Category: Audio

Birds: Week Three

I’m writing out ahead of time what our plan is for the week and then I will be posting photos, here and on my Instagram, as we progress! This week we will be learning about the birds we could see in our backyard – so feel free to swap these out with the birds for your area. I found our list simply by searching “Colorado Most Common Birds” and found this page.

** Reminder: We will still be doing our core subjects (math, writing, reading) and then filling the rest of our time exploring this topic.

All Week



Hawk, Eagle & Owl





❤ Tara

Birds: Week Two

Unit Study: Birds - Week Two | www.oliverandtara.com

I’m writing out ahead of time what our plan is for the week and then I will be posting photos, here and on my Instagram, as we progress! Week one was so much fun and we can’t wait to get into learning all about the parts of a bird!

Supply list here.

** Reminder: We will still be doing our core subjects (math, writing, reading) and then filling the rest of our time exploring this topic.

All Week







❤ Tara

Birds: Week One

Unit Study: Birds Week One | www.oliverandtara.com

I’m writing out ahead of time what our plan is for the week and then I will be posting photos, here and on my Instagram, as we progress! We are excited and prepped for our week and can’t wait to dive in.

** Reminder: We will still be doing our core subjects (math, writing, reading) and then filling the rest of our time exploring this topic.

A printable supply list for all the crafts can be found here.

All Week



Eggs



Bird Food




❤ Tara

Birds: Hymn

Each month we learn a new hymn. We listen to it for the whole month, talk about the verses regularly and hopefully have it memorized by the end of the month! We often play it in the car as we drive places during the day, or over our Google Home when we are around the house. I typically follow AmblesideOnline for our music selections. But with this month being a unit study for us, I went in search of a hymn that was fitting.

There are a plethora of hymns related to birds. Some very well known, and others more obscure. I wanted on the kids would recognize throughout their life, so I went with common.

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

The Story

Written by Civilla Martin in 1904 when visiting an ill bed-ridden friend. That friend held onto Matthew 10:29-31 during her illness. It inspired Civilla, a poet and wife of an evangelist, and by the end of the day the poem was completed. It was then sent off to the well known composer of the day, Charles Gabriel. And the rest is history!

Lyrics

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.


❤ Tara

Birds: Folk

Unit Study: Birds - folk song of the month | www.oliverandtara.com
Unit Study: Birds - Folk song of the month! | www.oliverandtara.com

Another “riches” we include in our monthly rhythm are folk songs. We practice and learn a new one for a month and then add the song to our Spotify playlist. This gives us an ever growing list of songs we can sing together in the car, on hikes, etc.

Why a folk song?

Oh my word, there are so very many reasons to include folk songs in with your other riches. For one, it is a huge part of our cultural heritage here in America. The lyrics often address parts of our history and the music style itself is fading away. Children love singing folk songs. They often have an upbeat yet simple tune to follow along with while you sing. And some of the lyrics are just plane nonsensical and amusing!

Simply put, they infuse beauty, fun, history and culture into your learning space.

Folk songs with birds

As soon as I picked this month’s theme, I knew I would have an abundance of folk songs to pick from about birds. However, I have learned in the past that you MUST pre-screen your folk songs. Or risk traumatizing your more sensitive kids. (oops!)

This month I picked a simple folk song with a beautiful tune and a great way to talk about all the birds they are learning this month. You can add in any bird you like to this simple song and sing as you work, play and go about your daily rhythm. I often hear the kids singing folk songs as they do other tasks and it always makes me so happy.

Little Bird, Little Bird (Elizabeth Mitchell)

Little bird, little bird
Fly through my window
Little bird, little bird
Fly through my window
Little bird, little bird
Fly through my window
Find molasses candy

Through my window
My sugar lump
Fly through my window
My sugar lump
Find molasses candy

Who knows a bird?
Me! Chickadee!
What's a chickadee say?
ChchchchchchChickadee, chickadee

Fly through my window
Chickadee, chickadee
Fly through my window
Chickadee, chickadee
Fly through my window
Find molasses candy

Through my window
My sugar lump
Fly through my window
My sugar lump
And find molasses candy

Who knows another bird?
Me! Jaybird!
What does a jaybird say?
Jayjayjayjayjayjay

Jaybird, jaybird
Fly through my window
Jaybird, jaybird
Fly through my window
Jaybird, jaybird
Fly through my window
Find molasses candy

Through my window
My sugar lump
Fly through my window
My sugar lump
Find molasses candy

Who knows one more bird?
I do! A whip-poor-will
What does a whip-poor-will say?

Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will
Fly through my window
Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will
Fly through my window
Whip-poor-will, whip-poor-will
Fly through my window
Find molasses candy

Through my window
My sugar lump
Fly through my window
My sugar lump
Find molasses candy


❤ Tara

Birds: Classical Music

We typically study one composer at time when we explore classical music throughout the school year. We really learn all about the composer and get a feel for their music so we can identify it when we hear it in another context.

This month we are doing it a bit different. We are instead exploring a variety of composers who have created works around birds! Some actually have bird sounds, others use instruments to imitate birds. Overall it gives us great music to listen to and talk about

When to Listen

We don’t have an assigned day or time to listen to music. We typically play our classical music in the background while we do other things. Some suggestions are during:

  • Meals
  • Art/Handicrafts
  • Bible Reading
  • Read Alouds
  • Quiet Time
  • Game time

What We’re Listening To…

  • The Lark Ascending, Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Inspired by the 1881 poem of the same name, this piece was first performed in 1920. A 16 minute song, it was created for a solo violin with an orchestra.
  • The Birds, Ottorino Respighi
    This suite is for a small orchestra and while written in 1926, it is based on music from the 17th and 18th century. The goal of the music was to recreate bird songs and movement. It includes The Dove, The Hen, The Nightingale and The Cuckoo.
  • Cantus Articus, Einojuhani Rautavaara
    This Finnish composer created this composition in 1972. It includes taped recordings of birds from the Finland and the Arctic Circle with the music including shore larks and swans.
  • Bird Concerto with Pianosong, Jonathan Harvey
    Written in 2001 for a solo piano with 7 person ensemble. Harvey listened to 40 birds, including indigo buntings and golden crown sparrows, then slowed down their songs and began turning them into musical notes.
  • Le Merle noir, Olivier Messiaen
    Written in 1952, it is a chamber work from French flute and piano. He had a lifelong interest in birdsong and this piece was his earliest work incorporating stylized birdsong.
  • Le Réveil des oiseaux, Olivier Messiaen
    This whole piece was build from birdsong and is known as a dawn chorus.
  • Epode, Olivier Messiaen
    This work is scored for 18 violins, all playing a different birdsong.

Listen With Us


❤ Tara

Learning on the Road: Playlists

The kids and I spend a lot of time on the road. We love to go on adventures. We have museum memberships, a grew t botanical garden, a lovely zoo, hiking galore and friends all over the state. We could easily waste that time in the car. Or we could make that time count!

One way we learn on the go is by using Spotify Playlists. Our curriculum has the children learning folk songs, singing hymns and completing composer studies.

Making playlists means it’s a quick click to start our “school” as soon as we get in the car in the morning!

Some of our playlists have become favorites and are asked for all day long – especially our folk songs! And I just love hearing them humming a song we’ve learned.

We follow Ambleside Online for our composer studies while picking some of our own music selections for Folk Songs and Hymns.

Click here to read about my Folk Song dilemma.

Feel free to take a peek at some of our playlists!

What do you listen to in the car?

♥ Tara

Nana and Papa McKinney

My parents were both in town at the same time, so we could FINALLY break the news to them! Now, you know I couldn’t just say it – we had the benefit of seeing them eye-to-eye and watching their reactions (unlike the majority of our family). They are some of the few people who knew of our on-going struggle to get pregnant and were praying fervently for us. So we convinced them to go out to dinner with us to celebrate “mother’s day” and “father’s day”, since they had been out of town for both of those holidays. We met them at P.F. Changs in downtown San Jose. We then brought of the conversation of dates for a trip to Vegas we were going to take in January …. all while having these in our laps:

Nana and Papa x2 (this will be their second grandchild)

I’m not quite sure what my favorite part of this audio is …

  • dad cutting me off when I was trying to get to the big news
  • the dramatic pause where we hold up their shirts
  • dad’s yell of “ARE YOU KIDDING?!” which resulted in the entire restaurant looking at us 🙂
  • Me, being too close to the secret recording, laughing and crying simultaneously through the whole thing
  • Mom telling the waiter when he came to give us our food
  • Ok… I pretty much love the whole thing.

Listen for yourself… Telling Parents Moment

<3 Tara (& Oliver!)

Hearts Beat Fast…

Today we heard a beautiful sound … one that left Oliver’s mouth hanging open and me struggling between smiling and crying. We heard our baby’s heartbeat – and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. Over two years of waiting … it was pure magic.

 

Our hearts beating together … 

 

Click the link to heat the baby’s heartbeat

I keep hearing the lyrics to Christina Perri’s song in my head..

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid
To fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt
Suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything
Take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath,
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

And all along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

One step closer
One step closer
Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

 

<3 Tara (and Oliver!)