The start of our homeschool day matters.
Beginning each homeschool day with planned time together matters.
And, most importantly, beginning each homeschool day with BEAUTY matters.
As my children have gotten older this time is even more important.
Even though our studies and interests vary, we still come together to begin our day in a positive, productive way. When moods change and emotions are all over the map during the middle and high school years, it's even MORE important to keep this time at the beginning of our days a PRIORITY.
Morning time isn't just a ritual for families with young children. It needs to be done in a homeschool with older children, too!
Our morning basket reflects the ideals of TRUTH, BEAUTY and GOODNESS in our homeschool.
And - hopefully it reflects a little bit of silliness and fun, too!
What is Morning Time?
If you've heard all the buzz about morning time, but aren't sure what it is, I encourage you to read what my friend Pam Barnhill has to say on the subject. Pam has created resources for the homeschool community that equip us to have successful morning times - no matter our children's ages.
In our homeschool, morning time usually happens between 8:00-8:45. We come together at the breakfast table to review memory work, take in fine arts, play math games, and have devotions.
Because I have a 10th grader and a 6th grader, the activities go a bit deeper and can last slightly longer than if I had little ones. But, the beauty of our morning basket is that it could be scaled back to work PERFECTLY for little ones, too!
I love that morning time is a great way for families with multiple ages of children to begin the day together - and to begin it WELL.
Contents of Our Morning Basket
This year I really wanted to make our morning basket FUN!
My daughter's Challenge II year is intense, and my son's year is more intense than last year, so I want to keep some of the fun and wonder alive. The morning basket is a perfect way to do just that!
I envision each morning time going like this:
- Memory Work Review
- SHORT Latin Lesson
- Math Games
- Music or Art Appreciation (Listening, playing, observing, creating)
- CNN Student News
Obviously we won't be able to get to each of these things each morning, but I could see a core of devotions, memory work, Latin, and student news - with music, art, and math games done on alternating days (or as it strikes my kids' fancies, know what I mean?).
This year we will be using Best-Loved Passages of the Bible. I am looking forward to this because it will be good for all of us - including mom and dad.
Memory Work Review:
Using a Cycle 2 memory work review flip chart (I print mine from CC Connected), we will use the memory work review system from My Homeschool Story.
Last year we used this same system, and by the end of the year I had a Memory Master on my hands! I love the simple, methodical review this provides.
And yes, my Challenge student benefits from reviewing the memory work with us.
The goal this year is to prepare my son for his full blown Latin curriculum next year. My daughter is in her second year of Henle Latin and will be able to teach these simple Latin lessons from Getting Started With Latin each day.
(I can't wait to get started with this book. It is such a gentle introduction to Latin!)
Confidence with math facts and the ability to play with numbers is the goal for this year. Hopefully we can spend 5-10 minutes playing 24 (this will get adult brains thinking, too!) and also playing with Math Dice.
Of course we are including this! SQUILT Volumes 2 and 3 are on the schedule for this year. In both Foundations AND Challenge II my children will have exposure to great orchestral works.
Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time is PERFECT for a morning basket because it involves short, scripted music appreciation lessons that set the stage for a peaceful day - and for older children it involves some intricate learning about music.
(Don't worry if you aren't musically inclined, I wrote SQUILT for parents with little to no musical ability - it is 100% scripted and EASY!)
I cannot imagine starting our days without music!
We will learn about works by Mozart, Haydn, Brahms, Beethoven, and more!
My children both play the piano, and I will encourage them to each play something to get our days started, as well.
On days when we are not doing music appreciation, we will do art appreciation - I'm not exactly sure what this will look like.
My daughter is doing quite a bit of art appreciation this year in Challenge II, so I want to incorporate works she is studying.
We have also had a lot of success with the 13 Artists Children Should Know series - and will be working our way through this book.
Something FUN for Art!
This year I wanted to try something new!
When my kids were little they loved Ed Emberley's drawing books.
Well.... this is so much fun! I've pulled out my old Ed Emberley book and we'll be having fun drawing animals with Sharpies every now and again during morning time! I think this will keep my kids "little" and allows all of us to have some fun!
I think these drawings will also go along quite well with the drawing we do in the first semester of Foundations, too!
My kids insist CNN Student News be a part of our morning time.
This is a 10 minute program geared towards middle and high school students. I love the non partisan current events reporting and my kids love the host, Carl Azuz.
I'll keep you posted as we make our way through the year how our Morning Time is coming along. Obviously all of this in one morning time is ambitious to say the least - so we'll be picking and choosing and hopefully coming up with a good rotation of subjects.
This 30-45 time chunk at the beginning of our day is the BEST INVESTMENT I could ever make!
I'd love to know if you have a morning time/morning basket in your homeschool and what that looks like! Leave me a comment below and let me know!