Well we have always had a morning basket of sorts, ever since my oldest was around three years old (I wasn't aware of such a name back then though). The contents of our morning basket have changed over the years and it changes most terms too. But the idea stays the same.
In case you are unfamiliar of what a morning basket is, I will give you a quick explanation. It is a time in the day that the children and I come together, usually in the lounge room, and cover some of our learning during this time. The type of learning activities during this time are suitable for all ages 🙂 The books and supplies are usually placed in a basket or box in the lounge room to keep all the items together, ready for our Morning Basket time.
This term, this is what our morning time looks like:
Praise and Worship
- we usually pick one song of each type from YouTube, that our church plays on a Sunday. This way, we get extra practise at the songs 😉
Devotional and Bible reading
- currently we are reading our second time through Leading Little Ones To God. After the devotional reading and discussion, there is usually a Bible passage to look up, of about 8 verses, so we all turn to this passage in our Bibles and take turns reading one verse each. This is great practise for the girls in getting their way around the Bible by looking up the verses, plus reading aloud in a group setting is also an acquired skill. The younger two both read aloud to me later in the day for their school work, so this is a bonus!
- I have a folder to keep all of our memory work in. I have the folder on my lap (so I can reference the passage we are learning 😉 ) and the girls usually stand up as they like to put actions to some of our passages. It helps to get the wiggles out and helps with some of the memorisation too. For each of our memory sections we have a new piece of work we are learning, and I rotate our learned pieces by reviewing just one each day. I use a sticky flag to remind me of where we are up to each day.
Read Alouds and Drawing
- First we cover Psalms. So at the moment we are learning Psalm 1 and Psalm 91 (not actually sure how we ended up two Psalms at once, but we are reading through both each day). We usually move our Psalm into our review section and begin a new one at the start of each term.
- Then we do our scripture passage. Which is currently Philippians 4:4-9. Same here, begin a new passage at the beginning of the new term.
- Next we sing a hymn. We add a new hymn at the beginning of each month, regardless of how much we know. I print off the lyrics for our hymn and we sing the first verse and chorus with YouTube. Then the second week, we add in the second verse; third week, third verse. Even though most hymns are longer than four verses, we still move on at the beginning of the new month. I consider that we have learnt more than we would have, having not done any hymn singing 🙂 My plan is to play our hymn playlist while doing chores or travelling in the car, or some other time during the day... but this hasn't happened yet. I have had this plan for a few years now, ha.
- Books of the Bible - a few years ago we learnt the books of the Bible, we got most of the way through the OT books and we sing a song for the NT Books which makes that part nice and easy. Some days, depending on how are going for time, we will review one of both of these.
- Poems - We have a few poems here that we all recite together at the same time. This is only new to our Morning Basket time, by a few weeks. We are already onto our fifth poem. Each day, we recite (I with my folder on my lap) the poems we have learnt and are learning.
- Miscellaneous Memory - currently we are reciting things I should have taught them years ago, like Daddy's phone number... Ahem... thankfully the older two did already know this, phew... and now my youngest does too, big smile. But we still go over this each day. Then we go over a few nursery rhymes. We didn't do nursery rhymes when they were little (I won't go into any reasons here in this post). So we do the same here as for our poetry. Recite the first few that we know, then add a new one. I do have other grand plans for our miscellaneous memory work, but this is all we have time for this term.
- Now I get comfy and cosy on the lounge as I find this part relaxing, at the same time I check how we are going for time, as we like to get our maths lessons underway by 9am. The girls get set up for drawing, ie. comfy on the lounge room floor with their pencils and art book. Drawing during read aloud time is a new thing to us this term and we are already seeing the fruit of it. They have always undertaken a quiet activity during read alouds, but this is the first time we are using this slot as a drawing lesson. I wasn't sure where I was going to fit in a drawing lesson during our week as we have an extra busy term with extracurricular activities. So this works out perfect! We currently manage to cover Morning Basket three times each week, so that means they are following drawing instructions for around half an hour, three times a week. And its during read aloud time, did I say that already? So we are getting two great things covered during the same time slot, yippee!!
- Aesops Fables - so I read one fable and we discuss the moral
- Paddle to the Sea - I read one chapter and we look at and discuss the picture and the story
- Literature - Here we rotate between: Mountain Born; Here's Benji; and Little House on the Big Woods which we just finished, so we have now moved onto
Pinocchio Winnie the Pooh
While I am reading these, the girls are drawing from What To Draw And How To Draw It. Its a free download on my laptop. They follow the step by step instructions and colour their drawing before read aloud time is up, or they finish it later during the day in their own time, if they desire.
Our Morning Basket time slot is one that we all enjoy. Its a great way to start our day and cover some of those subjects that so easily get lost amongst the busyness of the rest of the day. At other times we have included a lot more here, and other times, a lot less. This is what is working for us for now 🙂
I hope I have inspired you to create your own Morning Basket.