Over the last year and a half we’ve been doing a Charlotte Mason-ish type homeschool and we’ve really been enjoying it. I wrote about our routine (more of an order of events) last year and it worked well for us then, but this year I’ve been struggling to make the same routine go smoothly for us. I haven’t been able to get as much done in a day or even a week this year, compared to last year.
Finally, I decided it’s time to change things up a bit. We’ll be switching over to following (more or less) the schedule on Ambleside Online. I’m putting some of the Year 1 readings in our day now and next year I’ll start Annie and Tobi together in Year 2.
So that takes care of my need to have something a bit more laid-out and organized for me.
I’ve also put together a Morning Basket, to hopefully help our day run more a bit more naturally.
Last year I had our day broken up, alternating between material covered together and individual work. That’s becoming a bit too hectic for me to do, with Tobi and Annie both needing help here and there and having 3 other littles thrown into the mix.
I saw the term “Morning Basket” in a thread on the Ambleside Online Facebook Page and started reading up on what it’s all about. It didn’t take me long to decide we need to try this!
Basically, it’s a way to ground the start of our homeschool day. Along the same lines that many do rug time or circle time. It helps our morning flow smoothly and fills it with good books and discussion.
I put the books we need in a week for all of the subjects we do together, and we cover these subjects all together first thing instead of having them spread out over the school day. We sit cozy and comfortably in the living room with blankets and such and read together. This also helps me be able to get more done with the baby not clinging to me, as he can scoot around on the floor with his toys and still be at the same level as we are, sitting together on the floor or couch.
We don’t do every thing that is in the basket every day, but having it all in one place helps me stay organized. Here are some of the books we’re using right now, that are in our Morning Basket:
- Just So Stories, by Rudyard Kipling
- 50 Famous Stories Retold, by James Baldwin (or get it free for kindle)
- Paddle-to-the-Sea, by Holling C. Holling
- The Aesop for Children, by Aesop (free for kindle here)
- The Blue Fairy Book, by Andrew Lang (free for kindle here)
- A Child’s Garden of Verses, by R. L. Stevenson (free for kindle here)
- The Burgess Bird Book for Children, by Thornton Burgess
- Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Our current read aloud) (Find the complete Little House set here)
- A Bible
- Our current Artist Study book
- Our French lesson book
I’m continuing to use some of the same daily routine that I used before: artist study on a certain day each week, animal science/nature on another, etc. However, some things I’ve added in. We’re memorizing a Psalm together, which we work on daily; moreover, the kids are each working on memorizing a poem which they work on daily and recite as far as they can remember.
Our morning basket time will be tweaked as our family dynamic changes over time I’m sure, but for now it’s proving to be a great way to start our homeschooling day.
Do you use any kind of morning basket or circle time to start your day?
Additional resource you might enjoy: I’ve been listening to several of these Morning Basket podcasts and have found them to be really helpful!
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