I am a little behind in this movement, I usually am. Over the years we have tried several different morning routines. I recall when we first started homeschooling I set up our morning very much like a public school circle time meeting. It worked for us and accomplished our goals at the time, but I quickly became weary of how much planning was involved everyday. Despite all the failed attempts at starting our morning off together, I still longed for a peaceful start and a desire for us to begin our day in God’s word. Some of you may recall from my Facebook page, that I read Sarah Mackenzie’s book Teaching from Rest this summer. It was here that I was introduced to the morning basket and loop scheduling. Again, maybe you are way ahead of me on this one, but now that I have been enlightened I have completely embraced the idea and jumped all the way in. Of course I am doing it my way and you should to.
First things first, remember that you homeschool. Your day can look like whatever you want it to. Begin your day at whatever time works for your family. I teach early in the morning with VIPKID so I’m already rearing to go by 8:00 in the morning. My children wake up by 7:30 and are ready to begin our time together when my last class finishes. The majority of homeschoolers I know, don’t begin school before 9:00am. Do what works for you.
I am a task oriented person when it comes to school. I like to check things off my list. When I picture how I want our homeschool to look on a daily basis, checklists are not what I imagine.
I want our mornings to feel relaxed. Unscripted. I want my children to anticipate our time together every day. I want there to be time to talk, discuss, and introduce something new. There were so many wonderful things I wanted to do in our day that I never set aside time for. Our new morning routine has allowed me to add those things and given me room to be spontaneous.
So what are we doing?
Bible– Currently we are studying and memorizing the book of James. Every morning we start off with recitation and memory work. We are also reading through this bible study on Wisdom. It fits very nicely with our study on James.
History– We use My Father’s World, but we move through it at our own pace. Currently we are settled in on the American Revolution. We are reading a lot of living books and having some fun discussions about the start of America.
Art– This is a subject I rarely allot time for. We are currently doing an artist study on Monet. I have picture flashcards and several books on his life and art.
President Study– My goal is that by the end of the year we will have all the presidents memorized and know some general facts about many of them.
Fact cards– Multiplication, music notes, presidents and art. I have several boxes of flash cards that we rotate through throughout the week.
Read Aloud Book– Sometimes this happens during our morning time or sometimes it happens at lunch, but the number of great books I have on my must read list is forever growing. If you are looking for some truly wonderful books, pick a couple of these.
We casually make our way through these items in the morning, lingering where we want to, and allowing time for everyone to share and discuss. On mornings where we are short on time, I can skip a few things and just hit what’s important for us for the day.
The best part about this time is that we are all snuggled up on the couches together and it’s a relaxed start to the day. We end our time with prayer and then break to our individual school work. The whole thing takes about 45 minutes to an hour and it has changed the culture of our entire school day.