I have gotten a few emails following my Morning Time Plans post asking for a few more details on our morning time, group learning, memorization, and the like. I thought that I would compile them in a FAQ post and attach a YouTube clip of our memory binder.
Where did you get your memorization binder?
I made it based on what we are currently studying. We change out our memory work each term, and work in time for review. (Our terms are 6 weeks long.)
What types of things are in your binder?
Our binder has our Bible memory passages, the poems that we are memorizing, our academic memory work (after compiling it for my kids I made it available as Relational Recitation) and the sheet music for the hymns we are learning. You can take a peak at our memory binder here on YouTube.
How do you work memorization into your day?
We do memorization as part of our morning time. That is one of the things I love most about morning time. Now that we have created this time in our day to gather together, whenever I discover something that we could all benefit from learning I already have a place in our day for it. For example, this year I wanted to do a composer study. We will take one of our terms for a SQUILT classical music until. (During that time we will not do geography or science. We can’t do everything at once!) Often the hardest part of adding something new is overcoming inertia and just getting it started. If I have to get everyone gathered for recitation and then they all go do math, I have call them back for science. Then they might split for spelling and I try to learn them back together again for Bible, and I’d spend all my morning starting and starting and starting again. No thank you!
Do you do memorization with all of your kids?
Yes, we have Morning Time all together. I would allow my preschoolers to skip, but they like to be where the action is. They paint with water, color or play with play-doh if we are at the table. If we are having Morning Time in the family room they play with puzzles or blocks or do somersaults. (Honesty, folks!)
Do all of your kids cooperate with morning time?
Sometimes. Actually this question is quite humbly-timed today. There was a lot of fight back from the youngest two in the form of whining and trying to get the attention of the older ones. (Someone may have purposefully dumped his water from paint with water directly onto the paper and we had to relocate to the family room.) Like just about everything in life we have our days!
I believed that morning time was going to be a blessing to us, but that meant that I had to work to establish it. I will send an uncooperative child to listen from the stairs or to his bedroom. I have taken a pretty strong stand that this is a profitable time for those who participate, and I cannot allow one person to ruin that for the rest of us.
Any tips for helping everyone enjoy morning time?
- START SMALL. We have been having Morning Time for a few years now. It is a little like juggling; start with a few balls, and when you’ve found your rhythm, add another ball.
- Use a time that you are already gathered-a regular story time, group study or even snack time.
- Plan things you know your kids will enjoy. Our family loves music so our morning time involves singing. We are reading from an Aesop’s Fables book each day. My middle son picked our Bible passage for this term.
- Purposefully put variety into Morning Mime. First we recite, then I read to them, then we sing. After that I might read again. We waft back and forth from reciting (with movement if possible) and sitting to listen and then we go back to something more interactive.
- Make sure to break out of the mold once in a while. Sometimes if things are getting a little mundane we take morning time outside or we have hot chocolate. Once a week I try to include a YouTube clip of a current event or of something that corresponds with our science chapter. Every day does not need to be a treat, but adding something special every now and then is good for all of our spirits.