As the "morning basket" trend has grown, I've seen information abounding related to it. I've also witnessed a great deal of confusion and overwhelm by Mamas who are new to homeschool or new to the idea of morning basket.
In an effort to help clear the muddy waters and be an encouragement, I created a resource to reflect what I have found to work in our homeschool and what I've seen others echo as well. I love how Mystie Winckler from SimplyConvivial.com discusses their use and organization of morning time binders on her IGTV (on Instagram). She was definitely an inspiration behind this post and creating this resource for all of us to use.
Here are a few things to keep in mind about morning time/circle time/basket time/whatever time as you implement it:
You can't really do it WRONG.
It's actually not wrong to just not do it at all.
You'll likely find that you really do love it and don't feel like school is complete without it once you get into a routine.
You can tackle many "extras" that we know as RICHES that should never be skipped but end up being skipped anyway- because, life- in very little time.
You can do it any time of day. I call it "Lunch Basket" because we literally do it over lunch while my toddlers nap and to maximize time.
You can make it last 15 minutes or take 3 hours to do it.
You can read aloud or you can utilize audiobooks.
You can use the same material daily or you can loop.
Actually- there are so MANY options and so much "do what works for you", it can leave us feeling a little overwhelmed. That is exactly why I wanted to share what we do in our home in this resource so that if this is all new to you, you have a springboard from which to launch. You can take my plan and implement as is or make modifications from the beginning. I feel like you'll find this resource very usable, easy to organize and implement, affordable (as in FREE), and best of all- God glorifying.
So- what's included?
A basic looping schedule (with an explanation of what that is) for your read aloud selections.
Tips, resources, and recommendations for book selections, composer study, and artist study. I do not SUPPLY these in this unit, but give my own preferences for inexpensive or free resources. (Check the links at the end of this post). If you are considering a subscription to audible, click here to get 2 FREE Audiobooks!
Psalm 119 in full, in ESV format.
All 31 Proverbs in ESV format.
Catechism for Young Children- all 145 questions and answers.
20 popular poems in full.
A checklist of several composers, artists, and poets to study as well as a checklist of all books of the Bible to track progress.
Let's tackle a few FAQ up front, shall we?
What even IS a morning basket?
A morning basket or circle time or homeschool collective (it has many names) is typically a label for a set time each day where the kids gather with their mom/teacher to cover specific topics as a group. Traditionally this is done first thing in the morning before scattering for the day. Typical topics include: devotional, Bible reading, apologetics, readaloud, music or composer study, art, artist study, singing, poetry recitation, memory work... Honestly the options are endless. Some families do the bulk of their schooling together as a morning basket while others just hit the "riches" and do the remainder separately. The variations are as plentiful as homeschool families themselves.
How should I use morning basket printable pack? How long will it take?
I won't say "however you like" as that's overly vague and unhelpful. I will say that you may use it exactly as I've given it to you, with the resources I specify. Or you can add or subtract certain pieces. As supplied, you need to plan a minimum of 30 minutes per day, but ideally at least 45. If you have many children or younger children, you might alter this to accommodate shorter attention spans and interruptions.
Who was this created for? Or what ages was it created for?
Specifically, I made it for my two older daughters and I to use over lunch. They are 6th and 9th grade. However, because you can choose your own books, you have a great amount of flexibility in what ages this applies to. Since it does include scripture reading each day in length, I'd say it is ideal for any school-aged child but would not be a good fit for preschoolers. That said, you can modify to fit any age. It was created for a Christian homeschool family that seeks to learn God's word and grow in a pursuit of truth and beauty together.
Why don't you use KJV scripture? Do you plan to release a KJV version?
I love many translations of God's Word. I'm not in the "KJV is the only true word of God camp" and as such, I do not frequently use the KJV except in my own personal study of Psalms. I find the ESV easy to read and understand while still being a highly accurate translation according to many Biblical scholars. Also, my children readily understand it as well. I do not plan to release a KJV version.
I hope this simple resource pack will give you the tools and encouragement you need to step into a morning/lunch/whatever basket routine and make it your own. If this sounds good to you, enter your email below to receive it today. Current subscribers can head HERE to nab it from the Resource Library (check the bottom of ANY email you've received from me for the password). Keep scrolling to see my favorite resources for building and organizing a basket time binder.
Additional Morning Basket Resources
Here are the links to a few recommended items that are mentioned in the Morning Basket Download:
If you are looking for a Morning Basket Plan that's extremely DETAILED, with day-to-day scheduling, with options for preschoolers and many strands of history, check out these incredible plans from Pam Barnhill.
We have an Audible subscription that we utilize randomly. Like- if you click this link to sign up, you'll receive 2 FREE AUDIOBOOKS! I take advantage of deals like this plus sales on subscriptions that happen around Christmas as well to keep costs down. Also, sometimes when you threaten to cancel, they'll give you a good deal :)
If it's part of a pack from Beautiful Feet Books, you can be sure it is a fantastic book. Check them out here. I use them for great deals on books, the bulk of our curriculum, AND as a general "guide" for excellent living books.
Art Study option from A Helping Hand Homeschool (make sure to get the coupon code from the download!)
Head over to my Instagram IGTV channel to find a video of how this binder comes together for our family.
If you have a child with a print disability or vision impairment, you can utilize LearningAlly.org for audiobooks.
Make sure to search HomeschoolGiveaways.com when looking for free artist or composer studies.
SQUILT- Super Quit Uninterrupted Listening Time for composer study
Make sure to Follow Sarah MacKenzie and Jamie C. Martin on Facebook for great deals on audiobooks from audible as they are released. Sarah's website is an overall AMAZING resource for book recommendations.
This is a GREAT list from The Good and the Beautiful as well, but isn't free (though they randomly offer it for free throughout the year, so keep your eyes peeled on Facebook).
I also love the Picture Portfolios from SimplyCharlotteMason.com