Friday, December 17, 2010

Island Saints and Stories for Morning Time

Here are some more books I have been reading to my boys for Morning Time

I usually also read them a poem or two.   Right now I'm reading from The Harp and  Laurel Wreath

Morning Time for us is basically strictly supplementary.  All the boys have separate curricula and I don't really try to keep the reading time correlated to their formal work.   However, I do look first at Ambleside's Year 2 Booklist.   This is for two reasons:

1.   It happens that Year 2 basically ties in with the time period Paddy is studying this year for K12.
2.   I wanted to make sure that Kieron got to hear some of the good childhood books he might not have heard when he was actually that age (he has read a lot of the books on the Ambleside lists, but not all of them).

oh, and one more reason:

Most of Ambleside's books are readily available online and it's cheap and easy to print them up and bind them here at home.  

You know, I used to regret that we never had afternoon Tea Time, an idea that was popular when I was first homeschooling in the Charlotte Mason tradition.   For one thing, I had a bunch of boys who weren't particularly motivated by tea cups and pretty decorations, though they did like to eat.  For another thing, I usually was pregnant, had a baby or a toddler, and by afternoon I was usually exhausted and only wanted to sleep.  So it never happened, and I felt bad about that. 

But I just suddenly realized that Morning Time has sort of filled that bill in a way that works for our family.   Many years ago -- a dozen or more -- my now-grown kids hated getting pulled away from their creative playing in order to "do school".   So I started reading to them while they were still eating breakfast, and when they were done, I handed them their spiral notebooks and markers and they could draw while they listened.   They loved to listen to stories, and the stories often found their way into their pretend play later.   After the reading, we would do Memory Cards (basically just index-card matching games for history and Latin and Greek) which they sort of liked,  and then even if we didn't get much more done, I felt like we had gotten somewhere at least.

Now that set of kids are all beyond homeschool and Morning Time is in front of the fire with muffins or breakfast cookies or quickbread, and is followed by all of us going to various learning stations.   Last year I would read them some of the Bible and some of the Baltimore Catechism Explained and we would discuss that, but this year, Kieron reads the Old Testament on his own and narrates it to me, and I work with Paddy and Aidan on Sacramental Prep in the evening before bedtime.

Last year we would sit up next to the stationary bike and Kieron would cycle while Paddy cuddled in my arms.  Every year it looks different, and it's always interesting to see what shape our Morning Time will take from year to year, from season to season.

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