Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Morning Basket Plans

My favorite part of homeschooling is our Morning Basket. I finally got our Morning Basket organized and put into daily use after I read about it at Jen's Wildflowers and Marbles (this is her most recent post, be sure to check out all her post on this topic!) a few years ago. It was something we did from day one of homeschooling, but it wasn't very organized until the last few years.

Other places to learn about Morning Basket (aka Morning Time, Circle Time, Together Work, Family Work) include Sarah @ Amongst Lovely Things and Cindy @ Ordo Amoris along with Mystie @ Simply Convivial. Please share in the comments any bloggers who inspire your Morning Basket!

I started a wonderful list of ideas for Morning Basket and as I was planning, my original plans got pushed aside and my Morning Basket plan ended up not looking like what I intended. 

I was getting pretty anxious about it and knew I had to start over. I went back to Jen's most recent post and noticed my original list looked very similiar to her's. Jen had done all the work for me! So, I printed off her list and went through and crossed off some titles and changed them to the books I had on hand. I followed her weekly plan for Morning Basket and made changes to fit our schedule. I'm very pleased! I finally got things on the list that I've been wanting to do a long time.

Our Morning Basket last around 60-90 minutes. I have two boys (ages 13 & 10) who don't sit still! We take a break, if needed, and they also fiddle with thinking putty, fold laundry, or draw, if needed. Our goal is to get done anything that we plan to do together (family work) and the rest of the day is for independent work or work alone with mom. We may meet back up in the afternoon (very end of the day) for an elective (like PE).

I don't loop* our Morning Basket. I plan what I want to do each day. If we get behind in one area I'm fine with switching up the schedule as needed. I will make some changes each term and switch out books as we finish them.

Here is the plan for term 1:

Art Appreciation using Art Through Faith 

Read aloud for Literature: Swallowdale and Canadian Summer 

Read aloud for history: A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Story of the World Volume 1

Poetry: reading from Lewis CarrollAround the year, and The Harp and Laurel Wreath  

Shakespeare: we will read A Midsummer Night's Dream and memorizing a passage using How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

Geography: Tree in the Trail using the Beautiful Feet Guide.

Character Training on kindness using Simply Charlotte Mason Laying Down the Rails.

Music Appreciation: Listen to The Piano Guys (you can find them on youtube or listen free if you have Amazon Prime)

Art: Drawing Together (set timer for 20 minutes and draw using our Ed Emberly books) or any other art project I run across that looks fun. I have some chalk pastels from Hodgepodge that I would like to use too.

Music: we will be learning some Hymns and Folk songs from Our Musical Year (a resource I've had on hand since our first year, but haven't used in a long time).

Memory Work: we will be making sure we remember all the prayers we already (should) know and will be learning a new one each term. Also, will be memorizing bible verses which I took directly from Jen's plans which came out of the Harp & Laurel book.

Civics:  How the US Government Works (I have an older edition) and some books about Missouri checked out from the library.

We will be doing Logic of English everyday too (for twenty minutes)during Morning Basket, assuming that we can do this together. We may have to move this if I need to work separately with each boy. I noticed some gaps in their phonics (and especially spelling)that needs some attention. I've put it off for a long time because they "test" highly in reading (and spelling too and one of them can't spell much of anything), but I'm catching mistakes during narration and when they read to me. (An example to show that standardized testing is not reliable.)

What are your Morning Basket plans?


  1. I'm going to attempt to do Logic of English with 3 boys along with our morning time work, too. We'll see how it goes; right now I feel like I may be trying to cram too many things into our morning work.

    1. Last week we decided to move Logic of English to right before lunch break. It seems 90 minutes is just too long, even with a break for my boys. Teaching it together is a challenge too, but I'm hoping to get that fixed as it would take too much time to teach it twice.


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