The Importance of Art & Music (and a Free Schoolhouse Expo this month - come sign up!)
May 10, 2017
Mercy Every Minute   

Two things I know: God is an artist, and God loves music. The Scriptures reveal these two aspects of God. If we want our children to be like Him, we should not dismiss these two avenues in our instruction. And, we should never underestimate the power of music and art in a child’s life. It just might be their future. 

When your children take art classes, visit art museums, and meet artists of all kinds, you just may be preparing your child for a future in art. When they take music lessons, go to symphonies, and join choirs, you may be preparing them for a full future in music. All of these things could be involved in the shaping or revealing of God’s gifting within them. Even if none of the kids become artists or musicians, they will all grow in art knowledge and appreciation. 

Your students will understand the creativity and artwork of God Himself through observing His creation, and they'll worship Him in music. God is not only an artist, He molds and shapes each child and has good works for each one to do. Let’s get them creating art and music and copying the Master Artist Himself. 

God thinks music is very important, and it holds a place of prominence throughout the Scriptures. It is used to soothe the soul, to lead an army into battle, and to praise God for the victory. There were singers and musicians and music makers in the temples and tabernacles and at the city gates. From Genesis to Revelation, music was revealed as an important aspect of human life, just as it is today. Let us worship Him in song and teach our children to do the same.

Sometimes you don’t know which activities will ignite the flame of your children’s future, but God does. Trust God to direct you as you walk this path of obedience. As you search for what is best for your children, ask the God Who loves music and art to give you His wisdom for each one. As we allow God to guide our homeschool path, He brings forth what He knew all along was in each child.

“Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud voice” (Psalm 33:2-3).

 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

~ Deborah


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Staying Relational    

Dear Friends,

When it comes to the arts—and how to nurture your child’s inner artist—I have some opinions.  You see, of my three children, one studied classical ballet at a college in the South; another studied classical piano at a conservatory in the Midwest, while the third graduated with a theater degree from a conservatory in the Northwest.  

How does this sort of arts-loving, beauty-making thing happen in kids? Obviously, there are natural giftings and talents that come into play. You already know that. But beyond what is hard-wired into them, there are two suggestions I would make that can inspire and nurture your child in the arts.

The first is to recognize the wonderland of opportunities moms and dads have for exposing their children to greatness in art.  My husband taught me this when our kids were 9, 7, and 5. He knew we would be driving through Helena, Montana, and was aware that this city boasted a number of Charlie Russell paintings. To prepare our kids to really “get” this great American painter of the West, he went to the library and found a children’s book of Russell paintings. As we traveled, my kids—especially seven-year-old Michael—pored over the pages.  When we actually arrived at the museum, I was stunned to see my elementary-aged son stand mesmerized before one of Russell’s paintings, “When the Land Belonged to God,” which depicts vast herds of American bison on the plains. After many minutes of his absorbing the painting, I tentatively suggested that we leave. Michael turned to me with shining eyes and said, “Mom, that’s MY painting!” He was noticeably moved by the greatness of what we had seen.

So, think about it. What can you see, hear, or watch in your local area that displays the beauty of a master painter, composer, dancer, or playwright? If at all possible, prepare your children beforehand for what they will see, using books, CDs, or DVDs. It will help your kids “own” the actual art as something uniquely special for them.

Secondly, consider your own approach to the arts. If you want to nurture your child’s “inner artist,” how do you personally respond to art? Whether or not you find that music, painting, dance, and theater touches your heart, you can still be supportive as you intentionally begin to appreciate the beauty, power, and expressiveness of the creative arts. Your children learn a lot from your responses. If you are interested, chances are they will make a note of it. If you are bored, they will pick up your cue.

Art is a very relational subject. The way you expose your children to its greatness, and the way you respond yourself, will be the most significant ways you can help your children develop a love for the arts.

Stay relational!


Jodi Riddle

I have always loved music. In my younger days, it was a form of “entertainment.” I spent much time listening to many varieties of music—all pertaining to my flesh. Music does that, you know? Certain beats, rhythms, and varieties appeal to our flesh. It can alter our moods—good and bad. It can soothe us or hype us up. It can play with our emotions—make us sad or happy. It’s kind of scary the effect music can have on an individual. But what saith the Scriptures about music?

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him” (Psalm 28:7).

When I came to know the Lord, I realized that my music was to be a form of worship unto Him. I found that what I listened to could draw me closer to Him, or take me further away from Him. As I grew in my relationship with Him, I wanted to draw nearer to Him and, therefore, changed my view of music. Music was no longer a form of “entertainment”it was no longer for “me.” It became a way of “worship.” I wanted to be sure that what I listened to was a way of glorifying the Lord. 

Now, as I teach piano lessons to several from my church, I emphasize the importance of why they are playing. Play to honor the One who has gifted you. When you sing, sing to praise His name. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23). And what you listen to can put you in the frame of mind to worship the Lord or possibly even reject (or ignore) Him. 

“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD” (Psalm 40:3).

Why is music important? Because it can be a testimony to a lost world of who our God is. It can be a way of glorifying the One who is worthy to be worshipped. It can bring honor to the Lord in the form of praise. Make music an important and meaningful part of your life, and use it to praise His name! 

-Jodi Riddle

Jodi has been with TOS since April 2016. She serves as an assistant in the operations, human resource, and customer service areas. Jodi is a pastor’s wife and has 3 boys. She has homeschooled for 16 years and also taught in the private and public school settings. Jodi enjoys teaching, playing the piano, scrapbooking, and making cards. Her heart’s desire is to help others learn to enjoy these things as well!


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in the latest issue of
The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine.

Light, Optics, & Color: An Exploration-Based Science Curriculum, is a fascinating new science program for middle school students (ages 11-14). Its creator, Carolyn Schmidt Balch, has designed an exceptional program which can be used in homeschools as well as in public or private schools. Completing the program provides one unit of study for students. The book can be purchased in print form or as a PDF; and the accompanying teaching video is available as a DVD, or can be streamed from YouTube via the company website. We were able to use and review the softcover book and its companion DVD.

The design of Light, Optics, & Color is quite unique. Rather than a plan or a book which teaches a lot of information, then follows that with a quick experiment or two, this curriculum is comprised of experiments which illustrate and teach the principles to students as they perform them. Ms. Balch developed this system after years of teaching, as she observed how much students learned as they did what real scientists do; performing experiments and investigating principles by actually doing the science, instead of just reading about it. The result was this book, which is filled with simple yet profound experiments and teaching activities. These can be completed by students on their own or with a teacher/parent. With these, the book instructs students in principles of light, optics, and color very thoroughly and clearly. And in addition to the 20 engrossing experiments, there are additional “explorations” including Bible study, artistic connections, a graphic organizer, history, and dictations. All of these enrich the experiments and the science, by focusing on the bigger picture that the science fits into. (Also included is a unit review.)

The Light, Optics, & Color DVD contains filmed video of the twenty experiments conducted in the book. Each experiment ranges from about two minutes to over eleven minutes apiece, and the video can be used in conjunction with the book. We found these very helpful; after we conducted the experiments and my son journaled his findings, we’d watch the videos which reinforced what we’d learned and, in some ways, explained things more fully. (Parents might especially appreciate the eye anatomy and dissection video.) (
. . .)

(Read the rest of the review.)  

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TO ENTER: Email Kathleen with your name, mailing address, and phone number for contact purposes, with the subject line, “Light Optics” for a chance to win* it for your family! 

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