As many of you know, we love our morning basket here at the Waldock Way. Morning baskets have revolutionized our homeschool, so we decided to see what effect a bedtime basket might have. After months of exploring this new concept, I’m ready to share it with you. Today I’m going to give you a little peek inside our bedtime basket.
Why We Have A Bedtime Basket
Emily can be very literal. Previously, I included several great “bedtime” books in our morning basket to read aloud together. However, our daughter Emily felt strongly that these books did not belong in a morning basket. She insisted we create a bedtime basket for books and activities like these.
Since our morning basket has been so successful, we decided to give it a try and see what benefits would come from adding a bedtime basket to our nightly routine.
What’s Included in Our Homeschool Bedtime Basket
The books and activities found in our morning basket change often. However, for the most part, our bedtime basket doesn’t change. We include the same items again and again. Here’s some of what you’ll find in our bedtime basket:
We like to include a devotional in our bedtime basket to get us in the right mindset. Some of our favorite devotions are: Indescribable, How Great Is Our God, I Am Devotional, Berenstain Bears Bedtime Devotional and Bedtime Devotions with Jesus.
I love using our bedtime basket as a last chance to connect before the days end. Our question a day journal is a great way to chat and laugh together about the previous years answers. We also really enjoy Big Life Journal conversation cards.
Doing breathing exercises at the end of the day with your children is an excellent way to practice calming and relaxation with young ones. We really like the language and imagery in Breathe Like a Bear because it’s easy for children to understand. I also have the Anxiety Tool Kit in our basket as well.
Emily also likes to make up a little poem too. If I am feeling ambitious I will sometimes write them down in a blank notebook I keep in our bedtime basket.
Her Book to Read
My favorite part about this book is that she reads it to us. In particular, she reads these book to put her dad “to sleep” which I think is adorable.
For reading time at night, I don’t require a set number of pages or chapters. On the evenings when she is very tired, she might only read one page. Other nights she may read multiple chapters. I try to leave the book choice and how much she reads up to her.
My Book to Read
We also include a book for me to read aloud to her. For this book, I choose one that is not tied to any of the curricula we are working on during the day. This book is strictly for fun.
Just like with the book she reads herself, I don’t make it a goal to reach a certain number of pages with this read aloud. How much we read depends on how tired my voice is and how tired my daughter is at the end of the day.
We currently include Bedtime Math in our basket because my daughter felt strongly that this book belonged in the bedtime basket. And with three books to choose from and three levels in each book we can get years out of them. Plus, I was thrilled she wanted to include math in her nightly routine.
I want my Emily to feel connected to history. To do that, I focus on great biographies that tell real-life stories about the people who have made history. Biographies help bring history to life by making the people and places feel real to her. Currently, we are loving Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. This series has taught us so much! We truly have learned so many inspiring things about important women in our history from these tales. I love that my daughter is learning about strong women every day.
Other book series I have that I can’t wait to dive into at bedtime are: Little Leaders, Bedtime Inspirational Stories, and Stories That Shook Up the World. I also have tons of other picture book biographies to work through too.
Science or History Exploration
I like to include something to broaded our horizons and allow for rabbit trails later. Some of the books I have been using for this lately are: World History for Kids: 500 Facts, American History for Kids: 500 Facts, Major Events in World History: 50 Defining Moments from Ancient Civilizations to the Modern Day, Major Events in American History: 50 Defining Moments from Pre-Colonial Times to the 21st Century, The Sassafras Science Adventures,
Sometimes Emily still is not ready for bed. At this point I use audio to finish up our bedtime routine so I can sneak out and start work. I love to use podcasts for this. There are so many amazing educational podcasts for kids and I just choose one at random to play for her. A few of her favorite are Brains On, Wow in the World, and Bedtime History.
Often she falls asleep listening to these, but that’s okay. We just rewind to the last part she remembers the following night and continue learning together. My favorite thing about nights she listens to these is that she is full of information to tell me the next morning!
Usually, the our entire bedtime basket lasts about 20-30 minutes. Although, my daughter can sometimes listen to the podcasts for a bit longer. This routine is working well for us, and we have come to love our bedtime basket just as much as our morning basket.