The morning basket has become a pretty popular concept for homeschooling. The idea behind a morning basket is to have a more quiet time before diving into your homeschool day. This time is spent cuddled up on the couch with your kids. Some use this time to study the Bible, sing songs, color, read poetry, and of course, read through the pile of books.
The idea of the morning basket sounds like homeschool bliss. A cup of cocoa, kids snuggled into your side, and an all-around great time to build relationships with your children.
There is one problem with this concept. Sometimes we just don’t have the time for a morning basket plus all the other course work. Well, at least not the time to do everything without it stealing your joy in the process.
So how do we get the best of both worlds? How can we add a morning basket to our homeschool day without actually adding anything to our day? I believe the key to doing this is using a literature-based curriculum.
Using Literature-Based Curriculum For Your Morning Basket
I think this is what excites me the most about Sonlight. Because we’re using a literature-based approach for homeschooling this year, our basket will consist of our course work at the same time. Essentially, the morning basket will be hitting two birds with one stone!
Since many of our subjects will be taught through reading books, there is no need to have a morning basket AND history AND Bible AND Literature. I mean who has time for that? I don’t!
Nope, our morning basket will also BE our history, Bible, and literature classes. This is multitasking at its finest.
Our Morning Basket
If you’re at all familiar with Sonlight, you’re aware of the amazing Instructor’s Guide. You also know that the guide is massive. It might not be something you want to have on your lap on the couch during morning basket. Plus, if you’re using other Sonlight subjects not included in your morning basket you’ll be bringing it back and forth from your basket spot to you homeschool space.
A simple solution is to take the weekly schedule and discussion guides and place them in a folder. The folder slides easily into your morning basket, and makes it easy to take Sonlight on the go with you! Reading outside anyone?
I believe starting our day studying God’s word is the best way to start the day. It can set the tone for the day and be a great reminder to keep our eyes on God. Plus, it’s a great way to teach our children to spend time each day studying God’s word. Not to mention that we’re modeling that lifestyle by doing it with them.
We will also spend some time working on Bible memorization during this time. To help with this, we will be listening to Sing the Word. This is a CD of songs that are included in our Bible memorization list for the year.
Read Aloud & Readers
Reading time is probably the most popular component of the morning basket. Our basket conveniently consists of the books from our American History studies. Each day I’ll be reading a chapter or two to grasshopper from the current book followed by some discussion time. Of course, the discussion questions are all laid out for me in my planning folder mentioned above.
During this time, Grasshopper will also have a chance to read to me from his readers. Of course, followed up by some time for discussion.
About once a week we will be spending some read-aloud time learning poetry.
Because Sonlight is literature based, our time studying history looks just like our literature time of read-alouds. Because we’re not learning history through boring textbooks, we throw it into our morning basket.
We do throw in a little geography before we begin our reading some days. The instructor guide lets you know when to pull out your markable map to find locations you’ll be learning about that day. It’s a great simple way to put locations into context for our kids before reading the material. The map is fold-able and fits perfectly in the basket.
Morning Basket Activities
Our basket can’t be complete without some activities to keep Grasshopper’s hands busy. He has ADHD, so we need some items to make a morning basket successful. It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that he needs to keep moving to listen, but it’s a fact. I’ve learned to stop paying attention to his constant movements and just keep reading. He honestly listens so much better when he’s keeping his hands busy vs. when I force him to sit still.
Some ideas for this include fidget toys like a fidget cube, spinner, or thinking putty. Coloring books (ideally history-themed ones) are another great option. Sketchbooks are great to instruct your child to draw a picture of a scene from the story.