Our Morning Together Time

     Every school day we start out our time the same- we have some “together time”. I really wanted to focus on memory work with some other various fun things added in along the way.  So what is together time? Here is our chart of exactly what we do.

     We begin our time reading through a devotional called Day by Day (a fantastic Goodwill purchase). We have started adding in our other devotional Sword Fighting during this time too because it seems when we put it off until evening it just doesn’t get done.  We then talk about who or what we need to pray for and have a group prayer. We go over our Bible verses using the Simply Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory box.

     Our calendar time is pretty simply- just figuring out what day it is. We do talk about the days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and other elements of time. It is nice to actually know what day it is! Just this morning before we did the calendar Aurora asked me what day it was and I told her Wednesday. Her reply was “It’s Wednesday again?”- well, it is actually Thursday, but I guess I hadn’t had enough coffee and we hadn’t done the calendar yet! Here is our calendar that I made a few years ago.

     After we finish with the calendar we get into memory work. We have five Bible rhymes to go with some important Biblical facts- Old Testament books, New Testament books, the Ten Commandments, the Days of Creation, and the Plagues. I’m sure we will add others after the kids have these memorized.  We have yet another Simply Charlotte Mason Memory box that we use for our homemade poetry memorization.  The kids have a grammar poem they recite a few days a week and on the other days they sing our math multiples songs. We also have several science facts we will be memorizing- this month it is the colors of the rainbow. Many of the ideas for memory work I took from this free book.
     I was inspired by the Simply Charlotte Mason website to include hymns, composers, and artists into our daily routine. I chose one for each of these and we will switch them each month. For the hymn we work on really knowing the words to every verse and knowing the history behind the hymn.  For the composers, I try to find shorter biographies or picture books from the library. We also listen to the compositions ( I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons so it is a good month for me!). I do the same with the artists as far as trying to find library books. We also use the Internet to find pictures of the artwork. At the end of the year my plan is to take a trip to an art museum and see which artists the kids actually remember.  We can’t leave out learning patriotic songs either, for obvious reasons! I am using Wee Sing America as my guide and choosing the most famous patriotic songs. We will of course be learning the Marine Corps Hymn in November in honor of the Marine Corp birthday:) 
     We finish our time with some read alouds. During this time we read mostly picture books since we are reading chapter books in the evening. I try to pick a good picture book from our My Father’s World book basket that pertains to what we are studying that week. We are also alternating reading a history story (since we are doing a geography study in Exploring Countries and Cultures) and reading GrammarLand. I think the kids have learned so much from these morning books that it is well worth the time it takes to read them.
   After we finish all of this it is time to start our regular school work. I try to keep it light on Fridays since we are trying to stick with a four day a week schedule, so we do a shortened version of “together time”. The kids really enjoy this time and it is one part of our school day that gets no complaints!  I may eventually add in some history memory work and more grammar after they finish the grammar poem, but for now this is working very well for us.