3 minute morning

A friend recently recommended that I listen to a podcast called The Homemaking Foundations. Specifically, an episode called “How to Develop a 3 Minute Morning with Kat Lee”. The title had me at “3 minute morning”, but then throw Kat Lee in there!?! Heck, yes!

The idea of early mornings makes me so happy. Idealistically. Waking up at 5am, shuffling into the kitchen, starting a pot of coffee. Turn the lamp on by the chair, and make sure none of my books or sharpie pens are missing, and head back to the kitchen to grab a cuppa. Settle into my favorite chair, open up my journaling Bible and start doodling away in the peace and quiet, taking a sip now and then. Maybe I get up to go for a quick 3 mile run. Maybe I come home and shower, and then get all ready for the day – all before 7am???

Now do you see why I completely romanticize this?! And, besides the fact that my imagined timeline is completely unrealistic, there’s also the thing about me being allergic to early mornings. I love personality typing. Give me a personality test or a “what type of sea animal are you” test, and I’m in! I took the Power of When Quiz to find out my chronotype, and discovered that I’m a Bear. I basically love sleep. I need to go to bed not too early, and wake up not too late. Also, I have a nursing baby that still wakes up during the night. Bearing that in mind, 😉 really early mornings aren’t a reality for me as a general practice.

However, as an avid mom-blog reader, I am continually reminded that moms really should get up before their kids! I remember listening to Kat Lee’s podcast, Inspired to Action, and she’d encourage her listeners to “wake up for their day, not to their day. Love that! Love all of that! But, hard as I try, early mornings just aren’t happening. They’re not. I give up. I’m done trying. I’m also done feeling guilty. But, I also needed a strategy to help me to not feel steamrolled by the day before I’m even out of bed.

Again, enter Kat Lee! Her new podcast (and book!), Hello Mornings, helps moms to establish a morning routine that is sustainable. I still need to grab her book so that I can see all that she has to say on the subject, but the podcast my friend recommended was a great place to start! She recommended putting together a very minimal 3 minute routine that happens no matter what. That’s not much time! Which is actually perfect. No time to romanticize what could happen. Time enough to prioritize what matters. And for me, what matters is spending time with the Lord. Kat made the point in her interview that it’s easy to focus on productivity and accomplishing items on the to-do list, when what needs to happen most is surrender. Surrendering to the Lord’s will. I loved that point. So, I decided to keep it as simple as possible, and downloaded the She Reads Truth app onto my phone. I just do my daily reading, pray, and get going! Perhaps someday I’ll have that lovely morning all to myself, but for now, while maximizing sleep is a top priority, the 3 minute morning is just the thing I need!

I’m thankful for women who desire to encourage one another! I’m also thankful to see that there’s more than one way to start my day off on the right foot.

Ambleside Online for Groups, so far

I have considered myself a Charlotte Mason homeschooler for 2 years now. I started with my newly-turned 6 year old son, creeping through AO’s year 1 at a snail’s pace as we figured it all out. It took 2 years to finally get through everything. By the time he was almost 8, he was a fluent narrator, and we were regularly implementing most of the “riches” and becoming more involved in our local CM community.

However, this last March threw a wrench in our routine (which was already iffy, if I’m honest). I added my now 6 year old daughter into the mix. My son had just finished year 1, and I had plans to start her in year 1, and him in year 2. I couldn’t decided between the new groups option that Ambleside just launched last year, or separating the two. Based on the rotation, and the fact that my son already went through year 1, Form Ib seemed like the best fit for everyone. But that meant that my son would miss The Little Duke, which I’ve heard is just wonderful. I didn’t want to miss a single book, so I opted to separate them.

We run on a 6 week on, 1 week off schedule, and we gave it the full 6 weeks with separated subjects. There were things we did together, of course, but honestly I ended up micromanaging what they could do and when they could do things based on whether or not it was even remotely independent. The reading load for year 1 is very familiar to me, but year 2 knocked me back a bit. There is quite a bit more, and my son isn’t reading anything on his own yet. The sheer amount of reading was honestly such a chore – It felt impossible to get through more than 1 or 2 readings per child each day.

So, after 6 weeks, I decided to jump ship and dive into Groups. We are in Form Ib, and while we’re only 1 week in, I feel that a huge burden has been lifted!!

Here’s how our day is structured:
M-ThMorning Time: devotion & prayer time, memory work, poetry, and Spanish (we use this program).
Together: copywork, all scheduled AO readings (2-4 a day)
Separate: math, reading

F & S – all weekly work (nature study, enrichment), field trips, errands, appointments, etc

Sundays – Bible, Pilgrim’s Progress, Trial & Triumph

Combining the workload has been a huge help. Also, I’ve switched to using more audiobooks. I know audiobooks are sometimes frowned upon in the CM community, which is why I haven’t used them as much in my more purist attempts. However, I’ve noticed that I’m much calmer when I don’t have to manage a read aloud and wrangle my rather rambunctious and attention-loving 4 year old, or nurse a baby while balancing a book and trying to remind everyone to pay attention!! If I’m able to delegate that to some talented actor who reads beautifully, and maintain sanity, then I call that a win-win. I also read aloud during meal times, which helps with attention as well. 😉

I haven’t seen much info out there regarding experiences with AO Groups, which makes sense, seeing as it just came out last year. Therefore, I decided to write about our experiences here, in the hopes that it will help others! I don’t claim to be an expert, by any means! Just a mom figuring things out!