I am excited to share with you our homeschool morning time plan for the spring term. Generally a term for us lasts 6 or so weeks. This will be our last term before the summer. We homeschool year round so we generally take off a week out of every six weeks, and 3 weeks in July before starting up again in August.
Because we have a big spread in the ages of our children, we have lots of different levels of homeschool going on.
To start, each morning while they eat breakfast I read aloud to all the kids. Currently we’re reading Prince Caspian. This is one part of our day that has brought me tremendous joy. Fitting in a read aloud at bedtime is often difficult and I’m super tired by then anyway.
Reading aloud at breakfast is perfect for us in this season. Their little mouths are busy eating so it’s a bit more quiet that usual and we read a chapter of a great book to start the day before moving on to other things.
We generally rotate through a set list of hot breakfasts (Monday is my special oatmeal, Tuesday is toast and eggs, Wednesday is pancakes, etc.). Cereal just doesn’t cut it for our active kids, they’ll just be hungry again in three seconds.
After breakfast we clean up, I help the 5 year old practice violin and the other kids check off some cleaning chores or music practice from their lists. Then we gather again around the big kitchen table for what we call Morning Time. (You can find some excellent Morning Time resources here)
Morning Time has changed our lives. It consists of all the things I wanted to read/study with the kids but rarely seemed to get to it. This is “extra” stuff. It’s not math or deep academic work, it’s training hearts and souls. It’s all the beautiful things: Scripture and poetry, hymns and uplifting stories and lots of read alouds.
Toward the end of morning time, we do transition into our history/science/geography lesson (one each per day) but even those lessons are pretty beautiful.
Our Morning Time generally lasts about 45 minutes, often a little less if the Little are getting restless. So while this list of books and resources may look long, we don’t do everything every day and the time we spend in each book is pretty short.
The content of Morning Time changes slightly depending on our interests.
This term the schedule looks like this:
Hymn: I created a playlist of songs from the Primary curriculum for this year. We rotate through and sing a different song each day.
The Millennial Instructor Volume 1, bees. We read a short section from this 2-3 times per week.
Book of Mormon Family Reader. We read one page/story per day from this beautiful abridged version of the Book of Mormon. Short and sweet.
We’re slowly working our way through Saints. We read a section or two or three each day depending on interest level and how much time we have.
Poet Study: We are reading Dear Mr. Longfellow: Letters to and from the Children’s Poet and The Best Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I have been trying to figure out a way to add poetry into our study time for years and have never settled on a routine that worked perfectly for us.
I’m excited to try focusing on one specific poet for a term and see where that takes us. So far we are LOVING this. We’ve been reading a chapter from Dear Mr. Longfellow a couple times per week. Once we finish it (it’s a short book) we’ll move on and focus on reading his poems.
Prince Caspian (currently)
are related to the Come Follow Me lessons, but sometimes I throw in a video to help the kids remember
the states and capitals, or something interesting like art restoration, etc.
We use The Good and the Beautiful for History and try to finish two lessons per week.
Geography is the lovely Around the World with Picture Books by Beautiful Feet Books.
For science we either read a book or watch a documentary.
Both of our big kids use Teaching Textbooks for math and The Good and the Beautiful Language Arts.
I have been trying to read aloud separately with my older children more regularly. We don’t get to this every
day, so we’re progressing pretty slowly, but progress is progress!
Read Aloud with Ellie: A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Read Aloud with Ethan: Refugee by Alan Gratz
Sometime during the morning, I sit down with Elijah and Edith (2.5) and do what we call Couch
School. This is not required little Edith, of course, but she really likes to be included and so she’ll often
crawl up on my lap and join in.
These are short, simple lessons. We move quickly through this list and it takes us about 30 minutes to complete.
Maybe a little longer, if he’s really into the read aloud.
Read Aloud: currently reading a little bit from Book Trails daily and Usborne Classics for Boys We’ll read Fairy Tales and Grimm’s Fairy Tales and I’m hoping to get to The Complete Brambly Hedge this term as well.
When I list things out like this, it does seem overwhelming. Please keep in mind that we spend about 2 hours
per day on school, total. These are short lessons, but I am a big believer that small bits of time, used intentionally
and consistently add up to BIG things.