Monday, January 20, 2020

Morning Basket for MFW ECC

In my last post I shared what changes we're making to our core curriculum as we cycle back around and repeat Exploring Countries and Cultures from My Father's World. Now I'd like to share how we're organizing our day with a "morning basket."

My kids are three years apart in age. From the time the youngest was in kindergarten to now, we have always done school together. Even when they were working on independent lessons, I'd have one kid on the right doing math and one kid on the left doing other math. But partway through our last school year, my eldest up and left us. Without consultant me, she apparently decided that she preferred the solitude of her own bedroom for her independent lessons. In fact, she started even taking some of our group work off on her own to complete independently! (The nerve!)

So, we've made some adjustments. As much as I miss the togetherness of our younger years, this new style has its benefits.  For one thing, it allows me to spend more one-on-one time with my younger child who can often be overwhelmed by his big sister's large personality.  It also allows us to get through his work more quickly since my attention is not divided between his-and-her assignments.

This year instead of eating breakfast together and then heading downstairs to start our school day, I put together a basket of things to keep in the living room where they are accessible. Once the kids come together for breakfast, they are now "stuck" with me for the next hour or so while we work together on a handful of lessons before letting them split off to do their own thing. Even though I have half a dozen subjects in the basket, each day we will only work on 2 or 3 of them.

What is in our Morning Basket?


The heart of our Bible lessons this year will be an in-depth study of the book of Matthew. I am following the progression and reading breakdown of Matthew as scheduled by My Father's World, but we will be taking it at our own pace which may go beyond the expected 34 weeks. Instead of just reading the passage, I am preparing a series of Bible study questions that will take us verse by verse through the entire book.  I bought each of us a gorgeous Illuminated Scripture Journal containing the whole book of Matthew with pages for taking notes opposite each page of Bible text. I am hoping this will encourage the kids to record their insights and discoveries during the course of our study.

God Speaks Numanggang will not stay in the morning basket all year since we read it in one sitting, but Window on the World will be used weekly.


Maps & Globes will be used for the first several weeks of our school year, and after that we will be using the Geography Game weekly. I did not include Geography from A to Z in the basket though because each kid will be working on those assignments independently. I made sure to schedule them for the kids on different days though since I only have one copy of the book.  In addition to what MFW schedules, I'm adding Draw the USA by Kristin J. Draeger and the others in that series as we progress in our studies. These are either going to be a big hit with the kids or a total flop. Time will tell! Not pictured, but our Classroom Atlas from Rand McNally will also stay in the morning basket most of the year.


Both kids have portions of science that are independent, but our Properties of Ecosystems readings and worksheets are going to be done together.  I adore this book that teaches ecology from a Biblical worldview, and I am very much looking forward to going through it again. I'm sure it will open up some great discussions with my kids!


Usually before the kids are even finished with their breakfast, I'm already sitting on the couch reading to them from our latest read-aloud. Right now it is The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. After that we plan to pick up with the next book in the Narnian Chronicles. We finished The Voyage of the Dawn Treader last fall, so we will read The Silver Chair next. I haven't decided what we will read after that, but my list of possibilities is near endless! At some point we will definitely add in Kingdom Tales, though probably not following the precise schedule that the ECC teacher's manual has it.

Foreign Language

My eldest is learning Japanese independently, but I have included our Tagalog flashcards in the morning basket so both kids can improve their knowledge of father's first language. (Nanay means mother, in case you were wondering).

Current Events

One item not pictured that will be going into our morning basket is World magazine from God's World News. I only recently subscribed, so we haven't gotten our first issue yet, but once it comes we will be reading and discussing articles at least once a week if not more.

1 comment:

  1. Although our family is new to this curriculum, I was so grateful to stumble across your blog. I have a 7th grader and am looking for insight into how to best present the material so that it is engaging and enjoyable without being "elementary." I've been given pointers here and there but it's nice tI read your thought processes behind your decisions. So. Thank you for sharing your journey!