Using Chimes in the Home School

For my birthday Jeremy found me a chime clock that I need to wind every morning. It's over 120 years old. It's lovely. The day is begun, the hours are chimed, the chimes give us order.

  • So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Psalms 90:12
  • Let all things be done decently, and in order. I Corinthians 14:40
  • And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? Judges 13:12
  • So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. II Chronicles 29:35
  • The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Psalm 37:23
  • Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalms 119:133 (KJV)
I, just this week, gave up trying to start our days at 9. I thought that was plenty of time in the mornings, but it just isn't. We were always late, which makes me stressed, and while I could begin getting up earlier, I am not going to. I don't normally need alone time in the morning. When I wake up, I'm usually energized and ready to hit the ground running. At the end of the day though, I need a few minutes (or hours). I'm trying to reorder my thinking so that the end of the day is at sunset, and the new day begins before bed time. So our days are begun with rest, instead of ending with rest. Just a slight change in thought, but it is in fact biblical so I'm attempting the change.
So in the evenings, I rest. I recuperate. I spend time in my very introverted self. It drives Jeremy crazy, because talking is...difficult. This is when I read my Bible; I read the next day's assignment not the current day's. I don't see it as a close to the day, I see it as preparation.

In the morning now, I get up, I wind my clock. And then we wait for the first chimes. The first chimes are when we begin our day. Before those chimes, we do what we want. The kids play, I read, or check my email. Although usually it's only a few minutes of freedom for me. 
The chimes call us to attention. It's chore and breakfast time. We begin.

Now our chores and breakfast take us a couple of hours. Perhaps we will one day be able to streamline that, although I think living on a growing homestead will prevent that. Either we'll one day get up earlier or we'll always start late.

Once we've finished chores and breakfast, we wait for the chimes to call us to learn. When they do, we begin our morning meeting. And thus our school work begins.

The chimes tell us to close one subject, and begin another. The chimes tell us to come back to the table after a break. And more importantly, the chimes remind us to sing "I need Thee every hour."
I love our chimes, I love the moments of new beginnings. I love that we can take a break and walk away, until the chimes call us back. Things happen that upset us, and today when that happened, I realized I should not try to push myself back. So we all walked away, I had a full 30 minutes to calm down, to read, and when the chimes did call me back, I was able to continue teaching without losing my temper. So the chimes let me go, but then they call me back. The day is not lost, it is only a moment that is filled with grace.

The chimes give us a pleasant order to our days. Ordering our days makes us decide exactly what we want in that day. We only have the same amount of hours every day. We get to choose what those hours do. Do they disappear into the oblivion of the internet? Or do we spend hours on one math lesson? What will we do with the hours we have? There are things we can do, but those things prevent us from doing other things. What is most important? If you must do one thing, what can't you do?
The Bible calls us to order our days, to be a people of order and peace. And this is important, good, and beautiful. Give yourselves grace, Mamas. Make room for it in your days.

*I've had many readings to help me order my days, here's one blog post that I loved: Ordering Your Time. This planner (even though I'm not Catholic) has also been a wonderful aid. (It's where I get my Bible reading assignments.) I've also just bought the Book of Common Prayer to help me as well. I'll let you know how that goes.


  1. What a great idea and I love that you bring it back to scripture. Thank you for sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

  2. Hey Jennifer,

    What a good idea - to use the chimes to keep you on schedule and to remind you of things!

    We have an old grandfather clock hanging in our den. Often, those chimes remind me to move on or to get up!

    And, I love all of the verses about time and the orderliness of God!

    I came over today on Wise Woman.

    Hope you have a blessed and orderly day~

    1. Yes, exactly! Move on or get up, I love that. It's so nice having that reminder and accountability. It also lessens the impact of taking a break because you know the day won't disappear. We'll get called back soon enough.

  3. What a beautiful post and a beautiful clock! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Jennifer. I really enjoyed reading this!

    "Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,
    making the best use of the time…"
    ~ Ephesians 5:15-16

  4. At a previous house our neighbours had a beautiful chime clock they brought over from Germany & occasionally I'd hear it in the wee hours of the morning when our chilfpdren were little & I was awake with them. I've always preferred an analog clock rather than digital because you can actually 'see' the time pass.

    1. Me too, Carol. I don't like the jarring light of our digital clocks either.

  5. Good morning! Just a little note to let you know that this post was FEATURED today on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! Have a lovely week! :) And thank you for joining us!

  6. I love your clock (a lovely addition to the home, and a very thoughtful present). Amazing that the chime gives you peace instead of rushing you through your day.

    1. Thank you Deborah, Jeremy is a thoughtful gift giver.

  7. I have been thinking about getting chimes lately, so your post came at a perfect time! I do not have a clock that chimes, so I was looking into them and most of them seem to do some sort of chime every 15 minutes. From what you wrote, I got the impression that yours are less frequent, or that you can set them. Is that the case, or do yours chime every quarter hour?

    1. Mine chimes on the hour. If you are looking for an old clock, check out Ebay or Craigslist. My husband found a clock repair shop nearby that also carried antique clocks, and he really enjoyed visiting with the owner and learning about our clock. We both just love it. The chimes aren't so loud that they wake us up, but are pleasant and just loud enough to hear in the house.

  8. Lovely post. Ours chimes on the hour and the half hour. I am now going to listen for it in a whole new light! Our clock is a comfort and we inherited it from my husbands mama. It was in their family. Anyway, thank you for reminding me to utilize what we have become accustom to in our day.