Morning meetings aren't a new concept in the homeschooling world, but it's a new thing for us. This was our first year adding a morning meeting. And I failed. I love the idea of morning meetings. Simply put, a morning meet occurs in the morning (obviously!). It's a time to gather all the kids before they go off in their own different directions. You can cover a variety of topics all at once while you spend time cuddled on the couch, surrounded by your kids (or the one kid, since we have an 'only') reading good books and discussing big ideas.
We started our year very well - starting our day reading our Bibles, discussing different topics, readings from Shakespeare, history or geography, working on a lapbook, listening to classical music... But, after the first few weeks, I started to slack off.
Where did our morning meeting go wrong?
The first mistake I made? Adding everything all at once.
I was so excited to add morning meeting to our homeschooling day that we just jumped into it all - full force. We covered Bible, history, geography, Shakespeare, poetry, art, music, and logic. It was just too much.
My second mistake? Underestimating how long it all would take.
When you're trying to cover so many subjects at once, it's not surprising that it takes time. A lot of it. More than I anticipated. So that led to other subjects getting pushed back in the day and wreaking havoc on our normal routine.
My third mistake? Thinking that a morning meeting has to be done first thing.
We are not morning people around here. My husband works various shifts and often doesn't get to bed until very late. TJ and I are both slow going in the morning. I should have taken that into consideration when planning our morning meeting time.
My fourth mistake? Lack of time management.
I work from home and like to get a little bit of work done first thing in the morning. Well, it's confession time... I let that work time bleed into our school hours. This affected our morning time - it was either skipped all together or rushed right through so I could get through our school checklist.
Talk about not starting our day in a restful attitude.
I'm disappointed in myself that I let other things come before something that is a priority - homeschooling my daughter.
How I'm fixing my morning meeting failure
Practical person that I am, I have to find a way to remedy the situation. I thought long and hard about our daily homeschooling schedule and what I could do to create a more restful day.
After much thought, I came to the following conclusions:
- Scaling back to the basics - instead of covering such a huge list of topics, we're paring down to the basics. For us, that means morning devotions, Scripture memorization, and a bit of reading aloud.
- Introducing new subjects slowly - instead of jumping in and trying to cover everything all at once, we'll focus on a few small things at a time. Perhaps we'll add Shakespeare one week and art and music another. But not all at once.
- Moving our morning meeting to the afternoon - it just works better for our schedule. In the morning TJ tackles math first thing and then we focus on our content subjects (history, science, or interest-led learning). After lunch, we begin with our 'afternoon' meeting before moving on to skill subjects.
- Extending some grace - homeschool moms have a tendency to be hard on themselves when things don't go as expected. It's important for us to let go of those mistakes and errors, find solutions, and move on with confidence.
So morning meeting will continue to be a part of our homeschool day - now it'll be 'afternoon' meeting.
Morning meeting not working for you either?
Is it the time of day? Try a lunch meeting or even a tea time meeting.
Are you trying to cover too many subjects? Pare down to the essentials and add more as you can.
Most of all, don’t feel guilty. We all make mistakes, have seasons of busyness, and sometimes life just throws a curve ball. Be willing to change when necessary, and embrace this season of life.
Do you have a morning meeting time? I’d love to hear about it!