Why and How to Create a Morning Basket for Homeschool Moms
In the homeschool world, having morning basket time is all the rage! No matter if you’re an eclectic, Charlotte Mason, Classical, or even traditional homeschooler – we all love being able to combine multiple ages together to teach one thing at one time, right?
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We spend hours– sometimes weeks or even months- planning and plodding through booklists, scheduling activities, devising ways to socialize (I jest on that last bit), and in general curating a delightful education for our students. But the teacher isn’t supposed to do all the work. And they certainly are not supposed to neglect their own education.
But often, we forget about our own self-education:
“Self-education is the only education” – Charlotte Mason, Volume 6
What would Charlotte Mason say to a modern homeschool mom? I think foremost she would tell us all to “sit outside with a cup of tea and take a breath, already” (or something a bit more eloquent with the same idea) for starters. Then she might give us a very convicting but encouraging tidbit of wisdom much like the ones she delivers in A Philosophy of Education.
“But the function of education is not to give technical skill, but to develop a person; the more of a person, the better the work of whatever kind.” – Charlotte Mason, Volume 6
If we are neglecting ourselves, are we much of a person to take on the work of educating our children? Ouch.
I just stepped on my own toes a bit. Know that I’m in the trenches with you, friend. I, too, sometimes get so wrapped up in our day-to-day that I don’t make time for my own educational endeavors. The point is that when we realize we are lacking in this department, we must take a few simple steps to right ourselves again.
My Morning Basket
Friends, I am not, by nature, a morning person. I prefer the company of broody owls, twinkling stars, and crisp night air.
But habits dictate the numbering of our days. Developing better morning habits has been a large part of my personal schooling for this season – getting up earlier, exercising, and having coffee and devotional time before the boys begin to stir too much has been a reprieve from the somewhat chaotic days of homeschooling two very active boys.
Having a restful and focused time to begin the day really is a game changer. Here’s how this night owl has slowly become a delighter in the dawn’s candy-colored light.
Part of the battle is getting ready the night before. Make ahead breakfast items for the family, laying out workout clothes, and filling the Keurig with water in the evening are all things that have helped. Setting yourself up for success means preparing.
Going to bed a bit earlier (generally) is also advised in order to avoid that 2pm afternoon crash where you’re all of a sudden as lovable as a badger playing leapfrog with a porcupine. No one wants that kind of wildlife in the house 😉
My alarm goes off with the sounds of chirping of birds and nature noises and that begins the day. When I’ve finished my devotions and Bible study, I move on to a bit of reading, drawing, or journaling quotes from previous readings if there is time. If not, I simply move that part of my morning basket to the afternoon occupations block. Not a big deal.
Morning Time Plans for Mom
Now, we know that Charlotte Mason was a believer in self-education, Bible study, and spreading a wholesome feast of learning before self and students. We also know that author A. was a proponent of mother culture and reading a variety of genres.
What does that look like when you are trying to plan your own quiet-ish start to the day? Does it all need to be done at once? Is there a printable morning basket checklist somewhere just for homeschool moms?
You, dear one, were also born a person. The contents of your morning basket and the method in which you use them should delight, inspire, and challenge you – and it should not necessarily look like anyone else’s.
For myself – a devotion, Write the Word, coffee, a candle, and some soft music are the way my morning time begins. These are the things that help me focus on Christ and that makes the day better for everyone. When my soul is filled I am a better mom, confidant, friend, and educator.
However you choose to begin your morning time, make sure that it is something that will bring you joy and start your day well.
Morning Basket Supplies
I don’t get into morning basket themes, but I know some moms who will set up a particular theme of books, activities, and journal accessories. If that’s your thing, then do it! These are some of my very favorite supplies and resources to have in my morning basket. I hope they inspire you to try these or find your own special set!
As for storage, we use those infamous rolling carts. I have included a picture of them below so you can get an idea of how we “organize” our materials.
And friends, be sure to grab our Charlotte Mason Motherhood planner here and keep track of what you are reading.
The atmosphere of your space is very important. To a degree, we are all products of our environment and how it affects our mind, body, and soul. Soothing music, art, candles, and even cups can help to designate a time as well as a space as set apart and special.
Devotionals and Prayer Books
Having a selection of excellent devotionals and prayer books is a wonderful way to dive deeper into topics and to help develop a pattern of prayer that is truly present in all circumstances. As with all books that are not the Bible- do your research into the authors, and their theology, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in your selections.
Here are some of my favorites. The Truth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions is such a wonderful resource that we will be using it during our morning time next year for the boys. There is also a Bible in a Year reading plan included and I definitely recommend doing that as often as possible.
Celtic Daily Prayer: Book One: The Journey BeginsWrite the Word JournalsBread and Wine: Readings for Lent and EasterThe Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & DevotionsEvery Moment HolyPrayers for Prodigals: 90 Days of Prayer for Your ChildTo Be a Christian: An Anglican CatechismMom Heart Moments: Daily Devotions for Lifegiving MotherhoodTruth for Life: 365 Daily Devotions
Theology Books for Mom
As our children get older and are a bit more independent we are able to carve out more time for in-depth study of Scripture and theology. If you are in this blessed season that allows for deeper study these are some wonderful books to add to your collection.
Everyone’s a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic TheologySystematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical DoctrineKnowing GodPathway to Freedom: How God’s Laws Guide Our LivesThe Sovereignty of GodThe Weight of GloryMere ChristianityThe Pursuit of GodConcise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs
Journals, Planners, Pens, and Accessories
We are big planners around here and while I love printing my own Charlotte Mason planner pages for my Happy Planner for homeschooling, I like having a ready-to-go planner for everything else and am super excited to be using the Gracelaced planner for 2022.
And our carts. They aren’t always organized well, but they keep us pretty well on track. I’ll share more about what’s on them in our curriculum post, but you can kind of get the idea here.
That’s it! Make your morning basket as complex or simple as fits your current season and enjoy.