Favorite Resources for Morning Time
It is getting dark out earlier and it will be time to go back to school before we know it. (Where can I get 4 more weeks of summer? Oh, how I wish!) As the first day of school looms closeby, you may be wondering what are my favorite morning time resources. Well, I would love to share my favorites with you!
For our Morning Time, I mostly use a Loop schedule. What that means is that I schedule a list of resources and then we just do the next thing on the list each day. I do not have a particular resource tied to Monday, Tuesday, etc. This way we can cover each area consistently and evenly no matter what else happens. For more information about loop scheduling, check out this helpful article by Sarah Mackenzie here. (Hint, this method can be applied to more than homeschooling.)
The first resource in our loop is The Story of Science which highlights many of the greatest scientific discoveries in a narrative form. There are fun illustrations and additional facts on the margins that make the text more approachable. I use this to give us a taste of scientific achievements and if we are particularly fascinated with a topic, or have more questions about it, this book is internet referenced. There is a list of websites connected with this book that we can access on the Usborne Quicklinks website that give us more information, or even puzzles, games and quizzes relating to the topics covered in the book. We often use our Science Encyclopedia for further research as well. The Story of Science also includes a glossary and a timeline to help put the material into context. When we finish this book, we will move onto the Story of Inventions. (Also available is The Story of Space and Astronomy.)
Next, we are working through the Usborne Book of Famous Paintings . This book includes 35 of the best-known works of art from Monet’s Waterlilies to Escher’s Relativity. We examine each work of art and then read the information about it to add to our discussion. This book is internet linked, which means that there are specific links that correspond to each page of the book rather than to broader topics in the book. The links include closer looks at the works of art and also additional works or information about the artists. After this, we will work through the Usborne Book of Famous Artists .
Continuing on through our loop, another day we use the Usborne Famous Composers Reference Book . One of my favorite features about this book is that it includes QR links to samples of music from each composer. (If you do not have a tablet or a smartphone to scan the codes, you can find the links at the Quicklinks site as well.) This is so much easier than trying to search online for the pieces myself, which is what I was doing before. This book is also internet referenced, so more information can be found online. Another favorite feature is the rich illustrations making this a beautiful volume that will be brought out and examined by the children on other occasions as well.
Usborne Illustrated Grammar and Punctuation is a great resource for brushing up on all of the rules needed in writing and language arts. The fun illustrations and bright colors on the page help make sense of the language rules and even make it less of a drudgery to learn them. While we do cover a topic or a portion of a topic each time we get to this loop in our Morning Time, we also use this book as a reference if there are any questions about usage while the children are writing other assignments. I added this book to help keep the rules fresh in our minds for our standardized testing, but found it useful beyond that as well.
The last book in our current loop is 100 Things to Know About Science . My kids are obsessed with science facts and always have been since they were very little. “Mom, did you know…?” All.the.time. I love it! This is perfect to continue to feed their appetite for facts. I have even learned some interesting things that I did not know before. The facts are presented in infographic form which makes this an especially great resource for a reluctant reader. The facts are not watered down, but they are broken up into small pieces of text on the page which can be less intimidating in appearance. Once we finish this, I will let the kids choose whether they want to read 100 Things to Know About Space or 100 Things to Know About Food next.
In addition to our loop schedule, we do have some activities that we complete every day in Morning Time. These include our Memory Work, our current read-aloud, Geography and Shakespeare.
For Geography, we are working our way through The Geography Encyclopedia . We use it as a reference to complete our map work (the kids do this during their individual work time). Together, we read about the people in the area they are studying on the map. This book is also internet linked so that we can find additional information online. The pages come alive with brilliant photographs and illustrations that make this an enjoyable volume to sit and look through on one’s own as well. We have just started this near the end of last year and will continue the study this school year. I am thinking about adding the Flags of the World to Color since they love to color while I read aloud. I am also considering the addition of Illustrated Fables from Around the World to give more depth to the study of different cultures.
And last, but definitely not least, is my absolute favorite volume in our library, Complete Shakespeare . Heavy, substantial, lavishly illustrated and filled with the brilliant stories of the Bard, this is a beautiful book that will be treasured in our home library for years to come. I love that this book includes stories from all of his plays, not just a few. While some of the stories are told in a shorter form, all are included. The plays are told in story form and are not the original language of Shakespeare himself. I find this to be an excellent stepping stone to reading the original language though. I read the story from this volume and we enjoy and discuss it. Then, I will choose a few plays to read in their original language as well. By already being familiar with the story line, my children are taking more from the original version. Not only are my children not intimidated by Shakespeare, but they have grown to love his works. There are some quotes from the original plays included in this book and we love to compare the wording from the adaptation to the original. We also use the original quotes for copywork from time to time. Another Shakespeare book that has been enjoyed, especially by my youngest is called Where’s Will? It is a seek and find book where you find Shakespeare and some characters among the setting of their play. Great to extend the learning and appreciation for the Bard!
Well, those are our current favorites for Morning Time in a nutshell. While these resources work well for Morning Time, they also are great to strew for unschooling or to use for homework helpers for children who go to school. What are you using for Morning Time in your homeschool? What do you love about what you use? Please share below. I love collecting new ideas!
Would you like some personalized recommendations for your homeschool? Or recommendations for homework helpers for your home library? Comment here or message me on Facebook.