School during breakfast, Part 1

At our house, breakfast falls sometime between 8 and 9:30. Yep. Usually we're eating by 9, but some mornings are earlier, some mornings are later. We're flexible that way. ~smile~

Care to join us for breakfast this morning?

Let's begin when I ask the kids to set the table for breakfast.

[A side note, here: At mealtimes, each of our children has setting-the-table responsibilities. Ella gets the plates/bowls, Isaac gets the cups/glasses, and Isaias gets the silverware and Adelia's dish/utensil/cup. We standardized this because we were finding that we'd ask the kids to get the table set and within minutes there would be a dispute because "I was going to get the plates, and now [insert sibling name here] is taking plates out!" No more. They now know what they're responsible to have on the table for each meal.]

So. Back to breakfast. The kids are scurrying around, getting the table set. Audra is playing on the floor with some chubby little Fisher Price farm animals. Adelia has been saying "Eat, eat" for probably the past half an hour and I've likely already given her a bowl of dry cheerios (which she in turn has dumped all throughout the house, just so you know, and now I seem to be crushing cheerios every time I step. I'm sure none of you have ever experienced this.)

While the kids are doing this, I have likely just gotten out of the shower and am getting dressed or combing my hair. I may even glance in the mirror for 0.2 seconds. Hopefully when I make it out to the kitchen, the kids will have the table set. I pick up Audra on my way in and get her into her seat and then get a wandering Adelia into hers.

If your family is like mine, and no matter how prepared we try to be, meal times are not without plenty of interruptions. Things like:

"Mommy, will you please cut my muffin?"

"Mommy, I need butter."

"Mommy, where's the honey? I wanted honey on mine."

"My water bottle is empty and I'm thirsty, mommy. Will you please fill it?"

And then there's Adelia, who has decided it is time to throw her bowl of food onto the floor. She needs to be reprimanded, because she knows better.

Audra is now finished with her breakfast but is still hungry so I'm up to get her something to gnaw on.

Then the kids are ready for seconds.

In between all of these interruptions and several trips from the table and back, I'm also trying to feed myself, too. (Sometimes this part just doesn't happen.)

While the kids are still eating, we begin school. I pull out our memory verses and we do those, in between bites of food. I've written about our memory verses system before. Each day we have a group of verses we go over; color coded and filed by that day.

Then we do our other memory work~ today is Monday so we're going over Old Testament books of the Bible. We generally say them all together.

We also do "Hymn Practice" on our schedule, so we sing through our hymn together a few times. We're learning Trust and Obey, and the kids love this because they get to sing it at the top of their lungs. The first time we ever sang this hymn they all looked very solemn, so I reminded them that the words say 'to be happy in Jesus'. So we practiced looking very happy, all of us, while singing, and that stuck. Now they're always singing loudly with wide smiles on their faces. Audra thinks this is the greatest thing EVER; and is kicking her legs and clapping. Adelia is trying her best to sing along by chiming in on certain words.

Sometimes we're able to squeeze more school in at the table- on a great day, we can even get some history done- but not this morning.

I think the key to homeschooling at this season in our lives is flexibility. We have a schedule for our day, yes. But we follow it loosely. There are no time-slots for any of it. There are things I'd like to accomplish each morning at the table, yes. So we linger at the table for as long as we can, but we'll have a day when Audra or even Adelia is sick or fussy or we've simply had too many interruptions or distractions. I may ask Ella to take over with the verses or reading while I focus more on Audra, or we may just stop and resume later when things have quieted down.

One of those things that often gets relocated to a different part of the day is our Bible reading. For the past two years, we have read from either the Psalms or the Proverbs each day for our school Bible time. This year we're reading from Hurlbut's Story of the Bible, which is a narrative of the whole Bible. This is our favorite Bible story book. Several times I've read this while finishing up my breakfast while the kids work on their after-meal chores. Or we'll set it aside until story-time (which is right before quiet times/naps at our house.)

This works for us. It may not work for everyone, but it works for us. We still get everything accomplished nearly every day. But we have learned to roll with the interruptions and be flexible.


  1. So glad you shared this. I love to see how things work at other houses! And I'm glad to see I'm not the only Mama who starts Bible time during breakfast. I was wondering if I should wait until everyone had finished instead bounding into our school day...

  2. i really love reading about the whirlwind experiences & moments in mother's lives (and yours specifically at this moment), because it reassures me that although we would wish to not live in the "putting out the fires" will happen and how do we deal with it. Fun times right!


  3. Good job Stace! You do such a good job at being flexible and giving up when things are crazy. I can't believe all that you are accomplishing in the midst of such a crazy season!

  4. What a fun snapshot of your morning. This is really've given me some good ideas for how we can make breakfast a little tighter and more productive. And more fun. :) Thanks Stacy!

  5. I have a hard time with the flexibility...I've gotten better since having kids though. And man do I ever know what it's like to just keep getting request after request when trying to have my own meal. And that's just with 2 kids! ;-)

  6. Thanks for the peek into your day.

    We used to do circle time in a circle on the floor...until the mobile baby came along :o) Now it's the table for us too.

    And Amen to flexibilty!

  7. Phew, Stacy! That is a bunch to accomplish in just your morning. Amazing! I think flexibility is a must as long as we have children. My yell to the troups, "We're flowing. Work with me!" And all yell. "We're with ya Mom." Corney? Maybe. But we gotta have a rally cry. A must. Or sometimes I might cry. :)

  8. Hi Stacy :) What a great post! I enjoyed looking into your day, too. Our mornings are very similar - just a couple fewer sweeties (can't imagine, but would be so blessed to add a few here - lol).

    I love the flexibility - it just seems to take me a month or so EVERY year to get used to it.

    M rec'd E's latest and loved it! We'll have a new note on it's way this week (I hope). Love you, Q

  9. I love that you start at different times each day. We do too. As I write this all my children are still asleep and I think they need some extra at times. I also think we might divvy up the setting the table instead of it being one person's job. Thanks for the honesty and inspiration.

  10. Love reading your posts!!! You give so many great ideas!!! Thanks for the encouragement!


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