Morning Basket vs. Book Basket | What’s the Difference?

You’ve probably heard me talking a lot about our Morning Basket and our Book Basket. What are they? How do we use them in our homeschool? Do you want to use one or both in your own homeschool? How can you adapt them to fit your needs? In this video, let’s dive in to all things that use books and baskets. (My cute kitten, Panda, even makes a guest appearance.)

I think it’s important to note that there is no right way to do either of these things, and you should only add either (or both) of these if they add value to your homeschool. There is also no right or wrong way to do them. You don’t even have to have baskets. You can use bags, book shelves, stacks – whatever works. At their core, these are both just ideas of ways to enhance your homeschool experience.

What is a Morning Basket?

The main purpose of a morning basket is to provide a way to start the homeschool day out as a family. Generally this is done at the beginning of the day, but I’ve also heard of families doing it over lunch or before bed. Like I said, there are no rules.

What goes into a morning basket also varies from family to family. Some people use morning basket as a place to put all the subjects and resources they want to do with their whole family, but can’t seem to fit them into their regular homeschool routine. Popular things along this line are poetry, artist study, hymn study, memorization, or an amazing resource that doesn’t fit anywhere else. Other popular morning basket items are read alouds, family devotional or Bible time, or daily newspaper reading.

One way people like to do morning baskets is by creating them with a theme. The theme may change with each month or be based on holidays. We do unit studies for our homeschool in general, so our morning basket tends to match the unit study theme. You can theme your morning basket even without unit studies.

Another great thing about morning baskets is that they can change and grow over time. You don’t have to have a formula for what goes in it, and you don’t have to keep it the same. When I’m planning my morning basket, I do try to keep in mind the attention span of the littlest learner. In our case we’ll do as much as we can, and when our three-year-old is done, we just stop for the day, and I’ll finish the rest up with the big kids later.

This is what’s currently in our morning basket:

  • Trivia game to get us started (I try to match the theme of our unit study)
  • Logic game or puzzle (Again, I try to match the theme. This is usually a one-player game, but we solve the puzzles together.)
  • Picture book that matches the devotional for the day (I try to appeal to my three-year-old here)
  • Daily Devotional
  • Read Aloud
  • Non-Fiction Spine (for our unit study)

If you have more ideas than time, one thing to consider with morning basket is looping the contents. Some people do this by reading through a certain amount a day. When the time’s up, they stop and pick up where they left off the next day. Other people like to do certain parts of the basket M, W, F, and other parts on Tu, Th.

Morning Basket Resources:

Pam Barnhill’s YouTube Video about Morning Baskets:

Pam Barnhill’s Website

Jessica from Waldock Way always has amazing Morning Baskets. Check out her playlist for some inspiration:

Michelle from A Common Life also has some great Morning Basket Resources:

Veteran homeschooling mom, Julie from Brave Writer shares some wisdom on mourning routines as well as how she used a morning basket in her own homeschool:

What is a Book Basket?

Book basket is a term that comes from My Father’s World. I was first introduced to it when I was doing their Exploring Countries and Cultures curriculum with my kids. The main concept is that you fill a basket full of engaging books related to the topic you’re studying in school. The books might be loosely related or based on rabbit trails your kids might want to follow.

You give your children time every day to explore the book basket. They can just look at the pictures. They can read the stories. I like to give my kids the option of having me read to them. It’s really a time to explore a topic in a way that’s interesting to them. Keep in mind, your kids might not pick up every book in the book basket but by paying attention to what they’re interested in, you can learn what kinds of books to put in front of them, and what topics they might want to know a little more about.

When I’m preparing book baskets for our unit study I will add books based on things that are mentioned in our read aloud, things that are from the time period we’re studying, books based on the scientific concepts we’re learning about, and more. I always try to keep a variety of books in the basket: picture books, encyclopedias, chapter books, and a mix of fiction and non-fiction.

Book Basket Resources:

Here is the YouTube playlist that shows the books we used in our Book Basket while going through Exploring Countries and Cultures (the playlist also has general information about the program):

How Joanie from Simple Living Mama Uses a Book Basket:

I hope this post was helpful for you and that it answers any questions you might have about Morning Basket or Book Basket. Do you use either of these in your homeschool? If so, what are your basket must haves? I’d also love to hear reasons they haven’t been a git for you.

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