The tea is almost finished seeping and my kids are gobbling up their snack while I read to them. There are many interruptions, frequently do I get up to do or get something that was forgotten, things spill and the kids have a hard time focusing. Even still, those sweet small moments gathered around our table have become some of my favorite memories of this season.
A few months ago I stumbled onto a method of learning that many homeschoolers have adapted, called the Morning Basket. However for us, as hard as I tried, it just didn’t mesh well with our current breakfast rhythms, so we do ours in the afternoon and affectionately call it tea time! It doesn’t have to take very long, it’s not formal and it doesn’t have to be complicated – all aspects of it that I love!
For your morning basket, circle time, tea time, whatever you choose to call it, you mainly just want to focus on the “three R’s” to help keep it well-rounded.
Rhythm: I am a firm believer that “morning” basket time shouldn’t look the same for everyone and you should take a peak at your schedule and find a spot in your day that it would work. Think of this as a set time to minister to and educate your children, and hopefully it will be as big of a blessing to you as it has been to us! We (and by we I really mean just me currently since my babies are still so little, Luke sings along most of the time but he’s still learning) start off by singing a hymn or catechism song and then move on to a story out of our Jesus StoryBook Bible then move on to our recitation and other reading— Some days we only get as far as singing and that’s okay! God can build and create beautiful things out of nothing, so as long as your prayer is for Him to use and allow the time to be fruitful then it will be so.
Recitation: this can be in the form of a poem, song, verse or catechism. I try to introduce a new catechism every week or two and then pick either a poem, song or verse for them (and me) to learn as well. This is my absolute favorite book for teaching kids the catechism and this is an amazing and free album that puts the catechisms to a song form! I also have an older hymnal I found at a thrift store that I occasionally pick a song from to sing with them.
Luke is still working on his letter recognition so we often sing the ABC song and then I use the Tiny Theologians ABC cards to go over what letter of the week we’re working on. I keep this sitting on the kitchen table all the time using one of the little house name cards from the Magnolia collection at Target! During most meals we’ll sing the ABC song and whichever letter card is up at the time we’ll point it out and say the letter a little louder when it comes around in the song. Luke loves it! And I love the fact that it’s introducing theology and sound biblical doctrine at a young age. He may not fully understand the meaning behind everything now but my prayer is that these truths will come back to him throughout his life.
Reading: studies have shown that reading out loud to your kids, whether you think they’re listening or not, is extremely beneficial to their development! Mine usually enjoy sitting on my lap for reading time, but sometimes they also just go play with their toys while I sit on the floor and read out loud. Read Aloud Revival has an amazing list of kids books, but I’ll link a few of our personal favorites below!
- God’s Very Good Idea
- The Biggest Story ABC
- Thank You, Mr. Falker
- The Keeping Quilt
- The Harp and Laurel Wreath: Poetry and Dictation for the Classical Curriculum
- Jesus StoryBook Bible
I’m praying for you all as you go about your week that God would give you the words to speak life over your kids and that you find rest in His presence.
Love you guys!
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