Revisiting Morning Basket Plans for the New Year

P1090271 I’m in the midst of planning week here, and I thought I’d take a minute to share the Morning Basket plans for the year and for Term 1!

If you’re new here, or need extra information, check out this post on the Morning Basket:

Morning Basket: Ageless, Inspiring, and Still Standing

It contains history, explanations, and links to past posts on the Morning Basket.

The following table includes read alouds for this year’s Morning Basket:

Reading Aloud Term 1 Term 2 Term 3


The Wonder Book (Hawthorne) The Lion’s Paw (Robb White) Fifty Famous People (Baldwin)
Fifty Famous Stories Retold (Baldwin) Thirty More Famous Stories Retold  (Baldwin)
Andersen’s Fairy Tales Andersen’s Fairy Tales Andersen’s Fairy Tales

Plutarch’s Lives (Weston)

Aristides  Themistocles Pelopidas

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E. Nesbit

The Tempest

As You Like It

The Winter’s Tale

King Lear

Twelfth Night

Much Ado About Nothing

Nature Study (weekly Nature Walks)

A Nest for Celeste (Henry Cole) A Nest for Celeste (Henry Cole) A Nest for Celeste (Henry Cole)

Life of Fred – Australia (Grammar)

Chapters 1 – 19   

Geography  – Holling C. Holling (with map set)

Minn of the Mississippi   Finish Minn   :::   Paddle to the Sea Paddle to the Sea  


And this table includes all of our Memory Work:

Memory Work

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Catholic Prayers/Liturgy/Hymns  (St. Andrew’s Daily Missal) Hymn of St. Ambrose


De Profundis

Act of Faith, Hope, Charity


List of Aspirations

HYMN:  Tantum Ergo HYMN: Holy God We Praise Thy Name HYMN: Stabat Mater
Bible Verses  (Harp & Laurel Wreath)


Psalm 122:1Psalm 16:11

Psalm 23:1

Psalm 62:1

Psalm 25:4Psalm 27:4

Psalm 92:5

Psalm 46:10

Psalm 119:105Psalm 33:22

Psalm 91:5 – 6

Psalm 72:8

Poetry (Harp & Laurel Wreath) The Flag Goes By Columbus Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Eve.
My Shadow Windy Nights The Children’s Hour
The Swing A Christmas Carol by Chesterton Captain Kidd
Folk Songs (American Folk Songs for Children) Free Little Bird What’ll We Do With the Baby? The Cherry Tree Carol
Pick A Bale of Cotton One Cold and Frosty Morning Hanging Out the Linen Clothes
Character  (Laying Down the Rails Companion) Kindness Manners Modesty and Purity
Artistic Pursuits (Book K – 3) Lesson 7 – 14 Lesson 15 – 22 Lesson 23 – 32
Bernstein Century – Children’s Classics Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf by Schulman Carnival of the Animals – Saint-SaensDisney’s Fantasia 2000 – Finale 

Bugs and Daffy’s Carnival of the Animals

Coloring Book

Young Person’s Guide to the OrchestraThe Story of the Orchestra

Musical Instruments coloring book (Dover)

Picture Study

Exploring Landscape Art With Children by Gladys Blizzard

Hunters in the Snow (Breugel)The Lackawanna Valley (Inness)

The Oregon Trail (Bierstadt)

The Starry Night (Van Gogh)

The Repast of the Lion (Rousseau)Summer House, Bayshore (Glackens)

Day and Night (Escher)

New York Waterfront (Davis)

Route 6, Eastham (Hopper)Red Hills and Bones (O’Keefe)

Mountains and Sea (Frankenthaler)

Michigan Avenue with View of the… (Estes)

Civics BranchesPresident/VP

Form of Government

Senators – Senate

Congress – Congressmen

Supreme Court

Voting age/requirements

Constitution & Preamble

Governor of AlabamaState Senators

State Congressmen

Local government

Define – and countries that use this form of gov’t:Anarchy





Morning Prayers Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco (St. John Bosco)St. Andrew’s Missal

Memory Work:

      Morning Prayers from Prime

Saint of the Day (Vol 2)  

Read Aloud:St. Andrew’s Missal

Memory Work:

       Morning Prayers from Prime

Saint of the Day (Vol 2)  (Vol 1)

Read Aloud:St. Andrew’s Missal

Memory Work:

     Morning Prayers from Prime

Saint of the Day (Vol 1)

Click here to download:  Morning Basket Overview 2014/15

Click here to download:  Morning Basket – 2014/15 – Term 1

P1090280 I like to keep our morning prayer books collected in a common space since we pray before we begin almost everything else in our day.  Our morning prayer routine is pretty simple.  The children are expected to be awake and dressed by 6:00 am, downstairs and gathered for prayer afterward.  We’re memorizing all the Morning Prayers as listed in The Saint Andrew Daily Missal this year.  The following are the books we use during our prayer time:

  • Morning prayers (some taken from Prime) in the The Saint Andrew Daily Missal
  • Liturgical Year reading and reading from the lives of the saints – I use these (but usually just one, depending on the day):
    • Lives of the Saints (Hoever)
    • Daughter’s of St. Paul: Saints for Young People, Volume 1, Volume 2 (1963 edition because we follow the 1962 calendar for the Extraordinary Form, but the Daughters of St. Paul do have the same books updated to reflect the New calendar, too.)
    • The historical and liturgical information in The Saint Andrew Daily Missal
  • The Catechism in Examples by Rev. Chisholm – oop, but you can find free ebook editions of the 5 volumes here (unfortunately, I just couldn’t get my ebooks to format well and it made the books difficult to read…) so if you’re hunting for this 5 volume series, look for the set that was fairly recently reprinted by Roman Catholic Books.
  • Mother Love – wonderful little prayers in this book and I use it for my personal morning prayer time after I finish with family prayer time with the kids.
  • Divine Office – this simple book is so easy to follow and helps us as we sometimes try to pray parts of the Office (mostly Prime right now).  Note that this does not contain the full prayers of the Divine Office, and this book follow the 1962 Office readings.
  • Forty Dreams of St. John Bosco by St. John Bosco – these little biographical accounts of St. John Bosco’s different dreams (each with a particular theme, many of which pertain to purity) are wonderful for short little read alouds, and the saint’s writing is delicate enough for littles to be present, while being clear enough for older children.  LOVE this book – it makes such an excellent read aloud!

I’ll be back soon to resume our Charlotte Mason Teaching Tuesday series!  Until then – happy planning!

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  1. Wow, I am overwhelmed and feeling rather inadequate (yikes!) about our reading time. I think with one child left at home I have gotten very lazy about reading aloud. Thanks for the kick in the behind! 😉

  2. Thanks for posting Jen. I am working on my Morning Time plans too and it is inspiring to see yours. My problem – I wish we could spend the whole day doing Morning Time!!! There are so many things I want to do…..

  3. Thank you for such fantastic book recommendations. I just ordered American Folk Songs for Children, among others you have used. Have a lovely rest of the summer!


  4. I am deep into planning here. We begin our next formal term in September. I am very much enjoying our relaxed summer term, but I do so love the start of a fresh set of books and things. Thanks for sharing your plans and pictures. There is such a lovely sense of peace and calm in well chosen basket of books! You are using some of our favourites and some new books that I’ll enjoy researching.
    We very much enjoyed the fanciful story of A Nest for Celeste and learned a lot as well. We’ll be enjoying Holling C. Holling this year as well- though we’ll be using Seabird.
    i hope your renovations are going well- Thanks for taking the time to share. I always look forward to your posts!

      1. We read Nest for Celeste last year. We LOVED that little book! We came across it at a thrift store for $0.75 and I couldn’t resist getting it, even though I had never heard of it before. I am so glad to have taken a chance on getting this book. I recommend it all the time! :o)

  5. Thank you for sharing!! You put a lot of work in to this post and it is going to be very useful. I am bookmarking it for planning- I am not quite ready to start on next year yet! 🙂

  6. Always inspiring, Jen! I need to drill into my head the CM slowness. I know this year it will be more of a blessing if I can do that than my usual book binge-ing.

    1. Oh, I know what you mean, Amy – and that slowness can be a stumbling block – but it is SO essential! I have to constantly repeat to myself, “It’s about the long haul. It’s about the long haul.” It really is! Slow and steady, added up over the years, yields a lot of fruit! I think that’s one of the reasons I have really come to value the time investment in planning. Pacing books and lessons out on paper helps me see the slower pace and sets that rhythm, but I can also see the progress on paper, too. Happy planning for your year, Amy!

  7. I came here to check your plans out (since mine ended up nothing like I had hoped it would). Your plan is very similiar to my original vision for Morning Basket. Back on track and know it looks like I copied yours. Thanks Jen!

    1. Cassie, I can’t tell you how much of a help it is for ME to see other plans, too! Just seeing how others have things laid out on paper really gives me ideas and helps me when I think of our pacing and schedule. I’m just thrilled that your vision and plans seem to be meshing together! I know how great that feels when plans and ideas start seeming “workable!” Happy planning!

  8. Well Jen, I am impressed that you can get your children up at 6am!!! The earliest we can ever start is abotu 9am because I have late sleepers LOL! AS always, so inspiring and I am smiling at your basket as it holds all of the books we have as well 😉 God Bless your sweet family! xxoo

    1. Well…my kids are natural early risers! I, however, was not. I am now though!!! And I’ve really come to love it. But at first, it was really hard for me to (1) recognize that my kids were going to wake up, on their own, between 5:00 am and 6:00 am every morning, (2) embrace it, and (3) change and mortify myself, getting up early to be with them…and then later, recognizing that I needed to get up EARLIER THAN THEY DID. Anyway – that’s my early morning story. I went along rather unwillingly! 🙂

      1. I think it’s great – isn’t is awesome what we mothers will do for our offspring 😉 I actually get up pretty early myself to write and have the quiet time, but it would be nice if we could knock out a fair amount of school earlier in the day…I imagine I’ll have a revolt if I suggest anything before 8am LOL! Have a great rest of your week enjoying the newness 🙂

        1. Jen, Yet again… such a helpful post. As I am trying to narrow in on my selections for this year, this will be helpful. I wonder if you might do a schedule breakdown of a typical day? I would also fit in copywork and math but outside of handicrafts or independent interests what else is on the radar?

          1. I’d be happy to try to do a snapshot of an average day kind of post, April. After Morning Basket, each child works on the appropriate level of Math, Language Arts, Literature & History {independent reading}, Science & Nature Study {independent reading}, Latin, Logic, Religion and Citizenship.

  9. May I ask what ages/grades are included in this. I have two girls, 3rd grade and 9th. Trying to decide which things to do in morning time is quite a challenge!

    1. Hi Sharron,
      This year my Morning Basket time is spent with an 8th grader, 4th grader, and 1st grader. Last year, we had a 12th grader in the mix, too. As long as you’re using living books and things in the Morning Basket – it can span any age/grade you throw at it.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. What resources do you use for teaching civics? I am looking for living books for my 6th and 1st grader.

  11. Hi Jen, I am visiting the morning basket idea and would like to incorporate habit training. Would you mind helping me choose what would be the best to start with for a wide variety of ages: Laying Down the Rails, Conferences to Children on Practical Virtues, or the Angel Food books. I want to use them all and can’t decide! This is my first year of homeschooling multiple ages and we have a TON of habit training to work on!!

    1. Ugh. This is going to be hard to narrow it down to just one. Seeing that you have multiple ages, and you really want to focus on habit training, I have to recommend Simply Charlotte Mason’s Laying Down the Rails Habit Training Companion. Even though it is not written as Catholic, it makes it so easy to add beautiful Catholic resources, and I have not found one instance yet that it contradicts our faith. I LOVE the way it is laid out, and you have to consider taking several weeks on one habit. You can’t rush through. For that reason, I suggest purchasing just book 1 for now. To give you an idea of pace – I’m only completing 1 habit each 12 week term. (I may start a new habit before the end of the term, but I plan on taking about 8 weeks for one habit.)

      Then…if you could purchase one other book, I’d recommend Conferences to Children on Practical Virtues as something you read WITH Laying Down the Rails as part of the lessons. When the virtues line up with the habits it makes an excellent supplement to the program AND it’s very inexpensive anyway!

      Homeschooling multiple ages is challenging, but it can be done! It has meant a time investment on my part, but brainstorming a common time spent together across the ages has been THE single biggest blessing of our home education experience! It’s worth the work!

  12. Revisiting this post, gleaning, and re-stocking baskets! Thankful I still have younger students who do not see morning time as an imposition on their schedule ; )

    I always find (if I can keep it down to an hour or so) this a a great way to sneak in CCM, art appreciation, Shakespeare, Latin hymns, handcrafts, or whatever our emphasis happens to be. Having a plan definitely help us stick with it rather than having just a “queue”.

    Always appreciative of your book recommendations, storage, and beautiful docs. Just bought a wooden tray for the coffee table that does double duty when entertaining guests outdoors!

  13. Hello Jennifer. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful Catholic Morning Time plan. Perhaps you have it on another post, but I would like to see more resources for pre-school-Yr 3 if you have some time. Grateful.

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