There are so many great ways to start your homeschool day. We have switched things around several times, but my favorite way to begin our school day is with a morning basket. Today, I’m going to share how to create a homeschool morning basket for your own school day.
I am excited to share about morning baskets today because I think they are such a good way to work through some important parts of schooling, but do it all together.
We have used morning baskets off and on throughout our schooling years. When I look back on our homeschool experience, morning basket time holds some of my fondest memories.
It’s such a sweet time to all be gathered together with a basket full of goodies and work through it all at a family unit.
I’m going to share some of the main pieces of morning baskets, but don’t feel like you have to use any or all of these. The best part is that they are flexible and the purpose is for everyone to learn together.
What is a Morning Basket?
The entire concept of the morning basket (which doesn’t have to be in a basket, by the way) came from the Charlotte Mason Method of education.
This time is dedicated to covering important topics that might otherwise be left out by the other more pressing subjects, like math and language.
How do you Morning Basket time?
Before the main school time begins, you will gather your kiddos and sit with them to go through your morning items.
This is a casual time to get everyone warmed up and ready to learn. There are, typically, four main areas that are covered with the morning time and they include:
You can change up what’s in your basket however you wish, but these items are the ones that usually find their way into the basket.
How long does this process take?
This, again, is left up to the mother leading the learning time. I didn’t want it to take too long because we had a lot of other seat work to get through.
I tried to keep it between 20 minutes and 30 minutes, but I know many homeschool moms who make this a bulk of their morning.
What are the benefits to the Morning Basket?
I love how this is a gentle way to get everyone ready to do more heavy learning. It also helps me to feel like areas that would easily be forgotten don’t fall through the cracks.
There are many benefits, but some that come to my mind right away are:
- It’s a time to learn with everyone together
- This time allows conversation to happen amongst the kids
- Basket time works for any homeschool style
- It creates a good family culture
Reading is a huge part of morning time. Charlotte Mason coined the term “living books” to teach which books were worth reading and which ones weren’t.
This is a time to read rich, beneficial books that teach our children in the process. They soak up so much of what they hear, so make what they hear be excellent language.
Living books teach lessons through characters and show children how well-written books are done, simply by them listening to well-written literature every day.
You don’t have to read for an hour. I have friends who love to read and they would read all throughout the day.
I am not a big read aloud mama, so reading a chapter or for 10 minutes was sufficient for me. Some great read alouds are listed below.
- Trumpet of the Swan
- Little Britches
- Mr. Popper’s Penguins
- Charlotte’s Web
- Narnia Books
Memorization is a big part of morning basket time. You can challenge your kids with as much, or as little, memorization work as you see fit.
Some great places to start are with bits of poetry or simple bible verses.
Pick excerpts that you think will benefit your family. I loved picking verses that would help encourage excellent behavior and point my kids toward the obedience of Christ.
If you have a quote that you love and think your kids would enjoy having tucked away in their minds, work on memorizing a simple quote.
Memorization work helps your kids to learn how to store information long term. There are so many benefits to memorization, such as giving your child the ability to connect new information with old information.
This is the most important part of morning basket time for our family. It wasn’t anything intense. We would sit down and read through a section or book of the bible together.
This gave our kids another opportunity to learn truth and grasp something new from scripture.
If you want to add to your bible time, hymn singing and working on catechisms is a great addition to the reading of the bible.
Oftentimes, homeschool moms will tuck away some learning items in the basket that they won’t touch on during the school day.
It’s not that these things won’t be talked about at all at some point, but there won’t be much time spent on them, so doing some extra learning during the morning time is helpful in solidifying the concepts.
You will see things like “weather study” in the baskets. Each morning, little ones will determine what the weather is like and compare it to other days.
Nature studies are great to stick in morning baskets. Maybe you can study a specific animal or tree for the week/month. Or, study something that relates to what’s going on at the current time, such as a hurricane as you are charting one coming into the states.
Seasons are a great thing to look at in the morning time. I love choosing seasonal books to flip through as we talk about what happens through each changing season. While you read about these things, you can relate the winter season back to the hibernating bear and have rich discussion around certain topics.
There are several other topics that you can study, such as:
- music composers
Do you have to do everything every morning?
The great thing about morning baskets is that they are supplemental. They are adding to your school experience with your kids.
You can do it all, everyday. Or, you can do bits and pieces. You could even do it a few times a week. It’s up to you!
What do little kids do during this time?
Most of you have kids at different ages. Don’t be too strict with the little ones. Yes, we want to teach them to be respectful and quiet, but we want this to be a profitable time for all.
Allow little hands to play quietly as you read and work through the items in the basket. A small snack might be helpful during the reading time, as well.
Other Homeschooling posts
- Tips for the First Day of Homeschool 2021
- Simple Ways to Homeschool Multiple Children
- An Easy Preschool Homeschool Routine
- An Easy Guide for Homeschool Planning
- Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read