This spring I came across the phrase 'morning basket' a number of times. I decided to try to work a morning basket into our homeschool time since we were doing something similar anyway. We have started each morning with a picture book this year (see some of our Favorite Picture Books) so we decided to just expand that time by reading from a few other sources. What we read from changes each day, as I like to switch them out each week for new inspiration.
I've found it to be a great way to touch on different subjects that I feel like we never get to. Like art history. I never thought we wouldn't ever seem to have time for a subject I absolutely love!
We've solved the art history problem with a lovely book titled Vincent's Starry Night and Other Stories. Each chapter covers a different artist, work, or period and tells a story from the point of view of the artist. The chapters are just a few pages and include the artwork discussed as well as delightful illustrations of the artist working. We have really enjoyed adding these stories into our morning routine and read a new chapter most days. The fact that the chapters are chronological and jump across the globe is a bonus. You sure can tell a lot about world events by what the artists are making and who is hiring them. Chapter topics include the Terra Cotta Army, the Parthenon, the Stained Glass of Chartres, Angkor Wat, and the bronze casters of Ife, Africa. There are 68 chapters and they span cave drawings to Ai Weiwei (probably best known for the "bird's nest" stadium for the Beijing Olympics).
Vincent's Starry Night definitely shows up the most in our morning basket, but we really just read anything interesting that I come across, and I'm trying to nudge the boys into helping me pick out things that they are interested in.
The morning basket idea works really well for books that can be read in small chunks. I love that I can flip open a lot of these books and just read a page or two while the boys color or model:
- Women in Science
- A Life Like Mine
- The Joy of Swimming
- Beastly Verse
- Walking the World in Wonder
- City Atlas
- 26 Fairmont Avenue
That last one is a chapter book by one of our favorite authors, Tomie de Paola, and the kids thought it was hysterical. We have added most these books to our home library, and so I included links to Amazon, but please remember it's a good idea to check your local library first! We always attempt to "try out books" before we purchase.
Do you have any favorites that would be fun to add into our morning basket? I'd love to hear your ideas! Or, do you already do a morning basket? How does it work in your home?