Picture, Hymn, Composer, Poetry studies: weekly, by term, etc.

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  • my3boys

    Do any of you do these one term at a time or do you always do them weekly??  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now and was thinking that maybe I could do just one of these at a time.  Sound doable, boring, unnecessary (meaning I could do them weekly no problem), etc.??

    I really need to revamp our schedule for this coming year (and I’m working on it as I type:) to incorporate these studies in a more relaxed, natural way, but….

    I’d like to “listen” to our chosen composers during breakfast, lunch, copywork, chore time, etc. but I just haven’t made that happen.  I’d like to read about a one too (as we have in the past) but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed (I think I already said that:) with ALL of the books I already have listed.  Would doing these studies by term even help??  We could “listen” to our composer throughout the week then break up the other 3 by term, right?? 

    Any feedback would be great.  I do feel these studies are such an enrichment to our lives and I don’t want to pass them up, I just need to be real about the amount of time I have and the our lifestyle Laughing.

    TIA for any and all replies.


    Well, here is what AO does….

    Picture Study – one artist per term – 6 pictures (so a new picture every other week)

    Hymn – I think 1 per term (I didn’t do their hymn study)

    Composer – 1 per term – about 8 or so songs to listen to (I think it varied)

    Poetry – generally 1 poet per term – reading a poem each day.


    We did poetry every day – it was just reading one or two poems (I did a second one if the first was short and my son wanted another…) – no analysis or anything so it only took a couple of minutes

    Composer – we didn’t do this the first few terms.  After that I downloaded the suggested songs for the term and tried to remember to put it on for background music (didn’t always remember) – we didn’t bother doing any learning about the composer or anything (my oldest is only 7)….    BUT we also listen to 2 or 3 Suzuki violin CD’s at least once a day… for a while was listening to the first 1-2 Suzuki piano CD’s (until I got rid of our piano…)  plus my kids play several suzuki violin songs every day… so I don’t feel to bad when we don’t listen to the composer study!

    Hymn – we didn’t get around to those at all the last couple of years – this next year I plan to do a hymn and a children’s primary song each month…  singing them each day.  I hope to lean a few in sign language and maybe German (our foriegn language)

    Picture Study – we did the AO selections so one every other week.  We didn’t read an artist bio or anything though.  Next year I plan to do 2 artists a term… the AO selection probably and then a Canadian artist….

    Most of these things only take a couple of minutes to do….


    I hope it helps!


    Right now I have decided to do only two per term (half-year) – ONE poet and either ONE composer or ONE artist. I am going to go through it slowly so that I don’t overwhelm the kids.

    That way, by the time they are done with school they will have intimate knowledge of 24 poets and a combination of 24 artists or composers. (Twelve years times two terms per year).

    We do this as part of our morning activities together as a family. Other activities we do in the morning are daily devotions, read-alouds, nature study and character development.

    I like the “Getting to Know…” books for brief biographies of artists and composers.



    In a perfect CM world, these things would be done weekly (spend some time each week on each area).

    I think I remember reading somewhere on this forum that when people start these things, sometimes they just add in one new thing at a time until it becomes a habit.  That said, this is YOUR homeschool.  If you are feeling overwhelmed “doing it all”, then don’t.  You do not need to burn yourself out.  

    Would it be nice to do all of them?  yes.  Do you HAVE to?  no. 

    Pick what works for you right now – decide what is the most important thing to you that you would like to add in.  Once you feel more comfortable, add in something else.  Feel the freedom to create the schedule that works best for you at this point in time. 

    just my 2 cents…Smile


    Thanks everyone.  We did do each of these last year (especially 1 semester/term) because I had planned it out MUCH better than I did for 2nd semester.  I do have several of the “Getting to know….” books and I really have supplies for this coming school year but fear that I don’t have enough.  I don’t know if I should spread things out for the year or do them as in terms/semesters.  I guess I need to go through my resources again and see what I can spread out (like hymn….we have resources that would last a long time) and what I only want to use for 1 term and then be done with it.

    Hmmmm….thanks for the feedback…it has given me lots to think about.


    I can only share what we are going to do, what I think will work for us. But we are each in a different place. Please remember that! Do what works for you!

    I just put this down on paper today and am excited.

    I made a 15min spot once per school day.

    (We school in quarters. 4 qtrs per year. Each qtr 9 wk or 45 days which equals 180…but we school year round so the 5 days per “week” are not calendar weeks. the 5 day wk might be over 9 or so days–depending on weekends, holidays, and we always take one day off per calendar week…so Fridays or if Friday is one of our holidays (birthday for instance) we would take Monday off…and if that Monday was already a holiday…then we’d randomly chose another 1 day off.) So to sum: we school in 5 day (non calendar wks)…so our “9wk qtr really is about 11 wks and 1 or so days. This really made planning great for me. I just added another column to the scm’s term outline and one more line for term dates on this school year’s calendar)

    so Remember this is 15 min one day per week.

    Day 1: Artist/Picture Study. As I introduce the artist, we will read a picture book about him/her and look at (and hang up eye level) one piece of the artist’s work to look at through the week. Next week, on day 1, if I have another picture book, we will repeat the process with a new piece of artwork probably. If not, we will just change out the artwork every wk or 2. Note in our Family Book of Centuries.

    Day 2: Composer/Music Study. Same format as Day 1, except that we will be listening to that Composer’s Music throughout the weeks. Note in our Family Book of Centuries.

    Day 3: Hymn History/Hymn Practice. We have a wonderful book with a one page summary of the history of the hymns. We will introduce the hymn. Then practice it daily in Family Worship until it is known. We will only then on another day 3 introduce a new hymn and begin again. We will also note these in our Family Book of Centuries.

    Day 4: Poet/Poetry Study. We will introduce a Poet, read a selection of his. And then each subsquent day 4 we will read 15 minutes of poetry…some of his, but a wide variety. Again, note in Family Book of Centuries.

    I must admit that I am a very symmetrical kind of gal, being a mathematician and all. So 4 days in this time slot w/ the fifth empty made me nervous! I can’t help it. In addition, my dd7 has already been expressing the desire to be a missionary. So,

    Day 5: Missionary Study. We have tons of books. Found them at Vision Forum. We will read about Missionaries of different times once per week for 15min. She loves this. Definitely adding to Family Book of Centuries.

    Please remember. I am not talking about a big long deal. 15min once per school day…each “study” once per week.

    I don’t think it has to be done this way. I feel good about it for us. Now each of us has to pray and work it out for our own families! If you need to do it by term, or do 3 instead of 6 or do 12 instead of 6–you go girl! 🙂




    What Jo does is pretty close to what we do.  On Mondays, we do character reading.  On Tuesdays we do hymn and folk song.  On Wednesdays we do picture study.  On Thursdays we do composer (sometimes we finish listening to our music piece over lunch.) And on Fridays we read a current address from one of our church leaders.  We do read one poem every day, but only because I can’t bear to go a day without one.  In fact, this year we will be doing two poems a day–one for the older boys doing a review of English poetry (we’ve made it to about 1750, my favorites are still coming up!) and one for the little guy.  This takes us about 15-20 minutes a day, and it’s how we start off our mornings–prayer, and then our rotating schedule.  We’ve done this for so long now it’s automatic.  Then we go jump into the rest of our day.  I really like doing this each week, as it goes along with one of my very favorite quotes–

    “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”  –Goethe

    I like to get to those things every week when possible in the hopes of keeping that sense of the beautiful alive.  But the bottom line is–do it how it works for you.  ANY poetry, music and art will enrich your child’s life.  Figure out a way it works for you the best and then just do it. 


    Well, I just sat down and did some planning and incorporated some of what ya’ll suggested/shared.  And, I have to admit that is one area I don’t want to have to skip.  My kids enjoy these “extras” so much and they do add so such variety to the day.  I’m feeling better about being able to do this again (we did do this last school year, but I blew it 2nd semester with not enough planned).  I think I’m just feeling pressure since my oldest is getting older and I know his needs are changingUndecided and I feel the need to get him up to par in Math/Science.  I don’t even know that he’s “behind” but I’m just feeling some pressure right now.  But, with all that said, I do believe that these “extras” are giving him (and the others) a gift that I know he will remember. 

    @ bookworm: I’ve read that quote somewhere and love it.  I need to print that out and put on fridge, thanks for the reminder.

    I feel better now, ladies, thanks for your encouragement, yippeee!


    I don’t know what your budget is, but I struggle with some of these and bit the bullet and bought some resources this year to help me get more organized:)  I bought the SCM picture studies….awesome and definately worth the $$.  Simply laid out and my pictures are RIGHT THERE:)  I also bought Joni Erickson Tada’s “Hymns for a Kid’s Heart” book.  Hymns on cd with the story behind it RIGHT THERE.  In a perfect world, it sounds so easy to go download this and that for free…but in my real life that’s what tends to get dropped!   :)Gina


    @Gina, I think that is what hangs me up at times too. Putting all the pieces together with a hodge podge of supplies does not appeal to me, but guess what? I do it anyway AND make myself crazy at the same time.  I have so many resources that I have picked up here and there (many recommended by SCM or from the forum), so it’s not a lack of resources, but my inability (or desire) to piece it all together.  Or, I may have a bit from this composer, artist, poet, but nothing else….then I have to scour the internet/library to make it into a “study”.  I think I do it to myself, though, I have a hard time passing up a good deal and think that I will use it someday…then when I have it I don’t have anything to go with it, ugh.  If I were a more flexible person it wouldn’t really matter, but I’m not.  Nor am I good at just winging something. And, NOT stock piling without a real plan with what to use it for, but hanging on to it like I do have a plan would help me out a ton.

    I think it comes down to actually planning with what I have, being okay with the amount and moving on.  And, not stock piling supplies without a real vision for what I’ll use it for.  I like to see all the supplies/resources but at the same time it is a bit overwhelming.  Not having what you need is a bummer, but having too much can be overkill as well.

    Hmmmm…..good suggestions everyone.  Good things to think on.  Thanks.


    It is very doable each week. But, I do suggest you work one in after the other becomes a habit. That is how we did it. I read 1-2 poems per night at bedtime for the selected poet.

    Then I started adding composer. At first I got a long bio. by Opal Wheeler at the library, but since have found it simpler and less time-consuming to use a compilation of bios. of composers. It is short enough to read in one or two days. We look forward to a mental break by playing the selected composer at lunch every day. I pick up where I left off the day before. I have a cd/cassette player on the counter in the kitchen to play at lunch and I keep the selected composer cd(s) right there for the term.

    Then we picked up picture study. I purchased the Dover artist postcards at $1.50 for 6 postcards available at Rainbow Resource or Amazon in their 4 for 3. I have a 4X6 frame on the breakfast bar and change the picture each week on Monday as we talk about the picture for about 5-10 minutes on Monday. It stays there the rest of the week. During that term, I try to get a picture book on that artist from the library to read sometime. I also purchased Discovering Great Artists by Kohl from Amazon, which has short bio’s of the artists and art project ideas to throw in when desired.

    After about 8 months of these first three, I’ve finally added hymn study by using the book and cd, Hymns for a Kid’s Heart. I read the short bio. story for 1 or 2 days and learn one song per term. My children have really enjoyed adding in all of these small extras to our routine. I think you will find it worth your time and that it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Just take it slow and add one subject at a time until you are comfortable with it.


    What resources do you have? Are you lacking much to go with them? Keep it simple so it is more doable.


    I have several Hymn bio books (a few that were recommended by some of the ladies here), then we use the internet to listen to the hymns.  I do not have any CD’s that I can think of that have hymns.

    I have several of the “Getting to know….” books artists and composers.

    I have Favorite Poems Old and New

    Come Look with Me, World of Play

    The Mouse of Amherst

    Charles Dicken The Man who had Great Expectations, etc., etc, etc.  And, several composer CDs (some with one composer and some with a variety, I believe). 

    At times I look at my shelves bursting with stuff, but then piecing it together bogs me down.  Or maybe deciding on what to use at a given time, that could be it too.


    are your shelves organized?

    it helped me tremendously when we went through EVERY book, etc…and labeled the 13 bookcase shelves…each shelf..with a subject…so i have histoty, science, art, language, etc. then in the schoolroom i have 2 small labeled bookcases for just the sources for THIS year.




    No, they aren’t as organized as I would like.  I’m in the process of getting new bookcases and am hoping that will help.  I do have some things organized pretty well, but the “extras” need to organized in a little different way.  I do have everything I plan to use this coming year in one spot so I’m not searching high and low for them, but it could be better.  Just not sure yet how/where I’m going to store it all so that it is accessible, kwim??   I consider myself a pretty organized person but this coming year seems to have come at me all of sudden, yikes!

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