Routines work really well for my homeschooling family. One thing I have recently added to our homeschool routine is the use of morning baskets. Although morning baskets aren’t a new idea in the homeschool community, it was new to me, and I was stoked to discover how successful they were for my kids. I am glad I learned what a morning basket was and why I needed one.
When I first started homeschooling, I didn’t quite know what I was doing. I assumed a lot and learned quickly that – I knew nothing, even with all the research I had done on beginner homeschooling. It was an eye-opener.
I needed to revert to what I learned as an early learning teacher. I started practicing a routine and a set of rules for my students (children). I wrote this article on how to Transform Your Homeschool by Doing this First Thing in the Morning.
Since then, I have noticed and adjusted our routine slightly. Here are things I listed that I do every morning:
- I get up earlier than I would like to. Only about 30 minutes early.
- I pray.
- I read the next five scriptures in my Bible. I am currently in Psalms.
- I jump in the shower.
- I turn on the coffee.
- I wake up the kids.
- I make breakfast.
- We start homeschool with prayer.
- We do our daily devotions before homeschool.
- I drink my first cup of coffee then make another cup before starting the school day.
I noticed that between routine number 9 and 10 (devotions and coffee time for me), the kids were not easily transitioning to homeschool work time. I needed my coffee, but then I had to herd up the kids again who had since, gone to their rooms and were onto other things.
Here is where I learned that in between 9 and 10, morning baskets fit in perfectly into our morning routine. Morning baskets filled in this gap perfectly. Thirty minutes is all we need to transition to school work smoothly.
What is a morning basket?
A morning basket is a hodge-podge/collection of things placed in a basket of some sort for your children to begin their homeschool day – or any morning. With a morning basket kids can do many activities that range from reading great books and discussing them, coloring, doing hands-on activities, memorizing scripture memory verses, and so more.
The idea is to get you (after coffee) and your kids together for group learning using various resources.
What do you put in a morning basket?
Most families fill up their morning baskets with books, quiet activities for kids, quick games, memory work, music, and art appreciation sources, nature study, and some poetry.
Why do you need a morning basket in your homeschool?
In a homeschool day when kids usually need to complete core subjects, morning baskets allow them autonomy to choose what they want to do for the morning basket 30-minutes to an hour.
I usually have two morning baskets going at once. The kids get to choose which basket they want. However, they are not allowed to switch baskets after they choose. I ask the children to pick one morning basket, but they have to work through it together.
Morning baskets bring multiple ages together. Using a creative combination of age-appropriate items in the morning basket will do a world of good to keep kids working together.
Selecting morning baskets teaches my children to stick with what they have chosen and allows them to make a selection independently. Getting to choose what they do from the basket encourages independent learning and confidence.
Morning baskets are also a great transition from your home’s daily routine to a homeschooling routine. And in my case, it allows me to get my coffee peacefully until I can sit with them while they are with their morning baskets.
These are a few morning basket printables and morning basket activities for your homeschool:
Morning Basket Resources for Protestant Homeschoolers from The Unlikely Homeschool – A detailed post about their morning basket routine and a break down of how they do it.
Morning Basket In Our Homeschool (Secular) by Up Above the Rowan Tree – Their morning basket routine revolves around read-aloud chapter books, history, picture books, and character training
Morning Time Binder by Pam Barnhill – Pam is the founder of Your Morning Basket podcasts. You can sign up for A Month of Morning Time Ready-Made Plans for FREE! She offers several morning basket plans: preschool, history, seasonal, and more!
You can plan out and brainstorm your morning basket using our Morning Time Binder Printables
Don’t forget to change your morning basket every month. This gives your children a variety of items to choose from and helps them stay engaged with the items in the morning basket.
The idea of morning baskets is not new, but more and more homeschooling families are starting to see the benefits of having them. The whole concept of morning baskets came from the ideals of Charlotte Mason style homeschooling methods.
From my experience, from resources I have read, and from other homeschooling families, morning time can shape your homeschool for the better. Check out how this mom learned to makeover her mornings and created a routine. Morning baskets is an excellent way for your family to start the day off right!
Take this assessment to check the Charlotte Mason way is right for you:
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!