This year in our homeschool I wanted to incorporate the idea of a Symposium time or Morning Time. I’d read a couple blogs and a great book called Teaching from Rest (by Sarah Mackenzie) that shared ideas for this. Basically it’s setting aside time for all the extra things you dream about including in your homeschool, but that often get pushed aside for the core subjects (math, Language arts, science, etc). It’s a time to sit with your kids, introduce them to enriching topics, and learn together. You can do this wherever best fits your day. The boys and I have been doing our symposium first thing in the morning before the youngest gets up (she’s a late sleeper, thankfully). The boys grab an Eggo waffle to tie them over so we can do our symposium before breakfast. So far it’s working great. We also do this only on Monday and Fridays, which are our full homeschool days.
We start the time off reading a little devotional together called Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I love this one because the art is so unique and the writing is poetic and theologically-sound. It’s also short!
Next we read about a famous painting from a fun book called 13 Paintings Children Should Know. (there’s a whole series of these books that include famous artists, art movements, and art techniques). We read the facts and have a conversation about the painting together.
Then we study a topic of interest. At the beginning the school year I asked my second grader what were some things he was interested in learning more about. His first choice was outer space. So we spent the first two weeks studying this during our symposium. We rented books from the library, we watched You Tube videos of the first moon landing, I read the Magic Tree House: Midnight on the Moon aloud while we did some fun art projects. My preschooler in particular enjoyed it and can now list our planets.
I put together a symposium basket for our materials. I also threw in some stickers activities, puzzles, and board books to keep my littles busy during read aloud time. I keep our watercolors and cups in there also so they’re easy to get to for our art projects.
It has been so fun to be creative with this part of our homeschooling. Our symposium time has also been a little bonding time for us, and starts our day off right: with reconnection and relationship. And bonus: I’m learning fun things with them!