Have you ever reached that point in your homeschool where things just don’t seem to be working anymore? With the addition of 2 younger kids to our family over the last few years – i’ve had to learn to revamp the way we run things – A LOT!
Having a Morning Homeschool Routine and Basket Time
I am quite late to the train on this one! Morning baskets have been a big thing for quite a while now, I just didn’t know it!
Julie Bogart, the creator of Brave Writer, has an excellent video tutorial called 5 Tips for Your Morning Homeschool Routine. It’s a long one and I had to watch it in chunks, but it’s worth watching all the way to the end!
We already did a lot of the things that she suggested, with the exception of having a morning reading time together as a family.
What types of books make up a good book basket?
Have you ever heard of Living Books? They are books that convey the authors passion for their subject, creating a dynamic story instead of a dry textbook full of facts.
You can find living books on EVERY subject out there! (To learn more about living books see my post How do you know if a book is a living book?)
My first morning basket had Usborne books about Rocks and Minerals, picture story books of classic tales, an apologia text book, our current chapter book, and some short stories about North America.
I sat in my old rocking chair while the kids sat on the floor with a few toys around them (transformers and hot wheels) to play with quietly while I read. The littles didn’t always seem to pay much attention, but you just never know what they are taking in!
We continued this routine for a week and I was amazed at what we covered!
When I looked back to see what we had covered, allocating 30 minutes a day, we added in:
- math (stories)
- folk tales
- PLUS a new chapter book
I couldn’t believe how much more information we covered in that small amount of time.
And the best part is that the kids (well, at least Izzy) are staying interested in learning and wanting to get back to basket time! This system truly works to create children that love literature and love to learn.
Although I absolutely enjoyed our morning basket time, I’m not going to tell you it was always easy.
There were times when there were many interruptions for diapers changes, questions, food, and some intervention. You name it, I’m sure we dealt with it.
So therefore, I get myself prepared nowadays. The kids need quiet activities that they can move between while we are reading. Snacks and water bottles are prepared ahead of time. (Anyone else’s children develop sudden deadly hunger syndrome the second you want to do something?)
And I think the biggest preparation of all… is for me.
I need to prepare myself for reality. There will most likely come a time in our family where we can quietly enjoy a story from start to finish without interruption.
But for us, that time is not right now. So, I can be prepared as much as possible. But, I’m going to start, knowing that I am going to have to interruptions before we’re done.
We follow a routine in our household instead of a schedule. (Not sure what the difference is? Check out Why I burned my daily homeschool schedule!!) This allows me the extra time that I need for reading.
Although we read for 30 minutes, it can easily take me 45 minutes to an hour to actually get through the reading. So, if you are a schedule person with smaller children at home, I would suggest booking a larger chunk of time than what you want to spend actually reading.
Do you think having Morning Basket Time would work for your family?
To get you started, I have a FREE list of living books by subject and by age that are amazing additions to any reading basket! Grab your list here – an remember to uncheck fit to page before printing! (19 pages in all)
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