I mentioned in an earlier post the Morning Time was born out of my own reading of Charlotte Mason's writings and For the Children's Sake by Susan Schaeffer MacCaulay. Those writings inspired me to introduce my children to 4 areas:
(Folk Songs) (We no longer do this but you might want to.)
In the next few posts I will discuss how we cover those areas in our Morning Time. These days I often refer to Ambleside Online when scheduling these subjects.
Here is a picture of the top portion of my MT sheet which is where I keep the information for these subjects:
John Singleton Copley
(Alternate with Shakespeare)
Scheduling Morning Time
This gives me a chance to talk a little bit about scheduling. As you can see the MT sheet is divided into the 5 days of the week but it is very rare for me to have MT all 5 days of the week. I do try to make sure we have it 4 days and on bad weeks 3 days. It is important to make MT a priority, otherwise it will always be pushed aside, but realistically speaking 5 days is almost impossible in a family with doctor's appointments and other crises. So the days of the week at the top are not really the days we do certain things. With the Ambleside selections the days of the week really don't mean anything at all.
As I work through a day, I check things off with a pen. If we discuss a composer or listen to music or look at a picture, I make a check by that item. At the end of the week these Ambleside selections will have zero to four checks beside them. Shakespeare and Plutarch will alternate between one and three. I will also make notes or circle things we completely finish.
I will even be humble enough to show you what a used sheet looks like:
That was embarrassing.
In the coming days I will explain more about how we go about studying these Ambleside selections but today I will talk a little about how much time all of this takes.
Morning Time can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 in our house. Generally I would say about an hour and a half. A couple of things help me keep it around that amount of time. I don't have to look around for any materials. I have them all beside me when I start. In the early years, everyday was an adventure of trying to find this song and that poem. I finally spent one summer making up a memory notebook, a MT notebook and the family hymnbooks. I keep a basket in the living room with teacher's editions of textbooks and Morning Time books and materials.
We don't have as many interruptions as when the kids were little but for some families you might want to look on the interruptions as chances to take a short break. Sometimes we snack while enjoying MT. I try not to let interruptions throw me off completely. I have learned to pick right up wherever we were after a phone call or other problem. The children have learned to come to MT with their own reading materials so if there is a problem they can get some of their lists done during the timeout.
To be honest MT has always taken about that long even when I had small children. I just kept plugging along. I didn't make the kids sit totally quietly either. After Bible time they were allowed to play on the floor. I don't suggest letting them wander off unless you want to find they have ironed several big patches of carpet in a far room.
Let me also add here that I usually do the Ambleside Selections early in MT sometimes even as a part of the Morning Meeting. I usually do Shakespeare/Plutarch immediately after Bible time so that they older highschool students can leave. 11th and 12th grade students can benefit from MT but often there work load requires they leave early. It is hard to let them go but it usually must be done. If you have a high school student who has not learned to love MT then you may want to compromise with them and let them leave early. MT is more fun without the sulkers, and bad attitudes can infect the rest of the family. Learn to enjoy what you can with your children without getting too depressed that the ideal cannot be reached.
I am sure this is confusing. I will try to answer questions in the comments.
Suggestion of the Day for Morning Time Memory:
Judges in the Bible:
|In the Book of Joshua
|In the Book of Judges
|In First Samuel