Like I mentioned last time, I'm working through a little series on Schooling with Littles. Yesterday, I posted an overview of our daily schedule.
Our schooling routine basically has three blocks: Morning Basket, Naptime School, and Independent Work. Today I want to talk about Morning Basket, our version of Circle Time. I've written about it in bits and pieces over the past couple years, but the Morning Basket is what I call our family work. Although it starts in the morning, it usually continues into the afternoon. And it's not actually kept in a basket--more like a half-shelf on the bookcase by the dining table. But I borrowed the name years ago from the always-inspiring Jen, when my oldest two were preschoolers and it actually was done in the morning, out of a basket.
I'm only teaching one grade formally (my two oldest are in second grade, and my next won't start kindergarten until fall), so ours is quite simple to put together; I don't have to juggle a large age range yet. My goal during this learning time is to hit some of my second graders' scheduled assignments while involving the littles as well.
:: it must be able to be done with a little background noise from the toddlers
:: it shouldn't require lots of sitting-still or hands-off time (and if I can do it with a baby on my lap, even better!)
:: it should be naturally interesting to my little ones
:: it shouldn't involve narrations (I don't like for my children to be interrupted while they're narrating)
:: it must be able to be paused at a moment's notice
:: Seasonal Reading - February is traditionally the month of the Holy Family, so we're focusing on the litany of St. Joseph. At the end of the month, we'll start our Lenten readings--more on that as the season approaches.
:: Feast Day Reading - from our two-volume set of Saints for Young People for Every Day of the Year, which helpfully follows the traditional calendar (as we do)
:: Scheduled Reading - one page weekly from Robert Hugh Benson's Old Testament Rhymes (our other scheduled religion readings are more involved, so I save them for later on in the day, but these are short so we can do them all together)Calendar Work in English and Italian (daily)
:: Hymn - "Pange Lingua Gloriosi"
:: Folk Song - "California, Here I Come" and "I Love You, California"
:: Bible - the Nunc Dimittis and the Magnificat
:: Poetry - Christina Rossetti's "Rushes in a Watery Place," "Hurt No Living Thing," "Fly Away Fly Away," and "What Do the Stars Do"
Italian (daily) - We cover new concepts, games, and conversation later in the day, but we do our Italian memory work with the littles:
:: Rhymes - "Batti, batti le manine," "Questo e l'occhio bello," and "Capra capretta" from Filastrocche Italiane
:: Songs - "Testa, spalle, ginocchie, i piedi" and "Sei papere" from Teach Me Everyday Italian
:: Series - "I Get Ready to Go."
One or more poems from Christina Rossetti's Fly Away Fly Away Over the Sea
Art Study (weekly)
Albrecht Durer's"Self Portrait in a Fur Coat" and "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse"
Music Study (weekly)
Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and "Symphony No. 9"
Next week, I'll talk a bit about Naptime School. (ETA: Here it is!)