I have many essential tools in my homeschool mom arsenal. An operational Keurig machine, warm pajama pants, and a secret snack stash, for example. But there’s one thing I put together about midway through our first homeschooling year that’s been invaluable: our homeschool morning basket.
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This little basket holds everything we need for our daily morning meetup, plus a few extras. Here’s what’s inside:
Art Curriculum: To start with this year, we’re reading through 13 Artists Children Should Know. There’s 2-4 pages for each artist, which we read together and then supplement with Pinterest activities.
Devotionals: Right now we’re using Bible Devotions for Bedtime, even though we do these in the morning. I haven’t seen what makes these specific to bedtime, aside from each of them being short and offering a one-line prayer. We’ve also previously used Grace for the Moment, and will probably go through that one again once we finish what we’re using now.
Music Curriculum: This year we started using SQUILT for music lessons. There are multiple lesson packages available, some grouped by era and others by composer. We’re currently working through the Baroque Era. Each volume includes teaching guides and activity sheets for students, which I keep organized in a binder.
Picture Books: The kids and I pick out short picture books from the library each week for reading aloud during morning meetup. I also grab seasonal books out of storage as needed and keep them in our basket until we read them.
Vocabulary Book: I found our current vocabulary book at a used book sale and it’s turned out to be just what we need for a healthy dose of new vocab. It’s labeled for grades 3-6, but my 2nd grader isn’t haven’t any trouble with the words. I actually think many of the words would be too simple for 5th and 6th graders, but it works for us where we are now.
Calendar – Our calendar doesn’t fit in the basket, but it’s always nearby. This is our second year using this learning calendar, and I still absolutely love it. It’s simple and has everything we need to talk about the weeks, months, weather, and seasons.
Dry-erase board and marker – I use this in our music and art lessons to spell out tricky artist names and other terminology. A tip: Use a dry-erase marker with an eraser in the cap to save room in your basket.
Vocabulary Boards – These are too big for our basket, too, but they are awesome for teaching new words. There are magnet strips on the back of each board, so I hang them on our fireplace front during morning meetup and then move them to the refrigerator for the rest of the day. I love that there’s space for an illustration and a sentence to reinforce the use of each word.
I also keep some pens and extra bookmarks in our basket for good measure.
So, pretty simple, right? I’ve found the simplest things to be the most critical in a successful day for us. How about you? Do you have a morning basket? Thinking about putting one together? Let me know what’s important in your morning routine. It might just need to be in my basket too.