Lovely Charlotte Mason morning menus from an eccentric AmblesideOnline homeschool family. Bringing God back to the classroom!
How do we bring God back to the classroom?
I like to call our homeschool style eclectic. In reality, it’s organized chaos. Like, I know where everything is, even though it’s scattered around the house. This is why I wanted to make our own Charlotte Mason morning menu for the 2022-2023 school year. It is important to me that my boys understand that mama may have a relaxed style in many areas, but school is a non-negotiable. We help them to be a part of this tradition and set the tone for the rest of our days by creating beautifully designed hymns, verses and poems.
Did you know that 8% of teens in public school have seen a teacher lead the class in prayer, or even read from the Bible as an example of literature. That is concerning. I want my children to know that God’s Word is forever a lamp unto our feet, and a light unto our path. It never returns void.
June 25, 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court declared school-sponsored prayers unconstitutional in the landmark case Engel v. Vitale. Obviously, that didn’t mean God couldn’t be in schools. So what happened?
Instead, the Court ruled that, under the establishment clause of the First Amendment, “it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.”
Basically, state-sponsored prayers in schools are considered unconstitutional. Students are free to pray in public schools, as long as they don’t ‘disrupt’ the school or ‘interfere’ with the rights of others.
By passing this clause, they gave us the bare minimum and made the wording complicated enough to scare us into thinking that by praying, we would face consequences. Therefore, people just didn’t do it anymore. Unfortunately, not everyone interprets the law correctly, so we are at the mercy of school administrators and angry parents.
Voddie Bauchum said, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.” I am not raising children to have more than I had, but to be more than I am. I am raising them with the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. They are the children who will change the world for Christ, not just survive in it.
Why choose to homeschool?
In Ms. Thompson’s 2nd grade classroom, I had the opportunity to move up to the 3rd grade. The principal and teachers thought I wasn’t being challenged enough and skipping a grade could help. They told my family to think about it, so we took the week to decide. When I shared it with some classmates, they laughed in my face! Kids can be cruel! The numbers show that one out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied. (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2019 ). Consequently, I do not feel there is enough accountability within homes and schools.
I spent the better half of my life trying to ‘fit in’. I never truly found my place until I allowed myself to be… me. Several years went by before I realized that reading and writing had become my safe spaces. I experienced the treasure of other worlds and hoped for a life as grand as the characters’. I had emotions flowing out on paper like a cool stream on a hot, summer day, whispering, ‘devour me.’ My adoration for planning, creating and designing naturally followed into our lives as an AmblesideOnline homeschool family, especially after my salvation and deliverance. You can see our back-to-school interview poster here.
Too often, when mentioning homeschooling to someone unfamiliar with the process, you hear responses such as homeschooled children are less cultured or less intelligent. Yet, statistics show the opposite.
- 25% of the homeschooled students have enrolled a grade above their recommended grade as per age level.
- Homeschooled students score between 80% and 90% regardless of their parent’s level of education.
- Boys score 44% more in reading tests when educated at home compared to when educated in public schools.
How does a morning menu help prepare our days?
In the Bible, Paul wrote thirteen (possibly 14) books. In each of them, he began with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to God. He was beat, stoned, robbed, starved, imprisoned, and Lord knows what else; but he still knew he was nothing without the Lord, so he thanked Him for his life. So with help from Paul, minus the InstantInk printer and Canva subscription, we keep our eyes on the cross.
We had a guest speaker at church Sunday. Pastor John said that he heard something from an old preacher one time on the radio that stuck with him. I’m paraphrasing, but he said when life is hard, when all you can do is worry, you’ve got two choices. You either worry or you eat some carpet. There is no room in your heart or mind for worrying when you fall on your face and worship.
By beginning our school day with prayer, thanksgiving, Psalm, hymns and scripture recitations from our Charlotte Mason morning menu, our hearts and minds lay surrendered to the Holy Spirit in worship. This delightful time together allows us to remember who we live for, and why we inhabit this earth. It also helps me to remember to show grace towards any morning riffraff between the boys, ha.
What's the point if we're all leaving this earth one day anyway
Ultimately, these children are merely on loan to us. The amount of time spent on this earth is nothing compared to that which we will spend in eternity. The goal is to raise up Kingdom warriors surrounded and engulfed by a life of love so that they won’t have to spend their lives in therapy, healing from another human’s dysfunctional love.