Friday, October 16, 2015

Morning Basket 2015-2016 :: Term 2

First, a note: I use the term "Morning Basket" to refer to all the work we do together as a family, even 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 the rest done at the end of our Naptime School block.  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 Term 2 of this year...

Over Breakfast

Calendar Work - in English and Italian (daily)

Poetry - a poem from our poets for the term, Emily Dickinson for Year 4 and A.A. Milne for Year 1 (daily)

Short Reading - from one or more of the following:
:: Hillyer's A Child's Geography of the World (two chapters per week)
:: Hillyer's A Child's History of Art (section on Corot)
:: Flos Sanctorum (verses for the week based on the liturgical year)
:: The New St. Joseph Baltimore Catechism No. 1 (one section per week)
:: Amy Steedman's Legends of Italy (one chapter per week)
:: Amy Steedman's Read-Aloud Book of Bible Stories (New Testament chapters)
:: The Epistle of St. James from the Douay-Rheims Bible (bit by bit)

Read-Aloud - with any breakfast time I have left before the babies start fussing, I read from one of our scheduled read-alouds: Speare's The Sign of the Beaver and Moody's Little Britches.

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 - Dona Nobis Pacem (finishing up); St. Michael Prayer in chant; Veni Veni Emmanuel; Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
:: Folk Songs - The Ballad of Davy Crockett (finishing up); Red River Valley; Lavender's Blue
:: Bible - ongoing memorization of The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17), continuation of the infancy narrative from Luke 2 from last year
:: Prayers - O St. Joseph (finishing up); Apostles' Creed in Latin (just reviewing)
:: Poetry - For Cate, Stevenson's "The Cow" and poems of choice from Milne; For the Big Kids, "Evening, "The Book," "Summer Shower," and poems of choice from Dickinson
:: Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream 2.1 (Oberon's "I know a bank" speech)

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 update our Memory Work index with the ones we cover as we go along.

Italian Memory Work (daily) - The older three and I cover new concepts, games, and conversation during naptime, but we usually do our Italian memory work with the littles around:
:: Rhymes - "I dodici mesi" from Filastrocche Italiane
:: Songs - "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" from Teach Me Everyday Italian
:: Series - "I am an active boy/girl!"

Picture Study on Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, alternating between observation/narration and a picture sketch
:: Chartres Cathedral, 1830
:: A View Near Volterra, 1838
:: The Eel Gatherers, 1860-5
:: Orpheus Leading Eurydice, 1861
:: Man in Armour, 1868-1870 and The Letter, 1865
:: The Bridge at Nantes, 1868-1870
(very similar to AO's Corot selections)

Music Study on Franz Schubert (once weekly) - including attentive listening and discussion
:: Piano Quintet in A
:: Symphony No. 8
:: Ave Maria
:: Der Erlkoning and Heidenroslein
:: Die schone Mullerin
:: Symphony No. 9
(very similar to AO's Schubert selections)


  1. Very nice! :) I like that you said "attentive" listening with the music study...I want to do more of that...we've been enjoying our composer more loosely and I want to have them formally sit down and listen and know the individual pieces more! :)

    1. This is easier to do with the short pieces than the long ones, obviously! :) I usually try to find a little blurb that gives me an idea of what we should be listening for and then go from there. For the long ones, I look up which is the most famous movement and we listen to that one "attentively" and the rest in the background during lunches and coloring and whatnot. ;)

  2. Can you talk briefly about the Legends of Italy book? I'm very interested! Is it about Italian history/culture? Is it something your kids could read to themselves? Thank you for your great blog!
    Also, sometime could you do some more direct, focused discussions on your family's Italian curriculum/learning? I'm always looking for fresh Italian learning ideas as I endeavor to teach my kids our heritage and old language! God Bless!

    1. Amy Steedman's Legends of Italy is available free online, so you can check it out and see if it's something your kids might enjoy:

      It is a book of legends, many Catholic in tone, that are part of Italian culture. They take place in Italy and certainly have an Italian flavor. They are more cultural and religious than historical, for sure. My kids could definitely read this book independently, but it also makes a good storybook for all the kids. :)

      I have been wanting to post more extensively about our Italian studies but just haven't had the chance. For some reason it seems like a big project to me to get it written up in a way that would be understandable to anyone but me. ;) But I will try to get a more detailed explanation and list of activities/idea up this year.

      Happy New Year!

    2. Sorry, here's the link!

  3. Thank you! Yes, please do write that post! There is not a whole lot on Italian curriculum/homeschool learning out on the web, so anything that you have would be greatly appreciated!