Creating a Morning Basket for Your Homeschool
If you have been homeschooling for any length of time then you may already be implementing a homeschool morning basket routine into your day without even realizing it! The term morning basket is thrown around the homeschooling community quite often, but have you ever looked into the what’s and why’s of this common homeschooling routine?
What Is a Morning Basket?
Many families have been inspired by Pam Barnhill’s take on the morning basket which basically refers to the materials used in the beginning of your homeschool day, together. The items can be placed in a literal basket but not necessarily. Do you tend to start your day together, with all of your children regardless of their ages? Even though many subjects are age-specific, there is just something about gathering all of the children around mom and gleaning from her. It doesn’t have to be for hours on end, but when it is habitually done in the morning, it can provide your children with a sense of comfort, security, and belonging. They realize that they are a part of a bigger picture. When they experience this, then they have something to look forward to each school day.
Benefits of a Morning Basket
Do you ever feel like your kids are not getting all of the information that public schools’ children might be receiving on a daily basis? This may or may not be true, and it might not even matter because your children are gaining more life skills and have more opportunities available to them than if they were in the public school setting. Regardless, there may be certain benchmarks that are important to you. Maybe it is important that your child knows all of the U.S. states and capitals by a certain age. Maybe your family heritage is from a specific foreign country, and it is important to you that they know its history. One benefit of having a morning basket is that you can assess what is important to you and be sure to include it into your morning basket, at least until they master the desired skill. Once a goal is reached, such as memorizing the Ten Commandments, then simply switch it out with a new one.
Another benefit is that you can incorporate a morning basket into a loop schedule. This means, though you may plan on working through everything in your basket every school day, it may not happen and that is perfectly fine. Simply go through the materials in a loop, beginning the next day where you left off the previous day.
Subjects in a Morning Basket
You are the parent, the teacher, the one responsible for your children. You ultimately choose what your children are presented with on a daily basis. Once you know that your state’s requirements are met, you have the freedom to pick and choose to teach what you determine is best for your family. This list simply includes some examples of what subjects can be placed in your morning basket, but the sky truly is the limit!
- Memory Work
- Map Work
- Poem Memorization
- Hymn Study
- Science Read Alouds
- Artist Study
- Nature Study
- Composer Study
- Virtue Reading
Morning Basket Schedule
How long does it take to work through a morning basket? Again, flexibility is important here. Although I tend to carve out an hour a day for our morning basket time, it can sometimes only be twenty minutes, and sometimes we will go longer than an hour. It all depends. As you begin to add younger siblings to the mix, they will not have as long of an attention span. Consider having a half an hour with all of the children paying attention to the Bible and any material that is child-friendly. Then, allow the younger children to color or play quietly while you work through the rest of the material with the older ones.
Where Do I Find the Resources?
While preparing your morning basket, think about which books you already have on hand that you would like to use. If you have specific materials that you are interested in based on what your children are studying in other subjects or based on any upcoming holidays or seasons, check your local library, used book stores, thrift stores, eBay, or Amazon. You may also want to make sure your printer is filled with ink and plenty of paper. SchoolhouseTeachers.com offers downloadable courses that you can print and place in a binder, perfect for your morning basket routine. From poetry to composer studies to sign language printables, you will find a treasure trove of materials that could easily be incorporated into your routine.