When we began homeschooling eight years ago, I came across the idea of “calendar time.” We are not trying to create “school at home.” However, there are certain skills that take lots of repetition and having a daily time to practice those skills seemed like a good idea.
We think of our entire home as our schooling area. We do have a formal school room (I will give you a tour at some point) where we used to do our morning calendar time. That room has now become our “quiet study room” so our calendar time has been moved to a different spot. The older kids don’t join us for calendar time anymore (tear), so it has been nice for them not to be disturbed by this portion of the day which can get quite loud. I don’t love the idea of my home looking like an elementary school, so I picked an unfinished area to pin up our morning board activities.
I got these cubes about 9 years ago. When I call out, “Five minutes until calendar time,” the three kids that participate in it finish up what they are doing, run to their stools, open the tops to get out their pencils and notebooks and sit down. We start our time together by singing a silly song and them coming up to me and holding my hands and jumping as high as they can.
Then we move over to our calendar which I bought at a local teacher supply store. We sing songs about the date and then we write the date. We talk about the weather and write one sentence about the weather and sing a song about weather. I teach abbreviations, and different ways to write the date. They record them in their notebook.
I got this little plastic box to store the weather and calendar pieces when note in use.
After this we move to our cork-board and pick different activities. Sometimes we say the Pledge of Allegiance. We sing silly songs so we know how to spell everyone’s name in the family.(Although, I am not currently doing this as everyone knows how but the three year old. I will start it up again sometime after she turns four.) There are specific prayer requests for various people written with wet erase markers. Cupcake gets to pick a shape and color of the day each morning. We pray for our pastor and missionaries and ourselves. We practice phone numbers and our address. Each week we work on a scripture passage to memorize.
After covering the calendar and cork boards we move to review
I’ve found it’s easiest to do things like flash cards and review for the day all in one setting.
We practice multiplication, addition, and subtraction facts, reading music, state facts, the books of the Bible, and the last picture are flash cards I made of Clay and Sally Clarkson’s “24 Family Ways.” I am just going to be honest and say that my kids did not love the devotional, but I like the concept of reviewing how we idealistically want to relate as a family to God, parents, one another, ourselves and our possessions. We review math facts daily, but we rotate with the other flash cards.
The last thing we do is read from a devotional and sing a hymn. Right now we are finishing up “Leading Little Ones to God.” This devotional is so, so, SO good for young children. I’ve read it several times. I anticipate reading it one or two more times with my little girls in the future. I like doing a devotional that is geared toward younger kids, as the rest of our family devotion times are usually more catered to the older kids in the family. We are not hymn only kinds of people, but the rich doctrine in the hymns is priceless. We learn a new verse each week, which means we end up learning approximately one hymn a month.
These morning times have been precious for me with my children. It’s a great way to begin our day and it only takes 10-15 minutes of our time.
I have the best memories of my kids fighting, saying funny things, and being goofy together during morning calendar time. Now that even my little kids are on the older side, there aren’t really any interruptions or too many goofy antics but it is still fun, in a different way. I was thinking how Odes will probably only do this for one more year and then it will just be the little girls and me. The years really are so short!
I’d love to know if you do a morning calendar time with your kids and what it looks like!
I thought I would leave you with a precious video from when the big four were little. It’s one of our favorites: