blessed to know Diana Waring (& her husband Bill) for a couple of years, although Diana was one of my mentors long before that! I hope you enjoy learning more about Diana and I really hope you'll come back tomorrow for our review.
Back in 1989, after I had been struggling for about three years with homeschooling (my kids and I were ALL bored!!!), a friend suggested that I attend the state homeschool convention (in Tacoma, WA). . . In those days, the main way to learn more about homeschooling was to attend a convention—oh, how times have changed!!
The problem was I couldn't afford it. My dh was a public school band teacher, we were single income, and there simply wasn't anything extra in the budget. When I voiced that concern, my friend said, "Oh, you should teach a workshop! That way, they pay you $50, give you some mileage to get up to the convention, and you get in FREE!!" Looking at her in amazement, I asked, "What on earth would I teach????"
She pulled out the previous year's convention schedule, with its varied workshops, and handed it to me. Quickly glancing down the list, I noted that the ONLY music workshop was using classical music in the home and that there were NO history workshops. At that moment, an idea was born.
Why not teach American history through its folk music?
That was the start of twenty-five years as a homeschool speaker (yes, the convention wanted my workshop) and as a homeschool writer/ curriculum producer.
I appreciate Diana's love of music, especially since I found the easiest way for our girls to memorize anything when they were little is if it was set to music. Well, they're not little anymore, but they both still love music!
Diana has a life FULL of great stories, and she loves to share them! She has met TWO of the Von Trapp daughters, travelled much of the world, and loves to cook.
How do I know Diana loves to cook? I've been in her kitchen. There is a whole bookcase full of cookbooks. Even in a house full of bookshelves, this one stands out as prominent. Arlene said her favorite cookbook title of Diana's is "There's Pumpkin in That?!" I think Arlene wants to borrow it-LOL!
Diana also loves all sorts of music, and she plays piano for relaxation. Just in case you're wondering what else she plays, here's another snippet straight from Diana:
In chronological order, here are the instruments I play (don't you know a historian would tell it chronologically???):
I learned to play clarinet in 4th grade.
Switched to oboe in 7th grade.
Switched to guitar (which I taught myself to play) in 10th grade, as braces made playing oboe impossible!!
Bought a mountain dulcimer and learned to play it when I was 17.
Learned to play recorder when I was 19. . . played it in the musical, "Godspell."
Took some lessons on piano when I was 20, and kept working at it on my own.
Learned to play banjo when I was 23.
But my real instrument is voice!!! I was a vocal major for a time in college, and have sung in concert choirs, as a worship leader, doing folk song concerts with my kids, and, last year I had the opportunity to sing Beethoven's 9th symphony in Indianapolis!
A couple other things about Diana, she LOVES flowers, and I'm pretty sure she is the only woman I know that loves blue glass more than I do! Diana will not only tell you a tale, she'll offer you the chance to tell your own. She loves to share a cup of tea and chat. Diana has learned the heart of relationships is spending quality time with others, and she encourages families to do things together. That's why the tagline for Diana Waring Presents (their company) is "Education That's Relational"(TM).
Bill and Diana's three children have all followed in their parents footsteps and learned to love music. Besides Diana's obvious love of music, remember that Bill was a band teacher. If you have a chance to see Diana perform - take it! She has spent much time this Spring doing short 'traveling minstrel' style shows up and down the aisles at Homeschool conventions. Bill and Diana love to sing, and if you keep up with them on Facebook, you'll often read snippets or see pictures of them singing with good friends.
Bill and Diana are both gracious and kind. Bill loves a good joke . . . but beware getting him and my husband Kurt together - you're never quite sure what corny things they'll come up with! Diana likes spinning and crocheting. Emily and Arlene enjoy seeing her two spinning wheels, and the plethora of musical instruments they own (& use!) I am pretty sure Diana has more history books than our local library, and of course they're organized by timeline era. Maybe when she eventually retires (Ha! like that's likely to EVER happen...) I'll ask her to come organize our bookshelves!
Diana Waring is a gem. Her books encourage a love of learning, and the release of these three books and CD's will introduce her to a whole new generation of families . . . but more on those tomorrow!