by Kathy Kuhl
Feeling weary? Music is a great stress reducer, and there is no easier time to build music into your day than the holidays.
Here are six easy ways to brighten your child’s day with music:
- Notice good music. When you hear good lyrics, or an attractive or unusual arrangement of a favorite, point it out. Talk about it. Ask your children what they like about the songs they like.
- Teach your children songs: not just holiday songs, but those you liked as a child.
- Give a child an instrument. For five dollars you can buy a plastic recorder, which is a great first instrument.Now some of you will say giving your child a noisemaker won’t reduce your stress, and it may not. Bu see the instrument as a tool, not a toy. Forbid banging and blasting, perhaps even make use of the instrument a treat.Playing an instrument gives your older child an independent activity and–for drums, strings, and some other instruments–a great upper body workout. One of the parents I interviewed for Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner said her son’s daily drum practice improved his attention all day. Learning an instrument can help your children love music better all their lives. It will help them listen to music better.
- Get a relative to teach your children a song. In the photo, my mother-in-law is teaching my two-year-old daughter a song. My mother-in-law, whose life we celebrated at her memorial service last weekend, was known for her encouraging, kind ways and her love of music. She sang to her children, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and to all her students in her first-grade classroom.
- Go to a holiday concert. Pick one based on your child’s age and interests. Many local performing groups appear free at shopping and community centers this time of year.
- Two easy ways to teach music appreciation in your homeschool are 1) SQUILT. (These is not affiliate links; I’m just sharing a recommendation from 2) my friend Professor Carol Reynolds, who provides music appreciate materials for older students here.
- Sing just for fun, with your kids, in the car, in the kitchen, at worship, almost anywhere.
Music is one of many ways to stay sane in the holidays. For more ideas, enter to win a copy of my audio CD, Staying Sane in the Holidays.
Leave a comment below to enter the contest, or make a suggestion for more ways to build music into your homeschool.