Last year sometime, during one of those late night internet strolls one tends to take, I saw a post from a family who celebrates a weekly tea time. Now, the idea of a weekly tea party isn't really my thing. Which is only in part because I don't drink tea, the other part might have a lot to do with the guests who might be present at my tea party. They'd expect a lot of special treats, a pitcher full of something besides tea to drink, & would proceed to laugh themselves silly. All fun, of course, but not exactly what I'm trying to accomplish.
So I took the idea & transformed it into something I can use, or I hope to use. Hope, being that I'm setting it up & preparing to start using it in the next few days. We'll see how it unfolds. So my idea is, that rather then a tea time basket we'll simply have a Morning Basket. Of course, when I explained it all so non-chalantly to the kids I told them that even though I keep calling it a Morning Basket it doesn't mean it won't become the Afternoon Basket or Lunch Basket or Dinner Basket. You get the idea right?
Now, you might be wondering why on earth I don't quiet the silliness & just label it a book basket, ahh well there in lies the problem doesn't it. You see we all ready have a few of those. So when I say, "Please go to the book basket & get.." I hear a lot of huffing, puffing, exasperating sighs & finally, "Would you tell me which book basket?" Apparently mind reading it not a specialty my children were born with, who'd thunk it!
My plan is not to schedule the books out, but simply to have them in the basket nearby. If I schedule them out I'm going to be fussy about tackling them, where as if they are nearby I'll just pluck & read, or tell a child to pluck & read. We'll work through the books each month, some longer, & then I'll swap for new ones. Curious what's in our basket?
Currently we have the following inside:
The Creative Writer -- Morgan wants to tackle some non-fiction writing this summer & this is the book I've obtained to help him along. It's in the basket because that means we'll remember it daily. We won't finish it before the end of summer, but seeing it in the basket might mean he'll tackle it a bit on the weekends or during term breaks too.
The Wonderland of Nature -- This is sold by a few Australian companies as an Australian Nature Book. I was pretty excited when I first heard about it & obtained it, but after reading a couple of chapters I shelved it to hide my extreme disappointment. The book is Nature & because it was written by an Australian it is Australian Nature, but don't buy it under the pretence it will hit on specifically Australian anything. I'm pretty sure people living outside of Australia could easily use the book as well.
Jesus-Awesome Power Awesome Love -- The boys each received a copy of this book for their New Year devotional. My hope & plan was to work through them, with them, over the summer break. I had it timed out so that they would finish those before we started our new school year when we have other Bible stuff planned. We'll see what happens.
Parables From Nature -- This is exactly what it sounds like. We've read from it in the past matching up the parable with character issues or even science lessons. I thought it was time to dust it off & pull it back out again. I'm not sure we've read every story inside & this time I think we'll work from front to back. I can't be certain, but I thought I remembered one of those open org places having this book up for free now..
Ten Boys Who Changed The World -- We own a few in this series & used then when Morgan was in Grade 2. Jayden wouldn't have been doing much school at that time, & I thought it was a lovely way to keep reading about Missionaries as we did last year.
Nature Studies In Australia -- This amazing book is sadly out of print now, but it's amazing. It covers just about everything & has both coloured drawings & sketches inside. The version we own we picked up used inexpensively a year or so ago & it happens to be revised from the original.
A Bush Calendar -- Yet another out or print Aussie Nature book, but this one is available online for free! It breaks things down by the month of the year to know what to look for where.
Read Me -- We read this poetry book faithfully all last year alongside our other poetry books, & we enjoyed nearly all the poems inside. So I thought I'd tuck it in this basket & we'll read it in the afternoons, or whatever time we tackle the other goodies inside.
Jesus Calling For Kids -- It's a lovely little devotional Morgan received for the New Year a couple of years ago. I thought I'd pull it back off the shelf & tuck it in the basket to use again. We really enjoyed using it when he first got it, & considering it has 365 Devotionals there's bound to be a few we missed last go around.
Igor Stravinsky -- I purchased a few books in this series late last year with the grand idea that every other week we'd do a bit of art study. Life happened, homeschool events built up, & we never seemed to get the opportunity I had planned. So rather then leaving them on the shelf I've pulled them out this particular composer to read about this month.
Picasso -- This book has the same story behind it as the one above. The little schedule I purchased to go with it also came with some hands on ideas for trying your hand at a bit of art like Picasso did. So we may, or may not, do the same when we read the book. We also have a few other art books that might have some fun suggestions inside..
Great Australians -- Rather then saving it for our Aussie Studies I tossed it in the basket & decided we'd read about a new person each month & when the kids came to them in their studies it might mean a little more to them then. You know like the whole meeting up with an old friend theory.
Prime Ministers Of Australia -- Again, this is the same as the above idea. Our copy of the book is missing at least 2 Prime Ministers, but it'll give us plenty to start reading about considering it goes back to the first Governor as well.
I Grew Up To Be President -- I actually chucked this book in the basket first & then decided to add in the Prime Minister book. I figure if we read about a president a month we might be through them all by the time the next election happens, we'll see. We have a few other presidential resources around the house too that we can pull out when come to certain people, sadly I won't find any resources for this at my public library for obvious reasons.
Drawing American Art Volume I -- We were given this for free in exchange for a review a year or more ago now. We adored it but never finished the book! Morgan asked if we could please include this book in the basket, & you know I thought it was a wonderfully lovely idea so in it went!
A Child's Geography Vol. 1-3 -- I picked 2 of these up on special via CurrClick earlier this year & was delighted to do so. While I would prefer the hardback copies the ebooks fit nicely on my kindle, so I'm happy with that too. Volume 1 is basic Geography, & will be mostly refresher stuff for my boys after last year. Volume 2 talks about The Holy Land which I thought would be a wonderful tie in with the Ancient studies this year. Volume 3 speaks specifically about the Ancient cities so I ended up swinging full price for the e-version of that book to put on my kindle as well.
Morning Exercises For All The Year -- Another out of print book, but I really love books that have a new reading for each day. Am I the only one who happens to be a little addicted to books set up like that? Anyway, it has a little reading each day, most of which I've read is often based on a historical event and/or a character trait. Because this is a book that was set up for the US school year it starts in September, if like us you're using it starting in January you have to flip through a good portion of the ebook to locate January!
I have a stack of books, both owned & wished for, to add to it down the road as well. I'd love to have a book of famous scientists in there & we have one flagged for mathematicians as well. Once we finish the Aussie people books we have in there I have another one about famous Aussies that I'd like to add, & we have several on Bush Rangers that are always flipped through while someone is chanting, "I'm a big bad bush ran-ger!" The ideas are pretty endless for what you could slip in there to be honest!