The above photo shows my current Morning Basket. This is a place to contain all the books I want to read a little bit from for every morning as we homeschool. For years I haven’t had an official “basket,” and you don’t need one either. For years (ahem, decades), I just had a pile of books I liked to read from every day. Just last month, I found a basket for only $1 at a thrift store. Score! You can start doing Morning Basket without a basket, and if you do want a basket, just keep your eyes open for one that fits your budget.
Here’s a great video from homeschooling mom Pam Barnhill about what it is and then how to do a Morning Basket:
Here’s what is in my current morning basket:
-two picture books that relate to seasonal or holiday themes, like the ones shown above. Yes, I am still enjoying Christmas books in January and February. Nothing wrong with that! It keeps my mood up during winter. I start out with one and then end with one. So they are like the bookends to my Morning Basket time. I use the monthly picture book lists from readaloudrevival and then get the books from my local public library.
-a chapter from the Action Bible, with narration provided by the Audible version. I already had the Audible version from years ago, then I discovered a hard copy at the thrift store last summer. Yess!!!
-a Founding Father story a day, from this book below (another great thrifting find, after years of checking this book out from the public library whenever Independence Day rolled around)
-a two-page spread in this book: (We don’t actually do the experiments, just read about them. I’m hoping it helps my children see that science is exciting.)
-about 4 pages from the Tuttle Twins American History book by Connor Boyack.
My 13-year-old son is taking a class at our homeschool co-op about the Founding Era of the United States, for this whole school year. So I am reading this book to give him historical context to the Revolutionary War. I am learning as much as my son is. This Tuttle Twins book has a ton of stuff that I never heard in public school from any history teacher or read in any history textbook. I finally feel like I am filling in the gaps. We haven’t finished it yet but so far I love everything about it.
-a chapter Christmas book I bought at the used library book sale about a poor family living in a coal-mining town. It’s a book I wanted to read before Christmas but we didn’t get to it, what with all the other Christmas books I read. I do 2-4 pages a day. When we finish it I think we’ll then do a story a day from Marlene Peterson’s Libraries of Hope.
-a board game, as part of my #abookandagameaday challenge
Sometimes we do something easy, like Kingdomino, which only takes about 15 minutes. This is good on days when we need to get out the door in the afternoon or have other pressing appointments.
Sometimes we play something complicated, like Where in the World is Carmen San Diego USA?
Or sometimes we do something even more complicated, like, Genotype, which is recommended for ages 12 and up. That works for us since my children are 13 and 16.
I feel blessed that last month I happened upon a game made by Genius Games, the same company that makes Genotype. It was this science-y game called Periodic about the periodic table and chemistry, for only $5! Another thrifting score!
What I still want to add to Morning Basket time:
-poetry. I used to be fairly consistent about reading aloud poetry and memorizing a poem every week or so with my children. This was back in AZ when I had four children still in the nest. For every line memorized I’d give them a little treat I’d pick up from the bulk foods section of the grocery store. Ever since I moved (2 1/2 years ago) we haven’t done any memorizing. Time to get back at it, and dust off LaDawn Jacob’s poetry book here on my site. I’m thinking of continuing to memorize from that because it has so many “character building” poems. I also want to just read aloud the “poem of the day” from this book. I just love the idea of having a “thing” a day for each day of the year. I also love the poems in this book compiled by Julie Andrews and her daughter but it doesn’t have a poem for every day. Maybe 4-6 for each month.
-drawing. I’ve been on and off on teaching my children how to draw. We’ve been “off” since the move. I want to get back “on.” I like to think that because I exposed my 16-year-old daughter to drawing during our Morning Basket times years ago, that that consistent practice planted the seed for her to become an artist who is always drawing, sketching, doodling, etc. on her own. I have a ton of how-to-draw books I could use. I found another one while thrifting last fall. I believe what it says in “The Drawing Textbook” that people can learn to draw, just like they can learn to read. Drawing is not a special gift bestowed upon the few, just like reading isn’t.It’s available for anyone who practices it.
-singing. We used to sing songs I have curated in my Family Devotionals Ebook, again, before we moved. I have a son serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returns home, I’m going to see if he’ll join us for singing every morning, since he loves it. Before he left, he collaborated with friends on an album. He’ll be with us for just about two weeks before he takes off for a job in another town. Hopefully, his love of singing will rub off on them and we will just continue in the habit of morning singing after he leaves.
I just love doing my Morning Basket every day when we are home (all the weekdays except our homeschool co-op day). Along with our family scripture reading and prayer that we do in the AM before Dad leaves for work, along with my personal scripture reading and prayer, it is my anchor for the day. I just love it! It’s my concentrated time to share with my children what I hold dear as the good, the true, and the beautiful. It just feels so delicious and warms so heart, which is especially important on these gray wintry days.
I’d love to hear what’s in your Morning Basket! Please share below in the comments.