Do you wish you had more time for some of the interesting things you want to learn with your kids, but your day is filled up just getting the basic subjects done? There is an easier way to cover all the content that you want to do in your homeschool. Here’s how to simplify your homeschool with Morning Time.
Video: How To Simplify Your Homeschool With Morning Time
What is Morning Time?
Morning Time is the part of our day where we gather to learn the subjects that can be studied for every age.
The very first time I remember hearing about Morning Time was through listening to Cindy Rollins share on a Pam Barnhill podcast how Morning Time developed in her home. Cindy talked about how she unwittingly fell into the practice of Morning Time when she began reviewing memory verses every morning when her first child was four years old. Over time, she added to their daily time by doing nursery rhymes, poetry, hymn and artist study, etc. This list expanded and became known today to many in the homeschooling community as the practice of Morning Time.
This is a time to observe truth, goodness, and beauty. It is our inspiration for the day. Have you ever seen a beautiful painting or read a riveting poem and been moved with ideas? This is Morning Time. Morning Time is our inspiration for the day. It is as much for the children as it is for the mom.
We are continually growing as we observe truth, goodness, and beauty in the created world. I don’t necessarily have a time frame of how much I plan to accomplish in each subject each day or by a certain date. We just chew off a little here, a little there, letting it soak in. Morning Time is our bedrock. It is fuel for our day, our common ground.
What is Studied for Morning Time?
Here are some topics we have enjoyed in our Morning Time over the years.
-Church History Biographies
What subjects would you like to do with your kids, but you never have time to get to them? Consider starting Morning Time as a way fit them in.
Looping Morning Time Subjects
Be careful NOT to try to do everything in morning time! The idea of Morning Time is to give just enough truth, goodness, and beauty to light the fire. Keep the lessons short. The idea is small bits here and there, not cramming it all in.
Of course, there are some subjects that we do every day. Others, however we only want to do regularly. Make a list of the daily content you want to do and beside it put the list of the rest of the things you want to do regularly.
For the list of topics that you want to cover regularly, try looping them. Sarah Mackenzie explains the concept of looping well in her book Teaching from Rest: A Homeschoolers Guide to Unshakeable Peace.
How Long is Morning Time?
Morning Time can be anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour and a half. Don’t belabor it. When you sense the kids are starting to lose interest, then break for your regular school work. Remember, the purpose of Morning Time is to inspire your day, not to bore you.
When should I do Morning Time?
Experiment with a time that works for YOU.
In our years of doing Morning Time, breakfast works best for us. Everyone is already sitting around the table so I don’t have to gather them. Plus, when they are eating, they are better listeners!
Currently, our morning looks like this.
-Breakfast and Morning Time
-Clean Up and Chores
-Start regular school work
How often should I do morning time?
Morning time is best when it is part of your normal routine, however it should not feel like a burden! If doing it daily feels like too much, find the fit that is good for you and your kids.
We aim to do Morning Time every day, but realistically it happens about 3-4 mornings per week.
How do I get started with Morning Time?
I would suggest you start Morning Time very similarly to how Cindy Rollins started it with her oldest child. Begin by memorizing verses and then add maybe a Bible Story or nursery rhymes. Try teaching the days of the week or months of the year.
Decide which things you would like to do daily and which subjects you want to do regularly and loop them.
Planning for Morning Time
Some moms are detailed in planning out Morning Time. You can even purchase some excellent Morning Time planners if that’s something that would help you.
I have never done this. (Although if that works well for you, then do it!) While I do like to generally plan what we will do in Morning Time, I hold my plans very loosely for these reasons.
Our mornings are unpredictable. Some days my kids get really into a topic and want to keep going. Other days, we all might be tired from a late night and want to cut things short. We might have a toddler or baby that repeatedly interrupts. I hesitate to get too detailed with planning because it can so easily turn into a checklist to get done rather than inspiration for our day. I don’t want that. So, I make general plans, but with a lot of flexibility thrown in!
Toddlers and Babies in Morning Time
If you have a TODDLER or BABY with you in Morning Time, it make things a little more difficult, but don’t let that hold you back! There will probably be distractions, but roll with the punches. You can do this! Morning Time is good for everyone, including YOU!
You can try wearing the baby or reading while your toddler is in a booster seat eating. Have your preschooler doodle at the table or play with a chunky puzzle.
In all the years that my kids and I have been doing Morning Time, we have had a toddler or baby with us. We’ve had plenty of mornings that were chaotic and messy, but I have not let it discourage me.
Many times I would pause to solve the disruptions, then push through and pick back up where we left off. Other times, the distractions were so much that I just called it quits for that day. BUT we always tried Morning Time again the next day and kept going.
The Long Haul
The final and most important point I want to make is to say that Morning Time is for the long haul. Don’t expect to see immediate results even in the first year.
Don’t be discouraged if your child thinks picture study is a waste of time or if he doesn’t see the point to reading poems. It takes time to appreciate beauty. This is a process.
Remember when you first fed your baby green beans? He spit it out and it ended up all over your shirt. It may take repeated exposures to certain content before they can appreciate and enjoy it.
Here are my two favorite resources for Morning Time.
YOUR MORNING BASKET PODCAST with PAM BARNHILL. I love to listen to Pam talk about how she implements Morning Time in her home. Her interviews with other moms cover topics like “What if my kids fight in morning time?” and “Why a Morning Basket is perfect for preschool” and “What if you are stuck in a rut in Morning Time?” She is easy to listen to and so down to earth!
MORNING TIME: A LITURGY OF LOVE by Cindy Rollins. This book was originally titled A Handbook for Morning Time and sold as a partner to her book Mere Motherhood. A Handbook for Morning Time is the book I have used and loved, but it is no longer in print and has been updated as Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love. You can find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com and listen to her on THE NEW MASON JAR PODCAST WITH CINDY ROLINS.
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Leave a Comment
What questions do you have about Morning Time? Have you tried this practice in your home? Tell me about it! I would love to hear from you!
For more Morning Time Resources, see TEACHING BIBLE IN MORNING TIME
Also find inspiration for your homeschool by checking out my gallery of MOM INTERVIEWS!
Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!