I had a request a long time ago to go into more detail on our Morning Time routine. I might be repeating myself with some of this, but here is how we've been starting our days this year.
Morning Time was our biggest disaster from the outset and I researched ways to make it work better with a toddler in the house. Apparently, there is no secret trick (though lately I can buy a bit of time via sidewalk paint). It's just hard. Our little toddler was intent on disrupting our attempts at creating a morning time routine. I mentioned before that the only way it happens is if we have the opportunity to get to it before she awakes in the morning. But that happens a few times a week and that's enough to make morning time a success.
- Morning Prayer
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Poetry Review & Memory Work
- History trivia or Latin vocabulary review
I'd like to incorporate more creative activities at some point. I'd love for them to paint or sketch while I read aloud.
Our biggest success has been the group approach to literature. My two school aged children are 4 years apart so they don't frequently read the same books at the same time. I had a hazy idea to tackle one or two great works from great writers each month.
- August: Homer - both children read different versions of The Iliad and The Odyssey. My son enjoyed both so much that we followed that up with audio books he could listen to whilst playing with Legos.
- September: Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummernight's Dream. We used Shakespeare Stories for Young Readers and Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare as well as the guide How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare which provides us with memory work. I fully intended to read an entire play with them in September but we just didn't get around to it. I may revisit this whole cycle in the spring.
- October: Chesterton's Father Brown Mysteries which I thought would be a nice introduction to Chesterton as well as suitable for October.
- November: Saints! My oldest daughter will be reading St. Elizabeth's Three Crowns, St. Thomas and the Preaching Beggars, and St. Thomas Aqunias by GK Chesterton. My 10 year old son will be reading Saints for Young Readers for Everyday to all of us during Morning Time.
- December: Dicken's A Christmas Carol, all together.
As I mentioned before all of our memory work is stored in clear sleeves in plastic folders color coded by child. I have one myself to guide. This whole system is working very, very well. I think the folders are key to keeping us on track. And here I can't understate how much of a difference it has made that I invested in a good wireless printer. I had photos for this post but my IPhoto library mysteriously disappeared - I am attempting to insert an example of what our pages look like below. At any rate, I print out memory work or poetry or whatever, add some beautiful and appropriate art work and slide it into the sleeves. The order of the pages matches the order of the day. At the back of their folders I have the lesson schedules from each of their books. This makes lesson planning a breeze as I only have to use their folders to schedule. I can even grab the folders and take them to a little coffee shop to plan in peace. This has happened approximately once and it was wonderful.
The image is from Elsa Beskow's Around the Year.
It has taken me over a week to write this post and I hear the children stirring right now so I'm just going to push publish and be done. Happy Wednesday, friends!