Morning time has become such a sweet and treasured time for me and all three of my students. (I have two Year 7 students and one Year 3.5 student.) It has evolved and changed through the years as I adapt morning time to fit with each season of life.
With adding Year 7 to our schedule (and its increased book load!), I have simplified and slimmed down our morning time for Term 1. I made this change mostly because last year we would often spend over an hour gathered around the table enjoying our books together. This year, however, my goal is to still enjoy some group work together but also keep it short enough to give my two oldest students the time they need to do their other work.
I’m going to share the books that we choose to do together during morning…BUT…we don’t always hit each book each morning. It will depend on how long it took to get breakfast on the table, how quickly each of my kids arrived at the table, how long the chapters are, and a myriad of other factors. On some days, we pick up where we left off during our lunch time. Other days we just leave what we didn’t get done until the next morning. My goal with morning time is to have fun living, learning, and reading together. So I don’t stress if we don’t get through it all. (This was an important skill for me to learn as I am a box checker by nature, and I LOVE to accomplish everything I have written down!)
As my children are moving around the kitchen getting breakfast on their plates, I will often play the hymn of the month. For July 2021, it is Come, Thou Almighty King. I try to choose simple arrangements for us to learn the words and music. After we know it fairly well, then I’ll add in different arrangements so that we learn to appreciate different styles and adaptations to some of the great hymns of the faith. We are enjoying this arrangement this month.
Then as we sit at the table and the children begin eating, I will start reading whatever chapter book we are enjoying together. Right now we are reading Just David by Eleanor Porter. We’ve already read the Beowolf translation by Burton Raffel this year, and we all LOVED it! I’m alternating between picking books from free read lists or the Year 7 assigned reading (just to lighten the load a little bit) and other topics or biographies I want us to enjoy together. You can find more about the books I’ve planned to read this term with this post.
After reading a chapter from our group read, we will spend just a few moments looking at the art picture for that week. This week it is Crucifixion by Jan van Eyck.
And then we finish up by working on translating our Latin and Spanish for the day. Latin has been a challenging subject for us in years past. However, at the end of last year, we found Getting Started with Latin, and it has been so great for us! This book is laying a great foundation that will help each one of my kids with understanding new words they come across. I absolutely love etymology myself, and so I love sharing this with my kids. My oldest son enjoyed this Latin book that he asked me to get them the Spanish book from the same author. (We are doing multiple lessons a day in the Spanish book because the beginning parts are review for us since we have done Spanish before.)
So that is our morning time in a nutshell! I keep it to no longer than 30-45 minutes. Usually, we just work through the items in that order until they are done eating, and then we move on to cleaning up after breakfast. (Oh, and we listen to our composer’s song of the week while we clean up from breakfast.)
Morning time is one of our favorite parts of the day. The amazing thing about it is that you can tweak it and change it to make it fit every single season of life.
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Starting with Morning Time . . . when you Only have Littles
~ Carrie ~