Does your homeschool have a soundtrack?
In our homeschool we have music that is part of our daily routine. I’m not talking about doing a composer study or learning about music. I’m talking about the ways music and audio are facilitating your learning environment, the soundtrack in our home. In our house we use audio to gather us to start our school day, to teach some of our subjects and to help us focus while we work. As teacher/mom I also listen to podcasts to grow as teacher and parent.
A Gathering Song
A new habit we introduced this year was a gathering song. We set up a custom routine on our Google Mini that plays a specific song when its time to get started. The routine is set to turn on our smart lights in the school room and play “Good Morning” from Singing In the Rain. We got stuck on the song after we saw the play last summer and now it’s part of our routine.
By having a gathering song I don’t have to scream all over the house or watch the clock in the morning. My challenging child can’t get mad at mom for interrupting their activities because it wasn’t Mom’s idea: it was Google who is telling them is time to start school, and we all know it’s no use arguing with Google.
Audiobooks for Morning Time
We start our school day with subjects we can learn together as a family. Usually this is done with reading aloud from our basket of books. I enjoy reading together and sharing in the learning. What I don’t love is pronouncing all the names of the heroes throughout history. This year we delegated our history reading to an audiobook! This took the pressure off me to know all the proper names of places and people as we study the middle ages. Sometimes we played it through a computer and sometimes we played the CD in the stereo.
We are using Story of the World volume 2 Audiobook this year. It was funny when one night as dinner one of the kids started imitating Jim Weiss, the narrator, at the dinner table. We have the activity pages for the series as well so everyone is able to color a page related to what we are listening to stay focused.
One of the kids discovered that music helped them focus on their task. So they asked if we could play it during our school time as our learning soundtrack. Turning on our local Classical music and public radio station has been calming to us as we work. It fills the silence and keeps everyone motivated. I’d like to think they are gaining some music appreciation as well from listening. When we are in the car we listen to a different radio station. Lyrics are detracting when we are reading or trying to focus on the math problem at hand. After school work is done for everyone the radio switches back to our favorite station. We also use our TuneIn app to stream either station to our Google Home speakers, depending where we are working.
Podcast for Professional Development for teacher/mom
The last part of our homeschool soundtrack is what I listen to away from our school time. Homeschool related podcasts and audiobooks to listen to help me be a better teacher and encourage myself. I have learned many new strategies to try for our family. Podcast teach me about the learning disabilities and disabilities we have in our family. I may not have gone to school to be an expert, but I am expert on my children because I am their parent. I have shared before about what books I have read to learn about my kids’ challenges and how they are wired.
Some of my favorite podcasts are:
- Raising Lifelong Learners
- Bravewriter Podcast
- Homeschool Sisters Podcast
- SPED Homeschool Conversations