A New Direction

I’m so excited to be taking over the reins of this blog. My name is Dawn Peluso and I was one of the folks that helped Diane with the Schoolin’ Swag Facebook page.  I’m a homeschooling mom of 3.  Our children are 11, 9, and 3.  We live in Eastern, NC and enjoy hiking, the beach, and spending time with family. We are active in our church and strive be a family that follows Jesus.

We use a variety of materials and methods in our home school and like to say our style is “Charlotte Mason Eclectic”.  In particular, we enjoy using lots of good books, nature study, hands-on history, cooking, and traveling to create a family culture of learning and growing.

Look for more posts over the next couple weeks with information about book reviews, fun home school ideas, and more.

My plan for the blog beginning in September is to have a weekly post about the history that we are studying that week (my husband and I are creating a hands on American history program for our kids and I will share that plan and the resources that we are using,  in case anyone else wants to join us on that journey), Product reviews, a monthly book review of a book for Moms, lots of guest posts from other homeschooling moms about what they are doing in their home schools and a variety of other content.  I’m very open to hearing from our readers about what you would like to see and making sure we are meeting those needs.

We Three Kings Hymn Study and Copywork

“O star of wonder, star of light,
star with royal beauty bright,
westward leading, still proceeding,
guide us to thy perfect light.”

We Three Kings…. is a well known Christmas carol written by John H. Hopkins Jr. (son of the Episcopalian bishop, and not to be confused with Johns Hopkins a contemporary entrepreneur) in 1857. It was originally written as a song for his nieces’ and nephews’, Christmas pageant and was not actually published for the first time until 1863.

*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, see disclosure at the bottom of the page for more information.*

This song is great for the advent season, but our family also enjoys it after Christmas as a song to celebrate Three Kings Day or el Dia de los Reyes which is celebrated on January 6th. This is a day set aside to celebrate when the magi, Kings, or Wise Men came to visit the Christ child. You can find out more from our post about Three Kings Day or Twelfth Night Celebrations

We do not know for sure how many kings came to visit the Christ child, but we know that they brought three gifts with them. This hymn tells the story of the magi and the second, third, and fourth verses tell more about the three gifts that the magi brought to the Christ child. The hymn is based on Matthew 2:1-12.

 “Because the wealth of USA Appalachian and other folk carols was yet to be discovered, this carol for almost a century was regarded by hymnal editors as the sole USA contribution to the repertory of English language carols .” United Methodist Hymnal editor Carlton R. Young

My daughter enjoyed learning this song on her violin and I hope that you enjoy this video that she prepared. I have also included free copywork and a free hymn study worksheet to accompany this study. They can be downloaded from the list of resources at the end of this post.

If you wanted to do some nature study related this hymn, you could easily incorporate a study of camels, especially if you plan for a Wednesday, or you could look further into the gifts that the wise men brought. I would particularly recommend the study of frankincense or myrrh. There is a lot of meaning behind the gifts. The  spices are used today for healing purposes, but hold other significance and uses in the first century.

Also, Nana over at You Are An Artist has a beautiful chalk pastel painting lesson in her hymns course. My children enjoyed this lesson and made beautiful paintings. In addition, they were able to send them to family members to bring them a bit of Christmas cheer. If you are already a clubhouse member you can find the lesson here. If you are not yet a member, this is a great time to give it a try. There are so many wonderful Christmas lessons as well as a variety of hymns.  Find out more here.

What is your favorite Christmas hymn? What other hymns would you like to study?

Resources


Lyrics and Sheet Music

Hymn Story

We Three Kings (Cello)

We Three Kings (Choir)

We Three Kings (Piano Guys)

We Three Kings (Kirk Franklin from The Star)

We Three Kings (Dolly Parton)

We Three Kings (Beach Boys)

We Three Kings (Celtic)

We Three Kings (Violin Tutorial)

We Three Kings (String Quartet)

We Three Kings (Jazz)

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Hymn Study)

In 1861 Henry W. Longfellow become a widow when a tragic fire killed his wife, two years later, his eldest son was severely wounded fighting in the Civil War. On Christmas Day, 1863, while suffering through these trials, he composed a poem. Composer Jean Baptiste Calkin later (1872) added the music that is most commonly used with Longfellow’s now famous words. While Calkin’s music was the first, there are several other arrangements by different composers. Echoes of Longfellow’s despondence and frustration with the war are clear, as is the message of hope, and promise of “peace and good will towards men”. Johnny Marks’ arrangement in 1956, and Bing Crosby’s recording, is most likely responsible for the widespread transition of a poem, turned, hymn, into a widely known Christmas Carol.

*Some of the links in my posts may be affiliate links see below for more information. *

 They lyrics of this poem turned hymn, share the pain and tragedy or life while also giving hope for the future. For many people 2020 has been a year marked with pain and struggle. There has been sickness and death, political unrest, and struggles of all kinds. In some ways this all feels like more struggle than normal, but most years have their share of struggles. I love that this poem doesn’t deny the pain and struggle, but does remind us that “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men.”

This song is a great reminder that no matter what else is going on in your life, God is still at work. No matter if things seem dark and sad, there is still hope. I think this is a great opportunity to talk to your children about those for whom Christmas might be a struggle and how we can help show them the light and hope of His promises. After we study the hymn, I plan to have my children think of ways that they can bring hope to those that are struggling this year.

For example, we might send cards or do video chats with folks that are at home and unable to get out. We might drop off cookies or treats to a widow or single mom that could use a sweet surprise. In addition to those, maybe there is a single person whom you could invite to join your family for the holiday meal or if you can’t be there in person maybe you could plan to eat together virtually. There are so many ways that we can bring the hope of Christmas to those that are struggling.

We are really excited about the beautiful chalk pastel painting that Nana created to go with this hymn. The painting is absolutely beautiful, but also simple enough for even younger children to participate. The fun snow scene was a lot of fun for my children to draw. As always, her hymn studies are included in the You Are An Artist Clubhouse Membership.  If you are already a member you can click here to access the lesson. They also have a special post on turning this hymn and art lesson into a special tea time!

I have included copy work pages and a hymn informational worksheet at the bottom that your children can do as they work on learning the words and more about the hymn. There are so many beautiful versions of this song performed in a variety of styles. I am excited to share a few of them in the list below. My daughter is also working hard on learning to perform this on her violin and I hope to be able to link to that video soon.

May this song bless you during this Christmas season, remind you that there is hope even in darkness, and inspire you to bring God’s light to this dark world.

Resources and Downloads:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (background story)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (lyrics and information)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Casting Crowns)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Frank Sinatra)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Johnny Cash)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Harry Belfonte)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Acapella)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Steven Curtis Chapman)

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (instrumental jazz)

Basic Violin Sheet Music

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

This week instead of posting my normal list at the end of a post, I did a separate post because of all the great deals going on for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving/ Black Friday 2020 Deals and Sales

Blue Ribbon Winners 2020

From January through November each year, I am blessed to be able to share with you a variety of reviews. Many of those reviews are done through the Old Schoolhouse Review Crew and at the end of November we all get the opportunity to vote and choose the blue ribbon favorites in a variety of categories.
Today I wanted to share a few of our favorites from 2020 with you. This process is always challenging for me because we often find so many different products that we love. I can’t highlight all of the products that I reviewed this year, but know that just because they didn’t make this list doesn’t mean they are not amazing products.
*some of the links in this post are affiliate links, see disclosure below for more information*

 

Favorite Reading Supplement: Reading Eggs

Favorite History Book: YWAM

Favorite Science Resource: Journey Homeschool Academy

Favorite Fine Arts Resource: Musik at Home (they are currently running some fun Christmas deals)

Favorite Fun Resource: Byron’s Games

 

Children’s Favorites:

Benjamin: Reading Eggs

Elizabeth: SmartKidz Radio

Matthew: Venturing with God in the Congo

You can see all of the reviews I have done through the years at Reviews  and don’t forget to click on the graphic below to see who the Crew chose for all of the different categories!

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

This week instead of posting my normal list at the end of a post, I did a separate post because of all the great deals going on for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Thanksgiving/ Black Friday 2020 Deals and Sales

Thanksgiving/ Black Friday 2020 Deals and Sales

*Some of these links are affiliate links please see disclosure below for more information*

I hope you are doing well this holiday season. I have compiled this list of sales to help you get the best deals from the comfort of your home. I know it can be a busy time and I always appreciate being able to save money while picking up the curriculum or gifts that I need. Many of these sales are already live but a few will not start until Black Friday. I value your family time and mine, so I wanted to go ahead and get the list out to you instead of waiting for the holidays. I appreciate your support in shopping for your great deals through my affiliate links. It helps pay for blog expenses and the occasional extra book for me!

NEW YWAM has some great Cyber Monday deals going on right now! We love their biographies both in paperback and the audio versions.

NEW Not Consumed has their digital Bible studies and materials on sale 50% off today.

All About Learning is offering this brand new FREE Christmas Pack full of fun activities!

NEW The Old Schoolhouse is offering a great deal on their homeschooling magazine through December 1st. This magazine is a great encouragement to me and would also make a great gift for a new homeschooling mom.

You can get 25% off of My Teaching Library with code MTL25OFF

LAST DAY! From Nov. 27-30 you can get 40% off at Fit2B! I love their fitness membership for me and the Girls course is a great way to help teach your daughter about puberty and healthy living.

Get a free 7 day trial to Musik at Home and the wonderful new Christmas course. We have used this program for over a year and enjoy it, but the new Christmas course is my favorite!

NEW Let’s Go Geography: Purchase the Year 1 Bundle OR the Year 2 Bundle, and get the Discovery Pack FREE when you use this Coupon Code:  CyberBundle2

NEW Productive Homeschooling is having a huge cyber Monday sale on their notebooking pages through tomorrow!

LAST DAY! Homeschool in the Woods is offering a Bundle Sale from Nov. 27th-Nov. 30th. They don’t offer a lot of sales so this is a great chance to grab what you need at a discount.

NEW Beginning at 9AM Central Master Books is offering 20% off everything with code Christmas2020. We love their Math for a Living Education, preschool course, and more.

Tuttle Twins is offering a big discount on their collection of books including the newest three non-fiction books for teens!! This is an amazing deal if you do not have the books yet.

https://tuttletwins.com/ultra?ap_id=Dawnpeluso

NEW We love board games in our house for fun and learning. Amazon has some great ones on sale including Monopoly Deal, Scrabble Junior and so many more. Amazon Board Games

NEW You also don’t want to miss this Play-Doh Sale at Amazon today if you have a child that loves Play-Doh or you are looking for fun ways to work on those fine motor skills.

LAST DAY! Tummy Team is having a sale that includes all of their online abdominal rehab courses, private esessions, and splints! The sale runs from Nov. 23-30th. You can check out my review of them on the blog, but I love their programs and they made such a difference for my health.

NEW Kindle Fires on Sale at Amazon for Cyber Monday as well. This is a great time to buy if you need one or want to upgrade to one with more memory.

Evan-Moor is offering 30% off site wide from Nov. 30-Dec. 4th

Get 1, 2, or 4 Months FREE with your Kiwi Crate Subscription! Makes a wonderful Christmas gift! Use code MERRY

NEW Amazon has some great educational toys and school supplies on sale this week!

Captivating Compass is offering 75% off from Nov. 26th-30th!

HomeschoolStyleCo. is having some great sales this week. They have some cute shirts for the children and for moms!

Love At Home Education is offering some great deals and 20% off any of her great products that are not already on sale with code BLACKFRIDAY2020

FundaFunda Academy is offering a great sale on their regular-priced unit studies through Nov. 30th:

If you spend $30 or more, use coupon NOV25 for 25% discount

If you spend $60 or more, use coupon NOV50 for 50% discount

If you spend $100 or more, use coupon NOV75 for 75% discount

This Bit of Life is offering 30% off any of her courses with code BLACKFRIDAY30. This includes her Rabbit Trails through Literature program which is a fun relaxed literature program for early elementary grades.

You Are An Artist has this great FREE Grinch art lesson if you want to have a little fun after all that shopping! Or if you need a gift for a budding artist, their Membership is a great value.

If you need gift ideas for your children or for other folks in your life make sure to check out these posts for more ideas.

Gift Ideas For Your Budding….

Educational Christmas Ideas (that don’t feel like school supplies)

Clutter Free Christmas Ideas

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

CrossTimber Name Plaque Print (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Picking out the perfect name for a baby can be a challenging task. Often parents are trying to find a name that has a special meaning to their family, is agreeable to both parents, and sounds good with their last name. In all of this discussion, the meaning of the name may or may not even enter into the conversation. However, names often have fascinating meanings and origins. CrossTimber has taken on the challenge of researching the meanings and origins of names and creating a variety of beautiful products that showcase the meaning of each name.

CrossTimber generously provided me with an 8 x 10 plaque print in my choice of pattern to review. I decided that it would make a great gift for my daughter so I chose the Silverblue Butterfly Wings with her in mind. I knew she would love the blue and purple colors and the butterfly printed on the corner of the page. When I was designing my print, in addition to choosing the background, I could have them use one, two, or three names on the print. I went with two and used my daughter’s first and middle names.

I had not told my daughter about the review or ordering the print. I was trying to decide if I was going to give it to her during the review period or save it as a Christmas gift. However, the week it came in something else she saw had her asking about her name. She knew that she was named after her grandmothers but she wanted to know what the names actually meant. I knew then that it was the right time to go ahead and give her the name print.

She loved the colors and print and was very excited to learn that Elizabeth was of Hebrew origin and meant, “Promise of God: One Set Apart for God’s Purpose.” In addition to the names, name meanings, and origin, the name plate included a Bible verse for related to each name. We are planning to get her a frame and hang her print on her wall. I think it would also be a great addition to a scrapbook.

In addition to the 8×10 plaque print, CrossTimber also sent me a copy of their AmazingName Print Activity Sheets. I decided to get those for my six-year-old son instead of my daughter. This is a packet of worksheets and coloring sheets that feature the name of your choice. Some of them more writing practice that could help a younger child, like my son, learn to write their name or practice good penmanship. However, there was a wide variety including mazes, deskplates, adult coloring sheets, hidden word sheets, word search, crisscross words puzzle, and puns. The set also includes Bible verse and books of the Bible printables. There are some in cursive and some in print to meet a variety of needs.

Overall, CrossTimber has some beautiful gift items. These are perfect for that hard to buy for family member. The name prints are great for any age and other members of the Crew also reviewed bookmarks and name cards. Last year, I had the chance to review their Amazing Name Video and my son loved it! They also have many other name products. Please be sure to check out the great products that were reviewed by other Review Crew members by clicking on the graphic below.

Name Cards, Bookcards, Activity Sheets & Plaque Personalised Gifts {CrossTimber Reviews}

Memories With A Box Mix

I truly love baking and cooking and being in the kitchen with my kids most of the time. However, as the holidays approach things tend to get busy and sometimes it is hard to get to those fun baking projects. I often feel like I need to wait until I have enough time to make the cookies from scratch or use the cranberry bread recipe from the back of the book. What I’ve been realizing and learning though is it sometimes it’s better just to do what we can then to put it off and I get it done at all. 

This week my son has been begging for us to read Cranberry Thanksgiving and eat cranberry bread like we do every year. It has been a busy week and I couldn’t figure out when I was going to have time to help him make homemade cranberry bread, but he didn’t want to wait until next week. As I was going through the pantry to get out ingredients for dinner one night I realized that we had a box of Krusteaz cranberry muffin mix. (I have no affiliation with Krusteaz, but I have to say that their muffin mixes are so delicious you might forget it wasn’t homemade.) It took my oldest son less than 5 minutes to get the muffin mix mixed, into a loaf pan and in the oven baking. We were able to sit down that morning with some fresh hot bread and read our book. I laughed most of the way through the book because my children could recite much of it before I even read the words. Cranberry Thanksgiving has become such family classic for us.

If there are things that you’ve been pining to do, but putting off until you had enough time, try thinking of ways you can do them with less time or less mess but still make memories. That may mean using a bag of cookie mix or mixing up extra cookie dough next time you cook to have some in the freezer. It could mean buying a bag of already popped popcorn and a simple hot cocoa mix for your next movie night. Maybe you order pizza instead of cooking it homemade, or choose a simple meal like soup or chili for your new family tradition. We have even used graham crackers to decorate for a ‘gingerbread house’.

I truly believe that it will be more important to my children when they look back on their childhood to know that we enjoyed the book and the cranberry bread together than whether or not we made it homemade. Sometimes keeping it simple and using a box mix or something that’s pre-done allows us to say yes more often and spend more time truly being present and that is what is going to matter in the end. What traditions are you trying to fit in this year? In what ways can you simplify in order to be able to say yes to making memories?

If you need a few ideas for Thanksgiving or Christmas be sure to check out:

Thanksgiving Resource Round Up and Gratitude Challenge/Printable

Thanksgiving Books and Celebrations

A Month of Thanksgiving and Praise!

Christmas School 2019

Christmas Traditions: Breakfast (and a Recipe)

Our Christmas School Plans

Our Holiday Baking Traditions and Ideas

Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Deals and Freebies

FREE Holiday Activities Pack from Evan Moor!

Proverbial Homemaker is offering 40% off of any of their Christmas products! This includes the new Names of Jesus Advent Resource. Click this link and use code PHChristmas40.

Musik at Home is offering a FREE 7 day trial and an entire year for less than $100 right now through 11/20. This includes their beautiful new Christmas music lessons!

Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!

FREE Historical Fiction Story Builders from Write Shop!

Julie Naturally Faith Journeys Bible Study Series (Review)

 

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Spending time studying God’s word is an integral part of the life of a Christian. However, if I am honest, it can also be a challenging part of a mom of young children. Finding consistent quiet time to study the Bible and reflect on what it is teaching can be a real challenge when your day feels dictated by the very real needs of young children. I have tried many different options over the years, sometimes doing quick one page devotionals that often had great thoughts but were light on actual scripture. Other times trying to do in-depth Bible studies but feeling like a failure when I couldn’t consistently get it done. I feel like Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle and Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians by Julie Naturally did a great job of finding the middle ground.

As their titles imply, these studies are based on the books of Romans and Philippians. I spent most of my time during this review working through Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians  but also had a chance to start Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle. The Philippians study consisted of daily readings with workbook pages, memory cards, and coloring pages.  In addition, the Romans study had weekly videos to introduce the passage that was being studied. The videos were about 10-12 minutes long.

Each day you are given a short passage to read, for example on Day 1 of Week 3 you read Romans 5:1-11 and then there are about 2 pages of questions for you to answer and contemplate. This often also includes a verse or two from somewhere else in the Bible. There were no answers included with the worksheets but the questions helped guide the reader in thinking about the scripture passage and how it relates to other passages.

I appreciated that these studies covered entire books of the Bible and had you read and study a section each day. I have found that too often devotionals take one verse of scripture and use it without the appropriate context. By going through it systematically you get more of the big picture and I believe that leads to a deeper understanding of scripture.

I loved the coloring pages because I have found that coloring scripture really helps me to focus my mind on the words. Sometimes when I am trying to study or memorize my mind wanders to all of the things on my to-do list, but coloring keeps me focused on the words at hand.

Overall, this goes deeper into the Bible than many of the short devotionals that are commonly available today, but it less intense and shorter than a lot of full Bible study programs. It could be a great fit for someone that is new to Bible study or for a busy mom that wants to get into God’s word each day but does not have the quiet alone time for a more in-depth study. I enjoyed this as a way to get my day started in the Word. It would take me about 10-15 minutes to complete a day of the study. I continued to do a more in-depth study with my children on the days that we could, but like being able to start my day with a few minutes of scriptural focus.

If you are looking for a new Bible study, check out Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Romans bundle or Faith Journeys Bible Study Series: Philippians by Julie Naturally. You can also click on the graphic below to read about how other Review Crew members used these Bible studies.

***

Come Ye Thankful People Come (Hymn Study)

“Come, ye thankful people, come,
raise the song of harvest home;
all is safely gathered in,
ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide
for our wants to be supplied;
come to God’s own temple, come,
raise the song of harvest home.”

As we in America prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, I enjoy listening to a variety of hymns of Thanksgiving. I really love this time of year because of the built in reminders to be thankful. This year has had more challenges than most for many people, but we are still called to be grateful. When we shift our focus to our blessings it can change our perspectives and attitudes.

This month I want to focus on the hymn, Come Ye Thankful People Come. It was written in 1844 by Henry Alford. Henry Alford was born in London in 1810 and died in Canterbury, England in 1871. While he wrote a variety of hymns, this was his most well known hymn. It was written for the village harvest festivals in Victorian England. It takes imagery from the parable of the growing seed in Mark 4 and the wheat and the weeds in Matthew 13. In addition to hymns he authored other literary works, including The Greek Testament, a commentary of four volumes which took him 20 years to complete.

The hymn speaks of being thankful during the harvest which can be read both literally and figuratively. As you sing it and learn about it, it is a great opportunity to draw parallels with the first American (or colonial?) Thanksgiving and how God provided. Depending on your location, you may also want to visit a farm or field and see an actual harvest. This can open up discussions both about God’s daily provisions and about the figurative harvest of people for Christ.

This month as we study our hymn, I want to make sure we take the time to be thankful! There are many ways to count your blessings.

  • You can write them down and put them in a jar to be read later.
  • Begin writing them on a pumpkin and see if you can fill up the whole thing. 
  • Create a chain of blessings on paper rings.
  • Go around the table and discuss your blessings at dinner each night,
  • Go through the alphabet and think of something to be thankful for that begins with each letter.

If you want to include some visual arts in your study this month you could do this corn mosaic or this water color pumpkin. For something a little more challenging you could do this cornucopia and then write about your blessings. The Thanksgiving season offers a plethora of craft opportunities and our traditional gatherings are a great time to ‘show off’ your little one’s creations. As a bonus, you can send crafts home as party favors and de-clutter before Christmas!

If you are looking for additional songs of Thanksgiving to study this month, be sure to check out, We Gather Together and Count Your Blessings. What other Thanksgiving hymns do you enjoy?

Resources:

Come Ye Thankful People Come (choir)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (lyrics and sheet music)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (guitar and voice)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (piano instrumental)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (Organ Instrumental Free with Prime Music)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (Congregational Singing Free with Prime)

Come Ye Thankful People Come (Scottish Festival Singers Free with Prime Music)


Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure

When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.

Resource Library 

This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.

Beethoven: Music Appreciation Resources

Our ‘Flat Beethoven’ from SQUILT music practicing on my son’s violin.
  • Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, see disclosure below for more information*

Ludwig Beethoven is perhaps the most well known name in classical music. He was born 250 years ago this December. As part of our normal music appreciation studies, and to celebrate his sestercentennial, we have decided to spend some time this month studying his life and music. I often hear people say that they want to introduce their children to famous musicians but they do not know where to start or how to make it interesting for younger children. While I’m not a classical music expert, we have developed an appreciation and to help you I have complied a variety of resources about Beethoven that are fun and engaging for a variety of ages.

In our home we currently have a two-year-old, six-year-old, twelve-year-old, and fourteen-year-old. While I don’t expect the two-year-old to remember any of the facts about Beethoven, he can begin to learn to appreciate his music by listening along with us.

Several years ago, we had the benefit of being introduced to the Classical Kids series through the children’s programming at the North Carolina Symphony. We enjoyed a series of concerts there each year that were geared towards children. They had all of the talent and musical finesse of their regular symphony concerts, but with the addition of explanations and visual performances. One of the performances we had the opportunity to watch was, Beethoven Lives Upstairs. In addition to live performances, you can listen to it on CD (or streaming) or watch the movie! This performance showcases Beethoven’s music while also teaching about his life.

With my daughter’s love for the violin and music, we took the opportunity to review Zeezok’s music appreciation course last year.  We loved the biographies that went along with the curriculum, and were excited to find that there was one in the same series used by that course on Beethoven. My daughter is going to be reading Ludwig Van Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells this month as a part of her literature studies.

I have only a surface knowledge of music appreciation, and so it is one of the subjects where I like to get a little more expert help. We use SQUILT music to help bring more music appreciation into our home. SQUILT offers a few different options. First, they have an inexpensive monthly calendar with a music selection to listen to each day. This is a simple and quick way to introduce more music. However, if you want to take it a little further, they have a monthly membership which gives you access to two live online lessons each month, as well as a library of recorded lessons. For the month of November, the live lessons will be focused on Beethoven (and they will be recorded and in the library if you join after they air live.)  We really feel like this is a great investment for our family that encourages us all to learn more and appreciate music.

Of course, we are also including a variety of books in our study of Beethoven. We have several in our personal collection and I was able to find a few more at our local library. Ludwig Van Beethoven (World’s Greatest Composers Series) is one that is in our personal library. We love the books in this series because they are well written, provide lots of good information, and are still entertaining. The illustrations always have my children laughing. We also have Lives of the Musicians and Beethoven Lives Upstairs. We borrowed 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven from our local library as well.

To learn more about Beethoven’s life and works, there are several websites that have great information. Classics for Kids has a lot of great information and the opportunity to listen to several selections of his music. Classical Kids Music and Kids Music Corner also offer some good resources. If you have a SchoolhouseTeachers.com membership, they have two great courses with lessons on Beethoven. For younger children, first-third grade, they have their Great Musicians course. Beethoven is the first of twelve musicians covered in the course. This could also be a great introduction for older elementary students. For middle and high school students, Composing with the Masters covers Beethoven in lesson 10. As always, you can choose to take the whole course, or just do the lessons of interest to your family.

If you want to tie art into your music studies, Nana from ChalkPastel.com has a great lesson for Beethoven. in her Composers course that is included with the clubhouse membership. I know that my son will enjoy this part of our studies. You can also have your children draw what they hear as they are listening to the music.

Finally, for familiarity with his music we enjoy listening in two main ways. First, just play some of his music in the background as you are going through the day. You can purchase a CD, listen on Amazon Prime Music, or find some on YouTube. Second, we like to use the SQUILT method when we want to be more intentional. This is just a few minutes at a time of, “Super Quiet Uninterrupted Listening Time”. Mrs. Mary teaches this method in her SQUILT live classes if you want more information.

Whether you have children that love music and want to learn more or you are just beginning your studies, I hope that you can find resources here that you can use and enjoy with your children. I want to leave you with a final piece of advice, do not feel like you have to use all of the resources or spend lots of time on the study. Start with what seems most interesting or easiest for you and then see where it takes you. Even a few minutes a week or a lesson a couple times a month can make a big difference. I would love to hear about your favorite Beethoven resources or what other composers you would like to learn about in the comments.


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Resource Library 

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Deals and Freebies

Today is the last day of the Evan-Moor BOGO sale on their Skill Sharpener Books.

Amazon is doing lots of daily deals for great educational toys, craft supplies, and even books!

Drive Thru History Bible Unearthed (Review)

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

At this point, I do not even need to ask my children if they want to review a Drive Thru History® Adventures product. They are an automatic yes, because they enjoy them so much. So, when we had a chance to check out their newest program, Bible Unearthed, everyone was on board. They could not wait to see what new adventures awaited them with Dave Stotts.

When we started watching this newest series, Bible Unearthed, we quickly realized that there were some similarities to other Drive Thru History programs, but this one was different from all the rest. While most of the other shows involve Dave traveling to various locations, this program is mostly done with Dave and two other gentleman, Titus Kennedy, PhD and Drive Thru History writer Randall Niles, sitting around a table looking at artifacts instead of locations.

Each lesson of this course includes a video, scriptural reading, further information and pictures, a worksheet to complete, and articles you can read to dig deeper into the subject matter. Most also include an option activity. For example, they suggest finding an ancient Biblical text on the internet and trying to copy it. Then have someone else check for the mistakes. This would help the students understand the care and concentration needed by ancient scribes.  The worksheets each contain five discussion questions. They also include an answer key to the worksheet (and all the busy moms rejoice).

The videos in this course could stand alone for middle grades students or if you just wanted a basic understanding of archeology. However, the additional reading and materials help to make it a more complete high school level course. The course begins with a discussion of what archaeology means and then goes on through the impacts of archaeology, life of an archaeologist, current happenings in archeology, and more.

Since we did not need the program as an actual high school credit, we decided to watch the videos together as a family and use the worksheets as discussion guides. As we continue working through the course we may also incorporate a few of the option activities. I really appreciate the flexibility of the program.

Overall, I think that Bible Unearthed like all of the Drive Thru History® Adventures is a quality production with a lot of educational value. If your children are interested in archeology or you want to give them a good basic foundation in archeology to go along with your history, this is a great program. We found that the videos were not as entertaining as the other Drive Thru History® Adventures but they are certainly not boring lectures. My children were happy to watch them as a part of school, but unlike Drive Thru History® “Acts to Revelation” ( Review) or Drive Thru History Review did not ask to watch them for pleasure. I would recommend these for students in middle or high school.

Take a look at all of the wonderful courses offered by  Drive Thru History® Adventures and make sure to click on the graphic below to see how other Review Crew families used Bible Unearthed in their homes.

Bible Unearthed {Drive Thru History® Adventures Reviews}