Uncover the Best Resources for Your January Morning Basket

Don’t let the winter blues get you down! Your January morning basket can add joy and warmth to your homeschool day, even when it’s dreary outside.

January can be a tough month for homeschooling. The weather usually makes it difficult to get outside much. Then add in that many of us are coming back from a long holiday break. It’s hard to get into the mood for school when you want to lie in bed and watch movies all day with a bowl of popcorn by your side.

You need to plan fun and engaging activities that will get you and your children excited to get back into the school year. Your January morning basket time is the perfect chance to do just that.

Find the Best Resources for Your January Morning Basket

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January is a great time to try out some new books while snuggled up on the couch under blankets, sipping on hot cocoa. Art projects can brighten up the darker rooms when the sun refuses to shine. Your January morning basket will add joy and warmth to your homeschool day, even when it’s dreary outside.

What to Include in Your January Morning Basket

When I evaluated our morning basket time during my homeschool mid-year review recently, I decided that I wanted to change a few things around. Much of our morning basket is working very well this year. But there are still a few things that I felt needed refreshed. Below I discuss what stayed and what went, along with some seasonal additions to round out our January morning basket.

Daily Morning Time Activities

January Read Alouds

In January, I will be reading Adam of the Road. I usually read one chapter a day, so with 23 chapters, the book will take most of the month. However, if I do end up finishing it early, I’ll read The Sword in the Tree as well. If we don’t get to that, I may add it to my February morning basket, or assign it for quiet reading instead.

January Nature Study

Our nature study the past few months has followed the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum. However, I feel too rushed as we move through it. There is a new topic of study each week, but I’d like to slow down and spend a month on just a couple of related topics. So I’m trying something new for our nature study this month.

I’m pulling ideas from various resources, as well as coming up with some of my own, to focus on snow and animals in winter in January. I also feel that those two topics will be easy to find resources for both my 3-year-old as well as my upper elementary age boys. My 3-year-old is showing an interest in learning with us instead of just playing during our morning time, so I’m trying to include him with some fun activities of his own. Another fabulous idea for winter nature study in January is an evergreen nature study or even an owl nature study.

Snow Nature Study

I have many wonderful books about snow to use with my older boys, as well as cute picture books for my little guy, so we’ll use some of those in our snow nature study. If we get snow in January, then we can also take our lessons outside. I also plan to join a snow nature study with animals in winter, so we can discuss animal tracks in snow and how animals keep warm.

Winter Animals Nature Study

We never had a chance to study winter birds during December like I had wanted through the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum, so I’m including a winter bird study along with other winter animals in January. I plan to go over hibernation, adaptation, and migration as part of the study. I’m hoping to fit in fun activities for the winter bird study, including art, math, and hands-on learning.

Geography

I mentioned above that a change was needed in geography. We just weren’t finding time to get to it, and I had difficulty finding good books at our library for the country studies. Instead, I’m reverting back to some geography drill that worked well a few years ago.

Last year we studied Europe, so that’s the map we’ll be using for the rest of the school year. I’ve printed off European maps: 2 blank copies, one for each boy, and a key. After the boys finish their memory work, I’ll give them a few minutes to fill in their maps. Hopefully we’ll be able to fit the geography drill in better than the country studies.

Saint of the Day

We will continue using our Saint of the Day flashcards.

Vocabulary

We will continue in our Vocabulary Word of the Day.

Memory Work

Prayer memorization will continue as our memory work for at least a couple more months.

Weekly Enrichment Lessons

We cover the above subjects daily during morning time. However, there are additional enrichment subjects that we include in this time, just not everyday.

Music

Music is an easy subject to add to morning time. One music resource we really enjoy for materials is SQUILT. You can easily add in a study about a particular musical period or composer during your January morning basket.

Life of Fred

Mondays are our Life of Fred day. My boys love these books, so you better bet I’ll be continuing them in January!

Art History

Tuesdays have been picture study days. However, the boys have asked for more art activities instead of just picture study. Luckily I found a program that includes both! Art History Kids is a blog that has so much information in it for teaching art. There is also a monthly program called The Studio that includes weekly lessons based on the month’s theme, and even includes a free past guide as well. We’re so excited to learn more about Beatrix Potter because we didn’t have time to study her in December, which was that month’s focus in The Studio. You can learn more about how we use this curriculum to include art in our homeschool here.

Drawing and Painting

In January, we’ll be heading back to our Wednesday drawing lessons. We also love using chalk pastel lessons to supplement our history, science, and other curriculum learning.

Composer Study

We never had a chance to get to our Handel study last month, so I’m carrying that over to Thursdays in January.

Preschool Morning Basket for January

I plan to create a small morning basket just for my 3-year-old soon. He’s showing an interest in numbers and letters, so I plan to look for fun hands-on activities to engage this interest during morning time. Until that’s put together, I’ll continue to read to him, but also allow him to play with his sensory activities during our morning basket.

Update: I do now work with him a bit before we start our main morning basket with all of the boys. Sometimes my little guy wants to participate in morning basket, but sometimes he’d rather play. Right now, I leave it up to him, though I have noticed as he gets older he does enjoy sitting with us longer.

Preschool Books for January

First, this year I’ve been enjoying the Before Five in a Row curriculum with my little guy. It’s a ready-to-go curriculum, which is great since I’m also homeschooling older kids with a preschooler. We read just one story a week for it, though I do also read many more books with him through the week. I love that all I have to do is open up to the lessons that go with each book and pick what he’d enjoy and we have time for.

As I mentioned above, I will be doing a snow theme with the boys this month. My 3-year-old loves the snow, so I think he’ll really enjoy the fun picture books we have about snowmen.

Preschool Play Ideas for January

Although my little one is beginning to show more interest in learning during morning time, he is still a 3-year-old who wants to play often. So I spend a half hour or so at the end of each month putting together a few activities to occupy him while I teach the others.

January Sensory Bins

Sensory bins continue to be a big hit with my little guy. In January, he’ll enjoy playing with winter-themed bins. He enjoyed his Christmas tree sensory bin in December so much that it’s getting carried over into an Evergreen bin this month. Then I’ll also have an additional snow bin with cotton balls and snowmen figurines I found at Dollar Tree. Since he’s beginning to show an interest in numbers, I’ll include a brand-new bin on counting and number sense.

Playdough has not been much of an interest in the past month, so I only plan to make one batch and will leave it white. He mostly likes rolling it out and using the Melissa and Doug wooden tools with it, so I’m only going to create one or two playdough trays.

Open Play Ideas for January

Thanks to Christmas, my little guy now has some wonderful open-ended new toys to play with during morning time. He has many new peg doll people and some wool felt landscapes to keep him busy. I also keep puzzles and crayons available for him. I’m also planning on trying some loose parts boxes with him to see how those go over.

Using a morning basket allows you to start your homeschool day sharing truth, goodness, and beauty with your children. Find materials that help you do this, including wonderful read alouds, and you’ll look forward to beginning every homeschool day with morning basket time.

Don't let the winter blues get you down! Your January morning basket can add joy and warmth to your homeschool day, even when it's dreary outside.

Read more information about morning baskets in the following posts:

Hi, I'm Christy!
Hi, I’m Christy!

I’m a homeschooling mom of 4, from preschool to high school. Homeschooling can be overwhelming, but I believe you can simplify your homeschool day so it’s manageable and enjoyable. When you join the Homeschooling in Progress community, you’ll learn ways to simplify your homeschool through emailed tips PLUS receive 5 Easy Steps to Create a Simple Routine for Productive Homeschool Days guide so you can start simplifying your homeschool today!

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