February 25, 2020

Mornings with Intention

morning basket inspired by charlotte mason introduction to homeschooling christian faith stay at home mom

Last month I read a book that brought new depths to my role as a mother. In my research to incorporate more of Charlotte Mason’s theory of education (I’m already a fan of Montesorri & Waldorf), I came across the idea of a Morning Basket.

A Morning Basket is a collection of books and specific items to tailored to the way your children learn. It has brought us to start our day peacefully and with intention, something I’ve been craving since I first had our daughter. The best thing about this basket is that it is flexible and you can change it to serve your family.

I will share what items I have in my basket and give you examples of how to tailor it for your own. Just know that I am a stay-at-home mom (sounds more glam than it is btw) and the morning basket is a resource to introduce homeschooling. No, I am not planning to homeschool. But I did want to set an educational foundation that is practical, easy and doesn’t take much effort. Cause, you know, I don’t lesson plan. At this point in time, I have a 3 yr old and a 5 1/2 mo old so it takes me about 5 minutes to go through it all. The oldest does ask to repeat certain things, which is always welcomed, but I don’t spend more than 10 minutes on this. All the books are in an actual basket I had around and we read them during breakfast.

My goal this season is a daily practice of worship, bible knowledge, scripture memorization, introduction to manners, appreciation of art, specific skill development and formation of healthy habits (like being attentive and a thirst for learning). Yes mama, you can do all this in 5 minutes. If you are not religious, I have provided alternatives for you as well! I will be changing our basket on a weekly basis since my girls thrive with repetition. But feel free to change it as often as your kids like.

What’s in our basket?

“I am, I can, I ought, I will” Affirmation – Charlotte Mason’s motto that we recite before we begin.

All About Today Calendar – Introducing seasons, calendar months and overall awareness of each day.
Preschool Binder – I am using the Gentle + Classical Preschool Press, the perfect combo of Charlotte Mason & Montesorri’s theories. I just print unit/worksheets and assemble them in the binder. Easy!
Words And Your Heart – A character building book on the power of words but you can do any (manners, etiquette, being kind, etc..,) to learn.
Lead Me Day By Day – children’s book of prayers. I can’t find it online but here’s an alternative.
Jesus Storybook Bible – Our Bible of choice because it’s colorful, short and doesn’t dumb the content. We do one story a day.
Hymn Of The Month – Short songs full of truth and you can download the sheet music.
Poem/ArtThis series of books are both poems and art appreciation books.
Toys – I only include specific toys like this one because the oldest is learning the skill of lacing. If you have older kids, switch to having coloring pages, play dough or some other novelty activity. I have a teething toy for the youngest and she pays attention to everything while chewing on it.
Scripture Card – I had one handy from BSF but I’ll be writing new ones on index cards as it changes.
Devotional – This is actually for me. After our “lesson”, aka we go through all the content for the girls (5 mins), I read my devotional for the day silently. This is where toys come into play so that each child allows you to have a short version of quiet time. Eventually, I want to share from my devotional with her every morning.

Secular alternatives:
Swap Bible and Prayer book for this book and this one. Your child will be learning about mindfulness and self-love, important truths for the soul—regardless of what you believe in. Swap the Scripture Card for an affirmation that can build their self-confidence. Repeat the affirmation out loud 3 times. Swap the devotional for a book on your reading list and do a chapter a day.

I’ve linked most of the resources I use gathered from our bookshelf. Use what you have before you buy. Rent from your local library before you buy it. I will always be an advocate for free resources and your local library is full of them. I say this because in using this basket, you will recognize what themes and topics spark the most interest in your child. It may be that this list doesn’t fit best with them but it’s a start in the right direction. If your child wants to read one of the books again, do it! That’s a great sign. Talk through all that you learned together throughout the day and be amazed at how much joy it brings them. We have been able to connect, share and enjoy each other so well since implementing this. Behavior problems have become nonexistent and I am being an example of who I want her to be.
I want her mornings to be with intention.

If you’d like to start implementing this and still have questions, feel free to message me and I will send you specifics for you. I’m here to help you enjoy your creative role as a mother because it truly does take a village.

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