Our Morning Basket: Making A Rhythm For the Breakfast Table
Mornings with two boys ages five and three can be a little hectic around our home if I’m not intentional about our time. I am the most productive in the early hours of the day, and tend to wake up before the sun does to get some of that time just to myself. This sets the intentions for my day when I take time to myself to feed my soul with God’s written Word, maybe read a bit from one of the four books (anyone else do this? haha) I happen to be reading at that time in my life, and maybe get a quick thing or two done on the computer.
Children need a lot of the same things adults do, one of those being rhythms and consistency. Having a rhythm is much different from sticking to a schedule, though. This is important to understand when I mention things about our rhythms we have set in place for our family. A schedule is rigid and “this gets done at this time every single day no matter who is ready or not.” A rhythm, on the other hand, is intentions set for each day that are moveable and adjustable, but can shift circumstances and moods for the better if they’re utilized.
This time we spend together during breakfast is one of those core things about our day that I am growing to love more and more, as are my children. What is “morning time,” you may be asking? I think Ainsley Arment in her life-changing book The Call of the Wild and Free puts it really well here:
“Morning time is a term coined by Cindy Rollins to describe this intentional time together with books, songs, and games. Also called morning collective by Jodi Mockabee and morning basket by Pam Barnhill, it centers our children and sets the tone for the day. Plus, there can be coffee, pancakes, and conversation about everyone’s interests, which is a win-win for all.”
I naturally settled on using the term morning basket because I really loved the idea of having a little spot that housed our morning time books and such. Plus, it makes it really easy to ask either of my boys to go grab it from our living room when we are ready to sit down and eat each morning.
We start our morning basket with the hymn of the month from Happy Hymnody. Using my phone, I play their free monthly provided video that starts with an encouraging few words, then proceeds to play the song. We listen to the same song every weekday morning for the entire month, and by the last week my boys are singing along. As a child, I was never taught (nor heard them played in church) any hymns, so I am learning them right alongside them. It is really sweet to hear my (almost) three year old singing along with such effort. It’s also definitely super cute, and always puts a smile on my face.
We read one quick page out of Everything a Child Should Know About God, and that always prompts us with a simple bible verse to reference to in the bible. When we read the provided verse, I utilize the Kid’s Abide Study Cards to walk us through it and go a bit deeper. If we have a verse we are working on memorizing from Beautiful Feet Books - Teaching Character Through Literature, we go over that as well at the very end.
Fun Fact: When I first got our laminator in the mail, I totally spent three non-stop hours laminating the stacks of things I had waiting for it’s arrival. Fair warning, if you get a laminator, you might go laminate crazy for a hot minute! This is the one I ordered, and I’ve been happy with it!
Our mornings don’t go perfectly just because I’ve implemented this new habit, but they do begin our days with strong intentions and because it’s a part of our rhythm now, it’s a flexible part of our morning that we all look forward to. A good example of our rhythm getting thrown off is when something extraordinary like this fellow shown below is hanging out on our back window and I get totally distracted by it’s size and end up hunting a flying giant grasshopper through our yard with my camera. After it THUD THUD THUD against the fence a few times (I swear it was the size of a hummingbird!) I was able to grab this shot before it took off over our fence and into the trees, just before the boys made it outside to join me. I don’t think this dude got to his size by being un-wise, so I don’t blame him for taking off at the first sign of us.
No matter what the rest of your day looks like, even whether you homeschool or not, you and your kiddos will thrive with special intentions and traditions being made. The ones like this, that slow us down and push us closer together, are parts of our family rhythm that I will never regret being intentional about.
What about you? Do you do anything intentional to mold your morning time? Do you have a basket? A special book? Special meals? I would love to see ideas shared in the comments below of the traditions you are implementing in your own family rhythms. Don’t be shy!