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Our Morning Time Essentials



What is Morning Time?

Morning time can look different for every family, but in short, it is a time to come together as a family (not necessarily in the morning) to share stories, poetry, and whatever else you may find difficult to otherwise fit into your daily rhythm. Some families include artist or composer study, nature study, learning a foreign language, simple handicrafts, even religious practice.


For us, it has become the bedrock of our home education provision; a gentle, comforting and magical way to come together during or after our breakfast, before we start our morning project work.



Our Morning Time Essentials

The books and resources that I am sharing here are obviously not an exhaustive list. We tend to add in one or two others that are relevant to our current project, so at the moment we have 100 Things to Know About Science and Women in Science in our morning basket. It works well for us to read from these books at the end of our morning time session, as it makes for a smooth transition to our project work. Each month I share any new additions to our morning basket in my monthly newsletter. You can sign up for an email notification on my blog.


The links that I have shared below are affiliate links for Amazon. If you would prefer to purchase your books from an Independent book seller then you will find all of these, and more, linked in the 'morning time essentials' section of my Bookshop here.


I Am the Seed That Grew the Tree: A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year by Fiona Waters

This is an absolute beast of a book and, although on the pricey side, I think it is excellent value for the sheer volume of content included. 365 poems; one for each day of the year. The poems vary greatly, but are all themed around nature, plants, animals, the seasons etc. and are beautifully illustrated. It's a lovely one to dip in and out of, creating the familiarity that we associate with morning time.


This book is often on sale (in fact, the price is slightly reduced right now) so it's worth holding out for a discount.


Around the Year by Elsa Beskow

This is one of two books that we read at the beginning of each new month, and it has become such a lovely way to mark the occasion, along with physically turning over a page on our calendars. Elsa Beskow books are typical of the style found in Waldorf Kindergartens, so feature whimsical illustrations and gentle text. Around the Year is a small collection of poems about the months of the year. Lovely for little ones.


A Child's Calendar by John Updike

This is our favourite book for a monthly poem, despite having many American references (sidewalk, chickadees, candy etc.) Like Shirley Hughes' poetry, the content has plenty that young children will be able to relate to. We're especially fond of the illustrations in this one. They're more true to life than the previous book, and so evocative of the changing season.


A Year Full of Stories: 52 Folk Tales and Legends From Around the World by Angela McAllister

This book is another that is great for dipping in and out of on the relevant day. There isn't a story for every day of the year, as the collection covers cultural events and international festivals, as well as the changing seasons. February's stories, for example, commemorate Candlemas, Valentine's Day and Shrove Tuesday. We have taken to marking our calendar with the stories at the beginning of each month so that we don't forget to read them.


The stories are not too long. No longer than two, double-page spreads, with generous illustrations (many are just one double-page spread). I do recommend pre-reading them before you share them with your children though. The story of Gelert the Hound, for example (a familiar story to me, growing up in Wales) is one that I personally wouldn't read to the very young or sensitive at heart.


Almanacs

If, like me, you can't possibly keep track of all the special days in the year, then almanacs are great for a seasonal reference. These are the two that we would recommend.


The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2021 by Lia Leendertz

This one has not been designed with young children in mind, but may be suitable for a young teen/confident reader. I have this one for myself. I enjoy reading the relevant section at the beginning of each month and planning in any suggestions that take my fancy. It includes a list of special festivals, moon phases and astrology, sun rise and set times, tide times, songs, jobs for the garden, seasonal produce, recipes, stories and so much more.