Some people think old hymns are boring and for the days of old. I once thought that way as well, until the Lord showed me otherwise. I want to share how to do a hymn study so that your family too can appreciate the essence of what they offer us as Christians. Be sure to grab the Free Hymns Copywork Pack.
What is a hymn?
Hymns are a total celebration of who God is with praise, acknowledgment, joy, and thanksgiving. All this is present in a hymn, regardless of what circumstance one may find themselves in.
I am Hispanic and started my Christian walk in a very “lively” church. I really enjoyed lively and powerful worship music there. So, when we left that church I felt there was a void in that piece of worshipping that went missing.
When my best friend kept inviting me to her church, I was wary about the church because I felt as if the music was boring or for old people. And I have difficulty with change.
The preaching was solid, so I knew I had to give it a chance. One day during worship at this new church, I felt as if the Lord completely opened my judgmental ears.
He allowed me to actually listen to the words I was singing of hymns from the teleprompter slide. I nearly fell to my knees to realize they depict the mighty power of God through a passionate follower of Jesus. Church music has never been the same since.
I clearly found the meaning of a hymnal. It is an expression of worship of the ALMIGHTY GOD, sovereign, perfect, worthy Creator of all things.
Why should you do hymn studies?
The words of a hymn are extremely important. They express in words and song what sometimes our hearts feel but can never say quite right. Sometimes the worries of this world are a bit much for us put in words, yet a hymn can do it for us and our hearts cry out to God as such.
A study of a new hymn in your homeschool helps your students discover the points of what a true hymn is about. British protestants in the 1700s, Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley, took their Reformed theological backgrounds set the standard for hymns, and stated that they have six general characteristics.
Each of these characteristics of hymns is exactly why we should teach our children all about them.
Our children will benefit from studying hymns because:
- Hymns are God-centered, and not man-centered.
- Good hymns are theologically sounds and are rooted solidly in God’s Word.
- Hymns have language that is clear, concise, while beautiful, full of dignity, reverence, and simplicity.
- True hymns speak in unquestionable truth. They are deep, sincere, and depict a vital experience of God. God’s love is perfect even through any trial.
- Hymns are poetic in nature having a single theme and organic unity. Like telling a story, with no-nonsense.
- Good hymns tend to point the listener heavenward, towards Christ, towards the Almighty. Although they may be engulfed with suffering or trials they depict a longing and deep delight of our eternal resting place.
- Each of these things our children can glean from in their listening and studying of such works of art to our Maker. The type of faith we hear about in hymns are ways your whole family can appreciate how we put faith into action.
How to do a hymn study?
The very best way to study hymns in your homeschool is to not make it a once and a while thing you do, rather incorporate it into your daily lessons and plans.
After you or/and your students select which hymns you would like to study throughout the year… now what?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Students can learn hymns in a simple way. It can be a habit in your homeschool AND teach about history, build your child’s faith. That is a maximum benefit.
To start a hymn study:
- Choose the hymns (best if laid out in your homeschool plan for the year.)
- Explore the hymn’s history. If your kids are younger, make sure to do the history yourself beforehand. The history points usually go like this for both older kids and young – The hymn writers, the melody creators, and the testimonies behind the hymn lyrics.
- Learn about the lives of hymn writers. The powerful stories and amazing testimonies of the writers of the hymns of old can help the hymn have more meaning.
- Listen to various versions of the hymn. Since each one is different, students will pay attention and notice the differences.
- Select some vocabulary words your kids can discuss, define, and work on the spelling of the new word or words.
- Incorporate some hymnal picture books or images online if they are available.
- Task your student to draw or make an art piece around the hymn.
- Sing the hymn with your children. If your students are musically inclined, then task kids to learn the hymn in their instrument.
- Lastly, here is something we can help you with. Incorporate copy work into your hymn study. Writing the lyric helps your students to memorize the hymns, think about the words, and work on their handwriting skills.
Free Hymns Copywork Pack
Provide your students with the opportunity to explore hymns by writing the lyrics of hymns in both print and cursive with this Free Hymns Copywork Pack from Daily Skill Building.
In addition to the hymn copywork, students are tasked to research key facts about the hymn’s songwriter using biography pages.
The hymn copywork pack also includes listening response pages so students can identify musical instruments, tempo, mood, and dynamics of the music.
Check out the famous hymns included in this copywork:
- When I Survey the Wondrous Cross by Isaac Watts
- Christ the Lord is Risen Today by Charles Wesley
- Father, Whate’er of Earthly Bliss by Anne Steele
- Amazing Grace by John Newton
- There is a Fountain by William Cowper
- Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber
- Blessed Assurance By Fanny Crosby
- It is Well With My Soul (These beautiful lyrics by Horatio Spafford make our family’s favorite hymn)
- How Great Thou Art by Carl Boberg
- Great is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm
Free Hymn Study Printables
Whether you have dedicated school time for your hymn study, Bible study time, or you are planning out your homeschool year, these printables are great tools to get the most out of any classical hymn.
There are powerful messages in the meaning of hymns. Explore hymn studies to help build your children into thankful people who praise God, follow Jesus Christ, and stand on the solid rock throughout life’s turmoil. God truly is a mighty fortress, great Jehovah.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!