Homeschool Independent Work Basket

We've recently started incorporating a new method into our daily 4th grade homeschool routine, and it's been a total hit!

We call it our Morning Work Basket.

Using our basket has freed up so much time in our daily routine, and makes homeschooling feel so much easier because it allows for some of our daily work to be done independently, and at times that are convenient, rather than trying to cram all of our school work into our allotted "alone time" when my toddler is napping.

The night before (or early in the morning If I've slacked), I put everything that Bent should be able to do independently into a basket.

Here's a look at what currently goes into the basket:

His reading for narration
Handwriting practice
Math work
Silent reading

Right now, we're using Aesop's fables for narration and copywork.  He reads the fable, and then uses the moral of the story for the copywork.  For now, I write out the moral on a piece of handwriting paper, and he copies the words right below.  In a couple of weeks, he will just start copying the moral straight from the book.  Once we finish Aesop's fables, we'll move on to The World's Best Fairy Tales, which has stories that are a bit longer, but still not too overwhelming.

We are working on learning to write in cursive at the moment, so I place a sticky note on the page to be done for the day.
We do silent reading for 20 minutes everyday, so there's a sticky note on the front of whatever book Bent is reading at the time telling him to let me know when he wants to start the timer.
We're also just getting our feet wet with Spanish, so he watches 15-20 minutes of this Spanish dvd a few times a week.

As for Math, we've just started into a new Math book, and it's mostly review for the first part section of lessons, so he's been working independently in Math.  I can't say enough great things about Saxon Math 3, and so far, Saxon Math 5/4 has been great.
Incorporating the Morning Work Basket into our daily routine has changed our homeschool day so much!  We have so much more time to devote to other subjects during school now, and sometimes we just take advantage of not having nearly the workload during our "school hours" and just enjoy our free time!  I only wish I would have thought of it sooner!

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