Last year, morning meeting was the highlight of our day. This year though, I could tell about two weeks into school that the spark had not followed us from last year. Our morning meetings were dull and dare I say…boring.
Boring is not allowed.
I sat down to think about what we could do differently. This year is particularly busy so far and I knew I had to make our time count. We needed more focus. A loop schedule wasn’t going to do it this year. I decided that each day of our week needed a focus.
Daily focuses have saved our morning meetings.
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What do you mean by a daily focus?
I struggle with wanting to do all the things with my kids. I want them to learn foreign languages, make beautiful art, study all the things and I want it all to be fun and memorable.
Well, surprise! That’s not the easiest thing.
After our morning meetings were kinda stinking for the first month of school, I knew I could rev this time up and make it more meaningful, plus use it for a time to get those things done that I really want to do with my kids. Creating a daily focus has been perfect for both of these issues–subjects I want to cover and of course, fun.
I jotted down several things that I wanted to make sure we hit on each week. Some things had to be omitted but the other subjects, I just assigned to a day. Now each day has a focus: Nature Study, Math and Logic, Writing, History and Geography, and Fine Arts. It’s working really well for us.
Here’s a look at each day and what we’re doing in our morning meetings to make it happen.
Monday: Nature Study
Going outside for a nature walk each Monday morning would not fit with our current routine, so we save that for the afternoon. BUT before the week starts, I choose several books and activities we can do during our morning meeting to study nature together. We are also enrolled in some occasional Monday morning nature classes at a local nature preserve. On these days we don’t have a morning meeting, but we still get our nature time.
- Readings and activities from Nature Explorer studies
- Nature journaling
- Bird Bingo
- Sketching trees or animals from our favorite nature guides
- Sorting through a pile of leaves from the yard and identifying them
- Reading some books about nature
- Studying specimen that arrived in our last Nature Pal Exchange box
- Copying poems pertaining to what we’re studying in nature
- Playing WildCraft!
- Identify birds outside on our feeder. We love using these cards.
Tuesday: Math + Logic
Teaching math and logic in fun ways is one of my very favorite things to teach. Here’s some things we’re doing during our Tuesday morning meetings.
- Logic games:
- This is NOT a Math Book (we love this one!!)
- Logic workbooks:
Wednesday: Writing + Word Games
I don’t want writing to be a drudgery in our homeschool. Using the monthly writing projects in Partnership Writing this year has been amazing and has made writing something to look forward to instead of dread! Wednesday’s morning meetings are meant to make writing more of a game and it has been a ton of fun so far. Here’s some things we’ve been up to.
- Story Cubes
- Free writing
- Creative writing books like:
- Lots of games and activities with Magnetic Poetry
- Word games
- Marie’s Words
Thursday: History and Geography
Our Thursdays are super busy. We are out the door by 8:30am and we’re not home till late in the afternoon. But I still wanted to tie in some sort of history or geography into our weeks. We’ve been using our car rides to our advantage.
- Audiobooks pertaining to anything historic. We just devoured this one and this one within about a week.
- Some other favorite historic books that could be listened to in the car:
- Other car activities for history and geography:
Friday: Fine Arts
Art is super important to me and I try to make it priority in our homeschool–at least a few times a month. I’ve learned though, that fine arts doesn’t always just mean creating something at the table but it can mean a whole lot of other things. Morning meeting isn’t the time where I want to start a full-fledged project. This is more of a learning time than a hands-on time. We’ll usually do our art projects in the afternoon when everyone has their math and language arts finished. After lunch is a good time for our projects. The morning meeting aspect of fine arts is more about learning, reading and listening. Here’s some ways we’ve been incorporating fine arts in our morning meetings.
- Books about the orchestra and famous composers. This one and this one are two of our favorites.
- Shakespeare’s readings
- Maestro Classics
- Shakespeare Animated Tales
- Lives of the Musicians and Lives of the Artists
- Art Flash Cards for sharpening skills of famous pieces and their artists
- Name that Style: A Book about Isms
- Go Fish for Modern Artists
Morning Meeting year by year
So this year, our morning meeting looks something like this:
- Breakfast at the table while I start talking about our day/week.
- They each have a folder that contains the memory work they’re working on and the mapwork they’re working on. They do these two things first.
- We dive into our focus for the day!
Homeschooling means having to roll with things. A lot. Make changes. Fine tune things. Change things as your kids change and grow. Morning meeting is just one of the things that has changed in our homeschool over the years. It’s hard to make new plans and shake things up when you’ve already planned things another way. But sometimes mama taking initiative of what’s not working is just what your homeschool needs.