Last week I shared what kinds of things happen daily in our Morning Time in: Part 1 of Morning Time | What’s in Our Basket. Today I’m going to be talking about the subjects under my “Loop” schedule of Morning Time. If you haven’t heard about loop scheduling before hop on over to Sarah Mackenzie’s blog. She’s got lots of information there including podcasts and videos. You might be there awhile!
I first learned about loop scheduling from Sarah Mackenzie in her book Teaching From Rest. Loop scheduling is used for subjects that don’t necessarily need doing everyday but should be done with some regularity. Loop scheduling helps me stress less. Instead of assigning certain subjects to each day of the week, I now loop schedule them. That way, I’m never behind. When real-life interruptions happen, we just pick up wherever we left off and begin again.
Under my loop schedule I have: geography, nature study, and picture study. So, for example, if we only get to geography and nature study on Monday, we would start with picture study on Tuesday. If all we did on Tuesday was picture study, then on Wednesday we’d start with geography again. You just keep tackling whatever is next in your list!
Most of the things in my loop schedule are subjects inspired by Charlotte Mason. Other homeschool moms were identifying themselves as classical homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, or Charlotte Mason homeschoolers. I always wondered who Charlotte Mason was and why she had a following. As I heard bits and pieces here and there, I became more interested. I now have five of her books and am a bit of a fan myself. <grins>
If you’re curious, Charlotte Mason was an educator back in the 1800’s and a brilliant one at that. She believed in exposing children to goodness, truth, and beauty. She thought children should enjoy real-life everyday experiences. She recommended nature walks and symphonies. She was also a fan of reading real living books, instead of boring textbooks. Simply Charlotte Mason is a good place for more information and for quality products inspired by this brilliant lady.
For geography, we are still using Drawing Around the World USA, a Charlotte Mason inspired curriculum. Please read my review if you’d like more information about it.
Along with Drawing Around the World USA, I’m also using Draw the USA. It compliments Drawing Around the World USA perfectly. I loooove it. The book gives helpful tips for drawing each of the states. Instead of trying to remember how a particular state looks and how the states you’re working on fit together, this book does it for you. I really wouldn’t use Drawing Around the World USA without this book. It’s that good!
Those two books I mentioned take care of learning the states and their locations, but I use these geography flashcards for learning the state capitals. We’re just learning a few at a time. We keep reviewing the ones we’ve already learned as we go along. The 50 States Fandex has come in handy for some of the state facts pages we fill out, too.
We live in the dessert. We have taken many nature walks but sometimes there’s just not much to look at except tumbleweeds and dirt. That’s when Simple Charlotte Mason comes to the rescue! We’re using Learning About Birds from Simply Charlotte Mason for our nature study right now. It’s fun, relaxing, and almost as good as going on a nature walk. Well, maybe not quite…
I follow the lesson plans laid out in the curriculum guide. Usually, I read a chapter aloud from The Burgess Bird Book and then we study one or two birds from the Field Guide for Birds. The kids will look up house sparrows, or whatever bird it is that we’re studying that day, and then we learn about their habitat and habits. They kids each have their own sketch books and they study the bird and draw it in their books with colored pencils.
Charlotte Mason once wrote, “We cannot measure the influence that one or another artist has upon the child’s sense of beauty, upon his power of seeing, as in a picture, the common sights of life; he is enriched more than we know in having really looked at even a single picture.” Charlotte Mason is all about exposing children to educational riches, such as art.
I using the Monet Picture Study Portfolio. The prints included in this package really are very nice, printed on heavyweight glossy paper. After we study a piece, I put it up on the fridge to look at for the week until we study another piece.
Odds and Ends
Some other useful items I keep in our Morning Time basket include:
- Post-It flags – useful as bookmarks
- Dictionary – to look up any difficult vocabulary words we may come across in our reading
- Hand cream
- Expo Makers – for when we use the white board
- Index Cards
- Rubber bands
- Paper clips
So there you have it! All the goodies inside our Morning Time basket.
And in case you missed it…
What’s in Our Morning Time Basket Part 1
If you do a Morning Time or together time with your children, what do you include in your daily schedule or your loop schedule?