Sep 7, 2016


We started "Morning School" - our family's version of homeschool preschool on August 11th - Brian's first day back to work for the school year.

I attempted to do something similar with Sam more than a year ago and the plan bombed quickly.  He wasn't interested.  This time around, we're really doing it AND really enjoying it.

At the end of this first month, here are my observations:

Success is unpredictable.  When I expect them to embrace an activity, they often don't.  And vice versa.  The amount of interest and time that they give each activity is not something I can know in advance.  

Eli is only marginally interested in pretty much everything.  I think he is just a bit too young to really care.  Still, he asks to "do Morning School" and wants to be involved at least a little bit.  

Sam is great at memory work.  He has already memorized five Bible verses (Psalm 37:4, Romans 12:12, Phillipians 4:13, Colossians 3:2 and 1 Chronicles 16:11).  So far, I have been choosing verses from this list of "short verses."  But I think we are ready to branch out and tackle a few longer pieces.  (To note: I intend to include some poetry or other non-Bible passages for some of his future memory work, but decided to start with these.)

Eli's pretty great, too.  He knows the entire Lord's Prayer and can say many of our memory work verses, but just won't do it on demand.

Sam loves structure.  I already knew that.  This confirms it, once again.  To keep him happy without having to do the exact same thing every day, we have a schedule that allows for flexibility.  For example, we do "table time" every day, but do something different at Table Time each day.  

I need to spend some alone  time at the library.  The fourth item on our schedule is "pictures."  This is intended to be an art study section.  Our first artist was Georges Seurat.  We had a wonderful reference book from the library with big pictures and just fifteen or so pieces of artwork featured.  We also read this children's book that included many of the same paintings and the boys were very interested.  When we moved onto Paul Cezanne, I tried to find a similar reference book in our library catalog - without actually going to the library.  I did some cross checking of ISBNs and publishers between the library catalog and Amazon, but ended up with books that just haven't quite worked for us.  So, all of that to say, I need to spend some time in the artists section at the library and make myself a list of good (and available) books we can check out for future artist studies.  

I love my local library system.  It's great all around.  We stopped in one day last week at the same time that several other toddler / preschoolers happened to be there.  The librarian, who even knows my kids by name, did an impromptu Story Time since so many kids were there at the same time.  How great is that?  I also love, love, love the ability to put books on hold and pick them up at my convenience.  

Craft time is not particularly artsy.  It makes me kind of nuts.  I want to be able to give them some art supplies and let them have at it.  I want them to use their brains and their imaginations to come up with their own masterpieces.  No such luck.  Maybe they are too young.  Maybe it's just not part of their nature.  Either way, I'm trying to be happy with the construction paper animals that they seem to want to glue together each and every day.  To note: they are very happy with this plan and anxiously ask what we are making for craft each day.   It's just mama who is less than thrilled.

Morning School is good.  It gives us an extended routine to follow each morning - preventing free play that too often leads to fights over toys or general boredom that leads to discontented naughtiness.  I'm giving a big "Woohoo!" for that.

If you are interested in seeing more of what we've been doing, I started a separate Instagram account  that is dedicated to our Morning School related photos.  

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