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Christian Home Schooling: A Bible-Based Choice in Education

Many Christian families are turning to Christian home school as a means to taking their children's educations in their own hands. Unsatisfied with the education they are getting at their traditional schools, many families decide to home school with their own Bible based learning system. This can be beneficial to your children in many ways. As they learn, they are able to also study their own religion, something that is simply not possible in a traditional public school. While there are Christian private schools, they can often be costly and not a real alternative for many families. Choosing a Bible based Christian education for your children can be a great way for them to learn not only their educational basics, but to study religion and understand the Bible as an educational text as well.

Any member of a faith based on the work of Jesus Christ can consider a Christian home school alternative. There are a few ways that you may want to set up a curriculum. You can form your own curriculum based on the ideas and principles, along with the subjects and course load you feel with be most effective with your children. Many families feel that they would prefer to write and execute their own curriculum. If, however, you feel that you'd like a more traditional curriculum to follow, there are a few ways that you can accomplish that as well.

There are plenty of resources online for finding curriculum ideas and lesson plans. The Internet is a powerful tool while home schooling, and you can connect with people all over the world who are also teaching their children a Bible based curriculum. Through them you can get some tried and true lesson plans, as well as tips and tricks to making your experience with Christian home school a success.
If you prefer to do a traditional, paper based curriculum, there are plenty of ideas available to you. You may actually order a paper curriculum, and you'll receive work books, lesson plans, testing material and more in traditional paper form, to help you with your home schooling needs. Your children will thrive on the usage of traditional materials, and they guarantee the best results for your home schooling experience.

Making the switch to home schooling is a big step to take in your child's life. The best way to make it smooth, easy and effective is to choose great curriculum to teach him or her, so that he or she can get the most out of their (and your!) hard work.


Spirituals: The Songs That Inspire Us

Great spiritual songs that inspire are a part of America's folklore. Long a part of our nation's canon of song, we hardly give thought to how they came into existence. Each one does have a story though, which sheds light on the place and time they were born.

The following songs are a few examples of great spirituals and their origins. These songs are great for singing around the piano and are a fine addition to any piano repertoire.

Amazing Grace

Written originally as a poem by John Newton in 1772, Amazing Grace is one of the most popular spiritual songs in America. The music that accompanies the version we know today is a variation of the tune "New Britain." This music first appeared in 1829 in a hymnal titled Columbian Harmony. The composer is unknown. Amazing Grace is John Newton's personal thoughts on divine grace and his conversion to Christianity.

When the Saints Go Marching In

This song is familiar as a spiritual tune often played in New Orleans to accompany a funeral procession to and from a burial. Louis Armstrong propelled the song to great popularity in the 1930s with his rousing jazz rendition. However, researchers point to the Bahamas as the birthplace of the song.

A song titled "When the Saints are Marching In" resembles the song we know today. Published in 1896, its lyricist and composer were Katherine E. Purvis and James M. Black. Various titles of the piece appeared over the years. The title we are familiar with received publication in a hymnal in 1927 titled "Spirituals Triumphant-Old and New." Vocal and instrumental versions of the song play across the land year after year.

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Wallis Willis wrote this song around 1862. The Red River reminded him of the Jordan River, and the references in the song are to the Prophet Elijah going to heaven on a chariot. This song was a favorite of plantation workers in the 1800s. It enjoyed new popularity in the 1960s as part of the music of the Civil Rights movement. Willis was once a slave of the Choctaw Indians.

Michael Row the Boat Ashore

First published in "Slave Songs of the United States" in 1867, this song began in the oral tradition. The abolitionist Charles Ware wrote the music for the words that freed slaves sung on St. Helena Island in the 1860s. This song speaks of crossing the Jordan River, and the river is a metaphor for crossing over from life to death. The Michael of the song is Michael the Archangel.

Go Tell It on the Mountain

This song is a popular Christmas tune. It's a traditional African-American spiritual written by John Wesley Work, Jr. in 1907. The song received publication that year in Nashville, Tenn., in his book, "Folk Songs of the American Negro." Work devoted his time to preserving African-American folk music. Go Tell It on the Mountain has a rich performance history, with Peter, Paul, and Mary; Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby; and Bob Marley among its performers.

The great spiritual songs continue to speak their words to new generations of listeners. They offer hope to those who seek inspirational messages in musical form to help them in their trials. For this reason, they will uplift those who play and sing them for generations to come.


LDS Sheet Music Brings Good Music into Your Home

Our oldest daughter has become quite an accomplished pianist, and her younger sister and brother are following in her foot steps. So we are always on the lookout for LDS sheet music so that we can have good music in our home. Currently our first born is away experiencing her Freshman year at college, and when she returned home for Christmas break, it was wonderful to hear her play the piano again. It is one of those things you just kind of take for granted until it is missing. Some benefits I have enjoyed as a parent of a child playing good music in the home include:

  • Greater peace and harmony in the home.
  • Joy in sharing a loved ones talent.
  • Watching the hard work and dedication of a child develop and grow.
  • A great example for her siblings.
  • A good influence on everyone in the home.
When our daughter came home for Christmas, she had the requested list of possible gifts she was interested in for her birthday and Christmas (they are only a couple of days apart). After all, that is the only way (other than gift cards) to buy for a teenager. And this year, just as in the last few years, she requested some LDS sheet music for the piano.

A couple of years ago, what she really wanted was a book of piano arrangements of LDS hymns. The music she plays from this book has been an enjoyment for many. We had to just guess out of the many books available, and have been very happy with our choice. This book of LDS sheet music is full of beautiful arrangements. She has been able to share these with family, friends and church members.

My daughter shares her talent and great example with us all. She doesn't remain stagnant but continues to nurture and develop her talent. With guidance of her Grandma, she has been mostly self-driven and taught. When she went to college last semester, she took a piano class to develop her accompanying and sight reading skills. With everybody else being music majors, it was a bit intimidating, but we all noticed when she returned home during Christmas that her sight reading skills had improved dramatically. She had a new piece of LDS sheet music, and after playing it through only twice, she had it down note perfect.

I firmly believe that music has an effect on people. I remember being at a dance as a teenager when the song "Burning Down the House" was played by the DJ. Just then the fire alarm went off. Considering the cheering that was going on, I think that a majority of the crowd would have been excited if the building had actually burned down. By the same token, music can have a positive effect on people. Because of this, it makes me glad when I hear my children listening to good music, and having LDS sheet music in the home, which leads to good piano music, is a good influence on all who hear it.

Another great thing about LDS sheet music is that you can get it in different levels of difficulty. Most is written for an intermediate to experienced pianist, but there are books out there for the beginner pianist with primary songs, a great way for kids to learn since they are playing songs that they are familiar with hearing.

So if you have a piano in your home and some budding or experienced pianists, make sure you have some LDS sheet music for them to practice and learn. It will be beneficial to them and to everyone else in your home.


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