Yesterday was our first day of school, and we made it. :) And: it was all that I had prayed it would be: peaceful, relaxed, and enjoyable. (Thank you so much, God!) I was up early, made some cinnamon rolls, hot cocoa, and cooked up some sausage, and then just pulled out the books/things I'd put in a basket to accompany us at the breakfast table, called the kids to eat, and we began our day.
We're easing into our school year with Morning Time only-- which is basically all the stuff we do at the breakfast table. I feel like God gave me such a great system for this over the summer as I read a few of Cindy Rollins' Morning Time (MT) posts and-- honestly, even MORE importantly, for me: saw a MT schedule of hers. I just really need a visual for things to gel in my brain, and I am so so thankful she provided that because it gave me an organizational structure to all we've already been doing. :)
Here is our little Morning Time schedule for October:
(Note: Pretty much everything on the above schedule will change as we move in to other months in the school year (new hymn, new memory verses, new poems, new electives, etc.), but this has given me the needed format for plugging it all in.) I anticipate printing a new schedule for each month, and working from it.
The only change I made to our existing routine was to shift the kids' morning chore time, which had been after breakfast, to now be BEFORE breakfast. This means we can settle in together, first at the table over breakfast, then shifting into the living room (for the Ambleside selections, electives and our read-aloud) without interruption.
As I moved through our morning, I checked things off and made notes on my printed schedule with a colored pen. (See photo below). I know there will be mornings we don't get to all of these things, and I'm okay with that. [For example, when my kids are sick, I always let them sleep in, and we start late those mornings. Sometimes we have interruptions due to sibling squabbling or disobedience, and it can throw our whole morning.] I think it will be so helpful for me to have this sheet I've been checking off throughout the week to have a visual of what's been done, so that I can think: "Okay, we've done our hymn 4x this week already. We can skip that today to save time."
We moved away from the breakfast table after poetry and resumed in the living room-- all sprawled out on couches and the floor-- for some Shakespeare:
And then we ended with our read-aloud and finally some outside time. :) [Which is when I get time to make myself a latte! ;)]
That's our plan for our mornings. Next week sometime we'll add in independent work (math, history, copywork) for the older kids, more narrations, and my time with the little girls. But I'm STILL planning all of that, so we'll get to that when it's ready. ;)