I got the idea for a Morning Basket from some Charlotte Mason homeschoolers I came across. We have used similar methods, but this is the first year we are giving it an official name and an actual basket. Morning Basket work is so ideal for large families. We do a lot of our work together. For the younger kids, it provides exposure to more complex ideas and themes. For the older kids, it can be a great jumping off place for their more individualized studies. We already try to do as much together as we can, a one room school house sort of vibe. But the Morning Basket really makes it official and gives it a more organized place in our home and our day.
Our Morning Basket consists of 7 categories. It is mostly reading and discussing. Some people call this “Couch Time” since you’re not sitting at a table pouring over workbooks.
Each morning we will begin with prayer. We have time throughout the day for spontaneous prayer, so during this morning prayer time, I wanted to focus on memorizing prayers. We will pray through each prayer daily for four weeks, then change to the next prayer. The prayers we are learning this year are:
The Lord’s Prayer
For Joy in God’s Creation from The Book of Common Prayer
For the Human Family from The Book of Common Prayer
John Wesley’s Prayer
St. Augustine’s Prayer
St. Patrick’s Prayer
St. John Vianney’s Prayer
St. Francis Prayer
John Wesley Covenant Prayer
This category includes our Bible Study, character reading, and manners study. Our older kids also do their own personal Bible study. And as a family, we also do family devotions. This morning basket Bible study is separate from both of those. During Term 1 and the beginning of Term 2, we are finishing our Herein Is Love: Genesis study. In Term 2, we are also doing The Talk. Term 3, we will be doing Herein Is Love: Exodus.
For our character study, we will be reading through 7 Men. Once we finish that in Term 3, we’ll be reading Fierce Convictions.
For manners, we’ll be reading through the book Modern Manners once a week.
Beauty includes art and music. During Term 1 and 2, we will be doing a different hymn each week. Term 3, we will be using a more contemporary worship song each week. For Art, we are reading about one artist each week from 50 Artists You Should Know. Here is our list of hymns and worship songs for the main three terms (Advent has its own unique schedule.):
All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
This Is My Father’s World
Praise to the Lord, The Almighty
Lead On, O King Eternal
Jesus Paid It All
I Am Thine, O Lord, I Have Heard Thy Voice
For The Beauty of The Earth
Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
Trust and Obey
This So Sweet To Trust In Jesus
Be Thou My Vision
He Leadeth Me
How Firm A Foundation
I Must Tell Jesus
It Is Well With My Soul
Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross
Jesus Lover of My Soul
My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
Savior Like A Shepherd Lead Us
Called Me Higher
Oh How I Need You
But For You Who Fear My Name
Lift Your Head Weary Sinner
Up On A Mountain
Burn Like A Fire
In Christ Alone
Old Church Choir
I’ll Always Love You
I Heard the Sound of Voices
Our literature selections that we are reading aloud together fall into this category, as well as our once a week poetry readings. For poetry, we’ll be reading a few poems from a Treasury of Selected Poems (Barnes and Noble Bargain Book) one day each week. We are also adding in Mad Libs Mondays just for fun. Our literature selections for the year:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
At The Back of The North Wind
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Pilgrim’s Progress
Minn of the Mississippi
The Swiss Family Robinson
I like challenging my kids to memorize things. But I don’t want them memorizing useless things. This year, we’re focusing just on Bible verses. For the first two terms, I selected random verses, one verse each week, that I felt were worth memorizing. For the third term, we’ll focus on memorizing a verse from Proverbs each week.
This isn’t usually in a Morning Basket, but since it is something we do together, I added it here. The older kids have additional work to add to this, this is simply the portion we read aloud together.
I decided to redo Story of the World Volume 3 this year. We used it last year, but we did a really poor job of it. I was tempted to just move on, but there are so many interesting parts of this particular time period, including the American Revolution, that I felt deserved more time. Once a week, we will read one chapter of Story of the World 3. I do have a few weeks with 2 chapters in order to get all the book done this school year. In addition to that, we’ll also be reading the following our loud together:
The Landing of The Pilgrims
The Three Musketeers
The Jungle Book
George Vs. George
Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?
If You Can Keep It
Little Things Make Big Differences
John Wesley: The World and His Parish (I would seriously love the entire collection of these Christian Heros books. I’m building a library of them.)
The Mexican-American War
What Was the Gold Rush? (I would also love a collections of these “What Was” and “Who Was” books. They make it so easy for kids to read and understand.)
In addition to these, we’ll also continue our Godbold Academy Geography. The older ones have their own geography specific assignments, but we enjoyed learning about the spiritual needs of various countries and having the opportunity to pray for them. So we will continue choosing a country each week from Operation World.
Again, not a usual Morning Basket inclusion. However, it is something we do together. The little ones have their own science stuff, but they loved watching the experiments last year, so we’ll continue with that. We are continuing with Berean Builder’s: Science in the Scientific Revolution. We’re doing about a lesson per week of that and then some additional Science reading out loud. The Berean Builders series is science chronologically by discoveries made. We chose this particular year because it goes along with our history timeline. It does include experiments, which my kids love. All the ones we have done have used simple household items and haven’t needed anything complex or weird.
It Couldn’t Just Happen
Madam How and Lady Why
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*** Amazon usually has the cheapest price on classics. However, I love the look and feel of the Barnes and Noble hardback classics. If you go the Barnes and Noble route, be sure to take you declaration of intent or homeschool ID to the store and pick up an Educator’s Discount Card that will save you 20%! Though I also really like the look and feel of Puffin Classics. Even Puffin paperbacks just have a better font and page feel than some of the other publishers.***
**** You can get a lot of the classics in e-book format for very cheaply or even free in some cases. I’m just a book lover than prefers reading an actual book.****