I’ve talked on here before about my own morning time routine, and also over on my YouTube channel. I thought today I’d share a little of our homeschool morning routine. For the longest time, mornings were a little chaotic. Even though we don’t have a strict schedule, we don’t have a timetable that we follow, or set times or days for lessons, and we’re pretty much a ‘go with the flow’ kinda family, mornings always seemed stressful. I’d be rushing around trying to do a million things, the kids would be in and out for breakfasts, asking what we were doing that day, and by 9am I’d be frazzled.
A year ago, when I started to implement my own morning time, I realised that a family/homeschool morning time could work for us. Morning time in homeschool isn’t a new concept, google it and you’ll find no end of posts about morning time routines, morning time baskets and how to create your own. For us, morning time isn’t so much about a curriculum, or what we learn, it’s about coming together as a family, starting our day of as one, so we’re all on the same page for the day. Especially with older ones, who tend to work independently throughout the day, I find morning time really gives us a peaceful, united start to the day.
We usually all gather around the table somewhere around 8am. By this time, I will have had my own morning time ~ meditated, worked out, showered, gotten dressed. The kiddos come down one by one, usually, Baya and Beastie are first, followed shortly after by the big two. Breakfast is a slow start for us, a chance for everyone to wake up over a glass of juice and some nourishing food. There’s a little chit-chat, usually about trivial things, chatter about the previous day, and gossip from groups they have been to the night before.
Once everyone has eaten, the dishes done and the table cleared, we’ll light the candle and pull out their gratitude journals. Sometimes I do mine in my own morning time, but lately, I’ve been doing it alongside the kiddos. Beastie has his own journal and will usually draw while everyone else writes their lists. I know how helpful my own gratitude journal has been, and being thankful for all the good in our lives is a trait I really want to encourage in my kiddos – to teach them to see just how lucky we truly are. To focus on what we have, instead of what we don’t have.
Once our gratitude journals are done, we’ll pull out a few books. Currently, we’re reading some short bible stories, one each morning as well as that days poem from this book. We also have various poem, short story and rhyme books that we’ll rotate through, I generally ask one or more of the kiddos to read one out that they like.
After some read-aloud time, we have a short family meeting. We’ll chat over any issues that have arisen, everyone has a chance to air any problems they may have, and we try and find a way to work through them – most of this time is currently spent sorting out various disagreements between my teen and tween! We also use this time to discuss our plans for the day. If it’s a home day, then we’ll make a plan of action – mainly geared at the middle two. My eldest works independently, so we’ll have a chat about her plans for the day. We’ll make a quick list with what we plan/hope to work on that day. I usually leave this list on the kitchen table as I find having it written down for them to check means they don’t have to ask me fifty times what we are doing that day!
By now it’s probably around quarter to nine/nine o’clock. I send the girls off to get dressed if they’re not already, while I check in on my emails before we begin that day’s homeschool work.
Having those forty-five minutes/an hour in the morning makes such a difference to our days. it gives everyone a chance to wake up before we begin any work, it allows everyone to be involved and have an input in our days and makes sure that everyone knows what the plan is each day.
Creating your own morning time routine
Morning time should reflect your family, and fit in with your routines. There is no right or wrong way to do this! Morning time will change for each family from season to season, as the children grow and as your needs change.
Think about what you want to get out of morning time ~ do you want time to connect? Do you want to incorporate some curriculum or topics to work on altogether?
What time to start ~ 8am is our usual start time, this is when we’re naturally drawn to the kitchen for our breakfast. Think about what time works for you to start. You may wish to make breakfast a separate event, and meet for morning time once everyone has eaten and is washed/dressed for the day.
How long ~ Morning time for us is usually an hour long, including breakfast. We don’t incorporate the kiddos actual ‘school’ work into our morning time, but many families do, using the time to cover some history, art or music studies altogether. Decide how you want to shape your mornings.
Where to meet ~ we meet around our kitchen table, the hub of our home. As we meet for breakfast this is convenient for us, also our homeschool supplies are in the kitchen too, so everything is on hand. Perhaps you’d rather meet in the living room, sat on the sofas, or maybe you have a dedicated homeschooling room you could meet in.
What to include ~ I prefer to keep morning time shorter and separate from our studies. If you have children who are working on topics together, it would be great to incorporate them into your morning time. Maybe you could add in a history read-aloud to share with everyone, or use the time to read-aloud your current chapter book. Any subjects that require one-on-one time are better kept separate – things like Maths and English that are more ability specific are better tackled individually.
Morning time with multiple ages ~ I have 14, 11, 8 and 3 year olds – morning time is totally doable with various ages! My girls are all big enough to sit quietly and take part in the reading and writing, Beastie usually has his own journal and crayons so he can draw, sometimes he has some playdough out or another toy that he has brought to the table. he’s always been included so loves to be involved and enjoys listening to the poems and stories too.
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Do you have a morning time as part of your home school? I’d love to hear what it looks like!