There was a time in my life when gathering for homeschooling morning time or circle time was easy...ish.
This is not that time.
Our oldest needs to get to her community college classes a few days a week, the next one goes off to school every day, #3 has hit the teen years and needs more sleep, James can be stiff from his arthritis, there are often doctor appointments or important errands…mornings are a little messy and sometimes chaotic here.
For those that don’t know, morning time (also known by other names) is a time when a homeschool mom gathers her children around her to start her homeschooling day or get through a series of subjects or activities together. Pam Barnhill has a good post on morning time here. It can be a beautiful time. I have done it…
…but I was never much the gathering type. It takes a lot of energy to be at the helm of a large family and that kind of day, where I’m boss of every minute, doesn’t match my personality type. Right now my emotional energy seems to be at an all time low, which compounds the matter. (hello perimenopause, I’m looking at you)
So we’re not doing “morning time,” but that doesn’t mean the start to our days can’t be meaningful and rich.
Some ways to make the morning rich and intentional –
Do you feel scattered? Take a few moments to gather yourself. Stretch or do yoga (even 30 seconds is better than nothing to get your autonomic nervous system balanced) and bring your mind to what is happening right now in front of you, not your worries for the rest of the
day month decade. Sit with a warm drink, and breathe. Have a space that is decluttered and peaceful to start your day, even if you can only mange one chair in one corner. Sit in that corner for a moment and take in its peacefulness.
Have touchpoints that unite the family psychologically even if they are doing separate things physically. Leave a quote on the breakfast table or chalk board. Have a word search, puzzle or riddle that they can work on together or separately, or a new coffee table book or piece of art. Have a calendar or daily list somewhere so everyone knows what is in store for that day.
Maybe you have space at the table where children eat breakfast for a family journal or commonplace book. A way they can quietly connect with and absorb family culture before starting the bulk of their day.
You could have a candle burning for some intention, maybe written on a pretty card or chalkboard near the candle. Perhaps the kids could add their thoughts as well. Only recently with all my kids over 5 do I feel like we can have a candle lit while I’m not on top of it every second. Before then candles brought much more stress than peace and we didn’t use them!
Hit the five senses, or at least the ones most meaningful to you — you don’t want be OVER stimulated. For me, that would be having something beautiful to look at, and something yummy to eat. Others might want to diffuse an essential oil, wrap up in a warm blanket on the couch with your kids, or listen to pleasant music.
Whatever you choose, don’t feel guilty that your mornings don’t look like the other homeschoolers you see. You are not them, and there are a multitude of ways that the start of your days can be filled with beauty and intention.
Do you have a way that you bring the family together even if you are apart physically? I’d love to hear about it!