Thursday, August 31, 2017

2017-2018 Curriculum Preview - Morning Time...

We started school this week. I'm still working out the bugs, but after a one year hiatus from Morning Time, I knew I had to bring it back. I really missed our time together, reading and discussing various books and topics.

Given the fact that Riley and Ruben are only one grade apart, I'd always done the bulk of their school together in K-6th grade. However, last year, Riley asked to be separated as she wanted to gain more independence in her studies. Although, I definitely saw growth with both she and Ruben, all year, I felt like something was missing. When planning this year, I wanted to find a way to give them space for continued individual growth and yet bring them back for some joint discussion.  Eventually, I figured out if I included Morning Time once again with a few common books, yet maintained their individual schedules for most subjects, I could gain the compromise I was looking for.

It was a bit of a trick figuring out which books to include. However, spending the summer studying Ambleside Online's Year 7, I came to some conclusions. I decided to keep Riley and Ruben in the same time period in history with different books. They have individual math and language arts. Riley is doing AO Year 7 Science as written, whereas Ruben is using a mix of science resources. They also have separate bible reading plans. Over and above this handful of core subjects, I put most of the rest of the books in our Morning Time. The first term looks something like this:

Day One
How to Be Your Own Selfish Pig by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
The Mystery of the Periodic Table by Wiker and Bendick, alternated with The Elements by Theodore Gray as scheduled in AO Year 6
Idylls of the King by Tennyson

Day Two
Ourselves by Charlotte Mason
How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler
The Story of Painting by H. W. Janson
Idylls of the King by Tennyson

Day Three
The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy by Richard Maybury
Idylls of the King by Tennyson

We tried the above schedule this week. Some of the books were a hit and some not so much. I can already see a few adjustments that need to be made. I'm considering moving a couple of books back to Riley's individual schedule as I am not sure if Ruben is quite ready for them. In addition, my niece is schooling with us this year and most of the books were a real stretch for her. She's in 6th grade, but hasn't been raised on living books and classic lit. I may even omit a couple and use them at a later time. I would also like to add some sort of health book, possibly drawing lessons, and memorization/recitation, as well as Shakepeare. I'm still thinking this all through.

Overall, I'm glad I brought Morning Time back to our homeschool. Levi participated two out of the three days. The kids colored while I read aloud. He did fairly well. Have you kicked off your school year? Do you incorporate Morning Time? If so, I'd love to hear about it, particularly if you're using Morning Time with middle and high schoolers. Feel free to share in the comments below.

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