Thursday, February 11, 2016

Morning Basket 2015-2016 :: Term 3

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 3 of this year...

Over Breakfast

Calendar Work - in English and Italian (daily)

Poetry - one poem from each of our poets for the term, William Wordsworth for Year 4 and A.A. Milne for Year 1 (daily)

Short Reading - from a couple of the following:
:: Hillyer's A Child's Geography of the World (two chapters per week)

:: 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. Timothy from the Douay-Rheims Bible (bit by bit)

:: Family in Feast and Feria's "Lent for Children: A Thought a Day" (daily)

Extra Religion Reading - Since Cate is in the last few months of sacramental preparation, I'm doing some extra reading from her "First Communion shelf" a couple times a week during Morning Basket, particularly of the books that will interest the little kids also: Mother Loyola's The King of the Golden City and Leading Little Ones to Mary.

Read-Aloud - With any breakfast time I have left before the babies start fussing, I read from one of our scheduled read-alouds: Gone-Away Lake and Reb and the Redcoats.

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 - Dear Guardian of Mary, Adoremus Te Christe, On This Day, Bring Flowers of the Fairest
:: Folk Songs - O Dear What Can The Matter Be, Billy Boy, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Come Along Little Dogeys
:: Bible - ongoing memorization of The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17)
:: Prayers - Apostles' Creed in Latin (just reviewing), the Words of Consecration (in Latin and English), the prayers of the Divine Mercy chaplet
:: Poetry - For Cate, AA Milne's "Halfway Up" and more of choice; For the Big Kids, Wordsworth's "Daffodils" and "To a Skylark" and more of choice
:: Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream 5.1 (Theseus' "Lovers and madmen" speech), The Winter's Tale 4.3.1-4 (Autolycus on spring) and 4.4.446-448 (Perdita on "the self-same sun")

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 - "Pin pin cavallin" and "La Vispa Teresa" from Filastrocche Italiane
:: Songs - "Tu canterai" and "Cosi fan" from Teach Me Everyday Italian
:: Series - "I can do many things" ...and another series TBD ;)

Picture Study on John William Waterhouse (once weekly) - two weeks for each piece, alternating between observation/narration and a picture sketch

Music Study on Palestrina (once weekly) - including attentive listening and discussion


  1. I might go look for those quotes in The Winter's Tale for our memorization! :)

    1. Well, I'll just copy and paste them right in there for you! I'm printing our memory work sheets right now, as a matter of fact! :) We usually do long passages, but I couldn't find any I liked for The Winter's Tale, so I'll be asking my kids to keep an eye out for a longer passage they'd like to add. :)

      The self-same sun that shines upon his court Hides not his visage from our cottage, but Looks on all alike. (4.4.446-448)

      When daffodils begin to peer,
      With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
      Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
      For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale. (4.3.1-4)

    2. THANK YOU! :D You're a peach! :D

  2. We start Wordsworth next week. I streamlined the beginning of our Term 3 due to sickness, pregnancy, and house construction. Daffodils is one of my favorites of his. It's in my commonplace and I'm hoping one of the kiddos will want to memorize that one. I let the olders chose.

    Next year I have a Y1 student. I'm so excited to do the poetry from that year again. Lovely, lovely, lovely!! We can all use Stevenson and Milne no matter the age. Plus it will be good to mix up the lighter, heartfelt poetry with some of the Y5 selections. (my 5 year old already loves Milne. She always sits Halfway Up on the stairs and smiles and quietly points it out to me.)

    I'm also going to throw in Henry V because I'm crazy. We will probably be finishing it up a bit after the Term ends, but I'm okay with that. Midsummer Night's Dream is the favorite Shakespeare selection with our kiddos so far. They all just laughed and giggled through much of it. I'm wanting to try something that is not a comedy and see what they think.

    Looking forward to your Nature Swap fun. It's good to live vicariously through those who are now having Spring!

    1. Yes, I let the olders choose too and Gianna loved it as soon as I read it, which I was really happy about because it has always been one of my favorites. :) Although Wordsworth has quite a few that I greatly admire, so you can't really go wrong!

      Part of what I love about doing poetry as a family is that we get to revisit the Y1 poets seemingly perpetually. ;)

      I chose our Shakespeare this year based on local productions. So we did Much Ado in Term 1 (the local troupe's fall selection) and The Winter's Tale for Term 3 (which they'll be performing this spring). And I snuck A Midsummer Night's Dream in for Term 2 just because. ;)

      I'm glad we'll both be doing Y5 and Y1 next year! :)

  3. Daffodils is one of my all-time favorite poems! I haven't done that one with my teen yet; maybe I need to break it out for this month's memorization work.

    Celeste, you always provide inspiration! Thanks for sharing your morning work.

    1. Thanks, Erin! I love Daffodils too. I let the kids choose their own poems to memorize, and happily Gianna practically shrieked as soon as I finished reading it, "THAT'S the one I want to do!!" So apparently she loves it too. :)

  4. Can you talk about the Flos Sanctorum. I've seen it in your MB a bunch and am not familiar with the text.

    1. Flos Sanctorum is free online:

      It is a collection of short verses about saints arranged by the liturgical year. We have traditionally worked through a regular book of saints' snippets, but this has been a nice change. :)

    2. Very cool, thank you!

  5. Hi Celeste

    Can you give me any tips about using the Baltimore Catechism? One section a week. Do you do a few questions every day? Do you just read it together, or do they memorize some of it? I'm a real newbie with it. Please spell it out for me!

    1. Hi there! We're using a couple catechisms this year in a couple different ways:

      The catechism for the older kids (they're using No. 1, which is the one after the New St. Joseph First Communion Catechism) is the one I cover at Morning Basket. I read the chapter, which includes some Bible references and a few paragraphs explaining the topic. Then I read through the questions and answers. (Actually, they usually like to try to answer. :)) We chat about it, they ask questions. They don't memorize it right now.

      We are also using the New St. Joseph First Communion Catechism this year since my daughter is preparing for her FHC. (She actually just made her First Confession this morning!) That one I read with her during her naptime readings. We read it together and go over the information. And she is memorizing those questions and answers, so we work on that too. My Big Kids memorized it when they were preparing for FHC, so they like to listen in to refresh their memory. :)

      Hope that helps!

  6. What poetry book is the one open in the top photo? Sorry if I missed it somewhere in the post! Thanks for sharing your plans!

    1. Hi Andrea! It's the Golden Treasury of Poetry:

      I was reading Wordsworth out of it last week because it has quite a few of his. :) It's one of my very favorite poetry compilations--the selections and illustrations are both wonderful.