Monday, November 14, 2016

Morning Basket Journals

So, back at the beginning of the school year, I posted our Morning Basket Plans.  Since it's been a little while since I posted that, I thought I'd give a bit of an update on how that's going before continuing that series on our school plans. J
For the most part, not much has changed.   We are still loving our morning walk (and, now that things are cooler, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa or tea over our morning basket when we return on days when time allows), and our rotation of readings, songs, and drill is going well.   The one thing that I noticed when we had Term 2 exams (6 weeks in to our new school year – our AO Years and our School Years are kind of a mess – we roll with it) was that retention of material that we covered as a group during our Morning Basket was much less than the subjects they do individually with me.   I don't know if that's because it's the first thing we do each morning, so it gets crowded out by their individual subjects by the end of the day, or if it's because they are more likely to tune out or rely on others to narrate for them, or some of both.  So, in an effort to remedy that I introduced the Morning Basket Journal:
The idea behind these is quite simple, really.  At the end of our Morning Basket time each morning we take about 5 minutes to record something we read, sang, or talked about that particularly struck us – something we want to remember.  The form this can take is up to each individual.  It can be a sketch, or a brief written narration, or a commonplace-type entry of a quote from a reading or song.
For whatever it's worth, this isn't a type of notebook that Charlotte Mason herself specifically advocated.  (Of course, Morning Time didn't originate with her either J.)  That said, I do believe that it is keeping with her principles – it is a form of narration, really.   It begins with a blank page, and it is up to each individual to decide what they want to record – what they took from that morning's 'feast'.   The idea was partly inspired by some of the principles of Charlotte Mason style notebooking from Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page and partly from Jenny Rallens' video on The Liturgical Classroom.
The six year old sometimes has a little trouble getting started, but overall, this has been quite a successful venture so far.  They enjoy taking those few minutes to record and share something that struck them.  It remains to be seen if their exam results will be different at the end of Term 3 in comparison with Term 2…but for now, I am satisfied that there is Truth, Goodness, and Beauty seeping down into their souls, which is the ultimately the goal, exam results aside.  I've been keeping a journal with them, and have been struck by how much *I* have gained from taking these few minutes to reflect.  Morning Time is good for Mama's soul too, y'all.


  1. This is great, Jen! And I agree, future exam results aside, I am sure you will see growth and lots of learning going on through this process. Glad to see your school days are going well :-)

  2. What a great idea, Jen. I love this!

  3. Can you tell me where you got the journals you are using? I love that they aren't spiral bound

    1. I'm so sorry I missed this comment sooner. I picked up the blank journals I am using at the Target dollar spot awhile ago. I have no idea if they would still be there now - Target's dollar spot can be hit and miss.