(This week several members of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew have been giving everyone a glimpse into their daily lives by sharing “5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials.”)
My last “essential” might seem odd to some people, but I use iPods a lot in our homeschool. It’s a way to change things up a bit from traditional school methods, and it works well for all of us. The boys like listening while they do other things (not realizing it’s actually “school”), and I like being able to multi-task and get school done while I’m driving, cooking dinner, etc.
Our “Listening Lessons” have been a regular part of our day since I first started doing preschool with Ian. It started as just stories (see “Learning as we play…and drive…and live“), but then I realized I could do a lot more. Now we spend lots of time each week listening to Bible passages, Scripture memory songs, catechism questions, poetry, songs about Bible stories, podcasts, radio dramas, classical music and any other audio resources I find that fit in with our current lessons.
To make it easy to find what I want during the week, I like to plan ahead. I create playlists in iTunes with everything I want us to listen to related to our lessons. Sometimes I’ll create multiple lists, like one for Bible and one for the composer we’re learning about. For example, here is my Bible “Listening Lesson” from our week on “God Creates Man“:
- “Who Were Our First Parents?” from Questions With Answers Vol. 1: God and Creation
- “This is My Father’s World” from Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Vol. 1 (our hymn of the month)
- “All Creatures of Our God And King” from 100 Ways to Know God Loves me & 100 Songs to Love Him Back
- “Genesis 2 Made in God’s image” from the ESV Audio Drama Children’s Bible from Faith Comes By Hearing
- “For the Beauty of the Earth” from from a CD of Bible songs by Great American Kids I found at the 99-Cent Store
- “You for Me and Me for You” from Songs from the Beginner’s Bible
- Genesis 1:27 from G.T and the Halo Express: Made to be a V.I.P.
- “Who Made You?” from Questions With Answers Vol. 1: God and Creation
- “How Did God Make Adam and Eve?” from Questions With Answers Vol. 1: God and Creation
- “What did God Give Adam and Eve Besides Bodies?” from Questions With Answers Vol. 1: God and Creation
- “What Were Adam and Eve Like When God Made Them?” from Questions With Answers Vol. 1: God and Creation
- “For the Beauty of the Earth” from 100 Ways to Know God Loves me & 100 Songs to Love Him Back
At the same time we were studying Beethoven, so I had another playlist for when we wanted to do composer study:
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs from Classical Kids
- Classics for Kids episodes on Beethoven
- Beethoven for Children CD
- My First Classical Music Book section on Beethoven
- “Beethoven’s Wig” (5th Symphony) from Beethoven’s Wig
- “Just for Elise” (Fur Elise) also on Beethoven’s Wig
- “Minuet for My Pet” (Minuet in G) from Beethoven’s Wig: Sing-Along Piano Classics
- “Beep Beep Beep” (Moonlight Sonata) from Beethoven’s Wig 4: Dance Along Symphonies
I am amazed at how much my children have absorbed just from turning on the iPod as we drive or as they play. I often hear Ian retelling a Bible story using the exact words from the ESV because he’s heard it several times. I’ve gotten numerous comments on both the boys’ extensive vocabularies, which I think are a direct result of the hours they’ve spent listening to quality literature as they fall asleep each night.
It might seem overwhelming at first to know where to look for things to add to a playlist for your kids, so here are a few of my “go-to” resources. (I’ve also shared many playlists on blog posts over the past few years so you could search this site for “listening lesson” and/or “playlist” to see other examples.)
Favorite Audio Resources:
- free audio Bibles from Faith Comes By Hearing (also available as podcasts through iTunes)
- audiobooks from Librivox (I usually go through Books Should Be Free because I find it the fastest way to find the mp4 format as well as Kindle versions)
- Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks (not dramatizations, but the actual books) from Ancient Faith Radio
- Karen & Kids podcasts (available through iTunes)
- Classics for Kids podcasts
- Jonathan Park radio dramas (available on CD from various online retailers, including Amazon and ChristianBook.com)
- Adventures in Odyssey radio dramas (available as individual downloads at ChristianBook.com or on CD collections)
- Homeschool Radio Shows
Of course, don’t forget to check your local library. Ours has a wonderful collection of audiobooks in the children’s section. It’s also a great place to find classical music.
And that wraps up my top five! How about you? What would you consider top five essentials to your homeschool experience?
In case you missed them, here are links to my other posts in this series.
Click on the picture below to see what the rest of Crew has blogged about this week!
Or if that list is too daunting, get started with these blogs:
Marcy @Ben and Me
Lisa @ Golden Grasses
Tess @ Circling Through This Life
Victoria @ Homemaking with Heart
Kayla @ The Arrowood Zoo
Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory
Melissa @ Grace Christian Homeschool
Beth @ Ozark Ramblings
Rebecca @ Raventhreads