HOMESCHOOLING: OUR MONTESSORI FAMILY’S MORNING BASKET

Have you heard of a morning basket? A morning basket is a container (ours is a silver tray) that possesses materials the family gathers and goes over in the morning. Ours holds the planner that we use to keep track of our homeschool events and activities, the poetry book we read from, and some language work. The contents of this “basket” will change as our homeschooling journey does, but the purpose is to begin the day with a solid routine of togetherness. I think of the morning basket as the gentle routine to start our day just as our nighttime routine and bedtime book reading ends it.

Following the Montessori Method and the child, our day will often find each of us going our separate ways much of the time. V is often content with her books while E is often helping me with the housework. While we do frequently get together; one of the girls and I will began playing a game and the other will join, we will all sit to read, or music and the desire to dance will bring everyone together. The morning basket is a great way to start our day together.

Currently, the time we spend with our morning basket is between a half-hour and one and a half hours. E and V are often eating breakfast when we begin with a lit candle and while listening to classical music.

While going over the planner is more for me at this time, it helps keep them included. I like to think they get as excited as I do when we find out what artist, group, or composer we will be studying on Monday or what craft I’ll have set out for them on Tuesday.

Giving thanks. A great way to start the day is to begin with talking about what we are thankful for. While they aren’t speaking in full sentences, yet, there are clearly things that they enjoy and are thankful for–such as sissy, baby, and dada.

We are beginning to introduce some French. Once they are able to say a word in English and sign it regularly, we’ve begun teaching them the word in French as well. This is the time I generally introduce a new word or we practice.

I’ve been starting to incorporate a fantastic book, “Buddhism for Kids” lately. Although E and V probably won’t be able to appreciate all aspects of it for a bit, I’m hoping the stories and wisdom will become useful in time.

We then read poetry (our favourite book), at least one poem and continue on until it is clear they are ready for their day to begin. I’ve been offering E and V paper and crayon so that they may draw as I read. This allows movement, and as they get older I look forward to seeing how they interpret the poems they hear to paper.

That’s a look at our modest morning basket. Do you have one that your family enjoys? What does it contain?

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