Morning Basket: Teen Edition

Morning Basket: Teen Edition

Morning Baskets

Morning Baskets, also known as Circle Time, are all the rage among the younger homeschooling set. For younger kids they are a blast. Gather you read-aloud, some poetry memorization, Bible Scripture and some math games and you’ll have a lovely half or full hour. For those with older students, you might like the idea of Morning Baskets, but not have an idea of what to include. We’ve instituted Morning Baskets in our own home for the past couple of years, with our High Schoolers and we’ve loved the time together. Here is how I’ve  re-configured Morning Baskets for the older set.

What we are doing

We have a set start time for Morning Basket every week day morning– 9 a.m and have committed to finishing at 10:30- regardless of how much we are enjoying our studies together. 

Decide on what you’ll study and gather your curricula and supplies!

This is what we chose for a rising 9th and 12th grader:

  1. The Story of Christianity by Memoria Press
  2. History of Art with Art cards by Veritas Press
  3. Latin forms and vocab review, Latin National Exam 
  4. Math speed drills.

How did I decide what to include? I’ve had my eye on the MP older Bible studies for a few years and we haven’t done a Bible Study together for about that long. We were planning on studying the arts this year, and Veritas Press art cards are always lovely. We all doing Latin forms anyway and math speed is something we continually work on.

A simple way to touch base and set the tone at the start of the day along with connection and discussion. That doesn’t mean things haven’t happened already during the day; it’s just that is when we will pause and come together for another cup of coffee and some communal study.

Morning Basket time has become some of our most valued time during the day. If you try it, I’d love to hear about it!

Lisa Nehring has 1husband, 2 graduate degrees, 5 kids and a black belt in homeschooling. She loves writing, speaking and teaching, specifically Literature and Composition, along with Poetry and Apologetics.

Education: Power tool of Character & Virtue

Education: Power tool of Character & Virtue

Scalia Speaks

I hadn’t known the late justice Antonin Scalia was an advocate of education until the cover of the recently released Scalia Speaks caught my eye at a local bookstore. Just a few moments with the book revealed his thoughts on the deterioration of American schools, the sinking standards of higher education, and the need for learning based on scripture and civic responsibility. Drawing on his experiences in law school, on the bench, and with the younger generations he mentors, he warned urgently against following the veering moral compass of our nation.

Scalia drew his opinions extensively from the words and writings of the earliest Americans, challenging me to examine my parent’s motivations in their decision to teach me at home. Each phrase directed me to the firm understanding that knowledge was worthless unless grounded in faith and virtue. An excerpt from Noah Webster’s On the Education of Youth in America impressed me so deeply that I pondered the meaning through the rest of the day. “The virtues of men are of more consequence to society than their abilities; and for this reason, the heart should be cultivated with more assiduity than the head.”

On the Education of Youth in America

I later found a copy of Webster’s entire essay, where he outlined the subjects he believed a child must be taught in school. He emphasized a rigorous study of law, history, and ethics, seeing these studies as not merely the acquisition of knowledge, but of virtue and character.  Along with Scalia, he believed schools should place a higher importance on forming a strong character than a brilliant scholar. Furthermore, Webster did not suggest teaching these subjects to produce a successful career. He believed instead in forming citizens qualified to take their place in governing society.

Character Formation

The message resonated with me as I recalled my parents, who valued the formation of their children’s character first and foremost, guiding their decision to raise a homeschool family. They believed in education as the transmission of Christian virtues and culture to their children, and saw home education as a powerful tool in achieving this goal.

Technology, Skills, Character

In our technology driven world, a person’s knowledge and skills are incredibly important. Yet it is character that determines how those skills are put to use. A child’s moral grounding will provide the rudder to steer through career development, civic duties, and family life. My parents were confident that they could give adequate instruction in the practical skills of learning, and that they would also be in a better position to court the developing hopes, dreams, and character of their children.

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.~ Luke 6:45

Sarah Frederes is a homeschool graduate and a Dakota Corps Scholarship recipient, which allowed her to attend and graduate from college debt free with a Summa Cum Laude and a BSN. She is the oldest of eleven children and has a love and passion for music, parrots, writing, gardening and photography. You can find more of her writing and lovely photography on her personal blog All That is Gold