Friday, 29 January 2016

Morning Time

In our home education, I have a first section of the morning for both younger children together. We have always had this in some format but after reading a book about Circle Time, I expanded this. This time has developed over time. We don't really have a name for this time but some people use Morning Time as a synonym for Circle Time.

This time is ideal for subjects

  • that I want to do with more than one child
  • that would otherwise not be done
  • that need regular review
Currently, there are daily items and others which happen most days. The non-negotiable part consists of prayer, a reading from Catherine Vos' The Child's Story Bible, work on the Trinitarian Bible Society learning scheme and a hymn from our church Children's hymn book. Some weeks, we sing the same hymn each day so the children can learn it but more often, either I or one of the children choose.

If there is going to be a complicated day, for some reason, then we don't do the extras but generally, about four out of five days we add in
  • art appreciation. This was requested by one of the children. We either read a book, generally, either one of the Katie books by James Mayhew, or a short book about an artist from the library or a section from the Usborne book of Famous Artists or look at a card from the Usborne Famous Paintings set.
  • a grammar point. Most recently this has been about homophones and before that suffixes. We have also covered basic  parts of speech. I sometimes include action games. Something rather like Simon Says works well with a/an. The children do an action if a is appropriate but not if they ought use an.
  • times tables. This isn't our main tables activity but just some re-enforcement. The children usually just recite the table, sometimes jumping to the table seems to help.
  • a poem. Sometimes, we use this slot to learn a poem. Currently, we are using this slot to become more familiar with Wordsworth's Daffodils.
The whole session is quick and usually lasts no more than 40 minutes, sometimes closer to 30 minutes.

Other items that we have added in the past include
  • learning capitals
  • learning names of the continents
  • reading a short book about a country
  • working on the date
  • working on the order of the months
  • telling the time
Of course, there are many more things that we could add but I don't want to overload a time of the day that we all enjoy. Have you a similar time in your day? What works particularly well for your family?

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  1. We also have "morning time", although we don't cover as much as you. I like the idea of using this time to work on memorising things such as continents and months.

    1. Thank you, Sarah. We have a lovely wooden puzzle which we have used to help with learning the months. It was quick and fitted in well into this time.