Here we are, driving along our homeschool journey when we finally cross that halfway point of the school year. All is well when suddenly it starts raining, the windshield wipers aren’t working, and the road is covered in potholes. Really, this is what happens to us every year. Have you been there?
Someone once asked me,
How do you handle the mid-year slump?
At one time, my answer would have just mentioned prayer and scripture and tears and forgiveness. And while prayer and scripture is very much the foundation of our homeschool, and I still shed tears every now and then, and there’s no doubt that asking forgiveness is often modeled in our home by our students’ teacher (me), God has granted something greater. When I realized the pursuit of good, virtuous, and beautiful, things could fill our home with joy, I started to shove other things aside (like my unrealistic expectations) to make room for them. It may not be considered core work, but it is at the core of who we are. God made us to enjoy truth, beauty, and goodness.
So, every year we shove other things back to make room for this, especially in January and February. The beautiful things – art, music, unit studies, lapbooking, poetry, literature – these are what keep us going. And we find great joy and peace in the midst of our mid-year slump.
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Last week we started the most recent SQUILT (Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time) study for exploring the orchestra, Meet the Instruments. If you’ve been looking to introduce your family to classical music but have been overwhelmed at how to get started, this resource is a perfect introduction for helping you learn about the orchestra with your children. It’s a quick, simple, and engaging resource for teaching the basics of orchestra and classical music study through the instrument families.
Meet the Instruments: Exploring the Orchestra
Meet the Instruments consists of 32 printable instrument learning cards featuring all four families of the symphony orchestra. Each card includes four facts about the individual instrument or instrument family.
The cards may be used to help students identify and practice the members within each instrument family. In fact, several ideas for games and activities are offered within this study, including Go Fish, Concentration, and Guess Who.
Even better than the beautiful instrument flashcards and game ideas, this orchestral study also comes with a fantastic password-protected resource page that includes supplemental activities along with 30 videos to help reinforce the sounds of each instrument and family. This resource page includes some of the very best resources for learning about conductors, instruments, instrument families, and classical music.
The day we started this study, our boys listened to over an hour of classical music as they identified the different instruments of the orchestra. And even though they’re quite familiar with the instrument families and with classical music in general, they were thoroughly engaged and mesmerized by the videos we watched! They even learned about a few new percussion instruments that we hadn’t previously studied and were amazed by the world record of piccolos simultaneously playing John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Almost all of the videos on this page were brand-spanking-new to us!
The game and activity ideas included on the resource page maximize engagement and learning of students (and their teacher)! Even our 13-year-old enjoyed using the instrument flashcards as they listened to the sounds within the orchestra.
Meet the Instruments is a fantastic music appreciation study with a collection of some of the best resources for studying classical music by instrument family. If you’re looking to incorporate music appreciation into your home, – whether you’re wanting to dive into an in-depth study to learn about instruments or you’re simply wanting to touch on classical music during your Morning Time – this resource comes highly recommended by our family!