Everyone who is homeschooling bilingually is swimming up stream. We encourage our kids to swim with us, but many days they would rather float easily into the current of monolingualism. We end up fighting to keep them by our side on the journey, and it's exhausting.
Where do we find rest?
It is so important on this bilingual journey to find spaces of rest. An oasis, a safe harbor, where our minority language is embraced with joy and laughter. For us, in our homeschool, we have found that respite in Morning Time.
"Morning Time contains subjects that the family can do together that emphasize truth, goodness, and beauty in their homeschool."
- Pam Barnhill
What is Morning Time
Although the idea of Morning Time was originally coined years ago by Cindy Rollins. It has risen in popularity in homeschooling circles mainly through the work of Pam Barnhill and her podcast My Morning Basket.
In its simplest form, Morning Time is about:
Although it’s generally known as Morning Time, it doesn’t have to be done in the morning and it doesn’t have to be called Morning Time. I’ve heard names like Circle Time or Symposium.
Some families gather during the baby’s nap. Some right after lunch. I know families that spend an hour or more together, and others that can only find 10 minutes.
The point in all of it, is that it brings your family together to focus on truth, beauty, and goodness.
And in a bilingual homeschool...we use this time to focus on our minority language as well.
The magic that ensures our minority language has a prominent place in our homeschool day.
How Morning Time Transformed Our Bilingual Homeschool
My first attempts at a bilingual homeschool were disastrous. It mainly stemmed from my overzealous attempt to present all material in both languages.
I switched back and forth between English and Spanish when I felt like it, without stopping to think how much extra work I was requiring of my children. They started to resent me and the language.
Our bilingual homeschool now is not perfect, but it’s working...and Morning Time is the magic that ensures our minority language has a prominent place in our homeschool day.
Morning Time by its nature draws us in and unifies us around what is important. For our family, Spanish is important.
From the moment I implemented Morning Time in our homeschool, I did so in Spanish. No more switching back and forth between languages*. My kids accepted the change almost instantly. In fact, I think they were relieved.
Our homeschool days that used to involve strong pushback around our minority language, now happen mostly in our minority language with no complaints from my children.
During our Morning Time, my kids happily swim upstream at my side. I don't have to fight anymore.
*In full transparency, we read the majority of our History, Science, Spanish Lit and English Lit books during Morning Time. So I do speak English when I am reading a book that was written in English. But otherwise, I speak only Spanish during Morning Time.
If you use Morning Time in your bilingual homeschool, let me know in the comments!
If you are looking to implement Morning Time in Spanish, we have grab-and-go plans available on our resource page. Or sign up for a free trial below.
If English is your minority language, English-language Morning Time Plans are available through Pam Barnhill's website.