And, by that, I do NOT mean that I am a “morning person”. That’s fodder for a whole other post. My favourite part of our homeschool day happens during breakfast. It’s what we (and countless other homeschoolers) call “morning time”.
We have been at this homeschooling thing for longer than I realized. I kept thinking it was five years, but then it hit me this week that this is our sixth year at this! Our oldest daughter is working her way through grade 8 this year, and she was just beginning grade 3 when we decided to test the waters and dip our toes into this lifestyle of home educating. Six years. I can hardly believe it! I’d say it took us about four years to get the hang of it. We’d find our groove, only to realize something had changed and we needed to find a new groove. But finally, I have gained enough confidence to allow myself to enjoy what we’re doing. I don’t mean a cocky kind of confidence but a peace that has settled over that sphere of my life. I’m no longer scanning the horizon for the next best curriculum or battling a “grass is always greener” sort of mentality or beating myself up for not being able to execute my plan fully every single day. We have settled into a rhythm that feeds our minds and our souls and suits our family so well.
So, back to “morning time”. While we are gathered around the breakfast table we feast on subjects we can enjoy together as a family, not things that are specific to a certain age or grade level. This is how it unfolds as we eat our toast and cereal:
- Memory Work
- Foreign Language
Monday through Thursday that’s how our morning time rolls. And it’s easier to fit these things in than you might think. Morning Time is like a tray of appetizers, and it’s amazing what you can accomplish in bite-sized chunks…especially over the course of six years! It’s a few verses of scripture each day as we work our way through a gospel or an Old Testament book. It’s a poem a day, reading from a different poet each twelve week term. It’s reciting together, daily, a Psalm and a couple of poems or a passage from our current Shakespeare play. It’s singing a song every morning (rotating through our two hymns and two folksongs for that term). It’s learning one new vocabulary word everyday in our foreign language.
I have planned 17 terms of Morning Time thus far in my homeschool career. If I tally up some of that in my mind it astounds me. We have a growing Spotify playlist of 34 folksongs, for example. My kids know 34 hymns by heart. They have made friends with at least 17 different poets, becoming acquainted with their style and dozens of each of their poems. They have hidden many lengthy passages of scripture in their hearts. They’ve learned 127 Hebrew words just since last summer.
And these are only the subjects we cover Monday to Thursday! Friday is a whole other collection of subjects like artist study, composer study, and nature study. Perhaps I’ll have to delve into Friday’s lineup some other time.
I know lots of homeschoolers can feel overwhelmed about fitting in ALL.THE.THINGS! I know, because I was one of them. But I am so glad I persisted in finding a way to squeeze these nuggets into our day. Perhaps after a few weeks or even a few terms it doesn’t seem like much, and it’s tempting to let it drop; but over time you begin to realize the bits of truth and goodness and beauty you have nibbled on through the years have begun to shape your appetite! You have furnished your mind with lifelong treasure and hidden inspiring truths in your heart to comfort and fortify you against the storms of life!
I love our Morning Time! The Bible verses and the poetry and the songs prepare us for what could otherwise be a draining and difficult morning if we dove into other subjects before feeding our souls first. Morning Time is not age specific. It’s for babies. It’s for toddlers. It’s for children and teens. It’s for us as parents! Morning Time is a feast for the entire family. And isn’t that what produces joy in a feast? — sharing it together!