We are Better TogetherJoin the families who are discovering the impact Morning Time can have on their homeschools.
Let me set the stage. I have two older children who home schooled all the way through high school. At the time I did Morning Time before Morning Time was a thing! The big kids look back with fondness on the books we read, the spiritual training, the poems and verses we put to memory and the slower start to our school day. (Our son probably remembers most jumping on the mini-trampoline while saying his memory work)
Fast forward to the present where we adopted infant twin boys from the foster system. The boys are now 8 years old, and definitely impacted by inter-utero drug use from the birth mother. They have some fairly serious impulse control issues which make learning challenging.
By the grace of God they are performing at grade level academically, but they struggle with behavior issues despite all of our best parenting tools. Parenting/homeschooling these two has been the most humbling thing I have ever done. The point of my sharing all this is because I want to let readers know that morning time doesn’t always look snuggly and peaceful, although I still value it every bit as much…if not more.
We start our day with devotions and prayer. Many days one of our boys crosses his arms and lets me know that he doesn’t want to read the Bible. It gives me a chance to put my arms around him and pray for him-that God would make him into a mighty man of God.
On good days, he prays the most heartfelt, sweet prayers you have ever heard. We read our Bible, and I remind them again and again how what we learn from the Bible is foundational to everything else we do. Sometimes we need to pause for some discipline because the attitudes are so bad. And then we come together again back on the couch for hugs and prayers.
Homeschooling is never easy with these two. But, I owe much of our success to our great Morning Time routines.
We have been homeschooling quite happily for the last three years. I had a vague notion of Morning Time, but hadn’t taken the time to investigate further. In Sept 2017, our fourth child was born, and our homeschooling routine took a nose dive. Even after the hazy newborn days, we were in a rut.
The kids complained about how school wasn’t any fun, and I found myself agreeing with them. In December I began to read about and research Morning Time. I realized that this could really help us regain our homeschooling mojo, but I didn’t have any ability to create anything from scratch while continuing to deal with sleep deprivation. Enter Pam’s Morning Time plans.
We began in Jan 2018 and boy, did those plan really injected life back into our homeschool! We were doing fun things together again. Weeks went by and we climbed out of our rut. The plans made it all possible because I just needed to follow what was provided.
We are SO GRATEFUL for Morning Time plans. Now – almost 5 months later – I have more time to adapt and change the plans to suit our needs, but the core of our Morning Time still comes from the subscription to Pam’s site. We will continue with Morning Time this summer, even though we’ll take a break from “regular school” as my kids call it. We all enjoy Morning Time too much to put it down.
We will always be grateful for the gift of Morning Time. Thank you!
I don’t know where I first heard of Morning Time, but it has been the basis of our homeschool since the very beginning. In the early days, it was more of a preschool circle time, with nursery rhymes, finger plays, and singing making up the bulk of our time together.
It was an ideal way for us to ease into homeschooling — just about everything we needed to do in those early years could be fit into this time. It was also a great way to include a busy toddler who would have otherwise gotten into so much mischief!
Over the years, our morning time has matured and grown just as our little Morning Time has. Morning Time now finds us gathered around the table enjoying wonderful books, beautiful music, and great works of art.
We also pray, sing, and memorize together. We no longer have any toddlers getting into mischief around here, and I often wonder what our Morning Time will look like a few more years down the road.
I’m sure it will just continue to grow and develop as we do! Starting our school day is easy when we start with everyone’s favourite part!
I’ve been doing Morning Time with my 3-year-old for the past 6 months. It’s the majority of our preschool. He frequently asks to do “Basket Time,” even on the weekends when we don’t typically do it.
I’m not sure if it’s the truth, goodness, and beauty, the cuddling on the couch, or the silly putty he gets to play with that are reason for his request. Truthfully, I don’t care! He is picking up so much from our time together.
This fact was displayed yesterday when I heard him reciting Bible verses while playing independently. “John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was God and the word was not God.” Well, maybe we need to practice that one a few more times!
I was beginning to dread starting our school day and I noticed myself procrastinating.
I had read about Morning Time for years, but seeing others’ Memory Work binders intimidated me and working with my children to memorize poems seemed like just one more daunting thing to stay on top of.
One morning after seeing Pam’s mini-class on teaching poetry, I decided I’m just going to try this Morning Time thing without worrying about memorizing poems. verses or prayers. After morning prayers that day, we just started with singing an English Hymn, a Latin Hymn, read a poem to appreciate the language of poetry, asked a few of the discussion questions on Pam’s poetry worksheet, and read an Aesop’s Fable (since we are doing Greek History this year).
It was short, simple and joyful! No binder, no worrying about memorizing – though even my 5-year-old has already memorized the Adoro Te Devote hymn. Maybe one day I will graduate to a binder and be more organized about it, because they are impressive and memory work is important.
For now, I just needed to begin where I was to infuse some joy into our day, mostly, to encourage me to begin our school day without dragging my feet. Now after Morning Prayers the children always say, “Mommy, it’s time for Morning Time!” and I usually can’t get away with just reading one Aesop’s Fable.
Morning Time can be so simple, yet, so pleasant, I was overthinking it for years!
Whether we are using the ready made Morning Time plans from Pam’s site or winging it on our own, Morning Time has become the heart of our homeschool day.
We love coming together and learning new things and exploring the beauty of our world through nature, art, and music. We add in silly time together to dance, sing, and do yoga to get our minds going through motion and bodies calm enough to sit at the desk for lessons.
We are so happy to share all of this at home together.
I was homeschooled off and on growing up as a military kid and honestly loved every minute of it, and I dreamed of homeschooling my children. Then I did… And it wasn’t feeling like the ideal thing I wanted it to be.
You see, I have 4 kids who are at the moment 7, 6, 4, and almost 2. There is chaos involved in everything we do, and most of the time I love it. But I was struggling in what the chaos did to our homeschooling. As soon as I heard about the idea of morning time my heart connected with it.
I just knew this was something I wanted to do. We’re still finding our rhythm (the biggest struggle is me forcing myself to pace all my dreams and goals in light of my crew’s ages), but the connection we’ve formed but memorizing Scripture and hymns and savoring read alouds has as a local friend of mine who also discovered morning time put it “breathed new life into our homeschool day.”
I’d given up on doing morning time as a family. I never could meet the needs of both my high school teenagers and my young 1st and 2nd graders. Then I read Better Together by Pam Barnhill.
Before I finished the book I was inspired to restart morning time as a family. This time I’m concentrating on Pam’s 3 R’s. We have a ritual to start morning time and the school day. We spend a few minutes reciting together. And then I move to a read aloud.
Right now we’re reading great children’s literature my teenagers never got the chance to read, books such as the Phantom Tollbooth. It’s short, it’s simple, and it’s sweet. All the kids love our time together, and I adore the gentle start to the day.
Better Together changed my homeschool for the better.
I am a second generation homeschooling Mom of 7 children ages 1-13. I had heard of “Morning Time” or “Circle Time’, but always said, “That just doesn’t fit in our family style.”
I did, however, love reading aloud to my children and as they increased in number, I had to be more creative to find time to fit it into our day.
About four years ago, I realized that lunch-time would work very well for us to do a read-aloud and it was wonderful. Our read-aloud time was going so well that the next year, I thought I should add in a subject or two that we never seemed to get to during our regular school time.
I added in Missionary Biographies and Geography studies and poetry reading. My children and I were all enjoying this on the days that we did it, but on busy days it was usually the first thing I cut as “unnecessary.”
It was at about this time I discovered the “Your Morning Basket” podcast. As I listened to the first few episodes I realized, “This is what I am doing with my family and it is working!!” I binge-listened to all of the pas podcast episodes that summer as I planned my next school year.
I decided to revamp our entire day and put “Morning Time” (which our family calls “Together Time”) at the start of our day and make it our first priority. I love how it brings our family together, and am amazed by how much my littlest children and my child with special-needs have learned by sitting with us each morning.
My husband also got involved and he now leads the Bible portion of our morning. I have purchased “Better Together” and plan to use it as my source of inspiration and place to organize all of my future plans for our “Together Times”.
Even before we began homeschooling, learning all together as a family was what we planned to do because family culture formation was our priority, even over academics. Fast forward a few years and we are still learning all together for our Morning Time (or Calendar Class, as we call it), despite some serious sibling rivalry and constant interruptions to the “perfect plan”.
If it weren’t for groups like Your Morning Basket Moms, I would have been sorely tempted several times to abandon the project as a utopian fantasy. Hearing other families’ real-life experiences, however, has taught me that it is precisely these daily irritations with one another that we are called to rise above, and that our studies of truth, beauty, and goodness help us develop the virtues within ourselves so that we can do that and learn how to become “better together”.
Morning time has been an anchor in our day since we started homeschooling 11 years ago. It was a carryover from a simple circle time I used to do in my classroom teacher days. While the form continues to ebb and flow with life, the function always remains the same: to come TOGETHER and do WHAT MATTERS MOST.
With a wide-range of learners from kindergarten to high school, it can sometimes be challenging to create family-style learning. By keeping this time simple and only focusing on the two subjects I value most, Bible and pleasure reading, I can create a Morning Time that helps to grow both the ideology and the imaginations of each of my kids. We spend the first 15-20 minutes learning hymns, memorizing Scripture, and reading from a Bible resource or missionary story. Then, we all spread out around the living room with books in hand, to enjoy 15 minutes of individual silent reading, including my husband and me. In this way, he and I can model a love for the Bible and for good books and help our kids develop a habit of spending time on both.
Even if the rest of the day gets derailed, I can still mark the day as a success knowing that we’ve done what matters most during Morning Time.
Let me begin by saying, my kiddos are likened to Hobbits! They desire 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, elevenzies, etc. As we unpack Morning Time each day, we indulge in a feast of “Truth, Goodness and Beauty”, for our mind and soul.
Morning Time, not necessarily in the morning, is definitely our most treasured time. It fills and carries us through our day, it is a building block of our family culture and bonding. As hard as I try to bring the love of learning to each element of study, there’s always something a kiddo is less than enthusiastic about, however, we can (usually) rely on our Morning Time feast to sustain our day!
It has become an integral part of the days — liturgy for our homeschool and Scholé group! We are most grateful for Pamela Barnhill’s various “Morning Time” plans which streamline the preparation of the day’s feast!
We’ve been doing Morning Time for over a year now, and it is not hyperbole to say it has transformed and revolutionized our school. Sometimes we just read aloud for an hour from 4 different books, some seasons we follow one of the Morning Time plans, and I made my own loop schedule for us this year.
We enjoy Morning Time because we all learn together. THAT was the key for us. When the kids finally realized I was learning with them and not “teacher” it transformed us all. We talk about books, movies, and art differently.
They are familiar with Shakespeare and poetry. Memorizing Shakespeare and hearing it come out of them at random times, pushed me to have us all start memorizing scripture! I mean if we can memorize the Bard we can for sure hide God’s Word in our heart. Scripture memory has always been my bugaboo in my Christian walk and now I have co-memorizers that LOVE to help me out when I can’t remember.
Basically, Morning Time has added the joy back into our schooling, AND we still get the essentials done.
We started our Morning Time journey about a year ago. We are fourth-year homeschoolers, but I had never heard of morning time before.
I have two boys, 12 & 7. I was finding it difficult to find our homeschooling rhythm. Add health issues for mom and special needs for the boys, things were challenging. When I heard about Morning Time, I began to listen to the Morning Time podcast. I knew immediately that this was what our homeschool day was missing.
As I planned our homeschool year for 2017-2018, I set out to create this sacred time in our school day. For our family Morning Time includes Bible memorization, hymn study, nature study, poetry, composer study, science, and history. We do as much together during this time as possible which has simplified and brought beauty to our days.
Morning Time is by far everyone’s favorite part of our school day. I have loved watching my boys grow so much closer through this time together. I will remain ever thankful that I stumbled across this homeschooling method. Our lives are all the better for it!
We started morning time about 8 months ago. Nothing in our day was getting finished. The children were always bickering. I was not being consistent because of all my frustration. Our school was falling apart, and even more important I did not enjoy being with my kids. They didn’t like me much either.
Then I took the Homeschool Consistency Boot Camp and learned about Morning Time. In rode our homeschool white knight! We were reading together, had tea, did map drills, listened to great music, shared stories, laughed! School was getting done….and we liked it!
Our Morning Time morphed from 15 minutes to close to an hour and a half as we enjoyed things together. I felt my confidence and joy returning. Now if we are having a hard day Morning Time always gets done, at the very least. Because, in Morning Time we are getting goodness, beauty, and truth.
Morning Time changed how we did school. It changed our family atmosphere. ?