Every Homeschool Needs to Sing
© Beverley Paine June 2007
I grew up believing I couldn't sing even though my heart sang constantly. Mum always complained about 'tone deafness' and my confident singing voice wavered, then faltered and finally disappeared. For years, I often heard myself saying, "I can't carry a tune in a bucket". It's sad that my mother's sharp criticism stopped me from not only an enjoyable pastime but one that has incredible health physical, emotional and spiritual health benefits.
Next to our sense of smell, nothing has the power to evoke human emotion as much as song. Songs are packed with emotional memories of people, places and experiences in our lives: special songs mark milestones and stay with us forever.
Certain kinds of music can calm and soothe the soul. At the end of a tense day gentle uplifting melodies help us to relax and slow down the hectic pace. The act of softly singing lowers blood pressure and decreases our heart rate. Many homeschooling families are familiar with the beneficial effects to learning when baroque music is played quietly in the background. Children exposed to different styles of song and music tend to develop an eclectic taste in music. My children began to notice the connections between many different music styles at an early age.
Have you noticed how little children love to hum or sing nonsense songs? Not only do we work efficiently we enjoy what we're doing more when we're singing or listening to music we like. Singing reduces stress. It can also help to release anger: one of my favourite songs is Pink Floyd's 'Brick in the Wall' .
Singing alters our moods. Humming a happy, popular tune is infectious. We can help others feel better by singing. I especially like folk who don't mind my out-of-tune warbling and who join in to create a cheerful chorus. In no time at all our blues are forgotten.
Songs sell too. As homeschoolers we can take our cue from advertisers: My children learned their multiplication tables through skip-counting songs. Protest songs added an emotional dimension to learning about environmental issues and folk songs enlivened learning about Australian history.
Songs have the power to transform us. Over the years different songs became personal anthems to me: their words became mantras that framed my developing attitudes and beliefs. Particular songs bring me closer to the ones I love, remind me to stay true to myself, to value this wonderful world, and to continue to strive to reach my goals.
The act of singing allows our hearts and minds to soar, to vibrate with energy. It's a beautiful energy every homeschool needs.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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