Don’t you just love the freedom we homeschool moms have to tailor our kids’ education to meet the needs of both them and our families?
Take morning time, for instance.
“Morning time” and “morning basket” are quickly becoming the most popular buzzwords in homeschool circles, and, although we do use a morning basket, today I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
Morning time doesn’t have to happen in the morning!
And furthermore, morning baskets aren’t just for use in the a.m. hours. There are people who use evening baskets and afternoon baskets, as well.
It’s all about doing what works for you.
Since I’m homeschooling such a large crew this year- 9 kids to be exact- I split them up into groups, rather than trying to teach them all together. Trust me, this is as much for me as it is for them. Because of this, our morning time does not include all of the children. Our morning hours strictly revolve around my middles group. After lunch, homeschool time begins for my littles, or my 4-, 6-, and 7-year-olds.
This is where our afternoon basket comes in.
When it comes to homeschooling, I am all about simplicity. Children who are very young are naturally voracious learners, so I prefer to give them plenty of time to follow their own interests. In the early years, I tend to focus on the 3 Rs, read to them, and then send them on their merry way to discover new things.
Our afternoon basket is a great spine to begin their day with. So now…
What’s in our afternoon basket??
Written in 1988, this one is an oldie but a goody. It contains one Bible story for each day of the year (although we do not stick with the specific days). The stories are short and interesting, and the illustrations are colorful and compelling.
Each day after we read our Bible story, comes our read-aloud. I know, I know. All of the books in our basket are technically read-alouds. This is simply the name I give to whatever story we’re sharing just for fun.
Right now, this is our read-aloud. Sometimes I read picture books, while other times I read chapter books. There’s really no rhyme or reason to how I pick these pieces. If I find a book I think my kids would enjoy, or if they request one, there’s our read-aloud.
As you may have gathered, our read-alouds get changed up quite a bit. 🙂
After our read-aloud time, I try to alternate between a history-based book one day, and a science-based one the next. This book is fun to look at, engaging, and broken into easy sections to make it easier to read short chunks at a time. I usually read about 2-4 pages of this book each time we read it. Any more than that, my wiggle worms would revolt!
This is the science book we’re currently alternating with the history selection. I really like this particular title because it includes a lot about telling time, hence it covers quite a bit of math, as well!
Their Spelling Notebooks
This isn’t anything fancy- at all. It’s just spiral notebooks with their spelling words for the week written in them. (My 4-year-old does not do this.) Because my 6- and 7-year-olds share the same spelling list, we send the 4-year old off to play while we conclude our afternoon time with spelling. All they do is write their words 2x or 3x each, and then they have a little spelling quiz at the end of the week.
No curriculum. Nothing fancy. Just simple, how I like it!
In total, our afternoon time only takes about 20 minutes a day, 30 minutes at the most. After this time has ended, all three girls get one-on-one time with me for reading/phonics and math. Altogether, it takes me about an hour to an hour and a half to finish with all three of them.
Practical, manageable, and effective- just how a mom of 11 needs it to be!
Do you incorporate afternoon or evening time into your homeschool? I would love to hear what you’re using. Leave a comment and share your knowledge!
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