Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Little Way to Morning Time

I borrowed a book for Kindle called Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results . I liked the title because it rang true for me. My own journey to fitness, a journey I have not completed, began very much like the author's. He started with one pushup. I started with an App and a check mark.

As I was reading the book which is very short, I realized that Morning Time began in our family as a mini habit. It did not start out as a full blown plan. It grew slowly over time. It started with a hymn.

I am very against grand schemes as longtime readers must know by now. We should never have a goal to eat an elephant and according to Mini Habits we should only have a goal to take one bite today. Maybe we will take two or three but we will have succeeded when we have taken that first bite. 

I am all for using the tools of modernity which help us create and succeed at mini goals. In fact, I suspect that our fragmented lives have helped us rediscover this old truth.  As a mother of many children I lived a very fragmented life. Any large goal was quickly overwhelmed by reality, especially in homeschooling, but small successes bred more small successes.

This is why I used to say stop planning your school and go do it. If you are frustrated about something not getting done in your home or school, get up and go do a tiny part of that...Right Now! Read a chapter of a book to your children Now. Pick up your Bible Now. You don't need a plan to read through the whole Bible in a year all you need to do is pick up your Bible and read a chapter today, pat yourself on the back, and do it again tomorrow. Do this for a lifetime and you will have read through the Bible many times, far more times than your grand scheme would have allowed.

One day I was so frustrated with our inability to fit in nature walks that I took the kids to Lookout Mountain in the rain. We had one of our most difficult and most memorable hikes ever that day. We may not be able to hike every week next year but we can hike one day.

Many of you have read through my Morning Time posts and have written me. Sometimes you get frustrated because you try to birth your MT as a full grown adult. If that is not working for you go back and try doing a couple of small things consistently together in the morning because that is the heart and soul of MT. It is also the heart and soul of written narrations. The power of the written narration is in the dailiness of it-the lifetime habit of writing. There is no power in a grand scheme for writing which never happens.

Most of us are involved in planning our school year right now. I hope you will remember to schedule your days in small increments which Charlotte Mason calls short lessons. There is tremendous power in doing something for a short period of time consistently.  I hope you will schedule in rest steps. The Grand Scheme is a recipe for failure. It is the little things done daily that add up to an education and a life.


Tricia said...

This is such great advice. We've decided to have morning time this coming year and I will have to remember to make it a small thing at first so that we enjoy it and don't burn out. Ours will start with Shakespeare, Latin, and one read aloud.

By the way, I have not been able to read your Ordo Amoris blog the past couple of days because it says that it is by invitation only. Is that just a problem on my end? I'm glad I can find the 31 days to MT here on this blog too. Thanks for all you have written.

Cynthia C said...

Cindy - Looking to implement Morning time here. BUT I can not access your blog - can you please send an invitation to I am anxious to read it! Otherwise, perhaps you can open your blog to be public? Thanks a bunch!!

AM said...

Cindy, I just absolutely LOVE what you share and was sad to see that your other blog is now private. I will truly miss it, but, glad to see you here. Is this blog replacing your other? Thank you so very much for all that you share. You are truly inspirational to so many!

austen_n_burney said...

I too am sad to see your other blog is private. Thank you for posting some of your sources here. I often scour your book lists when I'm planning.