Hymn Study Schedule for 2011

An early printing of Luther's hymn A Mighty Fo...

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As I shared before in

Confessions ~ I didn’t do it all,

I didn’t do it all.

The other plan that just didn’t happen in 2010

at all …

all year …


Hymn Study

Charlotte Mason
Image via Wikipedia

Charlotte Mason suggests that,  just as you would do a monthly Artist and Composer study, children should study a hymn each month.

She said that children should~

“form the habit of listening to and reading the scriptures – the actual scriptures.  Children should be in the habit of praising God.  Sing hymns. ”  (Vol 2, pg. 142)

To start

I went to Simply Charlotte Mason and copied their Hymn Study Schedule.

I have some hymns on CDs here at home.  I believe in using what I have, so I highlighted all the hymns on the schedule that I have on my CDs.  I had 12!  That’s one hymn for each month!  (I prefer our recordings to the midi files and MP3 files online, but there are excellent YouTube videos of several hymns that you could download if you don’t have your own CDs.)


I created a Hymn Study Schedule for 2011 (the download is at the end of this post) and linked to websites that have midi files or mp3 files, background information on the authors and composers and the songs words.

I downloaded 27 pages of  FREE –Hymn Study Notebooking Pages that Jimmie created at  Jimmie’s Collage.  Jimmie gives some great ideas for hymn study.  Besides blank copywork pages, there are pages for vocabulary you find in hymns, Bible verses you find in hymns, and the meaning and etymology of the word hymn.

I highly recommend Jimmie’s Hymn Study Squidoo Lens.  Here you’ll find stacks of Hymn Study ideas, activities, CDs & book titles, other web sites and links for free hymn study downloads.

Dana at Epi Kardia shares how her family does their Hymn Study. They ~

Sheet music for the hymn

Image via Wikipedia

  1. Discuss the hymn.
  2. Discuss the author.
  3. Sing the hymn every day for a month.
  4. Additional options:
  • Assign one stanza along each week as copy work.
  • Assign one stanza each week as memorization to be recited.
  • Ask your older student to research the author and write 3-5 paragraphs about their lives and work
  • Request that your older student find Scripture pertaining to other phrases in this work mentioned above (Born of His Spirit, Washed in His blood, etc.)
  • Have your student write out this hymn in his own words.
  • After studying this hymn, have your student create her own hymn.
  • Assign your student to find a passage of Scripture and compose a melody to accompany it.


I printed out the words of each hymn (free download at the end of the post) for the girls to learn the hymns and for copywork lessons.

In order to ensure that we do our hymn study, I have purposed in my heart to keep it really simple to start.  (I tend to jump in and crush their joy with over-zealous enthusiasm!)

Gotteslob — German Catholic hymnal

Image via Wikipedia

I pray that as we sing the hymn daily during the month,

I may gently include a little extra study each week on the hymn.

It may be some copywork.

Or perhaps memorization.

Maybe they will write a short biography of the author or composer.

But I know that I will NOT do it all.


I want to gently urge my children to appreciate these hymns,

to understand them,

to recognise them,

and maybe remember some verses.

Perhaps they may even sing them.

The bonus would be some narrations on their notebook pages,

or beautiful handwritten copywork

or biography pages.

Here are some more Hymn Study Websites:

Here are my Free Downloads:

Blessings as you worship Him,


Christmas Blessings To You

May you all be blessed during this festive season;

in these days of anticipation,

celebrating His coming,

rejoicing in God’s Promise and Redeemer come to earth.

I am finishing off some gifts we have made,

Wrapping and packing.

We will spend time away with family.

Until early 2011,

Be Blessed,

Toy Car Travel Mat

Here is my latest homemade gift for 2 little boys ~

A Toy Car Travel Mat!

This great car mat has pockets for the little cars and folds and rolls to neatly store and carry.

You can see the tutorial at my Making Gifts page.

I found other wonderful ideas here:

@homemadebyjill.blogspot.com has an excellent cozy-car-caddy-tutorial with numbered pockets and templates

@obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com has a lovely mini-travel-car-mat in a little draw-string bag

@edeenutcreates.blogspot.com shares a toy-car-travel-mat

@mygratitudeattitudes.blogspot.com has a step-by-step car-cozie-tutorial

@alittlegreat.com shares an amazing little-crafty-make-playmat with zipper pocket and it folds up in a tote bag.


Confessions ~ I didn’t do it all!

It may seem that all my plans were fulfilled …

that I could do everything that I set out to do …

But I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

I never will.


Many plans stayed just that – lovely, good ideas on my pages.

Life is lived and plans make way.

Important things take precedence over those things that scream “Urgent!”

And not everything is urgent. Not really.

So, what got left out this year?

Physical Education

We did not do a single formal lesson.  Not one all year.

But my kids were active:

They did obstacle courses and played soccer with other homeschoolers,

They often swam in the dam,  and ran after sheep,

and climbed our mountain (a real mountain!)

They rode their bikes and scooters and skipped.

But I had planned some ball skills lessons, tennis, ballet lessons. Daily brain gym activities faded within weeks.

We live too far for outside coaching and what I can’t do, does not happen.

… oh, well …

Maybe next year?

I’ll add physical education to my planning pages and schedule it for an easier day, and make sure that the time spent is fun.  Short and sweet.  Maybe then we’ll get it done.

(Just an encouraging note:)

Please do not be intimidated by my plans or my posts.

I cannot do it all.

I have fears.

I often fail.

I have many insecurities.

My darling husband often listens to my cares and worries.  He has wiped away many a tear.

And my prayer journal is peppered with pleas and confessions.

The Lord constantly teaches and guides me.  And sometimes I hear Him and obey.  Other times, I miss the moment.  I botch things up.

My children are not always compliant.  They have their own issues and struggles.  We have our bad days.

But, we confess.


Begin again in the new day.

Just be faithful to do what the Lord has shown you to do now.  Don’t look too far ahead.

He leads us steadfastly and all we need to do is to trust and obey.

Blessings In Him,

Gifts ~ Pretty Beaded Candle Jars

Here’s a peek

at our latest gifts

the girls have made …

Pop over to my Making Gifts page for some more inspiration!


Nature Journal ~ Cape Weaver’s Nest

Cape Weaver Birds

Image by tim ellis via Flickr

Hundreds of Cape Weavers have made nests in several of our trees on our farm.

They only come for their spring breeding season. The males flitter and fight over branches and frantically build their exquisite nests. They hang upside down from their nests fluttering their wings and singing to attract the females.  With so many birds in our trees, it is a very noisy, busy time!

When the little dull greyish-beige females are satisfied with the nest, they mate and she lays a little blue egg.  Within a few weeks the baby hatches and both parents fly to and fro to feed the hungry baby.

And then, after several noisy months, the weavers leave.  Only a few stragglers and newbies stay, building nests and singing for attention.

Now, and then nests and egg shells fall.  We’ve even seen little babies on the ground after stormy winds.

All these details make for an excellent nature study.

This week, a particularly lovely nest fell and we could sit and sketch it.

My little 8-year-old painted her sketch:

I took my time and sketched a really detailed nest.

We are enjoying our December school break and I have found that the girls have not taken part in the Sketch Tuesday assignments.  I am glad that we have still enjoyed our time outdoors doing nature study.


Jesus’ Names Paper Chain

In our Jesse Tree Advent devotions, we came to Isaiah 9:2, 6&7. Here the Lord Jesus names are declared ~

Wonderful Counselor

Mighty God

Everlasting Father

Prince of Peace

We took a tangent and adapted an Advent Names of Jesus Christmas Tree Decorations.  Because we did not want a “traditional Christmas tree ” decorations this year, I made paper name strips and included all the other names of Jesus.

For an excellent Advent Bible study on Jesus’ names, pop over to easyfunschool.com where Karen Caroe shares her Names of Jesus download.

We didn’t do this full Bible study, but took turns taking the strips and reading Jesus’ names aloud.  We then stapled the strips to form a lovely paper chain and draped it over our Jesse Tree.

You are welcome to download the Names of Jesus Paper strips.

There are 2 version in the download;

  • full coloured strips (on pages 1-5),
  • or a black and white outline version (on page 6-9) which we printed on some coloured paper and coloured the writing with gold pen.

Click the title below ~

Names of Jesus Strips

For more Bible Crafts pop over to Bible Story Printables.com.


Some of you have had problems with your Free Jesse Tree Download.  There is NO direct link to the download.  If you click on the Free Jesse Tree Advent download page,  you will go to Ann’s Jesse Tree Christmas Advent page at Holy Experience.   At the bottom of this page, in a blue box, she asks you to subscribe to her and she will send you emails of her posts. When you receive her email, go to the bottom of the email where she provides the download link. (I hope this helps.)

Many Blessings as we wait,

Christmas Advent ~ Jesse Tree

December is filled with promise.

His Coming.

He’s Coming!

We start each day with a beautiful Christmas devotional.

Ann at Holy Experience has generously shared a really precious Free Jesse Tree Advent download.

Her Bible study points to the coming Messiah.  Each reading covers the promise of Christ’s coming from Genesis through to Revelation.

After we share each day’s message, the children hang a beautiful decoration on our Jesse Tree.

I am so grateful for  a Christ-centred advent.

The Lord’s unfolding covenant and love promise through Jesus Christ is truly awe-inspiring.

If you would like to join this advent, simply subscribe to Holy Experience. (You’ll receive the download link in your email.)

Just start where you are.

Blessings, as we wait …


Felt Food ~ Fun Project for Kids

We joined the felt food frenzy!

The kids and I made this “breakfast ” as a gift for a little pre-school  cousin~

We all cut out and sewed the food.  The girls used basic blanket stitch to close the edges and stem stitch for the embellishments.

Felt is a fantastic sewing medium!

    • Young beginners can quickly sew pieces together.
    • It stays in place and doesn’t shift when sewing.
    • It is forgiving – mistakes are often ‘hidden’ or undone without giving any evidence.
    • Colours are bright and clear.
    • It is really cheap.
    • A little goes a long way!
    • Little scraps can be used for many things.
    • It endures despite quite frequent playing.

There are some excellent websites for is more ideas, patterns and inspiration:

We’re off to make some more gifts!


Frugal Timeline Book

We regularly use our Timeline Chart.

P1070785About once every 2 weeks we stick the relevant pictures on our chart.

A wall chart  timeline is a great tool to give children a “Bird’s eye” overview.

It is wonderful tool for younger children.

A timeline chart covers a huge period of time in a fairly small space.

It can get crowded!

(We have even added an extra piece to the side of our chart one year.)

In the past, I used a timeline that ran around the walls of our school room.  The children used to beg to climb up on the high chair to stick on the clipart, and it never was an issue that it was high up above the bookshelves.
P1070520When we did our South African History curriculum, we used our first Book of Centuries.

Because we studying a shorter period of the timeline, it was a wonderful tool for each child to use.

They recorded information, dates, names, titles of books we read, pictures and maps.

It became a very personal book.

Younger children cannot  ‘see the time’ in a book as well as they can on a wall chart or a timeline that runs around a room.

As our studies for next year is American History, it is also a short period of history, and I thought we should use timeline books combined with out Timeline Chart.

I found several templates and instructions on the internet, but I wanted to use the nature study books I had on hand. Frugal inspiration.

With a few calculations, some dates written in calligraphy, and index cut out along the side, I created 2 Timeline Books in an afternoon.  Quick and cheap!

I hope that my middle school child will fill it with plenty of details, pictures, illustrations and information.

I trust that my younger junior school child will keep track of events with brief notes she may copy.

We will still use our Sonlight timeline pictures.

I have highlighted them in green.

(I labelled all our American History books  in green with our Sonlight purchase.)

I clipped them together in their respective centuries, ready in a Ziplock bag near our chart.

Using the wall chart as well as their timeline books, the children will see the events, famous people, inventions and significant moments  in time and in perspective, and in write about them in more detail.

Some tips:

  1. Some children are global thinkers and need to see the full picture.  They enjoy placing some key events on their timelines before they study the theme.
  2. Let young children write their names (and important family member’s names) on their birth dates on the timeline.
  3. Encourage your children to note important/ significant historical events they already know on the chart or timeline.  (Christ’s birth/Christ’s death, and modern events like Sept 11th)
  4. Use a highlighter to colour historical ages or eras. (e.g.: the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution)
  5. Practice counting in 5’s, 10’s and 100’s. Count in decades and centuries.
  6. Explain vocabulary like century and decades, BC and AD.

I have made a summary of the Book of Centuries and Timeline instructions you can download here ~ How to make Book of Centuries.

I trust this will help you to make your own timeline wall chart or timeline books!

This post was featured on Carnival of Homeschooling: 42 Edition at Home Spun Juggling.  Click here if you wish to submit an article to the next carnival.

Carnival of Homeschooling