Have you noticed how ultra visual our society is becoming? Everywhere you go, there's a screen of some sort -- Walmart, the bank, even doctor's offices. And everywhere you go, there are younger and younger people with hand-held screens in their hands! Heads down, eyes glued to a screen.
Now I'm not against social media and the devices to facilitate communication. That's not what I want to talk about. Sure, I'm definitely concerned about what all the screen time might do to our posture, eye sight and ability to communicate in a face-to-face manner -- but I want to look at teaching and how we can implement some auditory training for our children as we homeschool.
In such a visual society, how we can encourage our children to be auditory as well as visual in learning, listening and communicating? After all, our kids need acoustical training, too! Whether it's listening to musical scores, hearing books on CD, listening to the real sounds of nature -- our children need a variety of opportunities to develop their listening skills.
Here are a few things I recommend in teaching:
1) Keep on reading to your kids, moms and dads! Use voice inflection, and read with plenty of feeling. When I was a little girl, I used to love the sound of my dad's voice as he would read, tell stories and tuck us in at night. There was never a more pleasant tone than that of my father's voice!
2) Let your kids hear books, stories or dramas on CD. Vision Forum offers some wonderful audio books by G.A. Henty that are delightfully told by master storyteller Jim Weiss. From Wulf the Saxon to Beric the Briton -- it's quite captivating! Also, Lamplighter Publishing has some great audio dramas. We liked Sir Malcolm and the Missing Prince. Of course who could forget Focus on the Family's Adventures in Odyssey?
3) Consider having your children study an instrument. If that's not possible, perhaps you could do a unit study on orchestral instruments or music in general. Music is such an incredibly beautiful language, is so moving and so fun to listen to! Studying the great composers is another good idea.
4) Enjoy listening to the majestic sounds of creation in the outdoor world whether it's the relaxing sound of a creek, the bellowing tones of frogs outside on summer night or the melodious birds in your own backyard.
I encourage you to continue to think of ways to balance the visual and auditory teaching this month.
"A picture might be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to music, a musical excerpt is worth a thousand pictures!" -Professor Robert Greenberg
Stay faithful, and with God's help, keep being the best teacher you can be!