Friday, September 9, 2016

What's in Our Morning Basket





Last week I shared how we started a new routine in our home for the start of our school day. Starting Morning Time in our home, even in just 2 weeks, has changed the tone and atmosphere in our home. It has really changed how we interact, react, and engage with each other, not only at "school time" but during the whole day.

To say I am hooked would be an understatement.

So what exactly goes into a "Morning Time Basket?"

That is a great question. Take a look at what we have in our Morning Basket!

Items in the basket.

Devotional

The first thing that everyone I have listened to, read, or talked with has said that the first and most important part of their morning time is their Bible time.

Every morning I get up about an hour (sometimes more) before the rest of the house. It is calm and quiet. Its the perfect time for me to open up my Bible and just spend time with God. I read, journal, and pray through what ever passage I am studying. I get my day, before the rush of activity, started on the right foot.

If that is good for me to do to ensure my day starts out on the right foot what makes me think it wouldn't be the same for my children?

That means the first thing we do is start our day with God. Recently we were given a copy of a children's devotional titled Relentless, Too: A 40 Day Journey for Kids. This is 40 day devotion walking the kids through Psalm 119. Each day we read through a section of the Psalm and the story that brings that concept into terms they can understand. Then we take some time to talk about what that particular section means in our own lives and in our neighborhood. It is so FUN to hear how these kids are processing these concepts and ideas.

This particular devotion book is designed in the way that in the morning you read though the devotion in the morning and then at night before bed there is a prayer to pray through with your children. We actually have taken that and put it together in the Morning Time.







Prayer Time

Once we finish with our devotional reading but before we read the prayer at the end we move on to our own prayer time. When we pray at bedtime with the kids its always the same prayer and for the same person (generally for daddy). I really wanted to find a way to teach them to start thinking outside of our home and our family. I came across a Prayer Pail Tutorial on Pinterest and I knew this was it for us.

With a mason jar, some cute scrapbook paper, and large Popsicle sticks our Prayer Jar was born. Each stick has a name written on it. When prayer time rolls around each child gets to pull out one of the sticks and they get to pray for who ever is written on the stick. I also pull out a stick. We take turns going around and we pray for who is on our stick then I finish up prayer time by reading the prayer at the end of the day's devotion. The kids have enjoyed this so much they beg to pull out more than one stick at a time and ask if we can use the prayer jar at meal times and before bed prayers!

Memory Verse

I just love the bright colors of the dividers!
I will be working on cleaning up those tabs SOON!
The next thing we move on to is memory verse time. This is a fairly new thing for us so we are starting off small. Each unit in the Sunday School material at our church comes with a key verse. Collin has just moved up to the "big kid" class. In that class if they learn the memory verse they will be able to get a sticker on the chart to earn their way to a prize. Collin has looked at that prize bucket for 4 years, not so patiently waiting for his turn to get to dig in. I decided that since he needs to be learning those verses anyway we will start there. Slowly we will begin to add more but for now this is what we are going to start with. 

I created our memory verse box following an example on Simply Charlotte Mason. Luckily, we had a extra card box and the dividers.  I will take some time soon to walk through how that system works, but for now here is what we have going.




Poetry and Read Alouds

The next activity on our Morning Time schedule is Poetry. To be honest this wasn't something I had ever even considered adding into our school schedule. But I am SO glad I discovered it. I have a copy of the "Core Knowledge: What Your Preschooler Should Know" and "Core Knowledge: What your 1st Grader Should Know" I am not a fan of the "Common Core" curriculum they use in the public schools (one of the many reasons we home-school) but these books have several fun poems to start out with. Eventually I hope to get one of the lists I have found on line printed out and start working our way thought that. I am still getting into the swing of a "poetry study" but for now we are enjoying learning and memorizing new poetry.


Once we are done with our poetry we move onto our read aloud time. I have been picking a short story that goes along with the units one of the kids are studying and we read though then talk about them. Again, once we get more into the swing of this we will probably pick one of the longer books on one of the recommended reading lists that are floating out there. For now we are just enjoying hearing some of our favorite stories that I haven't taken the time to sit down and read in a long time.

Once we read through the story then we discuss it. We retell the story in our own words, we talk about the characters and what they are like, and we just really get into what the story was all about. It is SO MUCH FUN to hear how their little brains are processing through the stories. It will amaze you at how much they really understand and what they get out of each story.

A Few Extras Here and There

That is all we do for the time being but every once in a while we will toss in some doodling, play-dough time, or a nature discussion if we feel like it. That is the joy of homeschooling.

Morning Time has changed the way we learn, grow, and thrive here at Mars Hall Legacy Academy, just another step in making our family Our Greatest Adventure!

What part of "Morning Time" sounds most exciting to you?

4 comments:

  1. This seems like such a peaceful way to start the day. I love that you spend time praying for specific people.

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  2. Thank you for sharing these ideas with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth! :)

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  3. I love this idea!!! My mind is churning with ideas for our basket! :) Hmmmm! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. I love this. We had a little morning time, but I want to incorporate your prayer idea and the memory verses.

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