It seems to me that we have always started our day with Morning Time. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t start our morning off with Bible reading, Shakespeare, etc. It just seems the natural way to corral everyone before they start off on their independent learning. As I give it more thought, though, I don’t think we took part in a formal Morning Time until Emma was around 8 years old–that makes it 6 years ago.
Six years that we have been reading Shakespeare. Six years that we have been reading poetry. Six years that we have been doing art study and composer study. Six years that we have invariably stalled and, consequently, bailed on Morning Time. Every year seems to be the same. We always seem to start out of the gates with great gusto then, invariably, after a few months we sputter and die a slow death until Morning Time becomes a distant memory. A wonderful memory but a memory nonetheless.
I have tried to analyze why the sputtering and dying and all that I could come up with is that I try to stuff too much into our Morning Times. It all becomes too complicated to remember what takes place on what day. It’s easier to just bail.
With all the talk about liturgy and the month-long series on Morning Time, I have been giving MT more concentrated thought. We have always had Bible reading and read aloud on a daily basis but the other readings and subjects (Shakespeare, natural history, Plutarch, poetry, and picture study) came with a fancy dancy schedule in which they showed up once a week. In being read only once a week, it seemed like forever to get through a Shakespeare play or a Plutarch life. The foreverness is what caused me to bail on MT. We didn’t seem to get anywhere in any of our readings. Perseverance is not one of my strengths. If I don’t see any progress then that’s it. It’s history.
With the beginning of this school year came the pondering of Morning Time. Did we want to attempt to try it again? Well, of course we did. We are going to keep trying until something works. I have tried to simplify some things and add some others to get the rhythm that works for our family. With reading the blog series on MT, I was able to figure out how to carry out all of the parts and, hopefully, do it on a more consistent level.
So this is what our Morning Time consists of:
Bible reading–(we usually start this during breakfast) our church is reading through the entire Bible as a congregation so we do these readings at this time
Memorization–(we have now moved in to the living room for the rest of MT) we work on scripture memorization (we are finishing up Rom. 8:31–37 and will then move on to Ps. 23) and poetry memorization. We are also working on the Apostle’s Creed here as well.
Poetry–For a month at a time, I read one poem continually. We define unknown words, discuss meaning, figure out rhyme scheme and poetic devices. Right now we are reading Yeats’ The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Game–we take a break by playing a game. Right now the favorites are Q-Bitz(actually, it is my favourite. Oh my goodness, I love this game!) and UNO. For 2 days, though, we do a writing activity instead. We will either do a Freewrite a la Bravewriter or we will write a paragraph regarding the book that we are currently reading.
Shakespeare–we read Shakespeare now every day instead of once a week. We are just about finished A MidSummer Night’s Dream. Ahhh, progress. I love it! I haven’t decided whether we will continue on with another play when we are finished MidSummer or if we will move on to natural history or mythology, etc. The jury is still out on that. We are also memorizing Shakespeare. We do that at this time as well.
Read aloud–We are reading The Iliad right now.
The entire MT takes us about an hour and a half. It’s long but it is simple and, for now, it is working. Actually, this year is the longest that MT has lasted. Simple is good.