Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Third Grade in Our Home :: The Morning Basket, Advent

School usually doesn't look much different here during Advent.  I plan to continue schoolwork up until Christmas week since we like to save our time off for after Christmas, when the liturgical season of Christmas properly begins.  Our break lasts through Epiphany (the "Twelve Days of Christmas") and beyond.  

We do focus our art and handicrafts during Advent on Christmas projects--decorations, baking, and gifts--and of course we prepare in many ways as a family: our Advent wreath, seasonal devotions in the evenings, and more.  There are lots of special feast days in December that we focus on as a family too.  But school-wise, we just continue along with our usual readings and assignments.

The place where I do make a few shifts is in our Morning Basket, which takes on some Advent additions:

Poetry - We will be reading through some of Christina Rossetti's liturgical poems, just as we did during Lent and Easter.  I hope to share a few here too.

Readings - We alternate our poetry reading with Inos Biffi's The Way to Bethlehem.  For the final week of Advent, often called the "Golden Nights," we will be reading from Jenn's lovely O Antiphon Companion over breakfast.

Prayers - As I have every year since becoming a Catholic, we will be doing the St. Andrew novena together.  And I have a baby named Andrew this year!  So St. Andrew's feast coming up this Sunday is all the more special for our family.  Last year I created a printable prayer card for the St. Andrew novena prayer.  Feel free to download for use with your families and friends.

Memory Work - We choose memory work each year that will form part of the children's annual Christmas program for the grandparents.  This is such a fun tradition in our family, dating back to when my mother and her cousins used to sing and recite for my great-grandparents as a little girl. 

This year they'll be working on the following:
 :: Christina Rossetti's "Love Came Down at Christmas" and "Christmas Hath Darkness"
 :: Luke 2:6-12 (we did 2:1-5 last year, and we will continue adding a bit each year until we learn through verse 20)
 :: "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
 :: "Adeste Fidelis"
 :: "Angels We Have Heard on High"

 Italian - And I'm excited to add in some Italian Advent work this year!  Grandma gave the children this Italian CD of Christmas songs last year, so they'll be listening and singing along, and perhaps their Christmas program will include some Italian this year. :)

Advent begins this Sunday!  Time to pull out the Advent wreath, the felt nativity, the prayer cards, and all the rest.  Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Celeste! (well, a day late... but still!)

    Thanks for the St. Andrew Novena prayer card - I've been meaning to pray that for several years, but never managed to make it happen. I'm going to try this year though. It seems like a lovely tradition.

    Your Christmas program should be wonderful (as it usually is, I'm sure!) I love the addition of the Italian Christmas Carols. What fun!

    We don't change a lot during Advent either, but the morning basket work does acquire a more "Advent-y" feel as we shift our music and follow along with our Jesse Tree. We also start copying from Luke for our copywork - a practice I started last year and decided was a keeper.

    1. We are learning the Christmas story from Luke for our biblical memory work--and now I'm going to print it for the cursive copywork practice too, so thank you for the idea! Hope your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, and wishing you a blessed start to Advent tomorrow!

  2. Visiting via a link from Brandy on Twitter!

    Thank you so much for sharing the O Antiphons resource. I am printing it as I type. I think *this* will be the year we try to add this to our celebrations.

    Peace keep you as you celebrate the season.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the O Antiphons Companion. Jenn's website is such a gift--she has so many great liturgical resources. Praying for peace for your family as well, Kortney!