Beginning to home school preschool/pre-K and selected some materials for a classical curriculum and some materials from Catholic Heritage Curricula, I have purchased a home copy of the music program Making Music Praying Twice. This is a really well done early music education program.
First, it is fun and can be done very informally. Mom sings and dances and enjoys the music while supplying shakers and other small instruments and scarves of light flow-y material, and the children join in as they please. It is aimed at demonstrating the DOING of music and not passive enjoyment.
Second, there is a music readiness evaluation in the book. There are CDs of music for all the liturgical year. There are chapters instructing in how to easily and painlessly create the right type of lesson plan for the age and developmental level of your child or children.
Three, this works for all the kids. The baby and the 2nd grader can enjoy the same lessons at different levels– like a really good unit study.
Four, in addition to easy patriotic or folk songs, there are silly songs to encourage participation and important songs of the Mass, such as the Agnus Dei.
Five, mom need not play an instrument to use this program. She might even discover she is more musical than she thought!
Six, the supplies needed are easy to get, and not horribly expensive. Some can be made, others can be found objects from around the house. No drum? No problem, how about a pot or big container and a spoon?
My first day with this program saw the baby in the crib and me interacting with my toddler. I glanced over and the BABY was holding on to the side of the playpen and trying hard to keep time with his feet just like Mommy! Talk about making me feel like a stellar teacher.
Our home school is on good footing and I haven’t even started with the rest of what I purchased. Even with extras and shipping, the materials I chose from CHC, came to less than $250 and the majority of those materials will be reused with the younger child and carry over into our Kindergarten year.
We are off to a great start.