As I’ve mentioned before, we homeschool year round. I love this approach for many reasons, but a few of them include:
- Hymn. This term we are working on Praise to the Man. We sing it straight through, all four verses, every single morning.
- Scripture Passage. We are memorizing Doctrine and Covenants 109: 7-8
- Articles of Faith. We take turns reading through the Articles of Faith. We read all 13 of them every day. Ellie and I already have these memorized, so this practice is mostly for Ethan. He’s making huge progress already.
- One poem per person. Each child reads through the poem they are memorizing and then I read mine. (They love that I am memorizing a poem, too.)
For science this summer, we are reading the Thornton Burgess Bird Book. So far it’s been a perfect read aloud. The chapters are short and engaging, and even humorous at times. While I read aloud, the kids draw the bird that the chapter focuses on in their science journals. Simple and fun.
Homer Price by Robert McCloskey. This is our current literature read aloud. None of us have ever read it before, but we’re loving it.
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We finished this one last week. There are no better read alouds than “The Laura Books” as we call them around here. Ellie has read them countless times, but this is Ethan’s first time through. No matter how many times I read these books, I never grow tired of them.
The thing that’s made the biggest difference in our Morning Time routine lately has nothing to do with books or memory binders. It’s the fact that my crazy, crazy toddler will now sit still and watch a show. If we had talked about this when my two older children were little, I would have had very strong feelings about not allowing a 2.5 year old to watch something while the rest of the family was together, reading and learning. I may have even experienced a little guilt at letting him watch anything at all. But my tune has completely changed.
Morning Time had taken on a stressful, grumpy tone because the two year old was bored. This particular two year old cannot simply play in a room quietly or roam around the house unattended. He is a cyclone of a two year old. Trying to engage him in our Morning Time routine was not successful and was adding a lot of time and frustration. A few weeks ago I set up our laptop in the living room (where I could still see him) with an episode of Daniel Tiger on Netflix. I don’t know why I thought to try this, he’d never in his life sat still through a 20 minute show before. But I did, and it was amazing. Incredible and life-changing. He happily (and quietly!) watched the show and the big kids and I happily and efficiently did schoolwork in the next room. It was everything I imagined morning time to be: poetry and music, lovely books read aloud, happy children gathered around the table.
He usually watches 2 episodes of a show which allows us to do all of our memory work plus a chapter of science and a chapter of our read aloud. And, let me tell you, I have no guilt about that.