I know that picture you have in your head.
Everyone’s up. The beds are made. The breakfast dishes are already rinsed and in the dishwasher. The children are excited to start their homeschool day and you just topped off your coffee. It’s Morning Time! The gleeful giggles warm your heart as you dive into a perfect homeschool day.
We don’t generally have days that start like that. Honestly, I’m not a morning person. At all. My darling boys are well aware that mommy can’t talk coherently until after a (large) cup of coffee. Thank you, Keurig, for always being there for me. I digress.
BUT . . . over time Miss Mason has endeared to me the quiet, restful, gentle art of learning. And while we still have kerfuffles some days, altogether morning time has centered and grounded our homeschool in ways that allow us to weave the foundation of our day well.
A Call to Morning Time Learning
To begin our morning time rituals, I light my favorite Mrs. Meyers Lavender Candles when I sit down to my coffee and Write the Word journal. That way, it smells cozy and calm by the time we are ready to begin morning time.
I give the boys a 5 minute warning to put away their games or drawing supplies or LEGOs and set my timer. When the timer goes off, I call them to the table. They get to take turns ringing our crystal butterfly bell to call us to order. It belonged to my Mamaw, and using it makes me feel like she’s a part of our homeschool.
This sweet, gentle call to attention took about two weeks to really solidify into the boys quieting down and recognizing that it meant we were now in learning time. It was worth the effort. They look forward to our morning ritual.
Morning Time Scriptures and Hymns
We begin our morning time with an opening prayer. We use the opening prayer from our Memoria Press guide on Monday to keep it fresh, and we are working through various other prayers through this year. This year we are memorizing the Disturb Us, Lord prayer of Sir Francis Drake. The Prayers for Children book has several sweet short prayers to help your younger children cultivate their hearts with beautiful words so they can form their own prayers later.
We follow our prayers with either a hymn or a folksong. For our hymns, we use Then Sings My Soul. It has the history of the hymn and the sheet music. We only learn the first line if it is a multiple verse hymn. We recently learned the Doxology and hearing tiny hearts sing praises is absolutely the best way to begin the day! For folk songs, Ambleside Online has a great list compiled.
We loop our schedule for these. Our quarters are 9 weeks long. For each week we learn a new song. The same songs are done in Quarter 1 as in Quarter 3, and Quarter 2 as in Quarter 4. At the end of our year the boys have learned 18 new songs.
We utilize recitation and narration. Awana verses are often our recitation materials. We use poetry, other scripture passages, and quotes to work on reciting well. We practice good speaking posture, breathing correctly, and speaking clearly.
For our narration readings we use The Story Bible or short story/chapter books like The Burgess Animal Book (this one is also good for nature study) and Little Sir Galahad, a book from the Lamplighter collection of rare books. If you haven’t ever seen their books, I simply cannot recommend them highly enough. They are inspiring stories full of food for the moral imagination.
Music and Art Study for Morning Time
We do either music or art each day in our morning time. SQUILT is by far my favorite resource for actual music study. This is our second time through Bach because Mr. T and I both love him. The study is fun and simple.
We also incorporate whatever composer we are studying into our daily life throughout the week or weeks we study them. The music plays as background for meal time, or playtime, or even in the car. We sometimes draw what we are hearing or narrate how the music sounded and how it made us feel.
It doesn’t need to be complex! Good music is full of truth, beauty, and goodness. The mathematical beauty that Charlotte Mason loved so much is exemplified through music like no other medium. Allow your children to discover, to consider, and to determine what they like or don’t about the music.
Artist study is another component of morning time. We do a single artist and multiple pieces each week. We learn a short bio of the artist and cover a few pieces over the course of the week through visual study. Mr. T has a remarkable aptitude for art. We use using online images, post cards, Simply Charlotte Mason portfolios (these are beautiful but expensive so we only get 1-2 a year), and the Memoria Press art cards for the appropriate grades. Vincent’s Starry Night is also a lovely reference for art pieces and artist biographies.
History and Geography in Morning Time
These subjects sometimes trickle into morning time by way of literature or questions. History often ends up becoming a topic of conversation through an interesting tidbit of a book or a question about when something was written and why.
We are working on learning more rote geography this year so map tracing is included 1-2 days a week. I print out a map from WonderMaps, laminate it, and the boys either trace it on tracing paper with a sharpie or directly with a dry erase marker. We are working on continents and countries this year.
Poetry is such a beautiful gift. Teaching children the art of wordsmithing through classic poems is a delight. A Child’s Book of poems and Animals, Animals are our first selections for this year. Later in the year we will tackle another Shakespeare piece, but I haven’t picked it yet so suggestions are welcome!
To close our morning time, we blow out our candle and then take a quick 5-10 minute leg stretching break before moving to the rest of our day. This entire process takes just under an hour and look at how much gets done!
If you are feeling lost or overwhelmed or would like a guide through morning time, Your Morning Basket is a wonderful resource. The recommendations Pam has are stellar and if you don’t want to create your own morning time plans, she’s got that covered, too!
Are you including morning time in your homeschool this year?
Enter to win our Morning Time Gift Basket
Our giveaway is over but we love these resources that were in our basket!
Our Morning Time gift basket (basket not included!) includes:
Kooky Crumbs – fun poetry for young children
Nature to Color
See all the iHomeschool Network Back to Homeschool Gift Baskets here: