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Hymn Study for Homeschool
Words of Faith Wrapped in Music
Aren't hymns old fashioned and out of style? Why study them? Even if you prefer to sing modern praise choruses, your faith will be strengthened by studying the words of the hymns. Many of them are rich in theology and Biblical truth. And they remain a part of our Christian heritage. What a shame to lose that history through neglect.
These two articles offer excellent defenses for singing and studying the traditional hymns of our faith:
A Charlotte Mason education includes many traditional studies such as Shakespeare, poetry, nature, composers, artists, and hymns. In fact, studying the great hymns of the Christian faith is a rich cross-curricular pursuit. A single hymn provides tangents of study in fields of history, language arts, Bible, theology, and poetry. You could legitimately create an entire unit study out of a single hymn! Or you could keep it simple, as Miss Mason suggested, and study one hymn per month.
What is Hymn Study?
Like anything in homeschool, hymn study is versatile. There is no one right way to do it. Pick and choose from these possible activities.
1. Learn the song -- its words, its meanings, and its tune.
- Listen to the hymn on a CD or online.
- If you play an instrument, you can use the sheet music or a hymnal to play it.
- If there is new vocabulary, you can look up the words, using your dictionary skills.
Where to get Hymns Online
2. From there you can branch out to the theology and the history in the song.
Free Online Hymn Study Plans - Helps for Choosing Hymns to Study
No matter your age, from young to old, everyone can learn from and enjoy hymn study. The key is choosing appropriate hymns.
Use these lists and study plans to help you choose the best hymns to suit your family and your academic or spiritual goals.
- Ambleside Online Hymn Rotation Schedule
A twelve-year rotation of suggested hymns to learn, with one hymn per month.
- Simply Charlotte Mason
Another 12 year rotation with six hymns per year.
- Center for Church Music: Songs & Hymns
Each week there is a featured hymn that includes two listening options (real audio & MP3), lyrics, sheet music, facts about the song, background information, and even a devotional.
- Hymns Every Child Should Know: A Selection Of The Best Hymns Of All Nations by Dolores Bacon
This book is in the public domain (for those accessing Google books in the USA). Look at Dolores Bacon's selections as a guide to planning your own hymn study schedule.
- Hymn Treasures
This is a retail site selling curriculum for childrenÂ¹s music ministry. The nine sets of hymns, from preschool through sixth grade, are listed on the website. Use the lists to select some age appropriate hymns for your homeschool.
Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Vol. 1
The official website of Hymns for a Kid's Heart offers free downloads of sheet music and MP3 audio files of all the songs used in each of the four books of the series.
Each CD and book set with twelve songs provides all you need for a year's worth of hymn study, selecting one song per month. These gorgeously illustrated books are a practical choice for hymn study for young children or for those just starting out because everything is planned out for you and is on a child's level. These are the books we started with.
Each hymn is presented in parts. First a short (2 page) narrative introduces the author of the hymn's lyrics. Next Joni Eareckson Tada shares a one page devotional related to the theme of the hymn. The words of the hymn, complete with the music span the next two pages which end with a Bible verse and a prayer.
Songs are all classic hymns:
1. Holy, Holy, Holy!
2. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
3. This Is My Father's World
4. O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
5. How Firm a Foundation
6. Amazing Grace!
7. The Lord's My Shepherd, I'll Not Want
8. Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart
9. Take My Life, and Let It Be
10. America the Beautiful
11. Our God, Our Help in Ages Past
12. Eternal Father, Strong to Save
The CD does have a "children's" feel to it. The singers are children, but in some songs the children's choir is backup to an adult singer.
The Full Hymns for a Kid's Heart Series
Read a review of this book and CD set by Brenda at Heart of the Matter
Hymn History Resources - Stories Behind the Hymns
For older elementary and up, you will want a meatier approach to hymn study. These are good choices for learning the stories behind the hymns -- the history, the writers, and the circumstances that brought about the classic songs we now sing.
Read a review of this book written by Karen Andreola.
Hymns as Copywork, Dictation, and Memorization - Hymn Study Printables
Hymn study works well with Bible notebooking. Here are printables to help you with notebooking the hymns that you study.
- FREE --Hymn Notebooking
Here you will find a very attractive set of pages in a free PDF at Albright News.
- FREE --Hymn Study Notebooking Pages
This is a twenty-seven page set of notebooking pages I created. Besides blank copywork pages, there are pages for vocabulary you find in hymns, Bible verses you find in hymns, and the meaning and etymology of the word hymn.
- FREE -- Hymns Copywork
This free printable set of notebooking and copywork pages gives you one hymn for each month of the year.
- RETAIL with FREE option --Copying the Hymns: All Things Bright and Beautiful
Copying the Hymns is a series of copywork books focused on developing Christian devotion through reflection upon the great hymns of the faith, and related scriptures. Besides All Things Bright and Beautiful,is a copybook of We Three Kings. Or get th
- FREE -- samutsari's Copywork and Hymns Files
Scroll way down to the Copywork and Hymns section. Maria shares several freebies -- copywork of Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior; hymn study pages for A Mighty Fortress and Amazing Grace; and a Fanny Crosby biography sheet.
- FREE --Hymn Worksheet
A plain worksheet without much flair, but it does have some good questions for researching and studying a hymn.
- RETAIL -- Rock of Ages Lapbook
The Rock of Ages lapbook is very well done and very affordable! See the preview. Also look for Whole Word's hymn study packs: A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Amazing Grace, and Are You Washed in the Blood?
- FREE -- Four Hymn Copywork Pages
These are manuscript selections in super huge font size especially for young learners. Titles include: Doxology Holy, Holy, Holy A Mighty Fortress Is Our God Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven
Photos From Our Hymn StudyClick thumbnail to view full-size
How Others Do Hymn Study - bloggers speak
- Homeschooling and Hymn Study
This post shares how the Watts family uses hymn study to weave God's word into their lives.
- Pass Me Not , O Gentle Saviour Hymn Study
Read how Heartwork in Progress planned a hymn study for her three children. This is a great example and includes links to some free printables she made.
- Fisher Academy International : Hymn Study, Our Method
Amy describes how she teaches hymns to her children as part of their Charlotte Mason homeschool.
- Epi Kardia Blog -- Hymn Study
Dana shares some great how-tos and a very concrete example.
- Hymn Study Yearly Schedule
Nadene lists her 2011 schedule for hymn study.