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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Morning Time {Autumn Term}

My poor blog has taken a back seat lately. There are just so many things that clamor for my time and attention, not the least of which is getting back into the groove of homeschooling a high schooler! It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. Kind of.

The best of times because I love having a teenager in the house, so full of life and blossoming talents and personality and plans. It is a time to build on the foundation laid carefully in the early years. A time to reap friendship with my young adult.

The worst of times because there's just so much to do!

We are continuing to find joy in the journey of homeschooling amidst the busy days.

We are making adjustments in our schedule for high school. Bekah and I worked together on planning the schedule and she has decided that she needs to do her math and her science work at the beginning of the day when she is fresh. That means that "Morning Time" is almost always in the afternoon this year. Regardless of when it is, it is still important to me to make time for these heart-enriching, mind-enriching studies.

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

We began this year with the book of Malachi because that is where we left off with our ancient history studies. We are now reading the book of John and will continue to read books and passages of the New Testament that will relate with our walk through history.

First passage of the year: John 1:1-13

We are learning "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" by Scottish hymnist Horatius Bonar.  We aim at memorization which usually takes 6 to 8 weeks per hymn.

Each of us recites the poem we're memorizing. Bekah is working on Hamlet's soliloquy. I have chosen "Crossing the Bar" by Tennyson. (Confession: I learned this poem several years ago, but I need a refresher!)   

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 Lord Alfred Tennyson. We have read biographical information about Tennyson in  Poetry for Young People: Alfred, Lord Tennyson and we are finding his poetry in almost every book on our poetry shelf!

This term we are listening to the music of American composer George Gershwin. After watching Mr. Holland's Opus this summer, we decided to make Gershwin our first composer of the year. Along with listening to many recorded versions of his songs, we are also watching movies like Rhapsody in Blue (the story of Gershwin's life) and An American in Paris.

We are enjoying the art of Vincent van Gogh. Currently, we have a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of van Gogh's The Starry Night on our dining room table. I have found that a puzzle is an excellent tool for studying a painting closely! (Now if only we are able to complete it before Sunday's family dinner!) 

There are also some engaging children's picture books about van Gogh, including Katie and the Sunflowers, Katie and the Starry Night, Vincent's Colors, Camille and the Sunflowers, The Yellow House: Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin Side by Side. I have found that a well written picture book is a great teacher, so we'll read through as many of these as time allows.

Before school started for this year, I heard Kati asking Bekah what artists she was going to be studying and what composers and what poets and hymns, and then she said to me, "Sometimes I wish I was still in school." Then she qualified that by saying, "Actually, what I really want is Morning Time."

Morning Time continues to reap benefits!


  1. Ah, yes! I love that they still love to learn! Morning time has been lacking here. Too much craziness. I plan to remedy that this next week. We love Van Gogh! The girls have found several large copies of his paintings at Christmas Tree Shops for about $20. Now we have Sunflowers, Starry Night, and The Cafe at our house!
    I love Mr. Holland's Opus. Isn't it fun to be inspired in our learning? We are studying Franz Liszt this year. I don't know if we've chosen a poet yet, but we are continuing to memorize Hebrews 11.

    I so love this time of learning with my kids and will be sad when my last one is finished.


  2. Cheryl, I love the curriculum you and Bekah have chosen for this Autumn. It would be wonderful to be a student in your school! Art, music, poetry all sound lovely--and of course math and science for the Morning Time. I admire all the hard work you put into your school--it's important work that is already blessing you and your family. ♥

  3. Sounds like a wonderful morning time for sure. I'm sure guiding Bekah in her studies enriches your mind, too. I enjoyed our homeschooling years although they were few. Blogging puts me back into that discovering and learning time...

  4. Morning time--or afternoon--sounds so wonderful. Those were the studies I enjoyed most with our kids. But your memorization program is ambitious! It will keep your brain in tune! When we sing hymns at church I surprise myself by how many I know (all the verses) by heart ---from singing them as a child. It's much harder for me to memorize now. A melody with the words helps me to learn. Enjoy these precious years with your girls.

  5. This sounds wonderful, and it sounds like you are learning right along with Bekah, which I think is wonderful. Enjoy these times and all the busyness that goes along with them, wonderful memories are being made

  6. It is so interesting to get a glimpse into your home schooling program. I think your children must be way ahead of those in the public schools! You have my admiration for the dedication and work that goes into all of the preparation and studies.

  7. Hi Cheryl, I am sitting here, so envious, oh, how I would love to be a student in your classroom! I love the fact that you and Bekka are not only, mother-daghter, teacher-student, but great friends as well! I find this so refreshing!
    Since I seem I have not been online much lately, I find I have a lot of catching up to do, enjoyed your August Gathering the Moments so much, and the just us girls was awesome too!
    Thank you for sharing the mushroom toast recipe, I really enjoy mushrooms so much, and would never have thought of adding rosemary,which sees to be the only thing thriving in my herb garden right now.
    As always such a joy to visit!
    Love from me to you,

  8. We had wonderful years homeschooling. It's so much fun to hear about yours. I love your 'Morning Times.'

  9. Aww - Morning Times - so great!!! Fall blessings to you as you teach and admire!

  10. Your morning time sounds lovely! Ours is very similar. Because of Seth's learning challenges I also do a lot of reading to him.


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