Oh how I wish I had known about the Morning Basket routine (also known as Morning Time) when my kids were all little. Well, hind-site is 20/20, isn't it? If you are not familiar with this routine, allow me to tell you a little bit about how it can be done.
The idea is that every morning you sit down with your kids and do some of your work together. My vision is that it would be someplace that everyone can be comfortable, but others have said that a table works better for them because the kids need that type of structure in order to pay attention. Customize the location to what works best for your kids!
There is a basket involved, of course! In this basket are books and items you will need to accomplish the goals that you have set for your kids. Since we're talking about little kids here (say five and under), I'm envisioning a lot of picture books that you can read aloud from; maybe some CDs to listen to. How about stories about the Saints or virtues, simple poetry to recite and/or memorize?
The important thing is that what you are doing is engaging to your kids. You want to establish this routine of having a fun time while learning together. Isn't that what homeschooling is all about? Start this routine with your kids when they are young and you'll be off to a fantastic start. This time can be as flexible and changeable as you need it to be. That is the beauty of it.
Sometimes, though, we need a little help when we're trying to learn something new. I've partnered with Pam Barnhill, author of this great book on the Morning Basket.
For a low cost, you can get all the help you need to start your homeschooling journey off on the right foot. You'll get examples of how others have set up their morning time routine, a step-by-step guide on how to set up your own, worksheets to help you lay it all out, access to a private Facebook community (this is a great help!) and a 6 week email course to help you fine tune things.
You can read more about Pam's approach here, as well as purchase her book. There are also podcasts available on her site that will help, too.
I hope you'll seriously consider incorporating this into your homeschool. In fact, this could BE your homeschool for the early years. It would be fun and engaging and would only be as long as your littles would pay attention. Everyone will enjoy starting their day if they know they will get to read and learn with mom in this way.