When I start planning for our next school year – any part of it – I start off with a “brain dump” of sorts and construct the ideal morning that includes everything that sounds lovely and engaging.
Then I start crossing things off. “Will this actually happen in our house?” No. “Is this really worth the preparation and enthusiasm effort it would require of me daily?” No, if I put my energy there, realistically it is only taking it from Latin – and it’s not something worth trumping Latin.
So I start with the therapeutic list and then whittle it down to the realistic list, knowing that implementation will eventually whittle it down further still.
That’s the way a real homeschool year rolls, and now I expect it.
But Morning Time is fairly standardized in our house now, and part of our morning ritual and rhythm. I will be setting an alarm for 8:30 to begin. The older boys might get a start on their math or other assignment on their checklist if they’re ready before that (no playing allowed between chores and school – it’s too hard to gain momentum in the morning if they do), but I will have my own morning preparations and tidying and toddler-helping wrapped up to call everyone together at 8:30.
The Agenda for Our Homeschool Morning Time
(classical music will still be playing; I turn it on during chore time after breakfast. During breakfast, I’ll turn on the audiobook Bible for the day’s Proverbs chapter)
- Morning Meeting – We’ll go over what to expect that day and what to be prepared for; Hans will write his own daily index card to-do list during this time if he hasn’t already
- Gratitude Journal – We did this a few years ago and stopped, but I’m bringing it back this year. We’ll open with a few minutes set aside to write down what we’re thankful for. Each child has a composition notebook in their binder for this and will probably want their crayons instead of pencils. I will be overseeing, directing, and micromanaging this little project as little as possible.
(Turn classical music off)
- Call: I printed Psalm 119 with each section on its own page, and I will read aloud one section to begin our time together
- Each person pray in turn
Then we open our binders and begin with our new hymn, move to the new memory, including poems, then on to the review portion for the current day of the week.
You can see the list of our cumulative memory work over the years here: Memory Work Index.
I’ll be posting updates each term as we add our new material.
Then we’ll do a few fun memory songs and chants. We’ll listen to a chapter vocabulary chant from both Latin for Children A (which Jaeger is in) and Latin for Children B (which Hans is in) and a song from Song School Latin (which Ilse begged for this year). Then we’ll listen to one Bible-related memory song (I have a playlist with songs for the kings of Israel, the books of the Bible, the 12 disciples, etc. Most of them are Jamie Soles songs). Finally, we’ll listen to 1-3 (depending on length) knowledge songs, looping through a playlist that includes the Periodic Table, grammar definitions, states, presidents, and Kings & Queens of England.
If you have any favorite memory songs, please share them in the comments!
This year I’m adding a new element: ending with a reading and narration.
I’m planning to start off the year with a study on Charlotte Mason’s student motto (I am, I can, I ought, I will) that Dawn Garrett is currently working on (Yes, you’ll hear about it from me when it’s ready!). We will learn about and memorize the motto during the summer term, then incorporate it as a final pronouncement before we move on to other things for the rest of the year.
After the motto study (which the children will not narrate), I plan to read Concise Theology, 2-3 paragraphs at a time. We’ll roll a die for which older boy will narrate it, and their narration job will be to summarize it for Ilse & Knox, not for me – I want them to practice speaking plainly rather than repeat terms or try to impress me with their vocabulary, so I think using Ilse as an audience for the narrations will help with that. Then I’ll roll the die again and Knox or Ilse will have to tell me something they learned.
They will also have their gratitude notebooks during this time that they can draw in while listening.
I shortened up our memory work review amounts this year to make room for the addition of the final reading. We’ll see how the first few sessions go, but I believe I have planned no more than 40 minutes worth here in this list. However, as is now my custom, I plan 40-45 minutes worth of work and block off an hour for it. Because life does happen, there are always interruptions, and children generally don’t simply fall in line on command, turns out.
If you want to get your own homeschool morning time routine going this school year, I have a short guide with 5 Steps to Start a Morning Time you can download for free!