Monday, April 11, 2016

Our Spring Morning Time Basket



Morning Time is the backbone of our homeschool day.  The kids and I gather around the breakfast table (I've usually eaten beforehand) and accomplish the majority of our formal schooling time first thing.  This way we are able to get to the important stuff that often tends to fall by the wayside when life gets busy.  The kids eat while I read, which helps them to focus on listening.  This spring, our morning basket looks like this:

Religion and Poetry:

New Testament Stories

This illustrated, simplified version of the New Testament is definitely geared more toward the younger kiddos.  Elijah (2) loves it and often it's the only portion of Morning Time that he's quiet for.  Ethan (7) gains a lot from hearing these stories in a simplified way.  It's a little young for Ellie, but we read directly from the scriptures each evening as a family (minus the toddler) and that time is geared mostly toward her.

Favorite Poems Old and New

This beloved volume will probably always be included in our Morning Time routine.  I read aloud a poem or two or three depending on the length of the kids' attentions spans that day.  We don't delve too deeply into a discussion, but I do often point out particular lines I loved and the big kids comment if something stood out to them.  We talk about any symbolism or wording that may have been confusing but overall this time is just to expose my children's ears to beautiful words.

Science:

For science, we'll be working our way through these books, reading a few pages from one each day until we finish it and then we'll move on to the next one.  By the way, some of these are picture books so don't think we're overly ambitious :) 
The Story of Inventions
How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning
Thomas Edison: A Brilliant Inventor
I, Galileo
Along Came Galileo

History:

We read a short chapter each day that details one story from American History, and the kids write about it or draw a picture in their history notebooks.  We're also reading Witch of Blackbird Pond, generally a chapter per day (this is the point when the two-year old goes off to play) and once we're done with that we'll be on to Guns for General Washington.


Geography/Art:

We're finishing up Draw the USA in the next couple of weeks and then we'll work our way through The Usborne Book of Famous Artists, reading about an artist each day and duplicating one of their pieces in our sketchbooks.  I really prefer to work our way through books in some subjects one at a time rather than assigning specific subjects to specific days.  So, rather than saying Mondays and Wednesdays are for geography and Tuesdays and Thursdays are for art, we work on the chosen geography book exclusively until it's done and then move on to art (or nature study, or composer study, etc.) exclusively for a few weeks until it's done. This means less stress for Mama and less worry about potentially missing a subject.  It also allows us to dive more deeply into the current subject and focus on it better.

I have a few activities for my toddler to enjoy during morning time (including bribery/mouth quieting with popsicles as needed), but he generally ends up getting too loud toward then end so we send him off to play happily in his room while we finish up.


Generally morning time lasts 45 minutes-one hour.  We spend a few minutes on each subject, with the history read aloud taking the longest, and then clean up and move on to chores and independent studies (math, reading/spelling/phonics/writing, and homework for co-op classes). We do Morning Time every weekday (except usually the days we have co-op.  I just can't manage to fit it in those days) pretty much year round.  It works so well for our family and is something that keeps my sanity in check as a busy homeschool Mama.



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