Need a (Mini) Summer Plan? Try Morning Time!
Summer. It's such a wonderful season of simplicity--flip flops (no socks!), beach towels (we can count a dip in the pool as bathtime, right?), and best of all ... NO SCHOOL!
One of my favorite things about summer is the chance it offers me to recalibrate. Since we homeschool, it can actually feel like a bit of a break for me, too! My children are so happy to be free of their typical schedules full of math, co-op days and grammar lessons, and of course there's no homework to be done in the evenings. One thing we will continue, though, is morning time. Whatever your family puzzle and educational plans are, morning time can be a great thing to add to your own summer "schedule!"
So what is morning time, exactly? Well, for us it happens during and after breakfast time. Usually we're all home at this early hour, and I can count on everyone to be downstairs looking for something to eat around the same time. So we sit down together to a simple breakfast, and that's where it begins. The thing I want most to teach my children is God's word, and so even if it is the only thing that happens, we've had a wonderful start to the day! All of us have really been delighting in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, so I'll generally read a story from there; in the past we've read a chapter of Psalms or a gospel, and sometimes I've even just shared with them something I've been touched by in my own Scripture reading for the day (we may even do a combination of all these options in any given week!)
This summer I want to teach my five children remaining at home a chapter which is very special to our family, Isaiah 61. Many years ago, I happened upon a simple way to do this: I purchased a large piece of poster board and wrote the entire thing out. Then, we read it together once before each meal. After several weeks, even the preschoolers had memorized most of the passage!
At that point, we'll either remain at the table or head in to the living room for a bit of poetry; Favorite Poems Old and New is a current--well, favorite!-- and we're enjoying the great variety of verses to be found there. And that's it for the basics! I'm thinking we may have a rotation of one more topic each day: examining a small art print together and perhaps pulling out pencils, paint, and markers, listening to the Classics for Kids podcast (only six minutes each and such a fun listen!) to learn about a composer, and I'm looking for the perfect children's Shakespeare to add to the mix though I may get some balking at that feeling too much like school for summer. We also have discussed having a handcrafts time--I think the boys might like to do some woodworking, one of my girls likes to embroider and everyone wants to learn some basic cooking this summer.
I hope you'll come up with a morning plan that's a grace and joy in your own summer schedule!
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