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How to Include Variety in Your Morning Time

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Moring Time is the perfect way to spend time together learning in our homeschool. I love to find creative ideas to bring our family together and kick off our day with some fun.

In general, I keep the same categories in mind as I fill our Morning Basket, though I am always open to ideas I find along the way.

8 Ideas for Your Elementary Morning Time

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So What Does Morning Time Look Like?

Morning Time happens in our house right after breakfast. It is the way we always begin our homeschool day – learning together.

I try to include a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and more in our Morning Time. I also try to find short videos or documentaries that enhance our current studies. We are currently focusing on geography and cultures around the world so I use Morning Time to dive into these topics as well as other fun topics.

NOTE: If you are new to the concept of Morning Time and Morning Baskets, read the basics about Morning Time.

Non-Fiction Books

Non-Fiction books are a perfect addition to Morning Time. It’s an easy way to slip in some factual learning with everyone. There are so many books to choose and I like to switch it up regularly.

Currently, I slipped in a book to supplement my goals for learning about the world and another one about famous scientists.

If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche.  I am not sure where I came across this title, but it is perfect for our morning bin!  Each page displays a type of house through history and describes where you would find it, when you would find it, and who you would find living in it.  The first house described was the log cabin (dogtrot log house) and we learned which of the US Presidents lived in one!

Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull.  I requested this title months ago with the goal to read a few of the selections on specific scientists.  Instead, it is now in the morning bin so that we can read one each day.  The details include a few fun facts as well as a general history, but each selection is short enough to read in about 10 minutes.


I love to incorporate poetry into our time together in the morning. We have used a variety of resources over time. One of my favorite things to include is a poetry collection.

I love including a collection of poems in our bin because we can enjoy a few a day.

For more poetry ideas and inspiration, you can find a fantastic list of 100 of the Best Poems for Morning time at Humility and Doxology.



On the advice of a friend, I purchased Marie’s Words SAT Vocabulary Flash Cards to use this year.  I had a few ideas about how to incorporate them, but nothing has been practical yet.  It occurred to me that they might be perfect as a short activity in our morning bin.

I immediately grabbed a few out of the box and put them on a ring. We began this morning with two words: Abduct and Fractious. All four kids knew what it meant to be abducted, but no one, including mom, could define fractious without help!  It appears that I will be learning new words this year as well. We’ll review our words each day and add new ones as we are ready for it.

The set came with some game ideas as well, so once we have enough words to play some games, I am sure we will!

UPDATE:  We are still using these cards this year, but a little differently.  It is my favorite method so far!

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A Read Aloud Book

This month we are reading, Love That Dog by Sharon Creech.  This entire book is written as journal entries in free verse poetry.

It is such a delightful read and we are all having a great time.

Once we are finished reading this one together, my daughter will have a book club with her friends based on this title.

(Update: We had a fantastic time at book club. You can read about our book club here.)

A Fairy Tale TV Show

Yesterday on Facebook someone mentioned Draw Me a Story, which is free on Amazon Prime.  The storyteller partially illustrates the story while telling it.  The stories are 7-8 minute long fairy tales and childhood favorites.  We watched The Three Little Pigs today and will view Cinderella tomorrow.  We begin our morning time with these short shows UNLESS my oldest daughter wants to get going on her independent work, then we can end with these shows and she is free to move on.


Geography is a perfect addition to our Morning Time. I want to make sure my kids gain a basic familiarity with physical geography as well as a sense of the culture and people of countries around the world.

My National Geographic Kids Beginner’s World Atlas is perfect for my younger kids to use.  But for more substantial reading, we’ll use The National Geographic Kids World Atlas.

We decided to study South America this month, so I read the introduction to S. America on our first day.  I gave each of the children a map to color during our entire morning reading time, which I printed from this site.


On our second day, I read about the Northwest countries in South America, and we labeled these countries on my very large map (printed from this site) as well as their own individual maps.

My plan on our third day is to let them color in the rest of the large map during morning time. We’ll read slowly through the section about South America in the atlas this month.

I also own the Geo Puzzle for Latin America and I am certain that one day we will work on this puzzle during our morning time.  Maybe I’ll let them put it together while I read.

Stories, Tales, and Information Book on South America

In addition to physical geography, I want my children to have a greater understanding of the people and the culture of the various areas we study.  Right now we are learning about South American, so I was sure to include books focused on South American artists.

I also enjoy adding picture books with stories from South America to add to our morning bin.  I am trying to keep 1-2 in there each morning.  Today we read Love and Roast Chicken: A trickster tale from the Andes Mountains by Barbara Knutson.

Ready to Learn more about Morning Time:

Your Morning Basket

Quality Picture Books

I often feel like my poor little first grader has been slighted when it comes to picture book reading.  I am so focused on so many things during our school day that I neglect the precious reading of picture books.  Our morning basket provides a time to focus on some quality picture books for everyone, but mostly my 6-year-old.

And all four of my kids tend to snuggle up when I break out picture books.

I am not sure how many of these categories I will get to read from each day, but my goal is to keep up with the routine of the morning bin. I am sure it will look a little different each day. Somedays the kids might cuddle up to listen. Other days they might play in their kinetic sand. And on other days, we might have things to color in or create while I read. We’ll go with the flow.

Morning Time has been the perfect routine for our homeschool lifestyle.

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More Resources:

Grab Morning Time Plans for seasons, specific literature titles, history time periods and more at Your Morning Basket.

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8 ideas for your elementary morning time

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    1. You’re welcome! We have the Africa one as well – I laminated it when we were done 🙂

  1. You might be interested in the Seterra maps app for iPad. I am using that during our Morning Time to help the boys learn their states. I select a section of the United States to quiz them on. Seth has loved improving his times, and I’ve even got Evan trying it.

    1. Thanks Ellen! I’ll have to look into that. I have not heard of it before.

  2. Thanks for these great ideas, I feel very
    inspired. Just a quick correction Salvador Dali is actually an artist born in Spain 😉

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