Morning Time has become a beautiful anchor of our day over the last few years. With a busy toddler in the mix, it’s not always peaceful and exactly how my idealistic mind has it all laid out, but it is beautiful nonetheless. When my children were preschoolers, we called it “Together Time”. You can read about what it looked like in those earlier years in this blog post.
In short, Morning Time is a coming together of all the children in a home education setting, enjoying subjects that span across a wide age range. Morning Time can look different from one family to another, but the bottomline is that it includes the subjects that everyone can do together. These materials emphasize truth, goodness, and beauty. I have explained in detail what that includes for us below.
In the morning, after nursing the toddler and getting everyone dressed for the day, we bring our breakfast to the table for Morning Time. I also bring our basket of Morning Time materials and give each child their Morning Time menu.
A Morning Time Menu is essentially a book of transparent pages into which you can slip papers for your child to look at, read, or even write on using a dry erase marker. I bought three of these (one for each child and one for myself), and I set them up at the beginning of each week. We use the 4-page menus which means I can insert eight pages at a time. I purchased mine here.
Here are the elements we currently include in our Morning Time with children ages 5 and 6 and a half.
Prayer and Devotions
The first thing we do is pray and thank God for our day and ask Him to come and be present in all we do. While they eat their breakfast I read from our current devotional book. They often ask questions and we discuss what I read. Sometimes they practice looking up scripture from what we have read in their children’s Bible. Recently we have also been memorizing some attributes of God using these cards from Tiny Theologians. Sometimes we add in a hymn or worship song to this time and sing together. We often pray together again, specific to what we learned in our time studying His word. Here are some of the resources I pull from:
- Leading Little Ones To God – This is the devotional book we have been using for the last year. I often tweak some of the wording to make it more palatable for little minds, but it has been full of rich theological ideas and doesn’t sugar-coat the truth, which is important to me. I love that there is a hymn and discussion questions at the end of each reading.
- Tiny Theologians Attributes of God Cards – Each Morning Time I add a card. I read the description and verse and we discuss what it means. The kids like to create a hand motion for each attribute to help them remember it. We recite all of the attributes we have learned so far. We are almost finished with these cards and I plan to begin the Names of God cards next.
- Adventure Children’s Bible – This is the Bible my son uses to read and practice looking up Scripture.
Calendar Work and Weather Charting
When the kids finish eating breakfast, they are ready to do their calendar work and weather charting. They love this part because it is so interactive. I’ve wanted to incorporate calendar and weather into our Morning Time for so long, but I could never find exactly what I was looking for. Finally, I decided to make my own Daily Weather Chart and Traceable Monthly Calendar. Using dry erase markers, my kids trace the month name and all of the numbers leading up to the day’s date. Then they circle the date. I write the full date on our chalkboard and we read it aloud together. Then they feel or look outside to observe the weather and chart it on their weather page. If you don’t have a morning menu, these pages work great in dry erase pouches or laminated. You can download both charts here.
Character Study and Scripture Recitation
The main curriculum we are using this year is A Year of Tales. One of the reasons I chose A Year of Tales is because she offers full and rich Morning Time selections that correlate with the Beatrix Potter tale we are reading that week. Included in the curriculum is a character trait to study and a scripture to ponder and memorize. Each of these is a page in our menu. We read them, discuss different elements of them each day, and practice reciting the scripture.
Poetry Reading and Recitation
The next pocket of our menu has selections of lovely poetry slipped into it. I get our poetry from two main sources – A Year of Tales and Exploring Nature With Children. I simply read the poem each day to the children and we discuss it. After a few days of reading it, they naturally start to memorize it and we practice recitation. Sometimes we also recite poems from previous weeks as well. We study each poem for 1-2 weeks.
Art Study and Expression
Next we observe a piece of art, which I also pull from A Year of Tales and Exploring Nature With Children. Sometimes we simply observe the artwork and discuss what we see and feel from it. Sometimes the kids enjoy giving the scene an imaginative story and sharing it with us. Other times we get out our watercolors, colored pencils, or crayons and attempt to replicate the art. You can find the art supplies we use for this here.
Lastly, I read our weekly Beatrix Potter tale and 2 or 3 books aloud from our book basket. The books in our book basket are usually themed according to what we are studying that week. I choose them based on the book lists in A Year of Tales and Exploring Nature With Children. Other times they aren’t themed to anything specific, they are just lovely, rich stories from one of the other book lists I follow. You can read this post about how I choose good quality books!
Our entire Morning Time usually lasts about an hour. Then we break for more play, chores, and outside time before jumping into short individual lessons for each child. It has been such a life-giving way to bring us together at the beginning of each day. I hope this was a helpful post as you plan your days.