Friday, January 23, 2015

Third Grade in Our Home :: Morning Basket, Term 3

First, a note: I use the term "Morning Basket" to refer to all the work we do together as a family, with the littles. Even though I call it Morning Basket for organizational purposes, it is really broken up into two parts: one done over breakfast, and one 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 and Term 2 of this year.

We finished a few books this past term that we have been working on since the beginning of our school year back in July:
:: Thomas Tapper's Music Talks for Children
:: Benson's A Child's Rule of Life and An Alphabet of Saints
:: Kingsley's The Water Babies
:: MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind

I added a couple new ones to our rotation, but I'm also leaving a couple empty slots because I'll be adding in some Lenten reading shortly.  So we'll have a slightly lighter schedule until Ash Wednesday, which is just a few weeks away.

A look at our Morning Basket plans for Term 3 of this year...

Over Breakfast

Calendar Work - in English and Italian (daily)

Poetry - a poem from our poet for the term, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (daily)

Short Reading - from one of the following:
:: the Kirbys' The World at Home (two chapers per week)
:: Opal Wheeler's Handel (a chapter per week)
:: Pilgrim's Progress (a short section per week, following the AO 72-week rotation)

Read-Aloud - with any breakfast time I have left before the babies start fussing, I read from one of our scheduled read-alouds: Crossbows and Crucifixes, The Wheel on the School, and The Little Prince

In the Afternoon

Memory Work (daily) - includes review of that day's items from our memory "notebook" as well as our current selections:
:: Hymns - "Attende Domine," "Stabat Mater," and "Bring Flowers of the Fairest"
:: Folk Song - "Highland Mary" (finishing from Term 2), "Pull for the Shore," "Golden Years are Passing By"
:: Bible - The Parable of the Good Samaritan (finishing from Term 2), Matthew 5:13-16
:: Prayers - The Divine Praises and St. Alphonsus' Night Prayer
:: Poetry - Longfellow's "The Tide Rises," "The Arrow and the Song," "Snow-Flakes," and "A Day of Sunshine"
:: Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing 4.1.216-221, Hamlet 1.3.76-81
:: Bird Calls - California Quail, Belted Kingfisher

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.  I'll update our Memory Work index with the ones we cover.

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:
(We took a bit longer on the previous unit than I expected, so we're still working on several from last term.)
:: Rhymes - "La bella lavanderia" 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 Georgia O'Keeffe (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, alternating between observation/narration and a picture sketch
:: Landscapes: Canyon with Crows, 1917
:: More Landscapes: Cliffs Beyond Abiquiu--Dry Waterfall, 1943
:: Flowers in Black and White: Black Hollycock, Blue Larkspur, 1930 and The White Trumpet Flower, 1932
:: Flowers in Color: Red Poppy, 1927
:: Bones: Summer Days, 1936
:: Abstract: Music--Pink and Blue II

Music Study on Handel (once weekly) - including attentive listening and discussion
:: Water Music (four weeks)
:: Royal Fireworks Music (four weeks)
:: The Harmonious Blacksmith (one week)
:: Zadok the Priest (one week)
:: Messiah (two weeks)


  1. Always a pleasure reading what you all do. It helps me to consider other ways of making things work :-) ... It seems there are always adjustments to be made as time goes on!
    So it appears that "free reading" as a group is done during Morning Basket, is this right? And at other times during the day your kiddos have their personal free reading?

    1. Yes, that's right--I choose a few books from AO's free reading list to do as family read-alouds. Some of those I schedule out so that we savor them a chapter a week, and the others we just read through as we usually would (maybe a chapter a day). Then the rest of the free reads go on the big kids' shelf for their personal free reading time. The ones in our Morning Basket get read during breakfast, and then also sometimes in the afternoon--I often get the kids started on an art project or drawing lesson and then read from one of our read-alouds while they work. So much easier when the little ones are napping. ;) Hope that makes sense!

  2. For picture study, you have your kids sketch a copy of the picture you're studying? Is that right? I love that! I think we'll do it too. My oldest loves to draw and I think that would help her connect with the artist more.:)

    1. Yes, they do a loose picture sketch for each piece we study. Sometimes they get inspired and really want to pull out the art supples, and I let them do that (like when we did Monet, and now with Georgia O'Keeffe). But I encourage them basically to map out the composition in blobs, and then sketch a detail if they like.

  3. We just read a picture book about Georgia O'Keefe which I picked up from the library. Thought I'd share in case you haven't heard of it and are interested. My Name is Georgia by Jeannette Winter. It was a hit!

  4. I really loved the Wheeler biography we read!!! Can't remember which one at the moment. I need to look into the others. With your memory work how long do all the selections take each day? I love that you are doing bird calls!!! I just put on hold AGAIN a bird call book that we all push the button and it plays the sound as you look at the photos of the birds. :) I hope to especially focus on the ones we've been seeing a lot at the feeders. :) Thanks for sharing what you are doing. :)

    1. Well, our memory work has two parts, really: review of old selections (which I call "recitation") and learning of new ones. All together, that takes probably ten minutes or so per day. We do Memory Work and Movement, which means they are doing pushups, burpees, and dancing during our recitation, then they sit down and open their binders to follow along with our current selections. ;)

      We have that book you mentioned too! I have it up in the nursery, actually, so when baby boy wakes up, the kids go in there to hang out with him a bit and they play the bird songs and page through their book. He loves the sounds! LOL The ones I play during memory work are from a CD: Common Birds and Their Songs. I link the mp3s to our Evernote memory work file, so I can play them from there. We are definitely NOT birdsong experts, but I figure after a dozen years, maybe we will be! :)

    2. Ok. Thanks for explaining! :)

  5. Ooooo...I missed that with the first read through! We, too, do bird calls a few times a week and it is one of my children's favorite parts of our "Morning Time" (which in our home is spread over breakfast and lunch times at the table). Celeste, I really wish we were neighbors. :)

    1. Yes, I know you just moved, but can your next assignment be over here in CA? ;)

  6. Well, one never knows. Perhaps God relocated us to manage the higher cost of living in the DC area in preparation for a move to CA one day:).

    We use my iBird app for the bird sounds. I have only spent money on two or three apps EVER and this is one I do not regret in the least. We use it daily.

    1. Great point! After living in DC, you'll think a million is a totally normal amount to spend on a house and won't mind our housing market at all. ;) And I promise to take you to all the best local beaches!

      We have played our bird app (I think we have the Audubon one, if I remember right) at the park and had the birds respond! Very fun. :)

  7. Would you post your ideas and reading selections for Lent early so I can have time to order books? :) Thank you!

    1. Yes, I will, Katie! :) But they'll be much the same as last year--you can see what we used last year here:

      Hope that helps!

  8. This is so perfect! SO many great resources in one spot! :) Thank you!

  9. Replies
    1. It's very simple here and just takes a minute: we go over day of the week, month, date, weather, season, etc. together. I have a little chart on the wall in English, and the children ask and answer the questions in Italian. So for the older kids, it's a little foreign language, and for the little ones, it's a way to learn their days, months, and whatnot. Hope that makes sense!

    2. Thank you so much, Celeste. It makes perfect sense! Your blog is a blessing as you share the wisdom you have gleaned as you travel along the road of life. Thank you for the generous gift of your time.