What Works

A Week of Secular Morning Baskets

(This post contains affiliate links.)

In my last post about how we do a secular morning time in our homeschool, I shared with you what we do, but I know that when you’re trying to get started with something, sometimes it helps to see concrete examples. In this post, I’m going to show you everything that went into our morning basket for each day of a full school week.

Week of Secular Morning Baskets.png

Monday

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What’s in the basket?

Big Questions from Little People: And Simple Answers from Great Minds by Gemma Elwin Harris – You’ll see this book in our basket every day of the week. We read one question and its answer per day. Almost every day, we have a super short, informal discussion afterward. (Note: The author has a more recent book, Big Questions from Little People Answered by Some Very Big People.)

Usborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare – On this day we were starting Hamlet. We read just a couple of chapters before the kids are excited to get started with…

Usborne Sticker Dressing Shakespeare – I bought one of these for each of my kids, and they have been a huge hit in our Shakespeare study.

 

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Usborne See Inside How Things Work – We’ve been reading one two-page spread per day for a little while. Just about every day, we have a WOW moment with this book. For example, I finally, finally learned how “they” build cranes so high.

If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Days – As we’re wrapping up our study of the colonial period in American history and coming up on a family trip to Williamsburg, VA, this book has been a fantastic resource.

The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip – For science this month, we’re working our way through an electricity-themed subscription box. This book made a nice little supplement.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket – We started reading this series last year, and we plan to finish it this year. We all love, love, love these books. Coming across a reference to Shakespeare in this book was a really cool moment (since we’ve been learning about Shakespeare this year school year).

Tuesday

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What’s in the basket?

Mad Scientist Mad Libs 

Big Questions for Little People: And Simple Answers from Great Minds

If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Times (reading a few more pages…)

Usborne Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare (reading another couple of chapters of Hamlet…)

The Magic School Bus and the Electric Field Trip (reading the second half of the book…)

Usborne See Inside How Things Work

Artistic Pursuits: Art in America – We started using this a couple of weeks ago, and we’re loving it. (See my full review in the Fall 2018 issue of Home School Life Magazine.)

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival (reading another chapter…)

What’s Not in the Basket?

Hadyn – This year I’m trying to play the music of a classical composer while we do art. I like it. The kids tolerate it, probably because I haven’t played any classical for them since they were babies and toddlers. So, you know, I guess I’ve already ruined them.

 

Wednesday

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What’s in the Basket?

Big Questions from Little People: And Simple Answers from Great Minds

Usborne Illustrated Stories from Little People

If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Times

Flick a Switch: How Electricity Gets to Your Home by Barbara Seuling – I checked this book out from the library as a supplement to our electricity unit. Full disclosure: I didn’t like this book so much.

Usborne See Inside How Things Work

Simple Charlotte Mason Picture Study Portfolio – Gainsborough – I’ll say again that Simply Charlotte Mason is NOT a secular curriculum company, but I haven’t run into any religious content yet in the picture study portfolios. We chose Gainsborough because he’s one of the choices that fits into the period of history that we’re studying this year. If you do decide to do picture study portfolios, one useful tip that I got from the Simply Charlotte Mason people is to choose artists for the year (or at least the ones you’ll study back to back) who have different styles.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival

 

Thursday

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What’s in the Basket?

Ninjas Mad Libs

Big Questions from Little People: And Simple Answers from Great Minds

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein – Reading poetry frequently is the best hack for getting kids to “get” rhyme without making you hate your life.

If You Lived in Williamsburg in Colonial Times

Usborne See Inside How Things Work

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival

 

Friday

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What’s in the basket?

Big Questions from Little People: And Simple Answers from Great Minds

Usborne See Inside How Things Work

Mad Scientist Mad Libs

Platypus by Sue Whiting – We’ve been watching The 72 Most Dangerous Animals: Australia on Netflix for documentary lunch (more on the later!), so I found this book at the library to help reinforce what we learned about the weird, wild, wacky platypus.

Mumbet’s Declaraction of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle – I love, love, love picture book biographies for morning time. The true story of Mumbet’s life helped prepare us for learning about slavery on our trip to Colonial Williamsburg, but as always is the case with picture book biographies, her story is full of lessons about perseverance and courage.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Slippery Slope – We’re on to the next book in this series!

Are there other types of materials that your family enjoys using in the morning? Or do you still have questions about how to implement morning time at your house? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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