Morning basket is just a time that the whole family can be together each day. It is the thread that connects all the various ages together. We spend about an hour each morning together for Morning Basket before we break off into our three groups.
We start morning basket by praying together. I usually ask for one of the kids to volunteer. It gives them an opportunity to practice their praying out loud skills. Then we open our Bibles and take turns reading a passage together. Once my kids learn to read, they are expected to participate in daily Bible reading. This year, we’ll be reading Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Acts together during Morning Basket.
After we’ve read the Bible, we practice our memory tasks. We have a chunk of verses for Scripture Memory each term that everyone learns. We take turns going around and saying these verses. We start with a phrase and add on each week until we have the entire passage memorized. Older kids can read it until the memorize it. Younger kids repeat it after me until they memorize it. You’ll be surprised how easily you memorize something you read and say each day. Even toddlers can memorize Scripture! This year, we’re memorizing Roman 8:1-11 for term 1, John 1:1-5 for Advent, Psalm 100 for term 2, and Matthew 5:13-16 for term 3.
Once we’ve all said our memory verse, we move to poetry memory. Each stage has a different poem, but sometimes the kids will learn everyone’s poem. Our poetry selections for term one (in order of stage from youngest to oldest) are: The Teapot Dragon by Rupert Sargent Holland; Defeat by Edgar A. Guest; and the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. During Advent, all stages will learn Hark! the Herald Angels Sing by Charles Wesley. For term two, our poems are A Pig Tale by James Reeves; A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns; and The Walrus and The Carpenter by Lewis Carroll. For term three, we’ll memorize The Maldive Shark by Herman Melville; The Kraken by Lord Alfred Tennyson; and Sonnet XVIII by William Shakespeare.
After our memorization work, we’ll read a devotional type read. This year, we’ll be reading God’s Good News and Wise Words. After that, we’ll read something Biblically interesting– be it a biography, church history, or scientific in nature. This year, those books will be Dragons of the Deep, Dragons: Legends & Lore of Dinosaurs, and Trial and Triumph.
Three days a week, we’ll do some grammar. Two days a week, that is just doing Mad Libs. My younger kids have all picked up grammar very easily because they had fun playing Mad Libs to learn the parts of speech when they were small. The older kids also love Mad Libs. One day a week we’ll be reading Grammarland.
One day each week, we focus some time on manners. I find it important to teach kids manners. Yes, they learn the proper fork to use. But it also teaches them how to introduce themselves, how to introduce others, how to involve others in a conversation in a way that makes them comfortable– just a whole host of useful interpersonal skills. So, one day a week, we pull out Emily Post Etiquette and I read a portion. If it is something we can practice, like shaking hands, we’ll stop and practice, too. (If you aren’t sure you’re up for Emily Post, check out Modern Manners. It is more of a business manners book and is a little easier to tackle than Emily Post.)
Reading books aloud is one of my kids favorite parts of the school day. Even my older kids who could easily read the books on their own find that they love read aloud time. I usually try to pick interesting Middle Grade type books. This year, the read aloud book list includes: The Wild Robot, The Giver, Pax, The Princess and The Goblin, The Westing Game, The Dragon’s Tooth, The Drowned Vault, and the Empire of Bones.
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