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, October 16, 2014

gather. {for morning time}

Gathering for Morning Time is one of my favorite parts of our homeschool day.

In the first year of my blog, I talked about Morning Time...what it is, how we do it, and why we do it:

Several years ago, I stumbled across an idea that breathed new life into our homeschool. “Morning Time” has become an anticipated and much-loved part of our day, and I believe that we are all the richer for it.

It is a simple idea, and yet it is profound. I first read about “Morning Time” one summer on Cindy Rollins’ blog, Ordo Amoris (which is always full of mind food). She wrote about the benefits her family has reaped by dedicating a small amount time each morning to learning the things that she had deemed important. Cindy shared this childhood poem to illustrate what she was trying to accomplish:
Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean,
And the beauteous land.
She wrote,
My Morning Time is a way to collect little grains of sand. It should not be a way to complicate life but a way to simplify it.

When I read this, I knew that this was something I wanted to do! You see, there were things that I wanted my children to learn (actually, I wanted to learn too!), but they were things that were too often overlooked or put off for another time. I wanted my girls to know the words to “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”, to recite Psalm 100, to recognize Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, to recite “The Swing,” to begin each day with the Living Word...and “Morning Time” seemed to hold an answer. So come the beginning of our new school year, we gave it a try. And, several years later, it remains an integral part of our day and (I am repeating myself here) we are all the richer for it.

Homeschooling mom, if you want your students to memorize Scripture or view great art or read poetry or learn Shakespeare, consider setting aside a bit of time each day for your own Morning Time. (Yours can look entirely different from ours; you will include those things that you deem important.)

Our Morning Time for this autumn looks something like this...

This year we will be reading through various books in the Bible that correlate with our ancient history studies. Currently we are reading Genesis.

First verse of the year: Galatians 2:20. (We will continue to review Romans 8 from time to time.) 

We are learning "I Sing the Mighty Power of God" by Isaac Watts.  We aim at memorization which usually takes 6 to 8 weeks per hymn.

Each of us recites the poem we're memorizing. Bekah has almost mastered “The Mirror” by A. A. Milne. She'll soon be ready to chose another poem. I am learning Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" and I am by no means ready to move on.  

I choose a poet to study for a time. We read a selected work of our chosen poet two or three days in a row and sometimes read a biography. Our poet for this term is William Shakespeare and we are reading from Poetry for Young People: William Shakespeare.  

This term we are listening to the music of Niccolo Paganini. We are reading Paganini: Master of Strings by Opal Wheeler.

We began this year (actually during our summer break) to study the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. Kristin was teaching a unit on FLW to her children, and invited Bekah to join in some of the activities. (She was thrilled! One of the activities was to design a house!) She was so interested, we checked out a few books from the library, and watched a Ken Burns documentary on Wright. 

Currently, we are studying the art of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.  Because we have recently read about the Tower of Babel, I have chosen his interpretation of the Tower as our first Bruegel painting. We are also reading What Makes a Bruegel a Bruegel?

The Tower of Babel
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1563

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

This is day 16 in the series gather.  Click ~here~ to see more.


  1. Yes!

    We are not studying an artist or musician yet, I'm saving it for January, but we do love this. We are memorizing Hebrews 11 - we are on verse 8, we have been reading some of Longfellow this semester as he has come up in our history studies, as well.


  2. I would love to be in your class. Such a variety of wonderful things to study. Teaching children to love poetry....oh my!

  3. As a former homeschooler (kids grown and gone now), I love this. What perfect mornings!

  4. Did you go see "falling water" house by FLW? I often wonder about the Tower of Babel -- it must have been something magnificient from a man's point of view. I see how the Eypgtians built wonders so I can assume that the Tower of Babel exceeded those efforts.

  5. I love this whole concept. What riches you are giving your children.

  6. Love this! It's making me miss our homeschool. The morning is our freshest time of day so it's a good learning time.

  7. What a great lineup for your morning time. I see why you enjoy it.

  8. We do a short morning time as well. Right now we read our daily devotional from Jesus Calling for Kids, review the scriptures in our memory box, practice our current hymn, and learn/review some sign language since my kids are really interested in it and we never seem to fit it into the day.

  9. I wish I had had someone like you to learn from when I was beginning our homeschooling journey!

  10. Cheryl, we have done morning time for about 15 years. It is such a lovely time! I need to add an artist into our morning time. It's fun to see what others are studying!

  11. Cheryl, do you include all of these things every morning? Just one of them? How long does your morning time last? I'm gathering ideas for homeschooling my third grader next year and you are such an inspiration. Thank you!

  12. Amy P, thank you so much for your sweet words! I hope that I can answer your question.

    Our goal is to do morning time every day and to include all of the elements every day. The reality of it: we usually do Morning Time 3 or 4 days per week. Some days we leave out one or two things; some days we don't get to it at all. A few years ago I wrote a post "Confessions Regarding Morning Time" in which I address the "reality"...and the comments in that post are worth reading. (Link to that post...

    Feel free to email me ( if you have more questions that I did not answer!


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