Monday, May 8, 2017

Reflections on A Handbook to Morning Time....

As part of my 2017-2018 academic planning and GHC preparation, I recently read A Handbook to Morning Time by Cindy Rollins. It's an extremely light read, but very inspirational for those already or wishing to implement morning time. We did 'morning time' for many years without knowing it had a name. However, we got away from it this year when Riley asked to be separated from Ruben in her studies. Throughout the year, I have consistently felt like something was missing. I have now put my finger on the lack being our morning time, which I definitely plan to implement again in the fall.

In the first chapter of A Handbook to Morning Time, Cindy gives a brief explanation of what morning time is and lays out the elements of morning time. In subsequent chapters, she goes more in depth on each of these elements. These elements are a big part of what makes a Charlotte Mason education and yet, many would see them as enrichment. The elements Cindy includes in morning time are...

Morning Meeting - where one takes care of family business including chore assignments/reminders and gives a list of activities for the day. This would be especially helpful for large families or to get everyone on the same page.
Bible Reading
Composer/Artist Study
Language Arts - specifically grammar
Read Aloud
Nature Study - using field guides and living books to draw in nature notebook

I loved Cindy's conversational writing style as well as the end chapters on how to deal with toddlers, teens, and troublemakers. Cindy also included unedited samples of her morning time journals. One of my favorite things she wrote that I entered in my commonplace was....
Even though education is the training of affections, it is often a future hope. Some of you will have a certain temperament of child who will revel in Shakespeare. Great. But if reading Shakespeare is good, and it is, then you can afford to read it even when it is unappreciated; just keep it short. Do not weary the children with pushing through too much material. (p. 63)
Cindy concludes with a plan and list of recommended morning time resources. A Handbook to Morning Time is a short 112 page how to handbook that really packs a powerful punch. I would recommend it if you're thinking about beginning morning time or if you're struggling in your morning time. It's a handbook that I will definitely be referencing throughout my homeschool planning years.

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