You may have a large family like me, spanning across many ages, or you may have kids that are spread out. Either way, you most likely feel like you’re being pulled in every possible direction. Even though you start out the day with the best intentions, everyone wants your attention and you start feeling overwhelmed pretty quickly.
The infamous morning basket fixed the overwhelming feeling first thing in the morning for our family. All my homeschooling children gather around the table or couch, depending on the activities and my mood that day, to start our school day together. From the 17 year old to the 4 year old, they all participate some how.
I will admit it took some time to find what worked for my family dynamics, as it will for you. But I am here to walk you through the process and help you find some resources to bring your family together.
The Gathering Place
First decide where you plan on gathering everyone together. This will depend on your ages. If you have mostly elementary and high school, a table where you all fit would probably work best. If there is a baby or toddler in the mix, you will need a high chair or possibly an area nearby they can play. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try different combinations.
- Dining Table
- School Area
- Living Room with comfy seating
- Mama’s bed (I loved laying on my mom’s bed, watching her iron or sew)
Books for the Basket
Next, what do you want to fill your basket (which could be a bag, box, or simply a stack)? Resources don’t have to be only books, although that will fill most of your basket.
Think outside the box (or basket)!
- Read Alouds
- Poetry Recitation
- Trace Maps
- Bible Devotions
- Conversation Cards
- Memory Work
- Play dough or putty for fiddlers
- Dry erase boards & markers
Morning Basket Schedule
Now that you have your resources gathered and you know where you will meet together, let’s put it all together and create something beautiful. Perfection is not the goal! Please don’t envision angelic children sitting around completely devoted to you. There will be distractions and fidgety children. You will still have to train and discipline. Some days will flow better than other days.
Everyday may look a little different, but start with a generic schedule. Determine how much time your children can sit together each morning. Younger ones may not stay long, where older children can handle an hour. With a mixture of ages, the younger ones will leave the group earlier and the older ones will stay and finish their activities.
We may all start together, but the toddler and pre-kinder leave the table to go play with blocks or trucks nearby, while the older ones continue their maps or memory work. So having an area the younger ones can sneak away to is very helpful!
Enjoy Your Homeschool Day
How you start your homeschool day affects the rest of the day! Have realistic expectations, have materials handy that interests multiple ages, and have an excited attitude!
The “Morning Basket” is simply a basket of books and activities to enjoy together, usually at the beginning of your day. Sometimes the beginning of your school day may be in the afternoon, but it still works great to pull everyone together.
To help you sift through the many resources available, sign up to receive a free copy of my Morning Basket Resources for Multiple Ages e-book below! Psst – it’s only free for In All You Do readers!
This free offer has expired.
However, you can find it here from The Zoo I Call Home.
Felicia blogs at The Zoo I Call Home about homeschooling her large family and finding rest in the chaos. Daughter to the one King, military wife, mama to eight blessings, and a homeschool mom for 17 years.
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