When you’re just starting out in homeschool, you think about not only what type of learning method you’ll choose but the curriculum as well. There’s one thing you value above all, and that’s teaching your kids how to be stronger in Christ. Let me share with you what’s in our morning basket time and how we use it to get closer to God.
When I first started with homeschooling, I wanted to have time for us to get use to the scheduling. Instead of jumping head first into our studies, I used the summer before we started school.
In this time, it helped us get on a schedule every day by starting our morning basket time.
What Is Morning Basket Time?
If you’ve never heard of morning basket time, it’s the time homeschoolers use to bring kids of all ages together to learn. When you’re teaching multiple students of different ages, they work on their own levels of education.
Morning time brings all of the children together for a joint study time that they all understand and can do together.
I had been studying Pam Barnhill‘s way of homeschooling and trying to learn from her before getting started myself.
If you’ve followed me even for a little bit of time, you’ll learn that I’m a big planner/preparer of new things. I have to get to know something very well before I have any confidence in doing it. Yes, I’m praying about it LOL!
I decided that in order for the kids and I to get use to homeschooling on a daily basis, we’d start with a morning time that we all could do together.
And in the beginning, we did actually have a physical basket. We started pretty rough with all kinds of ideas (as anyone would who didn’t know what they were doing).
We started with the Pledge of Allegiance and a calendar kit. I used a magnetic calendar that helped us go over the date, day of the week and month of the year
The kids and I each brought a story that they wanted me to read as our story time.
We also did a devotional together and prayer.
And that was our practice school for the summer before school actually started. It was rough, but it helped us establish a schedule. It also helped the kids get use to school at home and actually do schoolwork.
How We’ve Evolved
After a time of trial and error, we changed things up a bit. I got the kids involved and asked them what they liked about our morning time and what they didn’t.
I was already reading children’s novels to them at lunch and their own books at bedtime. Because of this, we decided to limit the storybooks during our morning basket time.
I felt God wanted me to bring a stronger foundation of Christ into their lives. I decided to change our focus of morning basket time to a Christ-filled foundation of our school.
First, we decided to change how we brought prayer to our school time. Knowing that prayer is our conversation with God and how we keep Him in our loop, I decided to start teaching the kids the basics of praying.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
The first thing I have the kids do is tell me three things that they love. Once they have voiced what they are, I walk them through how to say “thank you” to God.
In this way, they are learning to start every prayer with thanksgiving. It helps them to remember the things that God has blessed them with. Practicing a prayer of thanksgiving teaches your children that everything they have is a gift from God.
A Prayer for Our Day
The second part of our prayer time is for them to pray for their day. This is the time when they also pray for themselves and what they need help with.
If your kids are younger, help walk them through their prayer. If they’re older, let them take the reins and say what they feel they should.
A Prayer for Others
The third part of our prayer time is to pray for other people. I find that this is a good habit for them to get into, since it’s definitely not good to think only about themselves.
I have them think of three people to pray for, and I help walk them through keeping those people safe and healthy. For older children, they have the ability to understand the needs of others and pray for them.
A Prayer for Continued Freedom
This is the prayer that I do to show them what a more in-depth prayer looks like. Here I start by praying for our school time and for them to be able to pay attention, to learn what they need to, and to invite God into our school time.
After that, I start expanding to our church and our pastor.
Next, I pray for our country, our president, and the freedom that we have to be able to pray and speak about God in the public square.
Lastly, I pray for Israel – gratitude that without the Jewish people, we would not have the Bible, Apostles, or Jesus. I pray for their safety and that our two countries stay united together. Or in kids language – be best friends.
By praying in these areas, I am teaching my children that praying for our leaders are important.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” (NIV).
Praying for Israel is also very important because it’s God’s country. We, as Christians, owe so much to the Jewish nation for giving us the Bible and Jesus Himself.
Isaiah 62:6 says, “O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord.” (NLT).
We have been called to be those watchmen on the walls. It is our duty to pray for Israel – for her safety and prosperity. After all, that’s the location that Jesus will be coming back to reign.
A second activity that we have brought to our morning basket time is scripture memorization.
When you learn the armor of God, and the role that each item represents, you understand that the Bible is your sword.
By memorizing scripture, your children have the opportunity to strike back at the enemy with the Truth of God’s Word, when he is trying to tell them lies.
My children and I go over every verse that they have memorized, adding one or two a month. I’ll also add that they get a sticker as a reward for saying all of their verses.
My kids are very easily rewarded with stickers, and we normally find a package of stickers in the Target dollar area. (Just in case your kids like stickers too!)
Of course, I count Sunday School and our mid-week bible study as school for my kids. However, we do add a more in-depth look at a Bible study for ourselves.
There are some times when we find a kid-friendly devotional to do. However for the most part, we find studies that are more specific parts of the Bible.
For example, you could study the Fruit of the Spirit, the Armor of God or any number of spiritually helpful studies.
Our Morning Basket Time Expanded
In addition to starting our school time digging deeper into God’s Word and how we can become closer to Him, I have also expanded our time to meals.
During their breakfast time, I have started reading the Proverb of the day and a chapter in the New Testament.
As I have already mentioned, at lunchtime, I also read some pages of the current children’s novel that we’re reading at the time.
I find that if I have to read to them anything substantial, it’s best to do it when they’re busy doing something else. What better time than when they’re eating?
Whether you have done morning basket time before, or are just learning about it, it can be a very helpful tool for bringing a stronger foundation of Christ into your schooling.
It can definitely be an adjustment to add other things to your homeschooling routine. But what better way to shake things up than by teaching your children how to have a closer relationship with God?