Monday, 3 September 2012

Quiet Book Basket

When we started home education I wrote a timetable with just over an hour for lunch. Within days I discovered that this didn't work.The reason was  that while an hour for lunch might work in school, it takes longer if the teacher is cook, dinner lady and is feeding and changing a three month old baby. Things have moved on since then but we rapidly instituted a time after lunch for Middle Son to read. This has worked well for all concerned. 

Now the little ones are three and five and definitely not sleeping after lunch nor are they independent readers.  Still they, and I,needed a bit of quiet after lunch. A few weeks before we finished for the holiday, I read about the Discovery Quiet Time Basket over at The Unlikely Homeschool. We put this idea into action for the last few weeks of term and hope to re-start this when we start the new term, later this week.

The Book Basket has worked well. Each child chooses two items and looks at them quietly and independently in a place in their own.Twenty minutes seemed to be a reasonable length of time to keep interest and prevent boredom. 

We found the books were better than puzzles and games. In particular, we found that cross-sectional books inspired a fair amount of interest. A book called Slice through a city by Peter Kent was a real hit as were books about the ocean.

 So for this term, I'm using a cross section book, trying two sticker books that we had sitting around, a book about sharks, two books about the alphabet one of which is in the form of a puzzle book and a book about the monarchy. The puzzle book means that the children have to find objects and once a sample page has been read they should be independent with this.  

The books will need changing regularly. From the few weeks we used this before the holidays, a weekly basis is about right for changing the books. I don't intend to buy new books for this but to find books from our home library or the public library which are new to the children. So far, the Quiet Book Basket has been a win-win: a happy time for the children, maybe helping concentration, and time for me to get ready for the rest of the day as well as have a quiet cup of coffee.


  1. Perfect! Thanks for sharing your version. Looks like it is working well for you.

  2. Book baskets are a permanent fixture in our home; aren't they a great way to offer a smorgasboard of genres?!
    Also, thanks for stopping by & leaving a comment ☺

  3. What a great idea!
    We have a basket of my daughter's favorite books in our living room, too, but at 11 months old, she's not quite up to reading them herself, yet :)

    If you're looking for more quiet activities, I'd love to have you join in the Busy Bag Swap that I'm hosting at Happy Homemaker Me. It's a wonderful tool for homeschool moms to use for their little ones while their focus needs to be helping the older children. I have a 4-5 year old group (great for your son!), a 3-4 year old group, and an Infant/Toddler group. You're welcome to join in the fun!

    ♥ Bethany

  4. Bethany, thank you. I will take a look.