Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Morning Basket & Table Time

{Our Morning Basket is overflowing with great reads}

I first saw the idea of a Morning Basket over at this lovely blog, well over twelve months ago. I knew then that one day I would implement something similar into our daily routine.

I've been procrastinating on this one for some time, there was always one element that just wasn't quite right so I never made a start.

But, plans are only plans, if you never put them into action, they don't amount to much. So I gathered what I had and just got started. Simple as that!

{During Read Aloud I Set Challenges For Drawing}

Currently in our basket we have:

  • A read aloud (this week it's Judy Blume, something short and sweet)
  • Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry
  • A Really Short History Of Nearly Everything
  • Story Of The World
  • Life Of Fred
  • Memory Work

{This term we are reading Pre Level Chemistry and learning a lot}

How we use the basket:

For each item in the basket the kids have a spiral bound visual arts diary that they use to make an entry. During this part of the day the only expectation that I have set is that they 'make an entry'. How they do that is up to them and this changes on any given day. Some days their entries are elaborate and others not so, that's completely fine by mine.

During our read alouds the kids use their 'Drawing Challenge Notebooks". I've been giving them the Sketch Tuesday Challenges, plus any other challenge I can think of.

Can I tell you that simply calling this portion of the routine a challenge, has completely changed the way the kids view it. They are now generally very eager to jump in and have a go.

{Life Of Fred at this level is certainly too easy but I felt to understand Fred properly we needed to start from the beginning}

We spend about 60 - 90 minutes at the table with our Morning Basket, so I don't get to everything in the basket every day (except our current read aloud). That was always my plan anyway, I didn't want every day to be the same as the previous. I simply rotate things around so that we try and get to everything at least once a week.

I have a growing list of other items that I'd like to add to the basket and over time this will surely change and evolve with our needs.

The one thing we do complete daily is memory work. Oh dear, the dreaded memory work, I can hear the gasps from some of you now! I'm a big believer in ALL things in moderation, which is why I've never been able to fit in to any one homeschooling style. We are very much an eclectic family when it comes to our home school. We do what works at the time!

Anyway back to memorisation. Whilst I'm not a fan of drill and kill, I do see some merit in memorisation work so currently, Lego Lover is reviewing math facts, with Twist & Check Times Tables Cards, Fairy Princess is reviewing phonics and Little Surfer Dude his working on letter and number recognition.

Just on Little Surfer Dude (4) there is absolutely no expectation for him to participate during our morning basket/table time. He has a drawing challenge book (which he doesn't always do) and his memory work, apart from that he comes and goes as he pleases. My only requirement of him is that if he chooses to be at the table with us, he is quiet and not disrupting our time, otherwise I send him off to play.

So whilst its' not perfect I'm very happy with how this newly implemented part of our day is traveling. It gives a positive, light hearted way to start the day all together, before diving into book work!

Do you use a Morning Basket? I'd love to have a look at yours, please leave a link in the comments.


Ruth said...

Oh I really love this idea! I think I can manage to actually institute it, too, which is always a bonus. ;)

Kylie said...

We all really enjoy this part of our day Ruth, I'm so glad we made a start. :-)

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