Thursday, March 11, 2010

How We Start Our Morning

So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: Second Edition: Fifteen Families Show How You Can Do It (Focus on the Family)I recently posted a review of the book So You're Thinking About Homeschooling. I love how the book is designed with each chapter giving you a glimpse into one family's life. It helped me see that there are as many ways to homeschool as there are reasons for doing so. I hadn't started, yet, but found these illustrations to be very liberating. We didn't need to say the Pledge of Allegience every day for school to be happening in my home. I think that we have a pretty laid back approach to schoolwork. Many days we don't pull out our books at all! But my kids are learning and growing in all areas of their lives. So, here's a brief look at how we get the morning started.

When Zachary was smaller, he woke up before 6:30 every morning. Thankfully, that has passed! My kids wake up around 7:30. Each morning they need to get dressed and clean up their room before breakfast. This means picking up pillows, animals, and blankets that fell off the beds during the night and putting jammies away. When everything is in order, they can come downstairs for breakfast. Afterwards, everyone cleans up their own dishes and is allowed to play for a little bit.

We start our mornings off with Bible time. During this time, the kids are being trained in the discipline of having a daily time spent reading the Word and praying. Everyone sits with a Bible and all is quiet for twenty to thirty minutes. I spend some of my time training Eleanor to sit on her blanket and some of my time handling whiny kids and some of my time reading my own Bible. Afterwards, everyone shares something they learned from the story they read. Usually, these have been more content-related, but I'm hopeful that as they get into this habit and get older they will be learning life-changing lessons from their Lord. Sometimes, I'll read a story to them, as well. We're reading through the Jesus Storybook Bible for the second time (best Bible ever!)

From there, it doesn't matter where our day goes, we have started the day on solid ground. We have a varied schedule that includes book work, projects, and field trips...but I'll talk more about that later. Establishing a morning routine is important not only for my own sanity, but also for the children to know what's expected of them. It's so fun to watch Eleanor run to the Bible shelf when I announce that it's Bible time, and Zachary is making his own reading spot, of course it's under a table!

How do you start your day with your kids- whether or not you homeschool? What are the things you think are most important to teach your children?

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