2019-2020 Planning Series: Morning Basket and Group Learning

It’s time for my yearly posts, haha!  I love looking back at these old planning posts as our little homeschool grows and changes.  We have always said we will take our schooling decisions one year at a time.  After much thought and prayer, we decided that all of our boys will be home for at least one more year.  This upcoming school year, we will have a second grader, a kindergartner, and a precocious tot.

Rather than cram everything into one post, I am going to break it up this year.  Today, I’m going to share my picks for our Morning Basket and whole family learning.  I’ll later do a post on individual grade level selections and what I hope our schedule will be like this year.

Morning Basket
Last year, I had chosen to use the curriculum Exploring Nature With Children as our Science.  It was so beautiful, and I see us using it again in another year or two.  We also discovered the nature adventure series by Thornton Burgess.  We spent a year just resting in those read alouds and nature studies.  We typically did this during Morning Basket.

I wanted to do something similar for our Morning Basket this year, but maybe for a different subject area.  Something with hands-on activities and fun read alouds.  After a lot of searching, I’ve decided to use The Playful Pioneers, put out by Peaceful Press.  It uses the Little House on the Prairie novels as a spine and incorporates a variety of picture books and hands-on activities to cover History, poetry, handwriting, picture study, and some Geography and Science. Here’s my plans for our four sections of Morning Basket: ritual, recitations, read alouds, and “beauty loop.”

We will use my favorite resources for Bible and Liturgical lessons: the book Tell Me About the Catholic Faith, the blog Catholic Icing, the Catholic Sprout podcast, our Children’s Bible, and The Story of the Bible Audio CDs.

Recitations/Memory Work
This year, our memory work will consist of the flag salute and the National Anthem and My Country ‘Tis of Thee. We are also using the Poetry Memorization course put out by IEW and will be working our way through several memory songs produced by Classical Conversations – the Timeline song, the Presidents song, States and Capitals, and Prepositions. We will also continue working on Spanish vocabulary using our Linguacious flashcards! Mapwork is also part of Memory Work.

Read Alouds
As previously mentioned, we will be reading the Little House series, as well as the other books listed in the Playful Pioneers curriculum. We will also read the books on the monthly booklists from Read Aloud Revival as well as our seasonal favorites. My oldest love the Life of Fred books, so we are going to continue with those. And lastly, we will also use our old favorites The Real Mother Goose and The Children’s Treasury of Virtues.

“Beauty Loop”
This is the last part of our Morning Basket. This year we will use the Picture Study provided through Playful Pioneers, as well as some playlists I have created in Amazon Music to study folk songs, silly songs, and Classical music.

Most of our whole family learning is accomplished during Morning Basket. However, we will also study Science, Geography, and Art as a family, each subject just one day a week. For Science this year, we are using a subscription service called Mystery Science. We have used almost all of their free videos, and I decided to purchase the subscription during the homeschool sale. Your first year is free if you haven’t tried them before and are interested! The videos are so engaging and well done, and the hands-on extension activities really help cement the lesson!

For Geography, we will use a variety of resources: some mapwork is provided in Playful Pioneers, we will use an old elementary text I found at a bookswap called “I Know a Place,” we will work through Draw the USA, and we will try our hand at blob mapping this year!

And lastly, for art we will use online instructional videos, like Art for Kids Hub and You ARE an Artist. I am contemplating buying the subscription to Art for Kids Hub; has anyone used that? Thoughts?

Well, that wraps up my plans for Morning Basket and “together learning!” I’ve spent a few hours already this summer printing, binding, sorting, and laminating… Looking forward to another fun year with my Little Men.

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