As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Morning Time: Autumn 2013

When we are on our summer break from school, I wonder how in the world we have time for "formal" (gentlest use of that word) studies the rest of the year.  And yet, when we slide back into our school routine, it feels so right!

We are nearing the end of our second week of the school year, and all is well. Tea times and read alouds and trips to the library and piano lessons. Math lessons and stories of America and the wonder of the sun.

And morning time.

I continue to be amazed that such a simple plan and the investment of an hour or so (usually less) can add such richness and scope of learning to our school day.  These are things that could so easily slip through the cracks if I did not have "intention" about it, which is why I am so thrilled with the concept of Morning Time.

Homeschooling mom, if you want your students to memorize Scripture or view great art or read poetry or learn Shakespeare, consider taking those few minutes each day in your own Morning Time. (Yours can look entirely different from ours; you will include those things that you deem important.)

Our Morning Time currently looks something like this...

We are reading through the third chart of the Daily Bible Reading Plan for Children, found ~here~, which features Bible stories and truths that every child should know.  We often expand the reading portions for the day, but this provides a framework.

We are continuing to memorize Romans 8.  Does that sound familiar? This is our third year to work on this passage, but we are sooooo close that neither of us wanted to stop!  We'll probably begin another  passage before the year is up.  

We are learning “More Love to Thee”, by Elizabeth Prentiss. Oh, the words! Sometimes Bekah plays this on the piano, but our Morning Time focus is to learn to sing and memorize the words, so more often we sing unaccompanied.  

Bekah:  “Something Told the Wild Geese” by Rachel Field
Mom:  "The Oak" by Alfred Tennyson  

We are reading aloud the poetry of Carl Sandburg.  We choose one of his poems, read it three days in a row, then move on to another. We're also reading Poetry for Young People: Carl Sandburgslowly making our way through the biographical section.  In addition to his poetry, we'll read some of Sandburg's  Rootabaga Stories.

This term we are listening to the music of Frederic Chopin. We are reading Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years by Opal Wheeler, which we will follow by reading Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years.  All of Chopin's compositions include piano, many are piano solos...great inspiration for my student/pianist.

Although our usual approach is to study the works of a single artist, we are beginning this term with an overview of  Impressionist art. We are reading the engaging children's book Charlotte in Giverny, from which we will go on to read Charlotte in Paris, and then Charlotte in New York. These books are written in journal fashion, filled with charming watercolor illustrations and period photographs,  as well as pictures of the works of Impressionist artists. Charlotte's father is an American artist who goes abroad to live in Monet's artist colony, so we are introduced to artists and their works through Charlotte's eyes.

Landscape With Poppies, 1887
William Blair Bruce

And that's our Morning Time plan for this term.  Small investment, great returns!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

For more reading about "Morning Time":

An introduction to our own "Morning Time" 
What Is Morning Time? by Cindy Rollins
Cindy's Inspiration for Morning Time
Kathy's "Morning Stack" 
Confessions Regarding Morning Time


  1. Fabulous!

    I do a version of morning time too, but with Kamryn sometimes our morning time is a little later in the day.

    We are memorizing "Autumn Fires" by Robert Louis Stevenson. I think we will do Something Told The Wild Geese next! I do read poetry to them, I've been skipping around and going back and forth between "A Child's Garden of Verse" and "Poetry for Young People - Robert Frost". We will probably memorize "The Road Not Taken."

    I am going to check out the Charlotte books and look for more composer books.

    Thanks for talking about this!

  2. It sounds so relaxing and pleasant. I can not think of any portion of scripture any finer to commit to memory than Romans 8.

  3. I never called ours morning time but that's a great catch all name. And you get a lot done in that hour! Don't give up the memorizing, Bekah will forever be grateful--later on, if not now.

  4. Your morning time sounds wonderful and relaxing. I think you should write a book, Cheryl, as a matter of fact several books,, one about homeschooling the other about home keeping, how about another with your wonderful recipes. I truly admire you so much! Enjoyed reading several of your other posts, I missed the notecard party, just forgot because of busyness, your fall beauty was so lovely. Bekka is such a beautiful young lady,I know you were so proud of her as your pianist, loved her outfit. Thanks for all that you share.

  5. Cheryl, you are doing such a great job with your children. I am with Sue -- I admire you on so many different levels.

  6. Your Morning Time sounds like the perfect way to begin the day, for you and for your daughter.
    I am guilty of trying to pack too much into a short period of time, piling too many expectations on us all.
    The image you paint in this post is light and easy and peaceful. Thank you. Now I'm off to read your related posts in this topic!

  7. Every summer I wonder how we will ever fit back into our routine but you are right it is refreshing when we do.


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