More from our AO Morning Time Binders 2017-2018

We started our school year today. Man, that summer went quickly! I sometimes catch some flack from starting so early in August (the first Monday), but I learned my lesson years ago that we need to be *mostly* done with our school year by early spring because we all get spring fever around here once baseball season begins. It’s not that we’re all big-time athletes. There’s just something about spring and the green grass on the baseball field that makes us all squirrel-ly.

All that to say — we have officially started homeschool for the year. But, I realize many of you maybe have not, so I thought I’d share the rest of my “morning time” binder resources.

I already shared our hymn selections (slightly modified from Ambleside Online’s 2017/2018 schedule). Here are the folk song lyrics (also slightly modified from AO’s current schedule) I have printed for our use:

folksong lyrics 2017-2018

Here are the Bible verses I have chosen for my kiddos to memorize. These are selections taken from the books my Year 4 and Year 2 student will be reading:

Bible Verses 2017-2018

And, finally, here are the poems I have chosen for the boys to memorize (or at least become familiar). Again, these are taken from the poets scheduled in Years 4 and 2:

Poetry 2017-2018

Now, you might be wondering what all we do in “morning time” because all of this is starting to stack up. We always pray, sing, memorize, and learn — but I have come up with a double-loop schedule so that we are not singing the same song every day for an entire month, for example. Your loop will most definitely look different than mine (and that’s okay!), but here is my generic loop.

First, we do a two-day loop:

Every other Day: Circle Time A Circle Time B



Bible Memory



Folk Song




Then we do a four-day loop (I know! Two different loops! Insane!):

Date Circle Time Loop
Aug 7 A Shakespeare Retelling: Richard III —  Intro & characters
Aug 8 B Nature: Birds basic anatomy
Aug 9 A Composer: Listen to Corelli Classics for Kids
Aug 10 B Picture: Peter Paul Rubens biography

So, for example, today (August 7) we did Schedule A — prayer, hymn, recitation, bible memory — and part of a Shakespeare retelling. Actually, they were so interested in the villainous Richard III that they made me tell them the entire story. In the coming weeks we will actually read through our retelling book (we use the Shakespeare for Everyone series instead of Lamb or Nesbit), then we will work on memorizing part of Richard’s famous soliloquy “Now is the winter of our discontent …”

Tomorrow (August 8) we will do Schedule B — prayer, folk song, recitation, poetry — and a study of the basic anatomy of birds (the characteristics that all birds have in common). The boys will be doing an entry in their nature journal, drawing a diagram of a bird and labeling the basic parts: head, beak, eye, wing, body, tail, legs. (I’ll require my Year 4 student to be a bit more detailed.) I have a book modeling all of this for them.

August 9 we’re back to Schedule A and then on to Composer study. August 10 is Schedule B and Picture Study. Then it all loops again.

We do morning time on school days when we are all together. Starting in mid-August, L6 will be gone every Monday, and we will not do morning time without him. That puts us down to just four days a week for morning time, which I think it plenty to cover our loops. I considered marching on without him, but it just felt wrong — like continuing a family read aloud when one kid is off at camp. Morning time is all about togetherness. And asking for food every 5 minutes (according to my kids).

I hope this has inspired you to create some Morning Time plans or loops or possibly a double helix (j/k!).

Until next week (or so).

I’m reading:


Moderately challenging books:

Stiff books:



5 thoughts on “More from our AO Morning Time Binders 2017-2018

  1. We began today too! Years 4 & 2 for my two older boys…and 4yr old “school” for our little guy. I just love reading your posts, I feel like we’re living parallel lives with our sons’ ages, etc.
    We definitely get spring fever in Colorado come May, so it is in our best interest to begin early, to the dismay of our young neighborhood friends who now know the “no knocking on the door until 2:00” rule. 😉

    Blessings for the rest of your week!


    1. I love our parallel lives! I had to send a neighbor boy home a couple times today, but overall he’s such a blessing to have around. I know he starts homeschool next week, so that will help keep him busy.

      This year I bought a couple special new toys for my 4 year old to help him stay busy when I’m working with his brothers. It sort of worked — and it sort of backfired b/c even preschool toys are super interesting to 9- and 6-year-old boys when they are supposed to be doing math!


      1. I agree! I also splurged a little this year and bought lots of cool new pre-school activities… and had to keep my older guys on track. Haha. I think a few more days of the new routine will, Lord willing, smooth things out a bit. Yay for boys and AO!


  2. Really helpful post, Diana! I was a little unclear about how to do the loops before, and inevitably I didn’t get to something through the week that I intended to simply going day by day. Your concrete example gives me some confidence to try. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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