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I have high hopes for the next 6 weeks. I want to be more intentional with the way we start our days and our morning time. The last six weeks have been a struggle. Our good days usually started out with time with Jesus Calling for Kids. Our other days, well, didn’t. They ended up being a little more chaotic.
After taking a hard look at our daily habits, the answer was clear: We are going to go back to starting our day with more structure and spending time with God.
I want to use our time together to touch on other subjects that tend to get pushed out for other *more important* things (while I agree these other things are important, I don’t think they are more important). Things that I’ve wanted to include are poetry, art, read alouds, etc. How to do this in a more cohesive way?
Enter The Morning Basket as part of Pam Barnhill’s concept for Morning Time.
[I have also put together a great way to include my toddler in this morning time and expand on what he’s already learned: Our Inclusive Morning Time Routine.]
So, what exactly is in our morning basket?
I printed a handful of each out and keep them in a folder in the front of the basket. I went into more detail in an earlier post Morning Basket – Including the Toddler.
We will cycle through the silly songs a few at a time while we will sing only a couple of hymns each week to help the kids learn them. You can find a list of the videos we sing along to over here!
Each week we will have a Bible verse that we will work on memorizing. We will read devotions each day as well as a story from the Bible Story Book. I honestly don’t expect my toddler to sit through this part, he didn’t like sitting through it when we would discuss Jesus Calling over breakfast. He does like looking through Ladybug’s Veggie Tales Bible, so I may use that from time to time to keep his interest. But for most of this time, he may wander off and go play in his room.
~The Story of the World Volume 1 Ancient Times
~A Child’s History of the World
~National Geographic magazines (I bought a subscription last year)
~Facts America Inventors and Inventions
~various nonfiction easy readers
We will read a little bit each day from The Story of the World. We will cycle through reading bits from the National Geographic magazines, Great Americans, and Inventors and Inventions. My toddler may come back because he likes to be read to and he may enjoy looking at the pictures from the magazines. If I can find some, I may include a couple of nonfiction easy readers.
The girls have had a little trouble fully understanding parts of speech so we are going to do a couple Mad Libs each day to reinforce the concept while having fun. A couple days a week we will read one or two fables. My toddler may like to come back, if he hasn’t already, for this with the short stories being read and the giggling coming from the Mad Libs. My little guy loves to laugh. 🙂
*This would be a natural time to switch from Mad Libs some days to writing letters to penpals or cards to family.*
We will read through each book, one at a time. While studying Ancient Greece, we may add a Magic Tree House Book in to the rotation. Roald Dahl books are so much fun to read aloud that I’m hoping my toddler will enjoy sitting with his sisters and listen to me read. However, if this doesn’t work (or even if it does I suppose), I will make sure to include a few picture books so that he also feels included in this time.
English was my husband’s major in college and is something he still loves, so I asked him to pick a selection of poems from classic poets that he would like me to read to the children. We will alternate reading the classic poets with reading from Shel Silverstein collections. After we read one of those, I will read one poem from the Poetry Place Anthology. Since these poems are all ordered by seasons, I’m hoping these poems will be inspiration for an art project. At this point, my toddler’s attention may have waned and he may have wandered off into his room again.
My girls love art, but this past 6 weeks we haven’t done as much as we did last year. I want to incorporate some form of art into our daily routines. I want the girls to use the seasonal poems as inspiration for daily art. However, if they don’t get any ideas from the poems, I have a jar with cut-up strips of paper with art project ideas. I honestly can’t wait to include my toddler in this part. I think he may really enjoy it as well. He’s enjoyed coloring with his toddler crayons and he’s painted a few times, but I think if we are all sitting together this will be a really fun time for all of us. And I can start introducing him to new mediums. Finger paint anyone? 😉
I’m not setting a time expectation for this new time. I know that if we set time limits, that puts pressure on us and I will get stressed if we are “behind”. And that will defeat the whole purpose of this new routine. Also, it’s important to remember that if something isn’t working that day or we are running short on time (there are some mornings we have to be out of the house at a certain time) or running short on patience that it is OK to drop things for that day!
I think this is the piece that’s been missing from our days and, with this morning time easing us into our learning of the day, our days are going to flow much better.