Morning Time Plans

Morning Time, Circle Time, Morning Basket…the names for this time of gathering everyone together for shared learning is as varied as the houses that practice it. Most often in our home is it, “Everyone Grab Your Bible and Come to the Living Room” Time. Catchy title, right? I can already see it on t-shirts and coffee mugs. It works for us and it seems silly to tell my high school students to get ready for Circle Time.

Before our unplanned summer break, I was almost completely winging this portion of our day. In different seasons the method of winging it works better than others. This season we all needed a bit more structure and planning. Planning and organizing are not my strengths and it took me longer than I wanted but I think we finally have a Morning Time Plan.

For our Morning Time, I will have eight children at home; ages 15 down to 10 months. For this term, we will read/discuss Bible, poetry, government, science, history, literature, etc at varying levels. We have already started and the discussions we have engaged in have been delightful!

Here is the Morning Time Plan:

Daily:

Bible Reading: Each day we will read Scripture. We are alternating between Joshua and Matthew for four days. On Fridays we will be reading a Psalm and from The Ology. ( I am loving this resource!) While it may seem that alternating text might be confusing for the younger ones, it has not been an issue at all. We practice oral narrations after our readings and there is almost always discussion. It works beautifully! Utilizing the New City Catechism (they also have an app) is a new addition for us this term. I am simply offering up one question per week. We shall see how that goes!

Poetry: This time can get a bit crazy. For now we are using Favorite Poems Old and New. Each child calls out a page number and I read from that page. It is quick and fun. And you know what? My children love poetry. We have stumbled across new favorites. My older children do read poetry from an assigned poet as well in their individual studies.

Recitation/Memory Work: As a family we work on a Scripture passage together. We are currently working on Matthew 5: 3 -16. There is other recitation/memory work required but it is handled individually.

Hymns: Our Morning Time always starts with a hymn. We have a few hymnals that we share. Our current hymns are Come Thou Fount, Brethren We Have Met to Worship, and My Father’s World.  My goal is to have a balance between songs we sing often in church and hymns we just enjoy as a family.

Weekly Rotations:

Read Alouds: Generally we have more than one read aloud for Morning Time underway. For this term we have a selection for History (I, Juan de Pareja), Science (Science Matters), and Literature (Haven’t quite decided on this one yet! Pondering a little something by Dickens.)

Government/Civics: In the past this has not been an area covered in our Morning Time. We are going to give it a go for a few weeks and see how it flows and decide from there. I will likely choose one topic/article from the week to discuss for Current Events or perhaps let one of my teens offer up a topic that has intrigued them in their individual studies. I will also be pulling a Civics’s Question of the Week from the Learn about the United States: Quick Civics Lessons from the Naturalization Test. There are so many facts and interesting points of history that we forget or have never learned. This is simple enough for my younger ones to join in and my older ones can always expand from this to deeper reading/discussion/study. It also fits well with our current time of history being studied.

Artist/Composer: Jan Vermeer is our chosen artist and Vivaldi is our composer. We will enjoy paintings and music throughout the week. However, once a week we will have a bit of discussion about a particular painting, an interesting fact about the artist/composer, or share a favorite piece of music. Simple but effective.

This time of everyone coming together is not always easy. However, it is an important part of our day, our life, our family. These sometimes chaotic moments are building connections and memories that will last a lifetime and longer.

Up next? I’ll try to share what else we have in store for the coming year!

 

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Christ is Risen

On this wonderful, rainy Sunday, I just wanted to share one of my favorite songs. I was humming this as I fell asleep last night. How happy my heart was when we sang it at church this morning.

Christ is Risen (Matt Maher)

Let no one caught in sin remain
Inside the lie of inward shame
But fix our eyes upon the cross
And run to Him who showed great love
And bled for us
Freely You’ve bled for us

(Chorus)
Christ is risen from the dead
Trampling over death by death
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave
Christ is risen from the dead
We are one with Him again
Come awake, come awake
Come and rise up from the grave

Beneath the weight of all our sin
You bowed to none but heaven’s will
No scheme of hell, no scoffer’s crown
No burden great can hold You down
In strength You reign
Forever let Your church proclaim

Chorus

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
The glory of God has defeated the night

O death, where is your sting?
O hell, where is your victory?
O church, come stand in the light
Our God is not dead
He’s alive! He’s alive!

Oops? I Spoke too Soon?

Life is anything but predictable, right?

This morning I woke up and jumped in the shower. Mom pulls rank and calls dibs on first shower. Every day; not just Mother’s Day.  Then I headed to the kitchen to begin the Sunday Morning Shuffle.

Instead of finding one or two children reading books and waiting for me on the couch, I had people at the table. Did someone else get up and cook breakfast?

Unfortunately, no. However, imagine my surprise when I saw a gorgeous flower arrangement on my dining room table and a card. Eddie totally threw me for a loop!!!

They are beautiful, yes? I’m not a roses kind of gal. Daisies are my favorites and a bouquet like this makes me heart sing. So bright and vibrant. I love them!

Not only did he make a late night run so that I would be surprised but he found the cutest card ever. It sings to me and I smile every time I play it. The little ones and I have had enjoyed it all afternoon. (Not only did he do a late night run but then he had to do a late night search for a vase. He finally gave up and used this pitcher that was stashed away. He even found a missing kitchen knife!)

We did the Sunday Morning Shuffle. I made breakfast. Last minute ironing took place. Everyone found matching shoes and hair was all in place. We had a beautiful worship service and I passed smiles, waggled some eyebrows, and held little hands. I have beautiful pictures and scripture drawn by my children. Maps that lead me to Candy Island and have the Bad Guy Island clearly marked were given to me. And I’m enjoying some unexpected loveliness with my beautiful flowers. Perhaps even more beautiful because they were unexpected and a total surprise.

After eighteen years, the man not only spoils me but manages to surprise me as well. I am blessed.