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How to Start a Charlotte Mason - Inspired Morning Time with Preschoolers

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

Morning time is an easy way to be purposeful in sharing good, true, and beautiful things with your children. After listening to Pam Barnhill's Podcast, "Your Morning Basket," I was inspired to start implementing it with my family. Charlotte Mason, a British educator from the early 20th century, believed we should, "spread an abundant and delicate feast in the programs and each small guest assimilates what he can.” Incorporating classic poems, scripture, famous paintings, and classical music are part of "spreading this feast" of learning before our children - even when they are young! It becomes part of our family culture of learning and living.

Mother and children looking at painting while eating breakfast.
Morning Time

Here's a basic rundown of what morning time looks like in our home.

I started this last year when my oldest son was almost four years old and my younger son was one. Over breakfast (food is key with preschoolers!), I would spend 3-15 minutes on a variety of things that I would keep handy near the kitchen table. The time spent on this truly varies by attention span and enjoyment of food offered. Now that my sons are almost five and two years old, we are closer to the 10-15 minute mark!

OPTIONS we have:

* Read a short section of scripture

* Read a story from a children's Bible

* Read poems from one of my Charlotte Mason - Inspired Morning Basket Bundles (I often display these prints in the dining room - you can see it in the above picture!)

* Read a living picture book

* Read some Mother Goose nursery rhymes

* Look at a painting together

* Listen to a hymn or folksong together

* Listen to scripture songs - check out Songs for Saplings!

* Practice saying a Bible verse

We did NOT do each item every day! I start with what is most important to me and if their attention is still there, I will add more.

A good strategy to build this habit is to start with just ONE thing you want to share with your children. You can use this strategy whether you're starting morning time with preschoolers or middle schoolers! Pick a meal or snack time and add it to that routine. Stick with it for one week, then add one more component to your morning time the next week.

Basket filled with children's books
We keep this basket near our kitchen table with a variety of books at the ready.

Here are some of my favorite books that we use now during Morning Time:

The Jesus Storybook Bible

A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

* I love his poetry! You'll find his poems in many books at used bookstores. I use a lot of them in my morning basket bundles too.

God's Wisdom for Little Boys

God's Wisdom for Little Girls

(For you girl mamas... praying I'll own this one some day! :)

Big Thoughts for Little People

Big Truths for Little Kids

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

I often find great poetry or nursery rhyme books at local used bookstores. That's a great place to start building your collection!

I hope this encourages you to begin the habit of morning time with your preschoolers and to start presenting good, true, and beautiful things. Let me know what other books or ideas you would use!

- Morgan


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