Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Symposium and Morning Liturgy

Symposium at Mt. Hope Chronicles

As I’ve been contemplating the concept of Liturgy, I’ve been working to put some ideas into practice. Our Symposium time is the most obvious time to incorporate liturgical practices, as well as family dinner time. Several people have asked about our Symposium, so this is a brief glimpse into our mornings so far this scholé year.

[My alarm goes off at 6am, but I snooze until 6:15 then immediately make the bed and go shower, get dressed, and put on makeup and earrings. I usually have a few minutes to read my Bible before waking the kids.]

6:45  Wake up boys cheerfully (I let Lola wake on her own; Luke sets his own alarm and is often up earlier). Give hugs and snuggles as needed. [I often finish my quiet time while they are slowing getting up out of bed. I give them a second, more imperative wake-up call at 7ish.]

Put on classical music [Week 1 was Aaron Copland, week 2 was George Gershwin, week 3 is Stravinsky]

Morning chores [I need to be better about assigning chores. I switch laundry (all the clean laundry gets put on my bed to fold as I can during the day and put away before bedtime), make tea, check email and FB.]

7:30  Breakfast [I have a list posted on the fridge, but I often make eggs or protein waffles for myself and whomever will eat them.]

Clean up.

8:00 SHARP. Shoes and sweatshirts on and everyone out the door. Levi (with broken foot) on porch. Walk with whomever down the driveway. Talk about how the air feels, the clouds, what we see. Find nature specimen (thistle with purple crown, Queen Anne’s Lace, fallen leaf, remnant of a wasp’s nest, pet snail, pine cone, blackberry sprig…). Talk with Lola about what is nature and what is not (which leads to boy questions such as “are genetically modified foods nature?”). I take pictures of nature. [On rainy days, jump rope or other activity on porch. Grab nature book for nature specimen.]

Nature Journaling @ Mt. Hope Chronicles 

8:10 ish: Back inside for nature journal sketching while I read from Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield. [I don’t micro-manage their journals. They draw and write whatever they want.]

8:20 ish: Morning prayer from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals, Pocket Edition

Single Voice/Community prayer (have kids repeat after me)

Song/Hymn [We sing a song in Latin from Lingua Angelica.]

“In our lives and in our prayers : may your kingdom come.”

Psalm [We sing a complete song from Sing the Word: Psalm 24 from God Our Provider to tie in with Challenge A catechism (will rotate Psalm songs weekly, next will be Psalm 19 from The Heavens Declare, again to tie in with Challenge A).]

“In our lives and in our prayers : may your kingdom come.”

Scripture [Take turns reading from Bible, beginning with the book of John]

“In our lives and in our prayers : may your kingdom come.”

Our Father/Pater Noster [We say it in English and then in Latin.]

Ending Single Voice/Community prayer

8:30 ish: Memory work [Working on passage from Declaration of Independence and one from Shakespeare (“All the World’s a Stage”) both to tie in with Challenge 1]

Morning Liturgy @ Mt. Hope Chronicles

8:40 ish: Beauty “Loop”

Day 1: Picture study/narration using Cave Paintings to Picasso (review past artwork, take turns gazing at picture, share what we saw or how it made us feel, or what it reminded us of; read commentary; enter artwork in family timeline notebook)

Day 2: Read from Michael Clay Thompson’s Music of the Hemispheres (poetry)

Day 3: Read about composer from morning music in The Story of the Orchestra (enter in timeline)

Day 4: [If we have 4 days of symposium, double up on a favorite (We have CC community day on Mondays and a shorter symposium on Wednesdays due to piano lessons, so our main symposium days are Tu, Th, and Fri.)]

8:55 ish: MCT Caesar’s English [short portion] Latin and literature-based vocabulary

9:00 Dismiss with the doxology from Jude (1):24-25. Say, “The Lord be with you,” and children respond, “And also with you.”


At this point in our morning, Levi and Leif go off to their respective study spaces to complete independent work, and I stay with Luke in the living room (where his study space is located) to work on Latin.


So far, I’ve been really consistent with our mornings and then continuing our learning schedule for the rest of the day. I’m trying to add in some more liturgical practices during our day, but that has proved much more difficult once we separate for our daily tasks. We’ve been hit or miss on the following, and I’d like to continue to do them as often as possible:

Midday Prayer from Common Prayer [meet at noon in the living room just before lunch]. The Midday Prayer includes the Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi which is on our history, speeches, poetry, literature list for cycle 2! [I may loop between several prayers, including Saint Patrick’s Prayer], the Beatitutes, and The Anima Christi.

I’ve been working on setting a formal family dinner as often as possible—nice dishes and all food in serving dishes on the table. We light candles. We pray the Table Blessing in Latin and English before regular prayer at dinner.

I would love to end dinner with the Evening Prayer from Common Prayer that includes public confession, The Doxology (Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow or occasionally the Gloria Patri), declaration of faith (possibly changing this to The Apostles’ Creed), and the Magnificat (I love hearing my friend Lori sing this one and Levi occasionally has this playing while he works on his school work).

I’ve also tried to practice “Collect, Connect, Create” from Jenny Rallens. During dinner we sometimes share something we’ve learned and how it connects to something else we know or have experienced, then we share how we might use this knowledge.

[For example, Luke said he learned that drawing maps from memory is harder than it looks. We talked about other things that are harder than they look. And then we talked about how things get easier the more you practice. Leif said he learned that thistles are very prickly. Then he said that donkeys must have very tough mouths in order to eat them. Lola said she learned that the purple flower on a thistle is soft and not prickly.]

I saw another idea online—the “Thankfulness Pumpkin.” Each day in October and/or November, we’ll use a Sharpie pen to write on the pumpkin things that each person is thankful for and keep the pumpkin on the table as our dining table centerpiece. I think this will be a great, easy way to practice gratitude this fall.


Sara Masarik said...

Heidi, this is really inspiring. I just love that short (DO-ABLE) ten minute walk. That turns some ideas on their heads for me in a really good way. I also love that you end your symposium with the Doxology. I will be stealing lots of this!

A Stable Beginning said...

I agree with Sara, this is so inspiring! I am trying to incorporate learning like this into our day and so far it is just not happening this year. Thanks for the encouraging nudge I need to get in gear!

jeana said...

I love this, Heidi. It just dawned on me that the toddler and I could join my boys for their daily morning walking the dog. It would be so good for us. I'm going to explore more into a liturgical day. I grew up attending a church that sang the Doxology in which i have such fond memories of. thank you for sharing.

Tsh said...

Heidi, thank you so much for posting this. I've been feeling a little stuck/overwhelmed with our morning time together, and this is just the inspiration I need! Appreciate it, friend.

Priscilla said...

Heidi, as the other comments said, this was really inspiring for me. I've been wanting to do a 'morning time' like this for a long time, but was struggling with how to make it work for our different ages, and how to fit everything I wanted to do in. We have two weeks holiday beginning today here in New Zealand, and I'm going to plan to start my new term with a beautiful symposium like this. Thanks for sharing your struggles too :-)

Heidi said...

It makes me so happy to know that this post has been helpful! Enjoy your symposiums, friends!