We've been so enjoying our Advent readings thus far into this Christmas season. Among our readings are, Ann's book, AO Christmas poetry, and we've also been enjoying reading/listening to Handel's Messiah. All the words are taken straight from Scripture, starting with prophecy of the coming Messiah, interwoven with passages of his birth, life, death and resurrection! It's beautiful. I'd heard it before, but before now I'd never read along, so I hadn't really heard it, if you know what I mean.
As we are about halfway through (or at least halfway to Christmas – we'll be catching up, see below), I'm making a few notes of observations you and I might find helpful in the future. :)
- We take turns reading the selection out loud before listening to the selection. After listening, on occasion, we'll talk about how the sound or tone or particular instruments leant to our understanding of the passage. Most days, we don't discuss, we just enjoy the music.
- It would be more meaningful for everyone to be able to read along. For that purpose, I've made a handy-dandy printable so that should help (we tried using our Bibles, but it's a different version, and that seemed to throw the littles for a loop – literally. I found them not listening at all, instead they were actually throwing themselves into loops by flailing their limbs and contorting their bodies into fantastical positions).
- Encourage self-expression. We take turns at director of the symphony or as the opera singers. It can make things VERY interesting. ;) Warning: this activity may lead to the aforementioned flailing limb-type activity, jumping up and down, and even cartwheels. Just sayin'.
- It's better to listen to a smallish section at a time rather than attempt several sections (thanks Miss Charlotte!) This may seem fairly obvious to long-time CMers, but really, if you want to listen to several sections per day, or if you get behind and want to catch up, spread them out throughout the day rather than piling them all on top of one another. The kids might actually enjoy it that way, and you will too. And, you will avoid finding yourself frustrated that they will. not. sit. still. for. just. one. more. accompagnato. I know this can happen. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience... ;)
I hope your Christmas is bright as you bask in His Light!