Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hymn Study

Charlotte Mason recommended that children learn hymns. I quite agree with her. I have found that hymns remembered from my childhood often bring me comfort in difficult times. But how to teach these older hymns to my children? We attend a church that worships in a more contemporary style and while I enjoy that, I also want my children to learn older hymns.

Simply Charlotte Mason has a nice list of suggested hymns for a CM style hymn study. They also provide instructions for hymn study:

Select one hymn to sing together until all have learned every stanza. If
possible, sometime during the learning of the hymn, read together its history.
Children may also use the lyrics of the hymn for copywork, dictation, or
Another place for good information and suggestions on hymn study is the Amblesideonline website. They provide a 12 year rotation for hymn study here.

Even with all the great resources for hymn study out there I always struggled with how to make that work in our house. For awhile my children were involved in a Children's Choir at church that would learn at least one fine old hymn every few months. The kids earned points for memorizing the verses. That worked out nicely for us. But then we moved from that Church and the new church didn't do this! So we lapsed from our hymn study to just occasionally learning a hymn.

I'd like to say that I planned out my current method of hymn study, but the truth is I kind of fell into it. My children began taking piano and their teacher is really excellent at what she does. She has the gift of teaching if I have ever seen it. She loves what she does and it shows. She had my children get a hymn book that is part of their piano curriculum and they learn a hymn every week or so. So I decided to start looking up information on the hymn. We talk about the history, the person who wrote it and they learn the tune and usually two verses. Ta-da! Hymn Study! Works for us.

Little Red Riding Hood - Trina Schart Hyman

Trina Schart Hyman is a wonderful illustrator who has provided a very authentic retelling of this story.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

We Remember

For the Birds

Many people just feed and observe birds in the winter, but many experts advise feeding year round to keep the birds coming to your yard. In addition there are different birds that can be seen in the winter and summer so there are new things to see. One of my new favorite companies has a great way to do this.

Terracycle is coming up with great ideas for recycling everyday items into purposeful items for lawns and gardens. I found that not only have they come up with a really great, reusuable bird feeder, but also include a free curriculum to use with your children! So I urge you to check it out and while your there take a look at some of the other great products this innovative company has.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Gift of a Mother

Mother and Child by Jessie Wilcox Smith
courtesy of

I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.

2nd Timothy 1:5

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Click on the eyes to view a larger image that you can read.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Homeschool Hi-Light: Growing Food with Kids

Homeschool Hi-Lights is hosted by Ellen at Fun Learning. Be sure to check out her fantastic Ten Steps to Multiplication Memorization. And be sure to check out all the other Homeschool Hi-Lights posts.

A big highlight of our week last week was finally seeing my daughter's peas poking through the ground! Last year my children started growing small crops in pots and it's so fun for them. It not only teaches them biology it also teachs them responsibility as they must keep the plants watered. I highly recommend letting your kids grow their own food!

A great book I found is called Crops in Pots. Not only does it give you ideas for plants to put together in a pot, it also gives ideas for the type of pot to use and a recipe that utilizes all the things in that pot. I urge you to check it out and grow something with your kids!