If you have been homeschooling for any length of time — say three weeks — you don’t need me to tell you that homeschooling days can be a bit long and difficult at times.
I mean, you love your kids and all, but they have a tendency to dig in their heels and waste time if you don’t stay on them like a drill sergeant. And who wants to do that?
Add to that the fact that mundane subjects like math, handwriting, and the umpteenth review of the four sounds of “O” take up all your time.
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Where is the time to do all the fun subjects you wanted to do when you envisioned this homeschooling gig? Where is the time to play Mad Libs or a math game, do art, or teach your child the Gettysburg address so he can impress grandpa?
Mama, it sounds to me like you need Morning Time.
This was me when my family started doing Morning Time five years ago. My little kids weren’t always eager to do math and reading lessons, our days lacked joy. We were just checking things off and getting them done. Somehow I never had a place for the fun things that I had dreamed of doing before we started homeschooling.
Morning Time has changed most of that. I’m not going to tell you that everything is perfect, everyone is happy, and we always get everything done. However, since implementing Morning Time it has all gotten better.
Here are three ways that Morning Time has made me a happier homeschool mom.
We get to do things I enjoy.
Long division stank when I was in fifth grade and it still stank when my daughter was in fifth grade (my son too). I realize you may like math, and that is great, but I just don’t care for the tediousness of those aggravating algorithms myself.
But I totally get that it is important and needs to be done.
You could make a good argument that music appreciation, art appreciation, Shakespeare, and poetry need to be done too (in fact I have), but it tends to be a much harder sell — even to yourself.
Those subjects get labeled “the riches” or get pushed aside for the “more important,” utilitarian curriculum and processes.
But that makes our homeschools dull and our children lacking in culture, knowledge, and an appreciation for beauty. We might as well just send them to the public school down the street.
Morning Time gives us a space in our day to put those beautiful and interesting things. This way we can fit them in, round out our children’s education, and bring some joy to the hard work of homeschooling.
And lest you think that kids just aren’t into these kinds of things — think again. Because my kids have been brought up on a steady diet of Shakespeare and beauty, they don’t fear or disdain it. They think it is part of their lives just like Pokémon and Minecraft.
And that’s exactly how I want them to feel about it.
We get to be more efficient homeschoolers
One of the things I especially love about bringing the family together to learn is that I can teach all three kids certain subjects together at one time.
I am not big on sending everyone off to do their own history, science, and geography. Instead, we spend our time together all listening to me or my oldest children read aloud from our history or science books.
We use the Middle Ages Morning Time plans from my shop. This is a complete history and nature study (science) curriculum for my third and fifth graders. They get everything they need right there.
My seventh grader also reads at a later time from a history spine and completes a written narration. Morning Time makes it easy for us to use our time efficiently in this way.
It’s easy to do map drills, foreign language, and even grammar as a group during Morning Time.
One sentence parsed on a whiteboard each day over the course of 10 years can replace tedious grammar curriculum for the entire family. Everyone can participate at their own level — just ask the youngest kids what they know first.
We get to enjoy being together
This is one of the reasons I started homeschooling after all. I wanted to be with my kids and I wanted them to get the benefits of being together.
Morning Time can do that.
Before everyone runs off to work on individual checklists or hook up their headphones and disappear into their DVDs or online classes, we get some time to build a shared family culture and strengthen those relationships.
I often say that it is harder to bicker with someone you have just prayed for across the table. I am going to stick to that.
Morning Time also gives us a time to share devotionals and orient ourselves to our faith as a family. We can discuss the hard questions and share thoughts about what is going on in the world.
There is no better worldview education with your children than simply conversations about what you believe. Morning Time is an opportunity to open the doors for those conversations with all your kids together. Use a current events news show like CNN 10 to prompt the discussion.
Homeschooling doesn’t always live up to my expectations. However, I have decided to take the time to cultivate the learning and atmosphere I want in my home. If not, then why bother homeschooling?
I am thankful that I have found a tool like Morning Time to help me do that.
Purchase Pam’s new book Better Together before March 31 and get two valuable bonuses. You’ll get a set of free lesson plans to help you start your Morning Time habit and a coupon for $5 off your next set.
What parts of your homeschool vision have fallen by the wayside that you could include in a family Morning Time?
She is the host of three popular homeschooling podcasts — The Homeschool Snapshots Podcast, Your Morning Basket, and The Homeschool Solutions Show — and the author of Better Together: Strengthen Your Family, Simplify Your Homeschool, and Savor the Subjects That Matter Most.
Pam lives in the Deep South with her husband of twenty-three years, three (mostly) awesome kids, and a passel of family dogs. You can find her online at PamBarnhill.com.