Have you heard of Morning Menus?And no, they’re not about food!
Morning Menus are a simple way to make a gathering time in your homeschool streamlined and consistent. I first heard about them within the context of Charlotte Mason education, and yeah, I thought they were about recipes, too — but trust me, this is better than a menu of breakfast ideas.
Rather than food, Morning Menus present a feast of beauty and rhythm, with no prep time required (once assembled). You can include anything you like in your menu — and that’s why they’re so perfect. They’re adaptable to suit just about any family culture.
I’ve attempted a variety of morning menus (with varying degrees of success). I used to try to thematically design our menus to coordinate with every unit study we were doing — but this was crazysauce for me. I just couldn’t keep myself organized or prepped ahead of time (and lemme just say, stuffing these menus is easier said than done).
So I’ve simplified our morning menus. Rather than changing every few weeks, they will be essentially the same for the remainder of this semester, with the exception of the monthly calendar and hymn pages. This means I only have to battle with slipping paper into the stubborn plastic sleeves once a month! It also means I must now invest zero energy or time into creating materials for the morning menu — it’s all done!
Front Page — Calendar
I use this beautiful and FREE printable calendar by Paper Trail Design.
Page 2 — Hymn of the Month
I follow along with Happy Hymnody for inspiration and lovely, ready-to-use printables. They’re free, too! I also love that they frequently include links to excellent recordings of these classic hymns.
Pages 3-5 — Preschool Morning Binder
I’ve included three pages from the Kindergarten Morning Binder by Life, Abundantly. These are awesome for morning time because they allow the kids to practice basic skills every day! (You could alternatively use the same pages from the Preschool Morning Binder for younger children.) My kids use dry erase pens (and I’m excited to soon try these dry erase crayons) to practice name tracing / writing, age, emotions inventory, calendar practice, and weather.
Page 6 — Charlotte Mason Motto
I made a simple printable with our spin on the “I am, I can, I ought, I will” student motto by Charlotte Mason. I actually spent a ridiculous amount of time fumbling for a way to word each statement so that it reflects our family and homeschool culture and speaks clearly but not condescendingly to the kids. (Features licensed artwork; not my own watercolor — please email email@example.com for a digital download.)
Page 7 — Psalm 23
I found this beautiful subscriber freebie over at the Proverbial Homemaker with a printable for Psalm 23. It comes in both ESV and KJV, plus there are flashcards with smaller portions of the chapter to make memorizing easier and coloring pages.
Page 8 — The Apostle’s Creed
This is another page I put together, and it uses a contemporary version of the Apostle’s Creed. This was a staple of my childhood (although we recited the traditional version), and I have often found it helpful to have this solid summary of my faith. I want my children to begin to hear the message of the Gospel so they can respond to it in their own time. (Features licensed artwork; not my own watercolor — please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a digital download.)
If you are new to morning menus, there are other ready-made menus available. I would highly recommend these to save time and headaches. One shop I love is Meaningful Menus. Ashley also has a Meaningful Preschool menu for Level 2 of Gentle + Classical Preschool — and I’m excited to use that when we make it to Level 2. You can purchase menu covers from this shop, as well.
(At this time, I’m not adding the two pages I put together to my shop. Please email email@example.com if you would like those pages. If there is enough interest, I can update with my own artwork and add them to the shop.)
I hope this is helpful! Please share how you do morning time in your home. Do you use a “morning menu”?