“Morning Time...is a liturgy. It is a habit that ties the past to the future—a liturgy of love.”
- Cindy Rollins, Mere Motherhood, p. 78
While Morning Time isn’t required to implement Charlotte Mason's philosophy, it can be a helpful tool. Cindy Rollins is credited with coining the term, Morning Time; and she is also the author of a book by the same name (which I highly recommend). Morning Time is when a family comes together to focus on a few principle components of a CM education. This typically includes hymns/folk songs, poetry, scripture reading, catechisms, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, artist/composter study. These subjects are generally referred to as "riches."
I do think it’s important to highlight that the purpose of Morning Time is not to necessarily focus on memorization. Most children will absorb Morning Time morsels of wisdom and beauty away in their hearts, often without even realizing it. Charlotte Mason likens this idea to a feast. She states, “We spread an abundant and delicate feast in the programmes and each small guest assimilates what he can.”¹
I share all of this because several months ago, I began including Morning Time as part of our daily rhythm. While it hasn’t been perfect, it has easily become one of the highlights of my day. The reason, I believe, is because Morning Time is not just for my children - it is incredibly life-giving for me! Although, overhearing my kids reciting a beautiful poem or singing a hymn that we have studied during our Morning Time together is an added benefit.
When life gets busy, often the first things that get dropped are things that are considered “extra” - which tend to be the riches that are the very fabric of Morning Time. But if your family is already in the habit gathering together for a family devotional, it is easy to weave in some additional riches during that time. By cultivating the habit of gathering together daily in this way, we can ensure that pursuing truth, beauty and goodness remains a priority in our homes.
Does your family have a routine similar to Morning Time? What kinds of things do you include (or want to include) in your Morning Time routine? ETA: Morning Time certainly doesn't have to happen in the morning; it can place at any point during the day and you can rename accordingly :)
¹ Charlotte Mason, Towards A Philosophy of Education, p. 183.