Once upon a time I was a morning person. I would be the first one up bright and early. I would shower and be dressed, complete with hair AND make-up done well before anyone in the house was even considering moving a muscle. I would sit and wait impatiently as I waited for everyone else to get moving and be ready to leave the house. I would feel like I was running late while everyone else was glad they would be making it on time.
And then I graduated high school.
I went off to college, I started to have classes in the evenings rather than first thing in the morning, and I didn’t have a single commitment or place to be before 11 AM.
And I learned the beauty of sleeping in. Or just sleeping in general. And I was hooked!
Fast forward 12 years of life, 8 years of marriage, and 2 kids later and I still LOVE my sleep. Longer days, later nights, and choppy sleep patterns due to kids not resting or crazy work schedules for the hubby have all had a hand in the change in my sleeping patterns but no matter what the reason mornings have not been my friends.
Back in February I went through the online course created by Crystal Paine (author at author at Money Saving Mom) called Make Over Your Mornings. I blogged my way through that and you can read more about it here. I did really well with it and I have kept most of those patterns going but the summer got some of that out of habit. I have picked back up on those routines now that my semester has started but I quickly began to realize that while I was having a wonderful and peaceful morning of mental and spiritual preparation for the day the rest of the family wasn’t.
I started looking for ways that I could better prepare my kids for the day to come. Breakfast in our house has always been a bit lax. The kids usually have something like cereal, fruit, or toast/English Muffin with peanut butter on it. I just nurse my one cup of hot tea and hope that I could get enough from that to make it through until lunch because I am not really a fan of breakfast foods. And Dusty would cook himself some type of hearty breakfast before heading off to work. As the kids were eating and usually watching something on TV I would shout out various warnings such as “We will start school in 30 minutes” only to realize it was going to take me longer than that to finish getting everything prepared for the daily lessons.
The rest of the day would run pretty much similar to our chaotic and uninspired mornings.
Insert light bulb over my head turning on HERE!
This is a concept that I wasn’t unfamiliar with. When I was teaching preschool we called it “Circle Time” It was the time of the day that we read our story for the week, went through our alphabet and number memory, sang fun songs, and went through our calendars each day. It helped to get all the kids on the same page and we were able to learn together as a group. We would have a TON of fun during Circle Time.
So why had I never thought of incorporating that same concept into our daily home-school time? That’s easy. Because once kids got past preschool or maybe kindergarten if they are lucky, circle time stopped. It was all about sitting in a desk listening to the teacher talk and you following directions from there.
And then I realized something else.
My goal is to HOME-SCHOOL. Not to recreate SCHOOL AT HOME
So why couldn’t we do things a bit different? Why couldn’t my 1st grader start the day with a bit of music and movement, and getting our heads and hearts in the right place? So I jumped at the chance to begin incorporating “Morning Time” into our home-school day.
Now each morning, right before we get ready to go outside, we have our Morning Basket Time.
We go through a family devotional, we pray for friends, family, and our country. We read and recite some poetry, and we read aloud and discuss the story.
All together we take about 15 to 20 minutes to get through our morning basket time and then we are done. We are prepared for learning and we are ready to take on the day.
Next week I will break down what our Morning Basket Time looks like and all the fun things that I have planned to incorporate in the coming weeks and months!