Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Great Resource for Hymn Study

Dh brought home a catalog that featured this series of books a few months ago. I filed it away in my, "Oh, that would be so neat, if we could just find time," mental file. How I would love to teach my children the hymns I learned growing up! Then came CM into our school.

One of the first places I was encouraged to visit was Simply Charlotte Mason. I was told it was a great place to find practical ideas for implementing CM ideas into your homeschool. The first thing I started looking at were all the sample schedules posted at their site. I was ready to get started and quick! :) Well, guess what popped up on most of the schedules they had posted.....(drum roll, please)....Hymn Study! You can see a sample schedule here, here, here or even here on their "Light Schedule"!

I asked Dh to put in our order; there are four books in the set. Each book is linked to Crossway, the publisher's site, because you can hear samples of the music there although two volumes are available at Amazon for less.

Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Volume 1
Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Volume 2
Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart, Volume 3
Passion Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Volume 4

Each hymn is introduced with a vignette of the hymn's author, usually including details about him/her as a child. They are precious, inspiring stories and enough to justify the cost of the books alone! After each story is a page called, "From My Heart to You" which is a one-page devotional that reinforces the main point of the hymn. Last is the hymn itself including sheet music followed by a verse and a prayer that reaffirms the message of the hymn yet again. Each also includes a CD of all the songs in that book book sung by children.

Let me take a step back and ask, "Why hymns?" In my opinion, hymns offer much that most contemporary Christian music can't come close to touching. They are theologically rich, doctrinally sound (generally speaking) and deeply committed to content. They are full of beautiful language and amazing imagery. It seems much of contemporary Christian music is pablum compared to the treasure trove we find in hymns.

Do you need this series (or any other series for that matter) to incorporate hymn study into your school? Most definitely not. Still I am very thankful that this series has found its way onto our shelves and I am certain will be used again and again.



jennybell said...

Oh, please post how you like these volumes after you've used them for a while. I would like to do something like this in our after-school/between-school times.

They look really great from the links you posted.

argsmommy said...

We LOVE these books! We still need to get the Passion Hymns book, but we've used the others for years.


Jennefer said...


Okay inquiring minds want to have you used them in your homeschool? I plan on posting some of my ideas of what I will do but there's nothing like a btdt response! :)

Can you share...pretty please - here in my comments or on your blog and I'll link you.

Sheryl said...

sounds great. My dh struggles greatly with the disappearance of hymns for the more popular praise/contemporary music in churches. I didn't know such books existed. Jotting this down in my head. It might be good to use in our musical morning time that replaced cartoons!!

Jenileigh said...

We have these! We love them! Learning much in our Hymns study with MFW this year!

Angela said...

We love the hymns, and my parents made me learn a ton of them on the piano. We would sing them at our weekly Family Night and of course at church on Sunday. Now those songs stay with me when I am facing a trial or need to get a negative thought out of my head. The hymns have been a huge blessing in my life and I too, hope to give that gift to my children.
Great post!

the good, the bad & the ugly said...

I just ordered a book from this series, too. We focus on a hymn each month and sing it when we work on poetry/Scripture memory. It only takes a few minutes a day. I hope you find a good place in your schedule for this new addition!

Tami, part-time blogger - full time scrapbooker said...

Oh, I am SO on the same page with you! I love the hymns for the reasons you beautifully gave.

Do you own Passion's Hymns: Ancient and Modern yet? Oh, girl, I am simply LOST in worship every time I play it on my mp3 player.

Hymns rock!

Jennifer said...

We love hymns, too! I recently found this series in our church's children's library and ended up ordering a copy of my own. I have always loved knowing the biographies of great hymn writers... and I'm so happy to find a version written so beautifully for children.

I am loving all your CM posts!

The Ties that Bind Us said...

We've been doing hymn studies as part of our family worship time. I actually posted one today, so I thought I'd comment here. I'm new to your blog and am reading lots and lots. I love your heart, and your children are precious.

judahmo said...

Thanks for sharing this resource! I ordered the first volume shortly after you posted about it, and I've finally gotten around to using it! It has been such a pleasure to hear my son singing "Holy, Holy, Holy!" randomly throughout the day.


Stacey said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I have noticed that when we sing a familiar hymn at church, my son's interest level and feeling of connection to the church is dramatically increased. Because of this, I've been wanting to find a way to teach more hymns at home during the week. This hymn study is that---but so much more too! Can't wait to use this!