Interested in more about the Morning Basket? Read my full review of Your Morning Basket from Pam Barnhill right here.
There are quite a few terms in the homeschool world that all (pretty much) mean the same thing. Or, at least, are referring to the same concept.
We call our special time together in the morning Morning Time and we refer to what we use in Morning Time as our Morning Basket.
Make sense? I don’t know… “Circle Time” just reminds me of public school Kindergarten, so it isn’t my favorite term, but to each, her own. We can call it anything we want, the idea is this – every single day your family is spending intentional time together reading and learning intentional, meaningful things, and bonding in intentional, meaningful ways.
For some Moms, Morning Time is a very short, 15-minute time with their children. For others, Morning Time can take up to 2 hours, depending. We are somewhere in between.
Cindy Rollins is kind of known as the homeschool ‘founder’ of this Morning Time thing (although I think she really just made it better known among Charlotte Mason and Classical families). If you click on the links below of her podcasts, you can hear her talk about the 20+ years she did Family Time/Morning Time in her home. She advocates that this time together can take 2-3 hours of your day or longer, depending on what you consider to be ‘Morning Time’ work.
This is not ‘wasted’ time, this is the BEST time! Reading, memorizing scripture, looking at art, listening to classical music, reading inspiring stories, talking with and about God… it’s beautiful!
So, What does Morning Time look like for our family?
Morning/Family Time comprises of about 50% of our homeschool ‘family work’ but our kids don’t perceive it as work because it is fun, engaging, enjoyable, and special!
Homeschool win, right!?
“What Matters Most in your Homeschool Day?”
It has also allowed me to present a big chunk of our ‘curriculum’ in a way that is not perceived as ‘work’! This is a beautiful thing because it means the children are enjoying the journey of learning so much that they are embracing it as joyous, not cumbersome.
, talking about God’s truths and how they apply to every day life as well as big questions like, “What is my purpose?” and “Where did I come from?”
If I was to break down our day and put all the most important stuff in a basket, you’d have our Morning Basket.
Using our Morning Basket for Morning Time
So, nobody’s perfect but I can say from experience that having a Morning Basket has been wonderful for our Morning Time because all my stuff is RIGHT THERE. No searching. I grab the basket, bring it to the table or couch, and we can get started easily and flow through our stuff without interruptions(ish).
So, I’ve established that we:
1. Love Family/Morning Time and use it as a foundational part of our homeschool to ensure we are daily covering ‘what matters most’.
2. Use our Morning Basket as a tool during this time.
But, I thought I should share with you what is IN our Morning Basket these days!
This might give you some ideas for your own family as you either think about starting this habit in your family or continue to nurture it. The book lists (apart from scripture) may change, but the heart of idea stays the same.
Our Morning Basket is for a 10, almost 9, and 7 year old, for reference!
So, here goes…
What’s in our Morning Basket right now?
- The Bible – we are using The NIV Adventure Bible, and the Chronological Life Application Study Bible
- Our yearly devotional book – this year we are using NIrV Adventure Bible Book of Devotions for Early Readers
- Morning Time Binder – this is a little folder that I put together and stays in our Morning Basket. This includes our Prayer and Poetry Memory work (right now this includes The Lord’s Prayer and several short poems from Christina Rossetti), Hymns and songs we are working on (right now we’ve got This is My Father’s World, Take My Life and Let it Be, Amazing Grace, Rock of Ages, The Wondrous Cross, and various bible songs), Blessings (like the Aaronic Blessing from Numbers), and the 10 Commandments and Apostle’s Creed which we will be working on for memory work. I also have some rhyming prayers I would love to memorize with the kids. (This part of our Morning Basket takes no more than 5-10 minutes because we rotate every day between the various components.)
- A Child’s Book of Prayers illustrated by Michael Hague
- Hymns for a Kid’s Heart Volume 1 by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada
- Laying Down the Rails Habit Training Handbook (we’re working on Kindness right now)
- The Children’s Treasury of Virtues by William J. Bennet
- The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennet
- Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula (Christian Heroes study -1 chapter per week)
- Come Look With Me- World of Play by Gladys S. Blizzard (Picture Study)
- Claude Monet: Sunshine and Waterlilies along with various Claude Monet color prints (Picture Study)
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol (composer study), last term it was Tchaikovsky Visits America.
- All the Year Round by Frances L. Strong (seasonal nature readers from the late 1800s, volumes by season, available for free online)
- Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E. Nesbit (we cover 1 play per month)
- A Child’s Book of Poems compiled by Gyo Fujikawa (we read a poem every day, at least!)
- The Voice of the Martyrs annual report (this might sound funny, but we use it as a prayer guide for the nations along with the map we received).
- First Hundred Words in French (by Usborne… we use this maybe once a week if we feel inspired).
Sometimes, we do our History and Novel Read-alouds during Morning Time. There is honestly too much variation to list all the books here, what I can do is give you some ideas of the books we are currently reading and have recently read:
- Can’t you Make Them Behave, King George? by Jean Fritz
- The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh
- Stories of the Nations and Stories of America from Simply Charlotte Mason
- various Nature Study picture books
- Boys and Girls of Colonial Days by C. Sherwin Bailey
- Indian Captive by Lois Lenski
- King of the Wind by M. Henry
- Ben and Me by Robert Lawson
Other books we’ve recently had in our Morning Basket:
- The Jesus Story Book Bible
- The Case for a Creator for Kids
- A Child’s Garden of Verses
- All Year Long (poetry book from Christian Light Publications)
- Hero Tales Volume 1-4 by Dave and Neta Jackson
- Bard of Avon by Diane Stanley (Shakespeare)
And before you get super overwhelmed – we don’t read from every title every day! Our days go on a rotation. One day we will read from Trial and Triumph, the next we will read some Shakespeare, the next it will be Composer Study… so it works out quite nicely.
Some Links I Found:
Links to some of my other Morning Time Posts: