Everyone knows that little kids love music. But did you know that preschoolers exposed to music benefit from increased math abilities, heightened appreciation for beauty, and higher SAT scores? In fact, studies prove that children who receive music lessons as part of their curriculum have a 46% average increase in spatial IQ over their peers who receive no music education. Pretty astonishing statistics right? Music instruction can improve a child’s spatial intelligence, and it can also open their senses to new sights and sounds.
So how do you succeed integrating music into a preschool homeschool curriculum?
- Know what the goal is. For the most part, young children are not exposed to instruments in order to master them, but to gain experience knowledge of new ideas. While learning about music, they also learn to develop more meaningful relationships with their friends and siblings. In a preschool homeschool curriculum, you can begin to integrate music lessons soon after birth or within the child’s first year.
- Realize that these beginning “lessons” do not have to be formal. In fact, at such young ages it is probably better to keep your music instruction as relaxed and open ended as possible. Helping your child focus on the music with simple movement activities such as musical games, swaying, singing and dancing can encourage your child get involved early.
- Immerse your child in a musical environment. One of the greatest ways you can help your child love music and learn about musical instruments and concepts is by listening to music every day! By immersing your little one in a musical environment you can build their creativity, and the sooner they they listen to different beats, rhythms, and sounds, the sooner you can teach them about each of those musical concepts in their lessons.
- There is always something new to learn about integrating music into a preschool homeschool curriculum. Research shows that from around age one to age nine, the mental structures associated with processing and understanding music are in the prime stages of development, making it especially important for parents to expose children in this age range to music. So how can you come up with homeschool music lessons that are both educational and fun? The following are just a few ideas.
- Start each morning with a song or circle time. Having a short circle time is a great way to help young kids transition from morning work or free time to their school work and is a great way to tie in themes, unit studies, and holidays into the day. For example, if you are preparing to teach a unit on friendship, you could begin your circle time with a short song about friends and families.
- Find songs or create songs to teach concepts, such as the days of the week and months of the year. These ideas work well, especially if your homeschool is less structured, does not have a calendar area, and doesn’t start with calendar time. You can talk about what the date and day of the week is each morning. To help the kids learn the order of the days of the week, you can sing a day of the week song, too.
- Add instruments to your homeschooling day. This is one of the best ways to guarantee that students will learn about the different instruments from around the world. You can show them that each instrument makes a different sound and you can spend time explaining what each one does, and then show them how to play it.
- Let kids acquire some hands-on experience with the instruments themselves. If you only have a few unique instruments, why not give each of your kids an instrument to play for a whole week or month? Then you can have them switch and try something new. By giving them the time to experiment with different sounds and rhythms, they will gain a broader understanding of music and how to use it in their every day lives.
It’s not only a good idea integrating music into a preschool homeschool curriculum because of the statistics, but it’s also a fun way for your kids to learn. Most parents want to foster a love for learning in each of their children, and by starting musical lessons and appreciation early you are helping them to build skills to better enhance their future in the years to come.