Friday, May 12, 2017

Morning Basket 2016-2017 :: Terms 2 and 3

First, a note: I use the term "Morning Basket" to refer to all the work we do together as a family. Even though I call it Morning Basket for organizational purposes, it is really broken up into two parts: one done over breakfast, and the rest done at the end of our Naptime School block and into lunchtime. Our Morning Basket is still very much the same as we have done it for the past few years, so if you'd like to read more specifics about how it works for us, you can read about how we structure it and prior selections.

A look at our Morning Basket plans for Terms 2 and 3 of this year:

Over Breakfast

Italian (daily) - The school-aged kids and I cover new concepts and hands-on games during naptime, but we usually do our Italian memory work and simple conversation practice with the littles around:

:: Rhymes - "Settimana dei Fiori" and "I dodici mesi" from Filastrocche Italiane Volume 1 and Volume 2
:: Songs - "Santa Lucia" from Teach Me Everyday Italian 
:: Series - centered on the days of the week, learned it and then learned it in past tense (our first foray!)

Poetry - one poem from each of our poets for the terms, Longfellow and Whittier for Year 5 and Christina Rossetti and Eugene Field for Form I (daily)

Short Readings - from a couple of the following:
:: The Gospel of St. Matthew from the Douay-Rheims Bible (roughly a chapter a week), paired with The Glorious Impossible for Lent and Easter

:: Old Testament stories from Schuster's Bible History (one per week)
:: Illustrations for the Old Testament Stories: The Dore IllustrationsThe Raphael Bibleand Stories from the Old Testament (tied in to the OT story from that week)
:: Seasonal Reading: The Christmas Rose, The Way to Bethlehem and A Wreath of Christmas Legends (for Advent and Christmas) and "Lent for Children: a Thought a Day" (for Lent)
:: Lang's Book of Saints and Heroes (a bit a week)
:: Long's Home Geography for the Primary Grades (1-2 chapters a week)
:: Father Lovasik's Catechism in Stories (a couple a week)

Read-Aloud - With any breakfast time I have left before the babies start fussing, I read from one of our scheduled read-alouds: Pinocchio, The King of the Golden River, and the second half of Pyle's The Wonder Clock.

In the Afternoon

Memory Work (daily) - includes review of that day's items from our memory "notebook" as well as time spent on our current selections:
:: Hymns - On This Day, Jesus My Lord My God My All
:: Folk Songs - When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Ol' Dan Tucker, Battle Cry of Freedom (Union and Southern versions)
:: Bible - The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (
Luke 18:9-14)
:: Prayers - Pardon Prayer and Angel's Prayer from the apparitions at Fatima
:: Poetry - 
Rudyard Kipling's "If" (Vincent), Whittier's "Inscription for Preston Park, CO" (Vincent), Whittier's "Eva" (Gianna), Whittier's "Angel of Mercy" (Gianna), Longfellow's "Excelsior" (Gianna), Rossetti's "What Does the Donkey Bray About?" (Xavier), Field's "Little Boy Blue" (Xavier), "Minnie and Mattie" (Cate), Field's "Garden and Cradle" (Cate) 

:: Shakespeare - Twelfth Night 1.5for a performance with our homeschool group

Family Riches - roughly one of the following each day:

 :: Nature journaling lesson with The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (once weekly) read a section together and choose a challenge for that week.

:: Picture Study on Giotto for Term 2 and Winslow Homer for Term 3 (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, alternating between observation/narration and a picture sketch or tableau, along with a reading from
 Hillyer's Child's History of Art and Amy Steedman's Knights of Art the first week.

:: Music Study on Tchaikovsky for Term 2 and Dvorak for Term 3 as listed on AO (once weekly) - including attentive listening and discussion. I pulled a few lessons from 
How to Introduce Your Child to Classical Music in 52 Easy Lessons and we listened to The Story of Tchaikovsky and The Story of Dvorak as introduction.

:: Shakespeare - Twelfth Night for Term 2 and Macbeth for Term 3, first in Lambs' Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare, then along with Arkangel Shakespeare, then to see it performed at a local theater.

I think I am finally all caught up with our school plans from this past year!  I'll be on to Summer School plans next week.


  1. how do you view your picture study? online on a device, book or do you print it out?

    1. I print 8.5x11 copies at the local Kinkos at the beginning of each term.

    2. Thanks! My kids really love the printed copies (we used some from Simply CM this year) so I think I will try to do this!

    3. Yes, the ones at SCM and also at Riverbend Press are really well done. Doing it at Kinkos on matte cardstock costs me just slightly less: about $1 a print. I print one family copy of each piece in that larger size to use for our study and hang up in the house, and then 4x6 prints from Snapfish for the kids to keep. :)

  2. Thank you, as always Celeste. your posts are immensely helpful.

    How long do you spend on each of your two blocks of "morning time"?

    God bless

    1. On average, I'd say 20 minutes in the morning and 20 in the afternoon? The morning depends on my littlests and how long they last, but the afternoon is pretty static because we start with our studies while the littles are still napping and finish up during lunch usually. We also only do the morning part of Morning Basket about three days a week. On Fridays we head out to nature study first thing, and then there's usually one other day that we take breakfast on the go (for a park day, the beach, etc.).

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I just lost my long comment, nooo! The short of it is:
    Thank you for sharing!
    And...I noticed you switched from Wheeler to Music Masters. Do you have a preference? I also noticed you moved artist and composer intros to your second part of morning time. Do you find have that as a single lesson works better?

  5. Rachel again...I guess the Thomas Trapper series from Morning Basket 2014 also falls in the category of Opal Wheeler. Is that correct? I guess I'm just wondering where to invest time and money. There are so many great options.

    1. Hi Rachel! I choose our biography depending on what's on my shelves. So if I have an Opal Wheeler bio, I will use that, but if I don't, the Tapper bios are available free online. Also, this year I am just putting those on the free read shelf rather than reading them -- they are rather long and take more of my Morning Basket time than I'd prefer. So I usually do a short intro in MB, then give them the book for free reading. I will say that as much as I like the Wheeler books (they are so charming, and my kids really do enjoy them!), many of them read very similarly. So I wouldn't assign one every term in MB. Hope that helps!