This past school year we tried our hand at Morning Baskets…. epic fail on my part!
I liked the idea of having a special little ritual that could help jump-start our day, but for some reason I just couldn’t get it together. I honestly think the name of the basket is what was throwing me “Morning Basket” and I needed to really fine tune this area or drop it.
Our days start pretty early my son is up by 5:30 -6:00 am and I am up at 5 am most days myself. You would think a morning basket would be perfect for us right? Wrong🤦🏾♀️!!! We just couldn’t find our rhythm to add it to our mornings.
Traditionally a “Morning Basket” has a devotional, read aloud, fun activities and some sort of learning activity. All the items that are supposed to be in the basket we did at the table or in our work boxes, so I felt like it would be repetitive and my son very much dislikes repetition. He definitely called me out on it several times during our attempts of Morning Basket time !
So this is what I decided what was throwing me off…
I love the morning basket concept and I think it would really be a good addition to our home school, but I needed to think outside of the box and really figure out what worked for us. The first thing I did was change the name, our basket is called the “Knowledge Basket”, by removing the name I know longer felt pressured to have to do it in the morning or everyday. We do our “Knowledge Basket” 3 days a week anytime of the day. I also slimmed off the items typically found in a Morning Basket. Our Knowledge Basket consist of these subject areas:
- African American Studies- A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country
- Interest led topic of his choosing (National Geographic Readers: Lizards and Fly Guy Presents: Snakes )
- Big Journal and Mindfulness materials
- Art and Music Appreciation
The time spent on these items would only be 30 mins, so if we don’t get to something that’s okay we can just save it for the next time. I also decided to rotate our items every 2 weeks or sooner if it needed. I also enlisted my son help and asked him what he wanted in the basket. Now some may say where is the read aloud and all the other items that is supposed to be in the basket. Those items are spread out over the course of our day. Almost 60% of our curriculum has some sort of literature that goes along with it and we read from 3 chapter books every night before bed. We also read at meals and have prayer throughout the day so we are covering everything but just not throwing it all in the basket.
Here is the $50 dollar question, has the new basket been a success? You bet it has been not only has it been a success my son now goes to the basket every single morning and pulls his Mindfulness Kids Cards and Breath Like a Bear book. He also revisits the basket on his own throughout the day looking over the materials. So our Knowledge Basket has now transformed into the interest led basket and he knows he has the freedom to go to it anytime he wants and because his interested materials went in it, the basket is more appealing.
So what is in this weeks basket?
- Slickety Quick: Poems about Sharks
- Beauty & Beast Volume 1 Vocabulary and & History Flashcards
- Urban Intellectual Black History Flash Cards
- Why, Fly Guy?: Answers to Kids’ BIG Questions
I love our version of the Morning Basket, it is a perfect reflection of our family and our needs. The most important thing is my son had a hand in its creation and he LOVES IT!!! So if you are thinking about implementing a Morning Basket in your home school, I highly recommend that you make the basket your own and limit the amount of things you put in it and realize you don’t have to do it everyday or even in the mornings. The way I look at it this basket it’s just another way of bonding with my son and letting him know I value his contribution to his learning and our family.
Until next time,