I had high hopes for a nice morning basket time last year but in reality, it didn’t happen very often. Our together time was spent serving at church (look for my post later this week about our year of service in the aftermath of Florence) or working on more ‘pressing’ educational assignments and much of their learning was done independently. We did what needed to be done and I have no regrets on that end but I really missed the time together and wanted to get back to it. I spent a lot of time contemplating how I wanted to work out our morning basket time with ages ranging from thirteen years to eighteen months.
We are only about a week into school, and I fully accept that we may have to modify or adapt, but what has been working so far is to do our morning basket time in the living room right after breakfast. The toddler is still awake and happy, and everyone else is ready to go. The toddler plays on the floor while we learn together. I decided to focus on a few short items each day and not to stress about covering a certain amount. In general, I just do the next thing for a couple of subjects including hymn study, composer study, read aloud, and Bible.
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For hymn study, the first few days of a month we read about the story of the hymn, who wrote the hymn, and any scripture references that align with the hymn. Then each morning we listen to one or two editions of the hymn and sing along as we learn the words. We can also include copy work and art lessons into our study but typically I assign those to be done outside of morning basket time.
In an effort to make it very easy for me to include composer study into our routine, I signed up for the Women Composers study over at Enrichment Studies. Each morning I get an e-mail with information about a female composer and links to listen to their works. This takes 5-10 minutes and is a great way to expose them to a variety of composers. This course is one semester long and next semester I will choose something else in its place, possibly an artist study.
I know reading aloud is one of the most important things I can do in my home school. I also know how easy it is to get busy and not include this time, especially with older students. However, by having it on the list first thing in the morning I am more likely to get it done and by reading aloud the same book to everyone we have a shared family experience that brings us closer. I started this school year with Who Was Beatrix Potter? which aligned well to the book I was reading with my five-year-old and some books that I had read personally. I plan to choose a variety of fiction and non-fiction books as we go through the year.
My two oldest children have their own Bible study/devotional times, but we also like to include Bible time together. This can range from reading a section in the Bible, going through a Bible study, or currently memorizing our Bible verse for the year. Each year I choose a Bible verse as a sort of theme or anchor in our year. This year I chose Deuteronomy 6:6-7. I created some fun printables with the verse to help my children memorize them and I have even included them as a free download (at the end of this post) for you if you would like to use them for memorization or a reminder.
I do not necessarily do every one of those things every day, but we spend 20-30 minutes together on those things before my older children work independently for a bit and I take the two youngest on a walk. We enjoy our time together and it helps us fit in some of those ‘extras’ that are easy to forget.
I would love to hear what you enjoy for your morning basket time? How does it work in your home?
Deuteronomy 6 Printables
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Deals and Freebies
Free 5 Day Learning without Worksheets Challenge: FREE 5-Day Learning Challenge We have done several of her different challenges in the past and they are lots of fun and easy to implement.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!