Friday, July 31, 2020

2020-2021 Morning Time Plans

I'm planning on listing out our school plans for this year soon, but thought I'd do a separate post just for our Morning Time.  If you are new to homeschooling, there are many places where you can learn more about the why's and how's.  My favorite resources for getting started with Morning Time are:

Over the years, our Morning Time has gone through various format changes, time changes, and location changes.  This year, we are doing Morning Time at the dining room table, usually three times per week.  We began the year (we are currently finishing week 3) doing it during Cricket's and Bear's afternoon naptimes, but found, for this year anyway, during Cricket's morning nap is better and Bear joins us.  So currently Morning Time starts at 9am, and I call the kids in from outside recess with a song (Little Boy Heart Alive).

Our Morning Time schedule looks like this:

Memory Work Binders (15 minutes)
Activity Loop (30 minutes)
Skill Drills (15 minutes)
Group Subjects (30-45 minutes)

This is quite a bit of content, and Morning Time can last us anywhere from 1.5-2 hours Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Thursdays we do not do Memory Work or Activity Loop (and sometimes not Drills either) but still do group subjects, so it often only lasts 30-45 minutes.  However, because we are doing so much together, it lightens the individual study work.

Memory Work Binders

Inside our binders is all of our memory work for the year.  Each term (a term for us is 5-6 weeks and we have six of them) gets a focus and then we move the tab and move on.  I don't require word for word memory for anything, but I do encourage it (with chocolate chips as bribes rewards now and then).  I find this method encourages memory though and works so much better for us then the drilling and repeating method.  It's also more fun.  Each child also has a quality coloring book or drawing book that they are working through when others are doing their individual poems.  Our tabs are divided into Hymns, Folk Songs, Poetry, Bible, Catechism, Latin/Spanish, History/Geography, and Science.

Hymns - We have been using Traditional Catholic Living's Hymn Study.  We are doing the Year 3 hymns this year.

Folk Songs - We use Ambleside's Folk Song suggestions and are doing the 2019-2020 list.

Poetry - Each child has their own selections of poetry to memorize.  I use Mother of Divine Grace's suggestion, along with one or two poems of their own choosing from the poet they are studying this year (more on that when I do the post on our individual work plans.

Bible - This has changed over the years.  One year we did whole sections of the Gospels.  Another year we did Psalms.  This year we are doing the memory verses from Our 24 Family Ways (which is our current morning prayer devotional) along with memorizing the Theological and Cardinal Virtues and definitions.

Catechism - We use the questions and answers from the Baltimore Catechism 1 and I've divided it into thirds.  This year we have a 2nd grader and 4th grader, so we are memorizing the first and last thirds.  We do a chapter from the first third and a chapter from the last third and move on every couple of weeks.

Latin/Spanish - We are memorizing various Latin prayers and mottos this year.  For Spanish we are using the songs from Learning Spanish with Grace as memory work.

History/Geography - We are still working through the Greek and Roman history timeline from last year, and when we are done with that we will move on to the Ancient timeline.  I've taken various geography facts from Designing Your Own Classical Catholic Curriculum and Living Memory and we just work our way through that.

Science - We are working our way through various science facts from Living Memory.

Activity Loop

During our Activity Loop, we loop our way through various subjects each term.

Folk Dancing - This year we are learning Country Line Dancing using Brooke and Company Volume 1 DVD.  I have a dream of planning a folk dance with our homeschool group, but I haven't managed to do that just yet.  In the meantime we are learning the dances together and it is so much fun.

Nature Journaling - Each week the kids do their own nature journaling, but once per term we take a week to work through the lessons in Nature Drawing and Journaling.

Artist Study - We are studying the works of Da Vinci using Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study Portfolios.  We study one picture per term.  After studying the picture we display it on top of our piano for the rest of the term.

Composer Study - This year we are studying Chopin.  We listened to the Music Masters CD for the story of his life and I picked six of his works to listen to throughout the year.  We focus on one work during Chopin week and then I play it at various times throughout that term.

Art - We love Meet the Master's for art so much!  This year we are working through Track D.  In past years we have created some very fun works.

Geography - We are continuing working through Mapping the World with Art from last year.  One chapter per term.

Skill Drills

Spelling - My three oldest are using Spelling You See C all together (we have a couple of poor spellers and one excellent speller, so they are all in the same level).  

Math Drill - We do our timed math speed drills during this time.  Fritter no longer has math speed drills (much to his relief!), so he usually works on his drawing while he waits, or he is excused from Morning Time at this time if he is not participating in that particular group subject that is coming next.

Group Subjects

Spanish - As mentioned above, we are working through Learn Spanish with Grace.  We are moving pretty slowly, one page or activity once per week.  This includes Ladybug, Sunflower, and Froggy (Bear if he has stuck around this long).

History - We are loving Story of Civilization - The Ancients.  We do one chapter per week.  Monday I read the chapter aloud while the children color the page in their workbooks.  Tuesday we do oral narrations and review questions (and then for independent work the older kids do a written narration in their history notebooks).  Wednesday we watch the videos and do any map activity in our workbooks.  Thursday we work on our Book of Centuries and timelines.  Fridays we (sometimes) do a suggested activity.  All of the children participate.  The school age kids also have independent books to read that correspond with a particular time period (maybe I'll include the list in another post).  You can see my full review of this program here.

We keep our notes for the week on our family message board.  It also includes helpful bible verses, an extra chores list for children that need them, and a shopping list. :)

Science - We are continue with our Apologia study.  This year we are studying the Human Body using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology.  Ladybug and Sunflower have the Notebooking Journal and Froggy has the Junior Notebooking Journal (although as a young second grader, some of the activities are too much for him, so I just have him skip those).  We do two lessons per week and they do the notebooking activities on their own.  We do include some of the experiments (if they are simple), but not all.

Citizenship - We are studying two Lives from Plutarch (Aristides and Themistocles) and two Apostles (St. Peter and St. Andrew) using Pope Benedict's beautifully illustrated book The Apostles.  We read through the story slowly, once per week, a little at a time and then do an oral narration.  When we have completed each life, we will do written narrations and add them to our timelines.  Everyone is included for this subject.

Geography - Sunflower and Froggy are studying Minn of the Mississippi, including map and notebooking activities from Beautiful Feet Books.

We are really loving our Morning Time this year.  One reason we homeschool is to build close family relationships, and Morning Time is one of the tools we use to do just that!


Becky said...

Inspiring! So well organized. :)

Erin said...

Love.... so classical!