Thursday 27 August 2020

A Liturgy of Love Morning Time Curriculum Review

Morning Time is a concept developed by homeschool mum of 9, Cindy Rollins over the last 30 years. It is a time for the family to come together and connect while reading, singing, learning and worshipping. It is the gentle way to start the day before moving on to more structured lessons or learning activities.

Morning Time is practised by different families in different ways, and we have been doing it in some form or other for the past year. However, I always seem to be looking for the best formula to suit our family and the recent pandemic has caused us to change our daily rhythm multiple times, making it hard to settle on a specific plan. Therefore, I was delighted to be sent a copy of A Liturgy of Love, a new Morning Time curriculum by Alberta Stevens, to review.

Alberta is a homeschool mum of one from London, UK. She runs a successful home education consultancy business, Homegrown Sonshine. She produces inspirational content and learning resources, speaks at events and coaches parents. Alberta was inspired to create her Morning Time curriculum, A Liturgy of Love, in order to make Morning Time more inclusive and widely accessible for parents. She also wanted to create a resource that is compact and easy to take out and about with you so that Morning Time can be done anywhere!

After creating the curriculum and testing it out with her son and his friends, she has recently launched it to the masses so that we can all benefit from it! The curriculum can be purchased a month at a time or as a three month block.

Culturally diverse

This is the first culturally diverse curriculum I have come across. It has come at a time where diversity and cultural knowledge is much needed in order for us all to get a better understanding and respect for one another. Alberta says," Our resource deliberately attempts to weave in the rich heritage of Black African, Caribbean and American literature, art and folklore into traditional Western Christian educational curricula." I love how it allows me to explore cultures I have little or no knowledge about and helps me to raise children that are able to celebrate diversity. 

The curriculum offers many choices throughout and some of those choices are to go with either traditional (mainly white, classical) fables, songs, poetry, composers and artists, or to go with Black equivalents. You can choose one or the other or mix them up as we have been doing. I love how this curriculum is broadening our minds!

Based on Charlotte Mason philosophy

This curriculum is based on the Charlotte Mason curriculum in that it covers poetry, fables, artist study and composer study, but I do believe that homeschoolers who follow a different philosophy will thoroughly enjoy this curriculum too. It will give every homeschooler a chance to get acquainted with good literature, poetry, music and art that will enrich their lives.

Christian or secular options

A great thing about this curriculum is that it offers Christian or secular options throughout. However, it can easily be adapted to other religions too. As a Muslim family, we can substitute Bible verses for verses of the Quran and instead of hymns we can listen to Islamic nasheeds. I am sure other religious groups will easily find ways to adapt the curriculum to meet their needs too.

Makes Morning Time easy!

One of the best things about this curriculum is that is takes the stress out of Morning Time! You will no longer be panicking about what to read each morning because everything is ready and waiting for you. Just pick up the curriculum and start, and if you need to go out you can take it with you too. This curriculum is a ready made package that is easily transportable so that Morning Time can be done anytime, anywhere. As a busy mum of four this makes my life so much easier!

Includes Spotify soundtrack

A Liturgy of Love is the first curriculum I have come across that includes a Spotify playlist. On the playlist there are songs, hymns and poetry. All you will need for Morning Time each day is the curriculum PDF and playlist. What could be simpler?!

How we have been using A Liturgy of Love  

I received the Autumn pack which contains the curriculum for August, September and October. I started off by looking through the curriculum and choosing the parts of it that I wanted to do with my children. Then I wrote these down in a word document so that I had a plan for each week. The beauty of this curriculum is that there are different options so Morning Time does not have to look the same each day; you can mix it up a bit.

Each day we have been starting off with a positive affirmation and motivational quote. I talk to my children about these to make sure they understand them and how they relate to their lives. I decided to give my older two children the task of creating positive affirmation posters each day while I read through the daily poem, fable and our read alouds. I find giving the children something to do with their hands helps them focus on the reading.

They made some beautiful posters that will now be displayed in their bedrooms. They are very pleased with their work!

The fables have been an interesting part of Morning Time. We didn't usually read fables before but now I realise they can actually teach some good morals. We have had some really good conversations about the fables we have read and it has helped the children understand moral values.

The songs have been one of our favourite parts of this curriculum. We have been listening to the Caribbean folk song 'Brown girl in the ring' for the last week or so and it has been an absolute joy! It has brought back memories of my father singing it to me when I was a child. My children have thoroughly enjoyed this song and, as an upbeat song, it makes a lovely change from some of the slower and more serious British folk songs we have been singing over the last year.

It has been wonderful to be introduced to Black poets, composers and artists. We have been enjoying looking at the art of Monica Stewart over the last few days. The children painted their own pictures in the style she uses and I love them!

By Delal, age 10

By Riyad, age 8

By Kamil, age 5

By Asiya, age 2

I am very much looking forward to continuing with this curriculum over the next two months and discovering new cultures, art, music and stories. The beauty of this curriculum is its diversity, adaptability and how it covers everything you need for a wonderful Morning Time. I love how it has taken the pressure off me to plan it all. Having a ready made curriculum like this really does make it super easy for busy parents. It is beautifully presented and affordable too. I would definitely recommend this curriculum to homeschoolers everywhere!

If you would like to purchase the curriculum or find out more, click HERE.


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