Hymn Study in Your Homeschool


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  • Singing2Hymn

    <p style=”text-align: center;”>SCM’s sample schedule includes hymn study once a week. I would love to do it everyday but we already attempt to include so many enrichment subjects that it might be too much. Plus this is our first year doing hymns as part of homeschool and my oldest (of five) is only 8 so half of my kids aren’t reading and none are familiar with the language of many hymns. I don’t know if I should be explaining to them or just try to let it be an exposure thing that gets some truth in them that they will understand better and better as they grow.</p>
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>
    I’m curious what hymn study looks like for other families. How often do you do it? How do you go about it?</p>


    We don’t study hymns per se, I just teach them to my kids and we sing them once a week. It is a lot easier when they’re reading well and can read the words off the music, but when they were much smaller, we would learn one line at a time. I would sing the line a few times, and they would repeat it. We’d do one line a day until by the end of the week, we knew the whole thing. It was a good way to learn with very small children.

    As far as explaining the hymns and the language, you could do that, but like you say, exposure is good and they will understand better as they grow. I don’t think I’ve ever explained anything unless the kids ask.

    1. Thank you ErinD! Hearing what other families do for things like this just helps me manage my expectations. Left to my own devices, my children would be so overwhelmed- I want to do ALL THE THINGS! LOL

    Hymn study at our house is not formal (sit down, let’s study this hymn kids). We do a mix of the following:

    – Learn to play hymns on the piano.

    – Listen to others practicing their hymns on the piano.

    – Sing hymns every week together during home church (our church is still not meeting in person in our area).

    – Often someone ends up singing while a person is practicing playing the hymns on piano.

    – Sometimes we simply sing a capella.

    – Occasionally we ask the kids what is a hymn they can think of that might go with what we’re studying in the scriptures as a family. (Our hymnbook has the hymns sorted by topic in the back, as well as by first line or title, so if they can’t think of one they can flip to the topic index and find a song that way).

    – We sometimes play ‘Guess that Hymn’. Someone plays the first few measures of a hymn on the piano (nobody is allowed to peek) and people guess what they are playing.

    – I will sometimes sit down at the piano and take requests – What is your favorite hymn? What hymn do you want me to play? And I start playing. Generally, someone starts singing. (By the way, I’m not a good piano player. I’m pretty mediocre, and many times all I can play at a speed for people to sing is the right hand/melody. But that’s ok. Three of my kids play piano better than I do, and sometimes they are the ones to make the invitation for people to make requests.)

    – Sometimes we play a CD of the hymns, typically on Sunday morning while everyone is getting ready for church, to set the tone for a more reverent morning. (Remember, I have 10 kids. There is always some level of noise.)

    We don’t do all of these things every day, and this all evolved over years and years.


    We do things a little unconventionally. Nobody in my family sings or plays piano.  Try as I might, piano has just never taken off here.  I just don’t have the energy to force music practice and we only have a keyboard anyway. In my home I pick a hymn (right now we are using the SCM rotation). We read some background in either 101 Hymn Stories or Then Sings My Soul, I print out the words and we read through them and admire them. I find a version I enjoy on amazon music or youtube and we listen to our current hymn once a week while reading the lyrics and making a joyful noise. Once or twice during the week I make it a point to play hymns during cooking or chores or breakfast. I usually play our current hymn as well as past hymns we have learned. Its pretty informal, my goal is to weave them into their hearts, not pound them into their heads.


    Tristan, wow! So many great ideas- thank you!

    And Crystal, I love what you said at the end. “Weave then into their hearts, not pound them into their heads.” That is such a beautiful way to see hymn study!

    Thank you ladies who have responded so far. This is all very helpful! I can read music and I can sing and play piano. Hymns were part of my personal music study and I grew up in a church that sang hymns almost exclusively. No one ever taught me hymns, per se, I just knew them. And now they are incredibly special to me, almost as much as the Scriptures. I would love for my kids to have that available too, but I’m just not confident yet. You are all giving me some wonderful ideas. Thank you!

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