How Morning Room Time Builds Learning Skills for Later

My two youngest children have outgrown our long-time homeschool habit of morning room time. Today I am sharing the benefits of this habit I’ve seen in all my children. But first, a short recap to answer, What is Morning Room Time? What About the Little Ones?

…Morning Room Time. This is when the two younger ones spent half an hour to 45 minutes of alone, play time while listening to a recording of mine and Hodgepodgedad’s voices. We share Bible verses, the ABCs, sing some hymns, practice learning our address and more. All of this is mixed up with fun Veggie Tale and Bible songs some hymns and some Laurie Berkner.

Morning Room Time is the habit that blesses all ages. It’s how I can be in two places at once! Both helping our littlest ones and helping the older ones with math or some other subject. Plus, little ones learn how to play quietly, by themselves for a short span of time. This is an important skill. Having some quiet, alone time allows your little one the opportunity to work on small motor skills, build attention span and learn the contentment of playing alone. Do you see how this is a gift in a busy household? As my children have grown, I see so many other skills they have that stem from the morning room time habit…

I’ve written extensively about Morning Room Time in the past. If you missed this series, please see more how-tos of morning room time:

My two youngest children outgrowing morning room time happened sort of naturally. Youngest Girl joined in more of our school time a couple of years ago. This year Littlest Guy started his own routine. I also wrote about building a routine in:

How to Start a Homeschool Routine with Young Children

So my younger two children no longer are separate from the rest of us while I help with math or oversee English. I start the school day with the little ones. Sure they may ‘interrupt’ a teaching time at some point. But they are part of our family, our homeschool. And here is what I have noticed in all of my children. The skills that morning room time builds.

Now, when I am teaching and helping the older children, the younger two entertain themselves. They play with each other. Or they play independently. All those mornings they had that independent time. They sat and looked through books. They stacks blocks, rolled cars. All those mornings, it was practice and skill building.

Now I am not saying that it is all rosy posy pudding and pie around here all the time. We have our moments. We have our training times. But I have found myself sitting with one of the older children and wondering where the youngest is. And if I am quiet for a minute I can hear him off in the other room playing with trains.

Another time I am thankful for the skill building of morning room time is during our family studies after lunch. The younger two enjoy drawing at the kitchen table while I read. So I ask them to stay and listen. But then one will ask to get down from the table. That child more often than not will play close by. And still listen.

After five children participating in morning room time, I continue to see the benefits:

  • Concentration.
  • Attention span.
  • Listening while playing.
  • Small motor skills.
  • A love of music.
  • Playing independently.

*Sniff* Yet another stage of parenting has passed. But I encourage you, fellow parents, to stick with those things that are hard.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

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About Hodgepodgemom

Tricia faces a daily dose of chaos homeschooling five children – preschoolers to high schoolers. The biggest lesson she’s learned? At the end of the day – when the dishes are put away and the children are tucked in bed – truly what matters is each child’s relationship with the Lord. Raising children is a God-given privilege and, folks, the time is short.

Comments

  1. Oh, Tricia, how I wish I had your wisdom years and years ago..to record our voices to be there…my little guy enjoys his morning time play with items I pull out for him and start him on….blocks, legos and well, army men, too….he isn’t listening to recordings we have made…..but, I do turn on music with scripture. However, I do see the beauty in a parent’s voice and believe that is best. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post….I pray it touches the hearts of many young moms….who can start this early and will encourage the rest of us getting a little late start on this path/journey with Christ!

    • Rebecca – thank you. I always encourage parents to begin this habit just as you are… just the practice of independent play – in short increments – building upon building – offers so many benefits for all ages! If you can’t record your voices right away, then yes, all that you suggested.

  2. I always thought that my youngest children just sort of grew into homeschooling…the transition was blurry and happened as they just naturally took a seat with us each day as we went about our learning. It was just what we did and our way of life.

    Sigh…no more morning room time. Sweet, bittersweet.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas and your family.
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  3. Thank you! This is exactly what I needed.

  4. Hi!

    Im just looking for some advice really! I am a first year homeschooler with 1 school aged child.
    We already have morning room time in our house (always have), but i’m finding it harder now with my 3 year old, as he no longer wants to be in the room with his smaller brother and can open the child safety gate on the door. Of course, i am *trying* to train him not to open it but he is a strong willed child and it does take quite a bit of effort to keep him in there! I really dont like keeping him apart from us all the time, because he is getting older and can be more involved in some of our school activities. However, I feel it is for his best to at least do a few room time mornings a week so as not to get out of the habit too early (and he can be abit disruptive with my older child while she is doing school). I was wondering how you would deal (or have dealt!) with this kind of thing?

    Thanks for a great blog, i get alot of great ideas here!

    Best wishes,
    J

    • Hi Julie – My youngest started shortening morning room time about that age as well. Only he was doing his morning room time by himself. It happened along and along that he was simply more interested in what we were doing and would start joining in with math manipulatives, etc. It just may be time for your son to join in the regular part of the morning. Maybe have a special set of blocks or a workbox of ‘school’ for your son to enjoy during this time of graduation! Likely his morning room time habit has given him plenty of practice with playing and ‘working’ quietly on his own. Congratulations!

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