Balancing Morning Time when juggling two languages takes a little finesse, but it can be done. Let me walk you through how we do it around here, and perhaps you'll get some ideas to use in your own home.
If you're new to the whole concept of Morning Time, you might like to read about what is it and how it transformed our homeschool before jumping into the specifics here.
But if you're ready for the details...Let's go!
"Every day we ought to review our purpose, saying to ourselves, This day let me make a sound beginning.”
– Thomas à Kempis
What Morning Time Looks Like in our Bilingual Homeschool
Morning Time is perfect for creating rituals and rhythms that bring joy and life to your family.
For us, we begin each day by lighting a candle, reading Scripture, and voicing things we are thankful for. We look at the calendar briefly, then sing and work on memory work. Then we read aloud.
The bulk of our Morning Time consists of me reading-aloud from our booklists (see Resource List below), and sometimes I bring in a seasonal activity.
We always end our Morning Time by sitting together at the table and working on handwriting or copywork for 5-10 minutes. All of this takes about an hour and a half if attitudes are in good working order.
From the moment we began Morning Time, I spoke only Spanish (unless I was reading a book in English). However, even if I read a book in English, I ask discussion questions in Spanish afterwards.
Although my children understand Spanish perfectly, they generally respond in English, and for now that is okay. I am working on their active language skills - that is their ability to speak Spanish - but during Morning Time my goal is to:
- connect with my kids.
- have deep, meaningful conversations.
- provide lots of quality Spanish exposure.
And for us in this season, all three of these goals would not happen if I required them to speak Spanish. If you're curious, the only time I require spoken Spanish during our homeschool day is during math.
Morning Time Resource List
I know it can be hard to track down resources in a minority language, so I have compiled the songs, poetry, memory work, Spanish literature, and activities we use in our Seasonal Morning Time Plans in Spanish.
For History and English Literature we use booklists (in English) from Tapestry of Grace, and for Science I check out piles of books from the library (in Spanish and English) based on our current nature focus. Our handwriting books are in Spanish.
That may sound like a lot, but that is the bulk of our homeschool day. And it’s all done in our minority language!
After Morning Time, we break for a snack. Then we come back for math (in Spanish) and phonics (English and Spanish) and we usually wrap up our day by lunch time.
If you want a more in-depth look at our entire daily schedule, you can check out this post. We have shifted a few things this new year, but the general flow is still the same.
What about you?
Do you have a Morning Time at your house? What does it look like, and how do you balance languages during that time?
Take a second and let me know in the comments!