Morning Time is the most important part of our school day.
In our homeschool, we have always had a portion of our day set aside as a type of “Morning Time” because so many of the benefits of community learning in short lessons are found there.
We homeschool – at least to some extent – to create a family culture. Morning Time helps us accomplish this goal beautifully.
I’ve always designed our own Morning Time. Because I use AmblesideOnline for our main curriculum, putting the plans together is really easy these days.
Disclaimer: this is how my family approaches this curriculum. Morning Time is just one way to schedule some portions of AO; many families do things in different ways.
How I plan Morning Time with Ambleside
For example, AO schedules a hymn every month for all students who are doing AO. Hymnody is always a part of our Morning Time – we sing the new hymn for the month and practice one of the hymns we learned previously.
Many of the across the board choices the Advisory has made fit beautifully into Morning Time; hymns, art study, composer study, nature study, folk songs, Plutarch and Shakespeare, drawing, etc.
The Advisory has done much to spread a beautiful feast of ideas for us; the variety is wonderful for the family to study together.
Then, I think about how often these things ought to be done. We’ve found that daily hymns and Bible memory are necessary; at least twice weekly Shakespeare is good; once per week folk songs is sufficient; and once every other week for art or composer study is enough.
Here, again, AO advises us as to the frequency different elements should be studied. Whether you determine it or your curriculum advises you, try to consider what is right for your family. You may find different seasons emphasize different areas.
Finally, after I have determined the “What?” and the “How often?” I can make my general Morning Time outline. We always start with Bible, hymns, and catechism as I think they’re the most important parts of Morning Time.
Then I arrange the rest of our Morning Time trying to alternate kinds of learning and how the children participate – listening, narrating, recitation, working with hands, singing, etc. I can put some things in as daily and block or loop other work to match with the frequency I determined above.
Once I have my general outline written, then I can plug in the recommendations from AO – whether they’re by term or by month.
The arrangement was the challenge, but the choices become very easy by going to AmblesideOnline and finding the current recommendation(s).
If your curriculum, like mine, has much that fits into Morning Time, I recommend taking their recommendations and organizing them thusly.
You don’t need other plans or extras; what AO provides is enough. You may find yourself, as I learned from Cindy Rollins, looking at some new area of interest and asking “How can I put this in Morning Time?”
She is the author of the free ebook: I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will: Charlotte Mason’s Motto Explained for Upper Elementary Students.
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