Friday, May 28, 2010

I've got rhythm....

Not really.   But I do have a whole lot of music.

And my dear friend, Heather @ Kingdom Arrows, requested I include a post about music I have used in our studies in my Considering Homeschooling? series.  Since she was one of my bridesmaids in my wedding and agreed to sing with the other bridesmaids during the ceremony, how could I say no?

I have a lot to share in this post, so I am just going to link to many of my favs and add comments as needed.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email or comment. 

Westminster Catechism:
We really like Holly Dutton's Westminster Shorter Catechism Songs!  They are available through Amazon as mp3 downloads.  I have listed volumes 2-4; there is a vol. 1, too.


Sing the Word From A to Z: A collection of Bible verses set to music - each verse begins with a different letter.  Fun songs and a great way to memorize Scripture.

Sing the Word: A New Commandment: This cd also puts memory verses to Scripture.

We used this cd one year when learning world geography.  The songs teach Christian values and are set to tunes that represent many different cultures. 

We also like Kidz Tunz Christmas Carols Vol 1 which offers fun versions of traditional Christmas carols and hymns.

Social Studies:

I used the Voices of American History series for our studies of Colonial America, the American Revolution, and Westward Expansion.  I could not find the United and Divided cd to purchase when it was time for us to study the Civil War. 

The three we used were excellent!  We really enjoyed these because they include songs from the time period as well as narrations of excerpts from primary source documents.  If you buy the accompanying teacher's guide, there are lesson ideas and reading lists.  These are not written from a Christian perspective, and there were a few songs we skipped, suggested readings we ignored, or ideas we examined carefully, if at all.  Overall, these books and cds were very enjoyable and added a lot to our study of each time period.

We really enjoyed Troxel's History Songs, too.  These cover a variety of time periods.  There are a few songs (like the one about explorers) that we still sing.

I cannot find the cd of period music I used during our unit on Colonial America anywhere online.  I have listened to samples of the album below, and it sounds similar to what I included in that study.  Adding music of the time period is always an easy way to give your studies a living-history feel. 

Amzon offers mp3's of a variety of genres and periods.  It's a good place to search, and their mp3 downloads generally cost $0.99 per song.  I often find a song or two for the period rather than download an entire album.

Plymouth Plantation offers a number of cds with period music as does Colonial Williamsburg.  Museum websites are good places to search for music and other supplemental items for a living-history study.  We don't have the budget to travel to most of the places we study, but online visits generally offer virtual tours and shopping oportunities.  Little things from the "gift shop", like cds, period toys, or a book, give my kids the feeling that they were there (both the museum and the time period being explored).

We used Presidential Campaign Songs along with the Look-it Up Book of Presidents to learn about each president as we reached the years of his term(s) in our history studies.  The Campaign Songs are lively and a great primary source.  It quickly became clear that mud slinging is not a new tactic, so discerning ears are needed. 

Love the songs for Europe, Asia, and Africa.  Both boys can identify any country on
any of these continents because of these songs.  When Wilbur was little, he used to ask me to sing them as bedtime songs! Imagine, if you will, me snuggled up next to him in bed singing, "Egypt, Libya, Tunsia, Algeria, Morrocco, Canary Islands, and Western Sahara."  LOL!

We used Twin Sisters cds for American

Geography.  I did not like the Troxel songs for the Western Hemisphere that much.  Celebrate America is a collection of traditional patriotic songs like America, the Beautiful and Yankee Doodle.  I taught these songs within the context of the time period they were written and/or popularized.

We used the memory songs on this enhanced cd and really enjoyed it.  We did not use the levels before it, and I did not like the 1815 to the Present cd.


Lyrical Life Science, Vol. 1

Lyrical Life Science, Vol. 2: Mammals, Ecology, and Biomes With CD
Lyrical Life Science, Vol. 3: The Human Body

We usually enjoy the Twin Sisters songs.  Sometimes we have to skip a song or two because of worldview issues.  They're a little "cutesy" and most likely would not be enjoyed by an audience past 4th, maybe 5th, grade.

Language Arts:
I am completely bummed because I cannot find my language arts set of songs anywhere online.  I have a set of piggy back songs that cover many different language arts skills.  I bought them from Lakeshore Learning about five years ago, and they must be discontinued because I cannot find it for sale anywhere!  If you are an irl, you may borrow them if you would like.  If I can find the cable that connects the camcorder to the computer (it has been lost for a while now and prevented me from posting many things, ugh), I will film the boys singing some of these and other language arts songs and chants we have written over the years and post them for your viewing pleasure! ;)


We have used these, and they are pretty good.

Obviously, I have not done as much with music and math as with other subjects.  I find it hard to find a style that works for us.  They are either boring or a little too hip for our taste.  Any suggestions?

This child of the '70's loves Schoolhouse Rock!  There are a few songs that we skip because of the tone or worldview, but most are very entertaining, even for children of the new millenium!  You'll know what a noun is, how to skip count by 5, and how a bill becomes a law by the end of this DVD, too!

There you are my dear friends... the audio collection of the Olive Plant Academy.  I hope you enjoyed this tour of our cd rack!  There may be more and a part 2 to post at a later date.

Return soon for Magistra:  Hola, tovarish! Sprechen zie francais?  Discipulus: Hai! a.k.a. Foreign Language Choices!

Happy Curriculum Hunting!

Disclosure: I am an affiliate for Amazon, and if you follow the links to their site that I have provided in this post (or anywhere else on this blog) and make a purchase, I will receive a commission.  I am not an affiliate for any other companies listed or linked to in this post.  I have received no compensation for writing this article and have provided my honest evaluation of each product mentioned.


argsmommy said...

And I thought I had a lot of CDs! : ) I wish I had known about several of those last fall when we were studying the Colonial period.

Ryne loves Schoolhouse Rock. In fact, recently after he finished a therapy session, I was asked where he learned to speak Portuguese. Completely baffled, I just responded that he doesn't know Portuguese. But apparently he learned some phrases and how to count from watching a Schoolhouse Rock DVD and had the therapist convinced he knew the language! LOL

Heather said...

YEA! I am going to nominate you for something for this AWESOME POST! My littles are not going to be able to contain themselves, especially since we are just starting colonial times. I guess I will be placing ANOTHER amazon order soon:)

Homeschool Dawn said...

Thanks, ladies! Can you tell I love the Colonial time period? That was our best unit study ever.

Kellie- that is hysterical!

Heather- you are too nice. Let me know if there is something you want to borrow. I loand a lot of my colonial stuff to my MIL, but I may have one or two things that I can send your way.

Heather said...

Just ordered my music through your blog, hope you make some moolah (oh, this is not the foreign language post).