Why Morning Time Is Worth Planning
I learned about morning time when all my children were still little. Except we called it “Circle Time” back then. Morning Time is just a time scheduled first thing in the morning after breakfast and chores (that’s when we do it—a different time may work better for other families), to focus on what really matters.
Some of the things we’ve done during Morning Time include:
- Scripture memory
- Other memory work
- Music appreciation/composer study
- Hymn study
- Picture study/art appreciation
- History read alouds
- Nature study/science
When they were younger, we also went through the days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and other things on our school calendar. Now that our children are older, I don’t want to let go of this valuable and precious time! Some of the focus may be different, but the important parts have remained the same. I still desire that my children focus on truth, goodness, and beauty. And morning time is the perfect time to do that.
For us, as Christians, the important things we want to focus on include knowing Jesus and His Word, prayer, memorizing Scripture, and knowledge of hymns and other Christian songs.
Our whole day seems to go better when we start off with Morning Time.
“Morning Time is very much like a big group hug at the beginning of our school day. It sets the tone and atmosphere for learning. It gives us something to contemplate and mentally gnaw on for the rest of the day. And most importantly, it puts us in a right relationship with each other and with God.” ~Pam Barnhill
Some of my happiest homeschooling memories come from practicing Morning Time. Having all of my children gathered together, learning the same Scripture and memorizing the same poems, sharing the same stories—it’s beautiful.
“The wonderful thing about Morning Time is that it ensures that our education is never fully void of relational learning. It sets apart a time during the day where teacher and student, mother and child and siblings, are learning in community, sharing a common curriculum with the opportunity to discuss the most important ideas.” ~Pam Barnhill
There have been times in our homeschooling journey when I was not consistent with Morning Time and I let it go by the wayside entirely. During those times, we seemed more to be slogging through our studies rather than delighting in them.
Your Morning Basket
Discovering Pam Barnhill’s Your Morning Basket book recently was such a blessing to me as a homeschool mom.
Since my dad was hospitalized for months earlier this year and then passed away, we missed months of read aloud time and Morning Time. Consequently, we will not be taking the summer completely off from school work.
I plan to continue with Morning Time (especially focusing on Scripture memory, prayer, and history read alouds) and the younger children will also continue on with their math independently. My older daughters worked diligently on their school work even during all of my absences, so they’ll be freer this summer. 🙂 But I still look forward to gathering together with even the older ones for Morning Time prayer and Scripture memory.
Reading Pam’s book was so helpful and encouraging right when I was revamping our Morning Time plan. All of the included planning pages are wonderful!
I got the big basket, so I also received access to some extras. Pam shows you exactly how to use the planning pages and how to set up your binder and resources.
I love all of Pam’s practical and helpful ideas included in the book. And I love her heart for building deep relationships with her children through Morning Time.
“In this learning community, Mom is both a facilitator of and a participant in Morning Time. In order to foster the kind of relationships I want with my kids, I can’t use this time to check my email, send texts, or fold laundry. I have an obligation to my children to be fully present and participating as a co-learner with them.” ~Pam Barnhill
“This is material that I am learning with them. I benefit just as much from the Scripture, the poetry memorization, and the beautiful music as they do.” ~Pam Barnhill
If you need help planning Morning Time into your day, I highly recommend Your Morning Basket!
Resources We’re Using
Here are a few of the resources we’re currently using during Morning Time:
For Music Appreciation, we’re using SQUILT.
SQUILT stands for “Super Quiet UnInterrupted Listening Time,” and it’s a really simple music appreciation program to teach. I’ve printed off some of the main pages to include in my Morning Time binder.
For Art Appreciation, we’re using What Do You See? from Laurie Bluedorn at Trivium Pursuit:
“This curriculum is meant to be a gentle and easy introduction to art appreciation for children, ages 4-12. Our goal is to introduce children to basic concepts in learning how to look at a piece of art and evaluate it. In addition, we want to spark in the child a love for the great works of art. ” ~Laurie Bluedorn
I printed off Volume One for my Morning Time binder, and I put each page in a page protector. you could also just view the artwork on a computer screen, but for me this is simpler.
For each work of art there are questions to ask your child about the artwork (which they will answer orally). This first volume introduces only one art principle—Center of Interest.
Volume Two focuses on primary colors.
Have you ever planned a Morning Time (or Circle Time, or something similar) into your school day?