Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Third Grade in Our Home :: Morning Basket, Term 2

First, a note: Just as in the past, I use the term "Morning Basket" to refer to all the work we do together as a family, with the littles. But even though I call it Morning Basket for organizational purposes, it is really broken up into two parts: that which is done over breakfast, and that which is done at the end of our Naptime School block.  Our Morning Basket is still very much the same as we did it last year, so if you'd like to read more specifics about how it works for us, feel free to click over to read more.  ~~ You can read about our Morning Basket for Term 1 here.

A look at our Morning Basket plans for this Term 2 of this year...

Over Breakfast

Calendar Work - in English and Italian (daily)

Poetry - a poem daily from our poet for the term, Sara Teasdale (daily)

Short Reading - from one of the following:
:: Thomas Tapper's Music Talks for Children (one chapter per week)
:: the Kirbys' The World at Home (two chapers per week)
:: Benson's A Child's Rule of Life (one page per week)
:: Benson's An Alphabet of Saints (one page per week)
:: "Fra Angelico" from Steedman's Knights of Art (a bit per week)
:: "An Angel-Like Brother" from Hillyer's A Child's History of Art (after finishing the Steedman)
:: Opal Wheeler's Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Early Years and Frederic Chopin, Son of Poland, Later Years (a chapter per week)

I chose these for our Morning Basket work rather scheduling them during Naptime School for several reasons: they're all short readings, have general appeal, and are not narrated.

Read-Aloud - with any breakfast time I have left before the babies start fussing, I read from one of our scheduled read-alouds: The Water Babies or At the Back of the North Wind.

In the Afternoon

Memory Work (daily) - includes review of that day's items from our memory "notebook" as well as our current selections:
:: Hymns - "Holy Holy Holy" and "Panis Angelicus"
:: Folk Song - "Barbara Allen," "Home Sweet Home," and "Highland Mary"
:: Bible - The Parable of the Good Samaritan
:: Prayers - Cardinal Newman's Prayer for a Happy Death and St. Alphonsus' Night Prayer
:: Poetry - William Blake's "Tyger," Sara Teasdale's "The Ballad of Two Knights," "The Faery Forest," "Rhyme of November Stars," "Thoughts"
:: Shakespeare - The Taming of the Shrew 2.1.168-180
:: Bird Calls - House Finch, Red-Winged Blackbird, Killdeer

We move on to a new selection once we have the previous selection memorized rather than on a regular schedule, so our plans are just that--plans.  We may end up doing more than just these.  I'll update our Memory Work index with the ones we cover.

And this year, we're combining Memory Work and Movement, so while we're reviewing our previous selections, the kids are doing jumping jacks, situps, pushups, burpees, and dancing.  It's been a happy marriage of activities for us so far--and it keeps the littles busy.

Italian Memory Work (daily) - The older three and I cover new concepts, games, and conversation at a different time of the day, but we do our Italian memory work with the littles:
:: Rhymes - "La bella lavanderia" and "Giro giro tondo" from Filastrocche Italiane
:: Songs - "Tu canterai, "Cosi fan," "Giro giro tondo" from Teach Me Everyday Italian
:: Series - "I do something every day"

Picture Study on Fra Angelico (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, alternating between observation/narration and a picture sketch
:: The Last Judgement, 1432-1435
:: Transfiguration of Christ, 1437-1446
:: The Madonna with Saints, 1438-1443
:: The Deposition from the Cross, 1443
:: The Annunciation, 1450
:: Adoration of the Magi, 1445

Music Study on Frederick Chopin (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, including attentive listening and discussion
:: Waltz in D-flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 - Minute Waltz
:: Piano Concerto No. 2 Movement 3 - Funeral March
:: Piano Concerto No. 1
:: Waltz in E-flat major - Grande valse brillante
:: Prelude No. 4 in E Minor
:: Op 10 no 12 Revolutionary Etude in C minor


  1. Do you mind expounding a bit on Music Talks For Children? What does it include? What ages do you reccomend it for?

    1. It's actually free online, so you can take a peek and see what you think of it:


      AO has it linked from their composer page--it's by Thomas Tapper, who also has a bunch of books on various composers that are free online as well. (Those are linked on AO too.)

      The book is basically a philosophical discussion of music, what makes a classic, how to be a good listener, how you might apply listening to playing, how to adopt the attitude of a good student of music, etc. It has been perfect for my third graders since they just started music lessons a bit less than a year ago. And the chapters are short enough that it doesn't bore the little ones TOO much. ;)

  2. Can you direct me to a post where you explain how you taught or teach sketching of the picture study? I love your plans. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi there - I describe our picture sketching in this post, under picture study:


      Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for sharing your basket selections. :) I haven't read much of The Water Babies yet; but my mom recently gave me a beautiful hardback edition that includes beautiful full page pictures throughout. I love when she passes on treasures like that!

    1. It is an...interesting book. :) I'm not sure about it yet, actually. But I know the PNEU used it and CM herself recommended it, and my kids are enjoying it so far, so we're continuing along. They love all fairy tales and are perfectly happy to suspend disbelief. :) I'm glad I chose it as a read-aloud rather than handing it over for them to read independently, though, because despite their being very strong readers, I think they'd be a bit lost. And yes, we have a lovely hardback copy also--though sadly, I had to buy it for myself. ;)

    2. Do please let me know what you think of Water Babies as you go along. It seems like I remember thinking it was, as you said, interesting, as I first started reading it several years ago. I only read a small portion of it and ended up not finishing it at the time and have not picked it back up since. I have to admit that I really don't remember much about it. :)

  4. We listened to Water Babies a couple of years ago (via Librivox) and I am still not quite sure what I think of it. At times I wasn't even quite sure what he was getting at! We had some good conversations about it though, and they are looking forward to listening to it again.

    We've been working on memorizing that same passage from Taming of the Shrew. :-) It just got moved out of daily not that long ago. Now we're working on a couple of passages from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I have three picked out for that play - I had a hard time deciding.

    I've started splitting our morning time up too - a little over breakfast, some more at the beginning of our school day, and then a little more when the toddler is napping. Ideally I'd like both baby and toddler to nap at the same time, but that hasn't worked out thus far. But as the toddler is the more disruptive one, it works out ok. All and all I've been very happy with splitting up our morning time, and it works a lot better for the little ones.

    1. How funny about The Taming of the Shrew! We actually just read it today (we're in Week 13) and the kids were literally *rolling on the floor* laughing at parts of the Lambs' version. Now that they've heard the context, they're super excited to be memorizing that passage.

      And yes, the baby doesn't sleep at the same time as the toddlers here either. :/ Though I think we are just a few months away from that. Anyway, for now, as you said, baby is less disruptive, so we do some of the "Morning Basket" (it feels a bit strange calling it that given our schedule) while he's awake. While the 2yo and 3yo are up, all bets are off! ;)