A Morning Basket For Middle School Learning

Are you considering a morning basket for middle school learning this year? The transition to middle school comes with lots of changes! But it doesn’t mean you need to stop doing morning baskets. 

We are still enjoying our morning basket time together this year. Morning baskets for older children can still have lots of fun activities and opportunities for connection. The challenge with creating a morning basket for middle schoolers is that the materials can be very different from what was in your early elementary baskets.

Ready to see what’s in our morning basket this year? Keep reading to discover more resources for morning baskets you can use with middle schoolers and get tips on transitioning your morning basket routine to the middle school years.

Why Morning Baskets Are So Helping In Your Homeschool

We really appreciate our morning basket homeschool routine. Morning baskets give us the opportunity to explore Emily’s interests in a way that fosters a deeper connection and encourages her to be curious. 

Over the years, Emily has taken a more active role in helping to decide what goes in each basket. This is a great way to embrace an interest-led approach at the very start of our homeschool day. Plus, we get to have lots of conversations about new topics and passions we can explore together as we choose what goes in our basket.

Our morning basket routine gives me an opportunity to fill Emily’s bucket with connection and joy right at the start of the day. Then, she’s happy to do the activities I have planned and we get to begin all our days with learning and exploration together. 

Getting her involved in the process of choosing what goes in the baskets is a learning experience too. Every basket is a chance to talk about what she’s interested in, and learn about planning, budgeting, and using the library to find resources. 

There are lots of reasons we love morning baskets, so we definitely want to continue using this tool as we enter the middle school years. As we change and grow, so do our morning baskets. Keep reading to discover how we’re navigating all these changes with morning baskets for middle school.

Morning Baskets For Older Children: The Challenge

Morning baskets for older children can be challenging. For example, as Emily gets older it’s becoming harder to keep her attention on me for long periods of time. I’m changing what’s included in our middle school morning baskets to make them more interesting for Emily while keeping some of the fun stuff too.

There are definitely some important topics I want to make sure we’re covering as we enter the middle school years. We’re focusing on mindfulness, critical thinking, and developing life skills. I’ve shifted what’s included in our morning basket to help Emily get extra practice with these important skills during the middle school years. 

Want to see what’s in our morning basket for middle school learning? Keep reading to see all the resources in our interest-led middle school morning basket.

A Morning Basket For Middle School Learning

There’s a lot in our morning basket for middle school learning! You’ll find some great books and fun activities too. We’re covering a lot! There are resources for mindfulness, life skills, language arts, science, history and more. 

Life Skills Resources

As we begin middle school, I’m focused on helping Emily master important life skills like learning to balance a checking account and basic cooking skills. We’re using a variety of books to help us explore these important skills during our morning basket time. Check out these life skills resources you can use to help teach your middle schoolers these important skills: 

Life Skills for Tweens: How to Cook, Make Friends, Be Self Confident and Healthy. Everything a Pre Teen Should Know to Be a Brilliant Teenager (Essential Life Skills for Teens)Success Skills for Middle Schoolers: How to Build Resilience, Confidence and Take Care of You. The Essential Middle School Survival Guide (Essential Life Skills for Teens)Money Skills for Teens: A Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting, Saving, and Investing. Everything a Teenager Should Know About Personal Finance (Essential Life Skills for Teens)Ultimate Life Skills For Epic Tweens: A Fun To Read Guide On Building Social, Mental, Financial, School And Home Skills To Empower Preteens And Give Them A Head Start In Life (Life Skills Mastery)Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best SelfMindfulness Workbook for Teens: Exercises and Tools to Handle Stress, Find Focus, and Thrive (Health and Wellness Workbooks for Teens)


Language Arts Resources

I’m including a Word of the Day from Merriam-Webster Kids to help Emily increase her vocabulary. We’re going to keep exploring poetry with books like Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!

Mad Libs is one of Emily’s favorites, so we’ll still be doing those. We’ve got Best of Mad Libs to do together. We plan to alternate the Mad Libs with the Dictionary of Idioms from Scholastic. 

Read-aloud books will be a regular part of our morning baskets too. For inspiration, I looked at book lists like this mystery books for middle schoolers guide. Emily also gets to choose the book we start with from our list of books for the year.

Want to see what we decided on for our reading list? Discover my ultimate middle school book list to get ideas for your morning basket.

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day: 366 Elevating Utterances to Stretch Your Cranium and Tickle Your HumerusSing a Song of Seasons: A Nature Poem for Each Day of the YearTiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!: An Animal Poem for Each Day of the YearA Poem for Every Day of the YearBest of Mad Libs: World's Greatest Word GameScholastic Dictionary of Idioms


History Resources

In our middle school morning basket, we’ll be exploring the past with On This Day in History. I’m also planning to move through the Two Truths and a Life books. These books help kids learn to evaluate what’s true and what’s not by teaching them to do the research for themselves and think critically. 

We’re also going to talk about a different current event each day. There are some great news resources for middle schoolers to learn about what’s going on in the world each day. Some of our favorites include The Week Junior Newsletter, WORLD Watch News, and CNN Student News.

On This Day: A History of the World in 366 DaysOn This Day in History: A Kid's Day-by-Day Guide to 2,675 Significant EventsTwo Truths and a Lie: Histories and MysteriesWORLD Watch NewsKidNuz: News for KidsThe Ten News, News For Curious Kids


Science Resources

Since our big focus this year is on nature study, we’re including My Year of Nature. This book is filled with ways to be creative in nature every day, even if the weather stops us from going outdoors.  

Another addition to our morning basket that’s a great start to science lessons is Everything Under the Sun. It’s got a question and answer for each day. Many of the questions are science-related and the detailed in-depth answers are perfect for getting kids to think like scientists at the start of the day.

My Year of NatureEverything Under the Sun: a curious question for every day of the yearWeird Animal Facts and Stories: 365 Weird Random Interesting Animal Facts, true animal stories, animal trivia for kids 8-12, teens, adult, familyProfessor Noggin's Outer Space Trivia Card Game - an Educational Trivia Based Card Game for Kids - Trivia, True or False, and Multiple Choice - Ages 7+ - Contains 30 Trivia CardsOutset Media Professor Noggin's Human Body Trivia Card Game - an Educational Trivia Based Card Game for Kids - Trivia, True or False, and Multiple Choice - Ages 7+ - Contains 30 Trivia CardsOutset Media Professor Noggin's Insects and Spiders Trivia Card Game - an Educational Trivia Based Card Game for Kids - Trivia, True or False, and Multiple Choice - Ages 7+ - Contains 30 Trivia Cards


Extra Fun in Our Morning Basket

There are still a few things in our middle school morning basket just for fun. I’ve included Brain Quest, a puzzle a day, and fitness dice to keep our morning time fun and filled with opportunities to learn in a hands-on way that appeals to Emily. 

Each day I’ll add a quick two-player game to our morning basket time too. These little games help us transition from morning basket time to table time where we complete more challenging lessons and “bookwork” type activities. Here are some of our favorite two-player games for the morning time.

Spot It! Classic Card Game | Game for Kids | Age 6+ | 2 to 8 Players | Average Playtime 15 Minutes | Purple and Yellow Packaging | Made by ZygomaticMattel Games Blink Card Game for Family Night, World's Fastest Card Game, Easy for Kids in a Collectible Storage Tin (Amazon Exclusive)Quick Pucks, Pattern Matching On-The-Go Puzzle Game, for Adults and Kids Ages 8 and upMattel Games Blokus Duo 2-Player Strategy Board Game, Family Game for Kids & Adults with Black and White PiecesGamewright Qwixx - A Fast Family Dice Game Multi-colored, 5Pressman Mancala - Real Wood Folding Set, with Multicolor Stones by Pressman, 2 playersGamewright - Zeus on the Loose – A Card Game of Mythic ProportionsGamewright Slamwich Multi-colored, 1 PackEducational Insights Kanoodle Head-to-Head Puzzle for 2 Players, Brain Teaser Game for Kids, Teens and Adults, Featuring 80 Challenges, Gift for Ages 7+


More Resources For Morning Baskets In Your Homeschool

There are so many different ways to build a morning basket for middle school! You can fill your basket with activities you don’t normally get to during the homeschool day or review things that you haven’t practiced recently. For example, if you’re struggling to squeeze Spanish into your homeschool day, add a quick Spanish activity to your morning basket.

Get the kids involved in picking resources for your homeschool morning basket to ensure an interest-led experience that’s fun for the whole family. Need ideas for your next morning basket? Discover some of our favorite tips and tricks for building the perfect morning basket:

Are you planning a middle school morning basket this year? What’s your favorite middle school learning resource for morning baskets? Share your ideas in the comments. I can’t wait to read them and explore your favorite morning resources too!