Montessori Summer Morning Basket

Montessori kids reading into summer morning basket for books and activities
“The secret to successful homeschooling is faithfulness – consistency if you rather.”
 
Pam Barnhill

 

(Updated 2021:  Be sure to check out more of our favorite books, sorted by category, over at our shop.)
 
Summer is almost here!  We’re wrapping up some end of year activities and getting excited for the longer days, warmer weather, and some homegrown fruit and veggies.  Our family homeschools year round, but thanks to all the hard work we put in throughout the year, we tend to take a much more casual approach over the summer.  We have our seasonal rhythms and our routines tend to ebb and flow accordingly. 
 

Montessori Summer Morning Basket

 
Our Montessori summer morning basket is a key component of our routine year round, but it really showcases its effectiveness during the hotter months, when we’re spending more of our time outside.  Also, we moved a couple months ago and our morning basket was clutch in that situation, because it carried us through that transition seamlessly while we packed and unpacked our belongings.

 

Background

A Montessori summer morning basket, circle time, family basket, whatever floats your boat, is a way for us to gather around every morning, stretch our bodies, wake up our minds, center ourselves, and transition our thoughts to a more purposeful work.  It’s a great way to begin our day, and it basically sets the stage for family-style learning and fun.  Our basket usually contains some gross motor activities to begin, followed by our calendar activities, and then we make our way through some specific subject areas.  We don’t go through the whole basket each day.  Our kids mostly pick and choose what they want each day after we finish up our calendar work.  Last summer, we did a mini unit study on birds.

This Summer

This year we are studying Arthropods (minus crustaceans) over the summer.  You name it and we’ve probably got one in a mason jar right now, so that’s what our kids want to read and learn about.  Some of the titles listed below are associated with our unit study.

I’m excited we’re only adding one new item to our curriculum this upcoming academic year (2020 – 2021), having spent the last couple years accumulating most of our materials and resources for the primary years.  Now that our two oldest are well on their way with their English Language work, we are going to start focusing more of our attention on Spanish.  It’s always been my experience that languages, whether it be Spanish or Math or what have you, are best learned when they are practiced everyday and are incorporated into your routine.  So, we’re going to take advantage of our laid back summer lifestyle and utilize our morning basket as a way to immerse ourselves in some Spanish language fun.

The rest of the selections came from our home library and have been used in other works over the last two years.  For those resources and everything else we’re up to in the am, check out the list below.

Morning Basket

Gross Motor

This is actually presented like a deck of cards and our kids love it!  The illustrations are very cool, and the backside of each card provides a nice flow for showing the steps to attain each pose.  They choose which cards they want and we do the poses together until they’ve made their way through a portion of the deck.  Our youngest is usually laughing/screaming hysterically while the two older work on matching their movements to the cards.  There are different categories of cards, and it’s fun seeing our kids work independently and together to create some pretty creative poses.  Some of the cards are games, like Simon Says, which is neat.  It’s a great way to burn off some energy and center our minds before concentrating on some other topics.
 
open heart pose of yoga pretzel cardopen heart pose instructions in yoga pretzels activity

 

tree pose in yoga pretzels activitymountain pose in yoga pretzels activity

turtle pose in yoga pretzels activityjazzy jamming activity in yoga pretzels game

 

 

Practical Life – Calendar

We use this beautiful picture book with our calendar, which I mentioned in a previous post.  Our kids start out singing the Days of the Week song, followed by the Months of the Year son, while we update our perpetual calendar.  We usually follow it up with the month poem from this book that matches our current month.  Sometimes we skip the book, depending on the level of interest.  This book is a Waldorf selection, with some fantasy and an occasional religious reference.  The poems are beautiful and it doesn’t bother us at all.  No shame in my game.  I just ad-lib those parts to suit our Montessori/family preferences.
 

Music, Poetry, & Spanish

This book is a lot of fun.  Sometimes we read the English.  Sometimes we’re feeling the Espanol.  It’s a thick book and it offers a lot of variety for little ones.

 
New Curriculum for 2020 – 2021
We just started this new selection and we’re really excited about it.  It came highly recommended by several homeschoolers with families of various backgrounds and it’s supposed to be a very fun, organic, and casual way for children to explore the Spanish language.  The goal is for our children to expand their vocabulary and engage in some simple conversational Spanish while having a blast with the songs and simple lessons.  I really like the way the curriculum is laid out.  Each lesson is meant to be broken up into several days of simple mini activities with lots of repetition built in.  We will be placing a large emphasis on the CD and its 44 songs about a variety of topics, which is the main focal point of each lesson.  Our kids love to sing and our youngest gets REALLY into any songs, so it’ll be fun to see her in action too.

song school spanish activity in summer morning basket

Character Development

This is part of our character development curriculum, which I touched on in a previous post.  It’s a great selection to incorporate into Montessori’s Peace curriculum or other educational philosophies, as well as religious and secular learning environments.  It pairs well with The Moral Compass by the same author.

Science/Nature (Our Arthropods Mini Unit Study)

Games and Activities

This is a fam favorite from last summer that’s back by popular demand.  The illustrations are gorgeous and the colored backgrounds make it easy to self-correct.  The cards are nice and thick, so they can stand up to all our kids manipulating them.    We started this game last year using just a subset of the species and they now use all 20 pairs when playing.  It’s marketed for ages 4+ but we found it to be enjoyable for all ages.  Our kids can identify a lot bird species because of this game.  Lots of fun!

In Conclusion

And that’s all, folks!  Sometimes we start on our basket after we’ve had breakfast and finished getting ready for the day.  Sometimes, our kids jump in as soon as they wake up.  We’re very flexible with our time.  If you’re interested in providing a laid back and casual way to incorporate some purposeful work into your summer homeschool routine or any time of year, or if you’re looking to ease the transition between your morning Practical Life work and other subject areas, I would definitely recommend starting a morning basket.  We really enjoy having one.

In addition to our Montessori summer morning basket, our oldest is otherwise still continuing with her beginning reading and other language work, and our son is continuing his language exposure, development of concentration, and letter sounds in English.  We are also continuing along our Math journey, which I will share an update on shortly.  Everything else we do this summer is gravy.

We hope everyone is doing well.  Until next time, stay happy and healthy together!

Montessori Summer Morning Basket on living room floor at dawn
 
 
Get $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

More Montessori Summer Activities

PIN FOR LATER

Montessori Summer Morning Basket Books and Activities for summertime homeschool rhythm and routine, including Practical Life, Music, Poetry, Spanish, Character Development, Science, and Nature Studies.  #montessori #homeschool #morningbasket #morningroutine #summerschool