November 5, 2009

Singing Hymns with Non-Readers

We start each school day with Bible time. We read a short Bible story. We usually read from the Golden Children's Bible because the pictures are awesome! We then review the AWANA verses that the boys are memorizing. The last thing we do is sing a song together. We are one of those "can't carry a tune in a bucket" type of families, but the boys seem to enjoy it anyway! Last year we learned one song a month (usually a hymn) and this year we are doing the same.

It's hard to learn the words to a new song if you can't even read! So this is what I do. I type out the words for those of us who can read and the add a few visual clues for those who cannot. Sometimes I do it with clipart, sometimes I just draw the little pictures myself. Even just one or two pictures per verse seem to help them remember the rest.

(click to enlarge)

This month we are learning Take My Life and Let it Be and I just drew the pictures myself. I'm no artist, that is for sure, but the boys can usually figure out what I'm trying to get across. Sometimes I have to explain a little, like the pitcher is for pour!

This year we are using Volume One of Hymns for a Kids Heart. I highly recommend it. Not only do you get the CD with both children and adults singing the hymns but a book that has stories about the men and women who wrote them.

There are always groans when we start a new song because it is a new challenge and they are sad to see the "old" song go. But we stick with it and by the end of the month the new song is an "old" favorite and we move to the next. They aren't gone forever though... sometimes we pop in the CD and sing the songs we learned previously just for fun!

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