When we’re thinking about planning for our school year, it helps to do things in order:
Once we’ve done that, then we can consider what we’ll learn all together, and we can infuse our day with truth, beauty, and goodness.
School should not be utilitarian in nature (we are forming persons, after all, not just preparing the next generation of workers in the economy). Morning Time (we often call it Symposium around here) helps us keep the true, good, and beautiful front and center, where they belong.
Morning Time places first things first- a liturgy of love. When you are trying to teach from a state of rest, a Morning Time routine helps put the emphasis on loving, going deep, and relishing rather than on getting through. It’s also a way to simplify.
Morning Time can take anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours, depending on your season in life, how old your kids are, and what else your family has going on.
Right now in our house, morning time is short. I explain more about that in this podcast interview on the Your Morning Basket.
Morning Time for us looks this simple:
- We sing the doxology & a hymn
- We recite our scripture memory work all together (Sermon the Mount, currently)
- We do one other thing
We start our day by singing the Doxology, rather than with spoken prayer. Try this with your kids and see what happens.
I can pray while gritting my teeth, but something about raising our hands and singing about the glory of God? Changes us. All of us. So we start our day by singing the Doxology, and we are changed for the rest of the day because of it.
We also sing a hymn. We study one hymn every month or two- I just choose a hymn we sing at church and that I’d like my children to know, and we sing it every day until we know it. More on that in this video here. :)
Reciting our memory work
We don’t memorize an impressive amount in our homeschool. Our focus is on memorizing beautiful and formative language. That means we’re memorizing poetry and scripture, mostly– and Shakespeare, just for fun. ;)
We’re usually only memorizing one thing at a time, and it’s very low-key. I print out whatever we’re memorizing, and we all look at it and read it aloud together each day. That’s it.
I don’t test them or quiz them. I don’t insist that they know a certain amount by a certain day. We just read it aloud together every day, and it seeps in. Right now we’re continuing what we started last year, and we’re memorizing The Sermon on the Mount. I want those words deep in my kids bones when they are older– even if they can’t rattle it off from memory a decade from now.
I want them to tuck the scriptures into their heart, and so we recite a bit of it every day. And I’m shocked at how much they memorize rather effortlessly this way.
One other thing
I told you our Morning Time/Symposium was short, right? It is. :)
The Doxology and memory work takes maybe 5-8 minutes, so now we move on to our one other thing. We tend to do one other thing for about 15-20 minutes, and we do it every day until it’s done (rather than rotating by day, for example).
Sometimes we work through a Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study Portfolio (I love those!)– and when we do, we’ll do it every day till it’s done. Then we move on to something else. Shakespeare, perhaps. Or mapwork. Maybe drawing. I like to fit reading aloud in here, if I can.
Whatever it is- I want it to stir our emotions and help us see beauty. That’s the criteria. One year, I rotated between faith, literature, fine art, and mapwork. We just picked something off this list and did it every day until it was done:
If you’re curious as to what that looks like in super nitty gritty form, you can listen to my podcast on Your Morning Basket or watch my video about Morning Time right here. In that video, I show you some of the resources we’ve used for Morning Time and how I choose what to use.
Now we’re really cookin’. If I’ve thought through planning from rest, have taken a bird’s eye view, chosen the first things, and planned morning time, then I often put everything else on a loop schedule.