Reflections on the various dimensions of feminine vocation from liturgical homemaking and child rearing to education and the spiritual life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Keeping it Kinetic

I've discovered an essential key to keeping our homeschooling efforts from languishing in static boredom and ineffectiveness. Without it, Katherine would tire and lose focus and motivation. Without it, Jude would go ballistic sabotaging all our seat work. And it's as simple as "Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake."

After morning prayers, before we begin any other subjects or seat work, we sing one or two songs with movement to get energized, focused, and ready to go. We sing and move to another song or two after each 15 to 30 minutes of seat-work. This allows me to "feed the meter" on Jude's attention and active-toddler needs and also allows Katherine to get out her wiggles and mix things up. If I skip the music and movement, getting Katherine to engage in seat-work (a.k.a. penmanship, spelling, and reading) feels like pulling teeth. With the kinetic breaks, she is a whole lot more cooperative.

And, well, music and movement time is just plan fun, not to mention educational in its own right! Some of the songs also really get the heart pumping for a healthy mini-workout.

Some of our favorite songs with movement so far are the following:
  • I'm a Little Tea Pot
  • Pat-a-Cake, Pat-a-Cake, Baker's Man
  • Head and Shoulders
  • Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed (We actually jump on the bed for this one, which makes it a favorite of favorites.)
  • Open and Shut Them
  • Ring-a-Ring-a-Rosie
  • Father Abraham
  • I'm in the Lord's Army
  • See How I'm Jumping
  • If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Praise Ye the Lord, Alleluia (We crouch down and then pop up like a Jack-in-the-box for one or other of the refrains.)

And sometimes we just play a fast song on the computer-stereo and dance like crazy people around the apartment. A kinetic round of Simon Says also works.

What are some other good movement and music songs? Which ones do you like to sing with your little people? Do share.


  1. Our latest favs are "Candelight" and "the Purim song" by the Maccabeats. We look it up on YouTube and jam out.

  2. Awesome idea. I'm going to try it.