Right now we are using a secret tool that has totally revolutionized our homeschool time. It's pretty simple, really and can be implemented easily in your home as well. The huge change that's making all the difference? We call it Morning Time.
I don't know about you, but I've found that my kids drag their feet doing morning jobs. They play and read and lounge about while I'm getting work done and then I end up nagging and pushing and prodding them to get stuff done so we can start on schoolwork. Morning Time flips this struggle on its head.
Our routine looks like this:
A little scripture study and journaling
Read an article from The Friend
Read a quote from Images and Testimonies of The Living Christ
Read a page or two of poetry from Favorite Poems Old and New.
Read two pages of our (favorite, delightful, amazing, best fit for us yet....) Science curriculum
Read a chapter or two from our current read-aloud. These are always based on the historical time period we are studying.
While I am doing all this reading aloud, the kids are drawing pages for their science or history notebooks. Ellie will also diagram a sentence or two and Ethan does Explode the Code and handwriting during this time. Once a week I introduce an art journal page and they work on their pages while I read. They also might color in our favorite coloring books and Ethan plays quietly with legos pretty often.
After morning time, the kids split up and do their independent work. Math, writing assignments and assigned reading (based on the historical time period we're studying) for Ellie, reading practice and math for Ethan all happen during this time.
We are year-round homeschoolers so we'll continue this schedule throughout the summer months, adding it in on Thursdays when our co-op ends for the summer.
I feel like I'm gushing a little bit, but I really can't describe what a difference this simple change has made for us.