by Eaman Elhadri
“Where is that paper!?” “What page are we on!?”
That, my dear friend, is a snapshot of how our mornings used to be. C-R-A-Z-Y.
These are common phrases I’d spew as I juggle a million and one things each morning, running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off.
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Then one day a blessing fell upon us, Alhemdulilahi Rabil Alamin. I came across Pam Barnhill, and the concept of Morning Time.
Pam had just published that blog post about Morning Time, but I had no idea what she was talking about at first. “Does she mean, like, brush your teeth and make your bed? And how would a basket change our lives?”, I thought to myself.
When I did finally figure out what Morning Time meant, I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. “I’ve got a golden tiiiiicket.”
Before all of the deets, let’s define Morning Time.
Watch the YouTube videos about Muslim Morning Time
Quite simply, Morning Time contains subjects that the family can do together that emphasize truth, goodness, and beauty in their homeschool. Morning Time is a liturgy — one part of Charlotte Mason’s “atmosphere” of education.Pam Barnhill @ pambarnhill.com
Whether you call it Morning Basket, Morning Time, or Morning Collective, it all means the same thing – gathering with all of your children for what matters most to you.
Morning Time was coined by Cindy Rollins, however the concept has been around for decades. Think ‘one room classrooms’.
The concept became popular when Cindy began writing and speaking about the practice. Classical and Charlotte Mason homeschoolers jumped on the bandwagon and BAM! – Morning Baskets everywhere.
Ever since we introduced Morning Time into our homeschool, simple happened. Morning Time allowed our entire family to gather for every single subject together, aside from Math.
What it used to look like was tutoring sessions for all grade levels, ages, abilities for all subjects.
There is great value in spending time each day reading aloud from living books and learning in community. A beautiful homeschooling blessing. Alhemdulilah.
Morning Time – Length of Sessions
Morning Time can be personalized to suit your family’s needs. Anywhere between 20-30 minutes is suitable for many families who want it to keep things short and sweet (especially if you’re new).
Older children can always enjoy longer studies, therefore their morning time may easily go over one hour.
Morning Time Tip – Slow and steady wins the race
If you’re new to Morning Time, I recommend slowly easing your way in. Try one subject for an entire week, such as character studies, then add in poetry the next week. STOP.
Continue on slowly and at some point you’ll find your perfect. InshAllah.
Morning Time Organizational Tip – Baskets and Bins
Let’s make things clear. You don’t need a basket for morning time.
You’ll hear many homeschoolers say the term ‘Morning Basket’, but that doesn’t mean we always keep our books, etc. in a basket.
The reason why many of us prefer baskets is because we want all.of.the.read.aloud.books to stay put and be there when we wake up. :0)
That, and the fact that you can take your basket or bin everywhere around the house. Many of us prefer to school everywhere, not in one specific room.
Contents of Our Morning Basket
It’s important for our morning time to not include daily prep, therefore I prefer to prep prior to the school year and then let it roll. As you can see in the image above, I just place everything in the basket and every morning we’re good to go.
We use various resources. Some I swap out weekly and some we stick with the entire year.
1. Morning Menus (more on that below!)
2. Islamic Studies Books
3. Read Alouds
4. Something to keep little hands busy during read-alouds, such as handicrafts.
5. Ziggy the zebra puppet (from All About Reading)
Morning Time Breakdown
Many people prefer to save Quran for after salaat, however you can focus on specific a Quranic Verse in depth at this time. I created Ayaat pages (Morning Menu inserts) that I wanted my children to memorize.
Dua and Athkar
We like to play Athkar as we set up for Morning Time. I find that it helps the children memorize it, Alhemdulilah and Mashallah.
However, there are dua/Athkar that my children haven’t memorized, therefore I created Dua/Athkar printables (Morning Menu inserts) for their Morning Time memory work.
Islamic Character Study
This can happen in multiple ways. Islamic children’s literature is sufficient enough for young children, however I’ve found that Islamic Studies books are needed for older children.
We have character pages in our secular studies that we use, such as A Year of Tales, however we needed Islamic character study, so I’ve also created character study resource pages (Morning Menu inserts) for us to focus on specific character traits.
Memory work is the heart of our Morning Menus and the focal point of our Morning Time, after read-alouds. It literally means reciting or repeating something until your child memorizes it.
We conduct Memory Work in all subjects, on rotations, and I swap out what my eldest child has memorized. I don’t force young children to do memory work, however you’ll find they’ll memorize just by listening, subhanAllah.
We keep this very simple by stating both the Hijri and Gregorian date. When my children were very young we used to focus on calendar time a lot more with a Morning Board.
Recently we’ve been working on hand painting our own Gregorian watercolor nature calendar along with Lily and Thistle.
Starting 2020-2021 school year, we will be using this beautifully hand-painted watercolor Hijri Calendar by the super creative Lauren from Chickie and Roo.
Would you like it? Grab it here.
I create Islamic and secular book lists in the beginning of the year when I decide on major themes for the year.
Some of the books in our basket this week:
- The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher by Beatrix Potter
- Boxcar Children Books
- Migo and Ali
- Golden Seerah by Darasullam
- Teachings of the Quran by Iqra
We study both Islamic Lamiyyhah and secular poetry (without haraam concepts) from various books and resources. I’ve also created Poetry pages (Morning Menu inserts) for poems that aren’t in located in our printed books.
Art and Nature Study
We focus on the natural world for most of our art studies, as we don’t study animate objects for art. We’ve used Exploring Nature with Children for years because it provides an art study that is sufficient for for most topics, however I’ve created a few Islamic art lessons for my children to learn about Islamic art.
We’ve also decided to join Hannah’s course at Lily and Thistle called Nature’s Art Club.
And no, I’m not talking about pancakes or unda paratha. 🙂
I came across educational resources placed inside of a restaurant menu and thought it would be a great way to help organize our Morning Time without me running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. :0) It is the perfect way to keep all.of.the.printable resources together without using bulky binders or having everything unorganized.
It also helped me get rid of decision fatigue because I created each menu insert (page) ahead of time prior to the school year.
Would you like it? Grabem’ here.
Contents of Our Morning Menu
First I purchased four page (8 view) menus for myself and all of my children. Then I printed digital resources that I created and placed them into each page.
Here are some examples of what is in Muslim Morning Time Menus:
- Cover/name Page
- Daily List (Check boxes) – for older children so that they can learn to be independent in the morning
- Weekly Rhythm/Schedule for Mom (freebie below!)
- Hijri & Gregorian Calendar
- Quranic Verses
- Art Study
- Nature Study
- Positive Affirmations (freebie below!)
- Hadith Memory Work (freebie below!)
- Read Aloud List
- And more
We do not do everything at once and we do not do everything every day. The 4 page menus will only fit 8 views (back to back printing) and we prefer to keep things short and sweet. I swap them out when needed.
You’ve asked for help in simplifying your Morning Basket Time, and it’s finally here!
Muslim Morning Time Menus is an Islamic Morning Time resource that spans all age ranges and grade levels. These beautifully curated digital menus were designed to bring ease to your morning time and relieve you of decision fatigue. Open and Go.
Muslim Morning Time Menus was curated for your Muslim homeschooling family to enjoy the richness of Quran, Athkar, Hadith, Nasheed, poetry, art, songs, and more. These special morning menus also include a children’s book list, positive affirmations for both mother and child, a weekly Morning Time planning template, cover/name pages, chore charts/checklists, and more! Plus, receive a bonus Hijri Calendar by Chickie & Roo upon purchase.
How I plan Morning Time
I plan our Morning Time prior to the school year, when I do all of my other planning. After choosing the general themes of our homeschooling year, I take the time to create book lists and resource lists around that theme.
What keeps me on track is a Weekly Morning Time Planning Sheet that I pop right into my morning menu.
Weekly Morning Time Planning Page
I created a blank Weekly Morning Time Planning page template, which serves as a rhythm that I can use to stay on track during Morning Time. I plan to use a dry erase or washable marker to fill in information from here on out, so that it’ll be simple to wipe clean and prep for the next week without printing a new sheet!
You’re welcome to use it as well. Simply type your email in the box below.
How Morning Time fits into the rest of our day
We conduct Morning Time right after breakfast, but you don’t have to. This special time with your children can be conducted in afternoons and evenings as well.
Some of us have older children that need more sleep after Fajr. Others have newborns and young children to tend to.
Some of us have health issues. Some are cyber and crisis-schooling families that just need some resources for now.
Do what works for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a basket for Morning Time?
No. You don’t need a basket! You can use a bin, shelf, or keep your items on the table. The important point here is to set things up so that you can access it immediately without having to think about it. You’ll find that most homeschoolers prefer a basket so that they can move around to any room they’d like, as most of us don’t stay put in one room for homeschooling. Do what works for you, sis!
Do we need to sit around a table for Morning Time?
Sit wherever you normally sit! Oh and by the way, some kids will sit and some will stand on their heads or jump on trampolines. ;0) It doesn’t matter. They are still listening. The only time we require the children to stay put is for Quran.
The last thing you need to know about Morning Time for Muslim homeschoolers
Morning Time brought beauty and simplicity to our homeschool, and baskets and menus brought in the organization we needed as we enjoyed the richness of Quran, Hadith, Nasheed, poetry, songs, and more!
I’m happy to help you with your Morning Basket Time! Type your email in the box below and receive a gift from me!
New to homeschooling? Read the Beginner’s Guide to Homeschooling for Muslim Families or grab a Quick Guide from my Free Resource Library if you’re ready to just jump in.