Five years ago, when I first started researching about homeschooling I came across a lot of things that I just had no clue about!
All these homeschool terms & curriculum were so overwhelming. One of them was the Morning Basket. I was like, “Oh no, what is this? Do I have to do this?”
Fortunately, the quick answer to that is no. Morning Basket is not necessary, but I later found out that it was a genius solution a lot of my homeschooling woes.
What is a Morning Basket?
From what I’ve gathered, the concept of Morning Basket in homeschool came from the Charlotte Mason philosophy. Some call it morning time or circle time. Ah! Now, your brain is probably like, “Oh! Circle time. I know that!”
If you’ve gone to public school your whole life (like me), you know circle time.
So, it’s very similar to that.
The idea is to gather everyone and do an activity or few activities together on a regular basis.
What Do We Do During Morning Basket Time?
The awesome thing about Morning Basket is you do what you think is best for your family.
There’s no right or wrong answer here. I’ve seen families do:
- Memorization work
- Read aloud/chapter books
- Foreign language/cultural studies
- Scripture studies/devotion
- Hands-on activities
- Music/hymn studies
- Subjects that can be taught to multiple grade levels (history or social studies)
- Subjects that your children need more attention on (grammar or
- Nature studies
- Day planning (day and date, weather, what to expect for the day, etc.)
- Seasonal activities
I mean, I could probably go on and on.
You may be thinking, “Whoa, that’s a lot. How do I do all that?” No, you don’t have to do all of that.
My suggestion is to start very simple and then expand as you see fit.
What Do I Put In a Morning Basket?
Again, this is totally up to you and what you think would be best for your family.
Different factors like how many kids you have, their ages, and learning abilities all come into play as you decide what is best to put in your Morning Basket.
But, if you want some suggestions, here is what I may start with:
- Read aloud books
- Poetry & tea time
- Bible/devotional reading
- Memorization work (scripture, poetry, latin, grammar)
- Seasonally themed subjects (spring, summer, fall, winter)
- Monthly themed subjects (could be based around holidays of the month)
- Simple arts/crafts
Pick one or two. I wouldn’t suggest doing all at once. You can rotate them throughout the school year if you’d like.
How Long Should Morning Basket Time Be?
There’s no rule on how long Morning Basket time has to be. However, it is a good idea to have a set time frame.
I like short, sweet, and simple. Especially when you have little ones. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself because Morning Basket is typically something done on a regular basis.
From my own personal experience (my kids are currently 8 & 5), 30 minutes is good.
Why Should I Use a Morning Basket?
Morning Basket brings the family together. Instead of everyone doing their individual work everyday, it will bring a sense of togetherness.
It can also be used to cover subject items that tend to fall through the cracks.
For example, maybe Seth is good at finishing his math work for the day but once he is done he tends to move onto hands-on science because that’s what he enjoys. But, you would like him to memorize his times table and somehow this always gets missed and next thing you know it’s lunch time.
You can try putting memorizing times table in your Morning Basket time and see how that goes.
Also, since this is done on a regular basis, it creates a routine or habit for the family.
Do I Have to Use a Basket?
No, you don’t. You can use bins or totes, a corner of a room with a small shelf or cart, or just an area dedicated to morning basket or morning time.
Does It Have to Be in the Morning?
No, in fact we do our Morning Basket in the evening. Do whatever works for your family.
I’ve heard people call it their Bedtime or Evening Basket. Or you can even do both Morning and Evening Basket time. Totally up to you.
5 Simple Steps to Create Your Morning Basket
- Set aside a couple of hours to look through all your homeschool items.
- Think about how you want to go about this.
- Then, do some research as to what you think would be best to put in your Morning Basket.
- Create a schedule that works for your family.
- If mornings are not good, try afternoon or evening.
- Set a time frame, like 30 minutes or start at 9am and finish by 9:45am.
- Gather the materials needed.
- You don’t have to go buy new stuff. Look around the house and see what you can use.
- I always check our neighborhood Facebook page if I can’t find what I need in the house.
- Then, my last resort is to buy new.
- Dedicate a basket, bin, cart, or an area to house everything.
- Implement your Morning Basket, try it out for a week and then assess.
- If it’s going well, then great!
- If not, you may want adjust.
- Most of the time, we tend to want to pile a lot into this, whether if it’s the materials or the length of time.
- Simplify your Morning Basket, keep it to only a couple of items and shorten the time.
- You can always expand as the kids get older or used to this routine.
Resources to Help You Start Morning Basket or Morning Time
If you really have no idea where or how to start, Pam Barnhill is who I would refer you to! Her website is FULL of ideas and resources just for Morning Basket or Morning Time.
She offers Morning Time Plans for the following:
- Literature inspired
- And more!
Pam also offer Your Morning Basket Plus, which is a membership ($15/mo), where you can have access to ready-made Morning Time plans, live events, and such.
That’s where I would start and then you can Google further if you need more ideas. Jessica from the Waldock Way also have lots of great ideas, here are a list of her themed-morning basket ideas.
How We Do Morning Basket In Our Homeschool
When my kids were really little, like 3-5 years old, I only did day planning so they know what to expect for the day, sang songs, and read the children’s Bible. That’s it. It was probably 15 minutes.
Currently, we do an Evening Basket. It has:
- Devotional booklets, journal, and stickers from Not Consumed
- Library books for read aloud
Read more on benefits of journaling for kids here.
Wrapping It Up
Well, that’s all I have for now.
Again, Morning Basket is not a necessity in homeschooling. But, it’s a nice routine to get the family together.
Tell me in the comments below if you think you might want to implement something like this in your homeschool. Or are you already doing Morning Basket or something similar to this?