A while back, it seemed everywhere I turned, homeschool parents were talking about morning baskets. I heard the term so many times that I pulled up trusty Google to discover what the buzz was all about. Once I did, I was sold. It’s easy to see why morning baskets have become a staple in many homeschooling households. Does your family use one? Are you like I was and unsure as to what a morning basket is or why you need one? Read along as we answer these questions and more.
What is a Morning Basket?
Morning Basket Time is when the family comes together for a set purpose. It’s generally done in the mornings before children break off to do their own independent work and typically lasts half an hour to an hour. This is a great time to read aloud, work on memorization (poems, Bible verses, terms, etc.), do some subjects collectively (science, social studies, whatever can be easily done together), and just enjoy some time connecting together as a family.
Many religious families use this time to read the Bible and/or a missionary story, work to memorize Bible verses or catechism questions, do a Bible study, and have prayer together. Whether you take this approach or not, it’s easy to see how valuable this time together can be and how it can set the tone for your entire homeschool day.
How Do I Get Started?
Most refer to this as a morning basket, but if you don’t have a basket lying around, never fear. Anything can be used – a plastic bin, an empty milk crate, a certain spot on a bookshelf, or whatever you have that you want to use. The key is having all your materials in one convenient spot for easy access.
Once you have your basket (or spot), decide how you want your time to be spent. Do you want to start your day the same way all the time, or mix it up each month? Do you want to have a theme? Is there anything specific that you want to make sure is daily included? As these questions are answered, your basket will begin to take shape.
Side note: If what you begin doing doesn’t work for your family, change it up! Don’t feel locked in to something that you or your children don’t enjoy. This is homeschool and you’re in charge!
Tips for Building a Kids Morning Basket
The great thing about a morning basket is that you can cater it to your family, no matter how many children you have or the ages they may be. If you have little ones you want to include, it’ll take practice and time, but it can be done. Some moms begin morning basket time while the kids are eating breakfast. That way, the youngest ones are in high chairs and occupied. Maybe add some quiet games, books, or toys for them to play with as you read and learn.
Many find it’s best to have your materials target the oldest age of children. While some of it may go over the heads of your younger ones, they’ll still pick up more than you might think. Think of what subjects all your children can do together (Art, Poetry, Music, etc.), and start building your basket! Here are a few suggestions as to what a morning basket may include.
Sample Morning Basket (Secular)
- Some quiet toys/books/puzzles/games for little ones
- A chapter book for a read-aloud
- A notebook containing a poem to memorize and/or a song to sing
- A history or social studies book – either a textbook or a nonfiction book
- A tablet or phone to use a Spanish app (like Duolingo)
- A board game or card game
Sample Morning Basket (Religious)
- Some quiet toys/books/puzzles/games for little ones
- A Bible
- A chapter book or two for a read-aloud (Bible storybook, missionary or church history biography, etc)
- Bible verse flashcards or catechism cards for memorization
- A hymn or kid’s praise book
- A candle – Some families use a candle to help keep a solemn atmosphere and the attention of their children.
Not all of these things may be used every day, and that’s okay. Everything can be mixed up around holidays too. Make an Advent/Christmas basket, Easter basket, or Fall/Halloween basket when the calendar pages roll around. The length of your morning basket time will also vary based on your children’s ages. It will take some time to adjust, but it should be beneficial to your family and your homeschool day once the routine is down.
Tips for Building a Morning Basket for Mom
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup,” which is especially true for busy moms. Taking a few moments to calm your spirit, drink your first cup of coffee or tea, and get your mind and heart in the right space to take on the day can be so helpful. Having a morning basket for yourself is a great way to start your day before the kids get up and your craziness begins. It may take a little preparation the night before, but fill a morning basket with your favorite things and see what a difference it can make!
Sample Morning Basket for Mom
- Favorite coffee mug or teacup
- A scented candle
- A Bluetooth speaker or cd with relaxing music
- A Bible and Bible study/devotional book (if religious)
- A journal and pens
- Your current novel or nonfiction book
- A word search, crossword, or sudoku book
- Your daily planner with tasks for the day
Depending on what time your day begins, you may not be able to use everything before your children get up. I like to circle back in the afternoon or evening to try to finish what I was unable to finish in the morning while getting the basket ready for the next day. It really is such a nice addition to the day and something I look forward to every morning!
Additional Homeschool Resources
Naomi White graduated with her B.S. in Christian Elementary Education and went on to earn her Early Childhood Education certification. She has taught preschool and elementary school in both Christian and public schools. She loves to read and write, is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom, and is eagerly awaiting the day her son is old enough for them to start their own homeschool journey. Originally a Georgia girl, Naomi currently lives in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina with her family.