Thursday, January 16, 2014

Day Sixteen: Music In Your Homeschool

I watch my husband slide onto the piano bench and while he's only chording "Heart and Soul", I just know he'll be joined within seconds. As he pounds out the first notes, Emily comes bounding up the stairs and slides in beside him, Meghan scurries in from the kitchen and Molly slips out of her room too. Not a minute later, Oliver is looking for a spot to fit along the keyboard. Terry has taught them all various parts so this song can be a family affair. I jump in too once in awhile, but I love to stand back and listen. They laugh and make harmony together and I smile because all is well in our home when music fills the air.
It helps that my husband and I have been involved in choirs since our youth, but I don't think that's a prerequisite for loving music. Enriching your children this way does not necessarily mean paying for instrument lessons or joining a choir. It can simply be an educational tool for almost any subject. Music opens up a whole new world to those auditory learners I wrote about yesterday, or anyone else who loves to sing their lessons.
Memorization is a huge factor in certain subjects and music has helped my children so much. For example, multiplication tables and skip-counting songs can be found here. There are several learning songs on YouTube for you to check out, but I'll share  favourites that we own. Scripture memorization CDs can be purchased here (although, we have friends who prefer something more modern). We love the upbeat, rap-style songs for science here. They also have fitness, grammar and other songs too. When my first daughter was quite little, I purchased Geography Songs and within a few weeks of only playing it in the car, she had nearly half the countries of the world memorized--and so did I.  This one, I have to admit, becomes a smidgen annoying but let me tell you, it's worth it! We feel so smart :)
Besides educational music, worship and contemporary Christian music are most often floating through our home. A few of our favourites include, Casting Crowns, Third Day, Kari Jobe, Jeremy Camp, Rend Collective Experiment, David Crowder Band, Sara Groves, Skillet (yes, seriously), Meredith Andrews, Natalie Grant, John Waller, Addison Road, and Hillsong. We also listen to some non-Christian music, as long as it's not overtly immoral. If the music is neutral (for example, a song about loving life or seeing the world, etc.) but the artist is not a great example for our kids, we don't want to support their lifestyle.
Oliver likes to make-up little diddies and Daddy added his own notes  :)
Writing music is a love for a couple of my kiddos. They aren't quite composing in such a way one could necessarily read their notes, but they know what those scratches on the grand staff mean :)  The tune and the words are usually catchy and we may be heard humming or singing a song written by one of our children. I believe our encouragement in this area will pay dividends in their ability to play or sing skillfully as they grow. We can't wait to see how God will use them with the gift of music in the future!

Whether educational or simply for appreciation, let your children explore musically and perhaps they'll surprise you. God breathed music into us and He infuses us with joy when it honours Him!


Hildy said...

Heather, I'm very much enjoying your posts. I can't wait to get to the ones I've missed. You have inspired me to do something similar because I'm sure that as you flesh out your journey you have been able to see God's hand more clearly in the life of your family. Keep at it, sister! Be blessed as you bless.

Heather said...

Thanks, Hildy. YOU bless ME!