Book Basket - How do you do this at your house?

My Father's World uses a Book Basket method to develop a love of learning and enrich all subjects; Independent Reading Time has different goals and methods but there is overlap in book lists and helpful hints

Book Basket - How do you do this at your house?

Unread post by cbollin »

Toni@homezcool4us wrote:How do you "do" book basket in your home? Is this time scheduled? Unscheduled? Is it mandatory that your children read any and/or all books in the book basket? Do you sit on the couch and read together, or do you make this more of an interest led activity, where your child is not required to read (or be read to) from the book basket? Just wondering how others are working this into their school day. Thanks.
Toni, we've done all the above.

In ECC, we were more "scheduled" because I found lots of books in her interest area and reading level. We read together, or took the books with us to her sisters' speech therapies.

In CtG book basket became more of after lunch and before play and I would ask questions about the book. Sometimes we'd read together.

In RtR, I must admit that I thought the regular history readings were plenty. Our selections seemed to focus on the science lessons -- some of the extra science readings were done while doing the science lessons. Oldest is in "4th" grade btw. Otherwise she just had "free" reading time.

You can see that there is lots of room for flexibility.

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Unread post by tiffany »

We have been doing book basket in the afternoon in between their geography and science lesson. The baby is taking a nap then, and it makes for a nice quiet time for me and them. They all sit in the same room with the basket on the floor. They can read or just look at books.

I did have to tell my 8 year old to read some more, because he was flipping through the books so fast that he was running out of material. My four year old sometimes participates. I've read to him and my 6 year old on a couple of days. Other days the older ones read to the younger ones.

I've also told them that if they pick a book to read all the way through and they can't finish it, they can move it to their reading time. With Canada coming up, I'm thinking I'll probably encourage my 10 year old to do that with Anne of Green Gables.

We've done book basket every day for the 1st two weeks of ECC. It really helps my sanity. Especially since we are doing more subjects this year. We do have a lot of books this unit. Some of the units like Canada where the booklist is lighter, will probably require more looking at the library to find enough books to keep them happy for two weeks.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Here's how we do book basket. We actually have four baskets. Two little ones for our two youngest kids (4 and 6 years, because they want to "do book basket") have picture books on various subjects, fiction and not. Then, we've got a basket of "non-book basket" things that we found interesting and want to keep close by. And, we've got our main book basket.

Our book basket contains books (both ours and library) on our current history/geography subject, our current science subject, and maybe our current art and music subjects too (perhaps rosemailing if studying Norway, Bach if in CTG). I also keep a Bible that's about on the girls' reading level. I figure it belongs there too. Each week, when I get ready to go to the library, I take back the books we no longer need and pick up ones we are just getting to (I reserve them online).

What do we do during bb time? Often, the girls just set a 15 min. timer and when it goes off, they know that they can be done. Often, they go a bit longer. Sometimes, I read to them and call it there book basket time. Often, I read books from book basket and then the girls read the book again a week or so later.

We have very few rules with book basket except to spend 15 mins. using the books there. The girls are free to look only at the pictures, to start a book and put it back if they end up not liking the book, to read above or below their current reading level, to keep reading the same book day after day ignoring all others. Nobody has to report back, nobody has to write what they learned. However, it's obvious they are getting stuff out of book basket because they'll often say, at dinner or in the car, "Oh, did you know that in France, ..." and they dazzle us with something we didn't know and didn't teach them! They got it from book basket. The basket allows the girls to shape their own education a bit.

I try to keep a variety of books (cookbooks, picture books, difficult books, fiction and not) in the book basket...

Oh, by the way, we kept the book basket filled during the summer, but I didn't require anyone to use it.

It got used.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by InfertilityMom »

Instead of "book basket" time specifically, we have had mandatory afternoon "quiet time" at our house since Joshua was little. As he started needing less true napping, "quiet time" has remained because Ruth still needs a nap and I need the down time myself! So, during quiet time (anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on the day and rest needs of the family), Joshua is free to read, look at books, play quiet games like building with magnets, listen to books on tape, or play his Leap Pad books.
Jenni Saake, Nevada
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Unread post by Tina »

I was looking for this thread, book basket, because I wanted to look at how some of you do bb time and share what I do. Thanks for different ideas on bb.

This year my dd (9) and ds (7) are doing ECC. Our bb time is at different times of the day. We always start our day with reading (at breakfast our own personal devotional and proverb). To start school, we read the Bible subject from TM; then, we read from our bb as a family (I do the reading) & usually take about 15-20 min. (This is the time we would use the missionary books--sometimes we were all so captured by the story, we had to go on to the next chapter).

We usually get back to bb after lunch and other academics, and that's when dd and ds read on their own. We love bb, although I don't call it bb, and our bb is on our coffee table and in bags from the library! Maybe a basket would be a good idea for me, however, my 1 yo ds would empty it every time.

Thanks for the ideas. I love that I can look back through the boards and get ideas and help when needed.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
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book basket

Unread post by lisanFla »

What we have been doing for bb is that each day after school is over they have to do some reading from bb PLUS some reading of a book of their own choice. I have used some of the DK books on the list as well as others that pertain to our topic during class for examples. One thing that has worked surprisingly well is puzzles! I found 2 hard bound "books" of jigsaw puzzles on the $5 rack at Borders. It was great luck that they are geography puzzles. The kids love doing them as part of bb.
Blessed Child of God! Alex & Rachel's mom (14 and 11), Jim's wife, resident of central Florida since June 2004, originally from Cleveland, Ohio!

Glimpses into "Book Basket" styles

Unread post by cbollin »

Winni wrote:I am just curious about how others are doing it. I was going to pick a specific time each day and say something like, "Ok, it is ______'s turn to pick a Book Basket book and we will read it (or, if it is really long, read parts of it/look thru it)."

I probably won't read a Book Basket book every day. However, my 7yo dd still needs books read to her. Plus, my 10yo dd loves it when I read to her. She reads all the time to herself. I am interested in other ideas! Thanks!
Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:44 am
My kids are on such different reading/comprehension levels, I just let them go through it. We use it a bit more independently, but still enjoy a full sofa to look through something together sometimes.

I keep the baskets near the rocking chair and sofa. Oldest reads them all. 2nd grader gravitates to the science books.

Sometimes I use book basket time so that I can work individually with someone. That way not everyone is doing basket at the same time. And then, on some days the oldest helps the middle child enjoy a book. It's rare, but precious when it does happen.

just my house.
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:23 am

My 8 yo and 10 yo select a book from the basket and read it silently to themselves. I don't necessarily have a set time other than on Tuesday - but generally it's either while I'm getting lunch on the table or when they are finished with all their seatwork for the day.

DD 10 has to record the book she read, the author, number of pages in her notebook bec I have to turn in a list of books she reads for the year. I generally ask what she read for the day and to tell me something interesting from it. Obviously if it's a longer book she may not finish it all in one day. For ds 8 I record for him the books he's read and keep the list in my notebook. DS 8 uses the book basket time as his "pre-reading" if it's a book on his level - otherwise he reads as much as he can and then spends the time looking at pictures in the books - he reads to either dh or I every day so if the bb book is on his level then he's already ready it silently and so reads much more fluently when he reads to us.

Other ways we do it - dc can select books from the basket for me to read aloud while they work on projects or during meals, snack time, or at bed-time. My little guy (3) has his own book basket so he "reads" his books and then we all take turns throughout the day reading to him.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:35 am

Our book basket is so simple. The three reading kids (all but my K kid) have a checklist that lists all their independent work for the day (ie. math, book basket, violin practice, etc.) and they get to choose the time to do it during our independent time. They take their timers (each kid has one) over and set them for 15 minutes, our minimum time, and "do book basket."

Our ONLY rule is that they interract with the books for that time. They can simply line up six or eight of them and look at the covers the entire time. They can re-read what they read yesterday. They can get a book out, read it for a minute, give up on it and pick a different book. They can look at the pictures. They can read a chapter book. Whatever. I keep an eye on them, but don't ask what they read, why they picked the book, etc. I get fresh books from the library, return the ones that they seem to be done with (they gravitate towards the back of the basket). The book basket contains books on the current history (or geography for ECC) topic, science, Bible, etc.

If there's a book in there I really want them to experience, I will read it to them and then tuck it in the basket for a few weeks. At least they experienced the book when I read it even if they don't pick it out later.
MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:05 am

I have my kids' book basket time assigned right after lunch while I am putting their sister down for a nap. Like Kelly, I don't have any requirements of their time except that it involves the books in the basket. Our biggest problem is ending this time to get back to doing anything we didn't get finished in the morning.

In addition to this, my 3 older children each have a book that they are assigned to read for the week (usually same topic as history for my oldest and a somewhat challenging level book for the other 2.) They will sometimes choose to read their assigned book during book basket. However, I steer them away from doing that more than once a week because they pick up so many interesting things from the books in the book basket.

I do admit to spying on them sometimes as I really like to hear, "Listen, did you know this?" "Look at this cool ______!"
In Christ, Molly
Sue in MN
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Unread post by Sue in MN »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:59 am

I do book basket Kelly's way. Christy doesn't have to be scheduled. She reads them without making it a requirement but Jed needs a timer or he wouldn't look at the books.
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Unread post by Tina »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:40 pm

Here in our home, we experience book basket in several ways. Each day the dc have a set time for independent reading. My dd (10) will read a chapter book she is working on (sometimes it is on topic for our study, most of the time it isn't) and my ds (8) must read to someone everyday (I keep a variety of things for this)

Then, in the morning when we do our reading for the day, we read a chapter from the family read aloud and we pick a book from the basket that has to do with our study.

In the afternoon, mostly after lunch (and its not everyday) there will be a set time for them to go to the basket and look at the books, read the books, etc. During this time I try not to have them reading their chapter books--this is for the history (or geography) study.

We do as many books on tape as we can find and also videos. We will add vidoes according to topic to our book basket too.

We read alot during lunch, at night and on Weekends. We try to experience the books in the basket in some way before they make their way back to the library. Sometimes, there are books in there that they just are not interested in. It's like a nice reference center for them to glean more info. about our study.

Have fun making it what will fit for your family.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Posted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 11:51 pm

My kids love it when I read to them still, although my 13 year old is much more independent and is not as interested as my 11 year old. They do love the read-alouds though. My 11 year old is also showing those independent signs this year also and it is a little bit sad for me. I love reading and sharing books with my kids especially a good picture book (you know the ones that are really what I call upper elem. picture books). I think my daughter is just about beyond this or at least she thinks she is so I enjoy a moment when my son asks or lets me read one with him. They both enjoy reading them to themselves but I just love sharing some of them together. I know that independence is a goal but so is family togetherness and so in the name of togetherness I hope that even next year when my daughter begins high school we will still do a family read aloud together. I find this is one of my greatest joys.

But you do not have to read to them every day. It really is meant to be more of an independent discovery and learning time to help foster a love for books because of the things that we can enjoy and learn from them. They should not be made to finish a book and can look at the same book every day or 5 different books in one sitting. They may decide to read a history novel during this time and so read on it a bit each day (a bit much for the ages of your kids now but later on!). This is not their required reading book time (for literature and reading time) but a time to explore and learn on their own.

It is a very different approach but it is also a very good way to kid your kids involved in their own learning early on.

Have fun!
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How do you set up book basket time in your day?

Unread post by kellybell »

Heart4Home wrote:We're in week 8 of Adventures.

How do you set up book basket time in your day--Is it just a 10-20 minute bit of time for them to sit and read in between subjects? I really would like to do the basket time but have no idea how to get it up and running. Also, do your kiddos enjoy this time? Does having the book basket time become burdensome with all the other reading in a LA program?

Thank you for any help!!
Karen in WA
Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 12:49 pm
My kids like book basket. They get to do it whenever they want as part of their day. Sometimes they do it right after breakfast, sometime in the late afternoon. We've got a check-off sheet, so they are reminded by the sheet to do book basket (as well as other things).

If your book basket isn't "working" for your family, consider a few ideas:

1. Ask your child what he'd like to see in the book basket. Different children like fiction, cookbooks, cartoon books, maps, art books, silly books, chapter books (historical fiction), fact books, etc. I reserve books at the library, but it sure helps to have the kids pick some of the books either on-line or at the library itself. Point the kids in the right direction, and you get final say-so, but let them choose.

2. Don't hesitate to stick in some really hard books. If nothing else, they show the kids what adults read. And, they feel great if they can read a little of it.

3. More importantly, make sure you load the book basket with "easy readers." I catch my 12 yo still refering to an easy reader now and then. They often have interesting pictures, and easy text, etc. They make for an easy, enjoyable read.

4. Some days, say, "for book basket today, I'm going to read you a book basket book that I really like." Make sure it IS a book you like as your enthusiasm (or lack of) will be evident! You can really play this up, with pillows and blankets, hot cocoa and cookies.

Hope some of these ideas help.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:12 pm

Around here, it's much like Kelly has described it. The books are out and about and we do book basket "whenever". sometimes it is during a time when one child needs more individual teaching help and the other one can do book basket. sometimes it is in the van or in a waiting room at speech/language therapy. Right now, my oldest is glancing through a book while eating her lunch --- just because she wants to. some mornings this same child does basket before we start doing the rest of school.

I keep it as casual as I can and don't push it. One of the many ideas of book basket is to help a child learn to enjoy books. So I do what works with my kids to let them enjoy a book and just learn a little something from it.

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Unread post by manacah »

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 9:19 pm

I usually have my kids do book basket while I fix lunch. They set a timer for 15 minutes, choose a book(s) and read. This has worked well for us.

mom to 5 blessings
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Unread post by Heart4Home »

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 1:03 pm

Thank you ladies! I'll try some of those ideas.

Just comes down to the new forming of habit, I guess.

Karen in WA

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 6:30 pm

My I-can-read-but-I-don't-really-want-to reader began groaning by the second week every time I said, "book basket." Not a flaw in the program, to be sure, just an indicator of where we were...

I skipped book basket all together for 3 or 4 weeks, allowing the material in the program to be enough. A couple of weeks ago at rest time, I asked both kids to go to the library (our tiny home one...) & pick out 4 or 5 books they'd like to read or look at & take them & put them on their beds.

It's been a HIT!

We've not had any complaining about it since. We don't do lots relating to anything curriculum-wise, it's just for fun & habit. I'm convinced that letting them enjoy it at their own pace will do more for their love of reading than anything.

Paige in NC

Reading for a 3rd grader

Unread post by cbollin »

joyfulhomeschooler wrote:Should my 3rd grader be reading during bookbasket as well as the allotted reading time? What we have been doing at bookbasket time is having tea and a snack and then I read aloud a book or two. Then for the reading part in the schedule he reads independently for 20 minutes from a literature selection that I try and match up with the country we are learning in ECC. After this 20mins he comes to me and reads for 10 minutes aloud so that I can make sure he is understanding and reading well. We just started doing the reading aloud to me part because I noticed him having trouble with multisyllable words.

So I am just wondering if I should be reading aloud one book at bookbasket and then having him read one independently or aloud?

I would like to start having more narration time and thought that it would be good to have him do this with the bookbasket book he reads. Three days a week I would have him orally narrate to me. Then one day a week he would write a few sentences about what he read. On the last day I would have him draw a picture of what he read.

I just want to make sure he is doing enough reading and narrating. We are doing narration with Hero Tales (oral and written), science (written), and Bible readings (oral).

Thanks in advance,
I think tea, snack and book basket time together sounds lovely. One of the goals of book basket is to develop a love of books. You are doing that. If he grabs some books and reads them at other times, enjoy it.

sounds good to me on the reading time with him reading out loud as well.

I'm not sure I'd add more writing with book basket, unless that is something he would enjoy and you called it "writing time". I was fine with my kiddos just telling me about something they read from basket in terms of casual conversation.

curious on other opinions. my guess is there are a wide variety of right ways.

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Re: Reading for a 3rd grader

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Sounds like you are doing good to me. I like having my kids read to me to check their progress, too. Not sure I would add too much to book basket, unless he enjoys those activities. Don't want him to dread it. (I've got two who will read of their own volition, and one who will not, unless it is Lego or Star Wars, or Star Wars Lego.)

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Julie in MN
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Re: Reading for a 3rd grader

Unread post by Julie in MN »

To me, the purpose of book basket is to put books in the hands of children and expose them to the fact that "there is so much more to learn," and help them find things they are interested in learning about. It might be simply looking at photos, reading recipes, or fact books. When my son asked, I might read aloud, like you do. And when I saw a need, I might ask for my son to report one thing that he learned that day, but that wouldn't be necessary for all children. In general, I looked at book basket as a time to draw my child into the world of books, to increase the love of "learning-by-reading" through exploration. I always compare book basket to the little vignettes in the margin of textbooks, that say, "And here's a little girl who lives in this part of the world..."

Then the purpose of independent "reading" time at my house was to build those reading skills. That's when I would usually have my child read books that were easy enough for him to enjoy on his own. Also, I let my child choose whether he wanted to read about history or science or funny books or whatever struck his fancy at the time, at least for K-6 or so. Like you mentioned, I might have him read aloud a few minutes (which is a different skill than reading to oneself), or summarize/narrate a little about what he had read, or even do a little "book rating" -- whatever my particular child might need. But I wouldn't do so much as to take away from his own interaction with the story.

And finally, there is read-aloud time, which is the time that I pushed up the level of literature, exposing ds to a little more challenging vocabulary and such. Therefore, it was helpful to check understanding and retention through some narration -- not only of today's reading but possibly of the reading from the day before, etc. Reading various history/geography books aloud would be along the same lines, as far as narration goes.

Like the others mentioned, it looks to me like you are doing plenty of narration already, at least for a 3rd grader. You might allow any additional narration to arise spontaneously in your daily conversation or telling dad about your day?

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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When and how long should we "do" book basket?

Unread post by dhudson »

stevienext wrote:I have a 4th grader and a 7th grader---when do we do book basket time and for how long. Is it a different amount of time for different ages? How does that work? (I don't have my curriculum yet, but it has been ordered.)
I usually direct my kids to Book Basket when they have finished a subject and are waiting for me. My kids also have 30 - 45 min of book basket time right before bed.
God Bless,
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
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Re: When and how long should we "do" book basket?

Unread post by MFW-Lucy »

My kids usually did the scheduled 15-20 minutes each day, but would often go to the basket at other times on their own if their were particular books of interest that week. It was not always at the same time each day but something easy to say o.k. set the timer and do book basket if I needed to spend more time with another child that day. Here is some more information that may be helpful:

Book Basket is designed to develop a love for reading using “living books.” Each of our Teacher’s Manuals recommends hundreds of colorful picture books, chapter books, fascinating biographies, videos, and DVDs related to the history, geography, music, and science being taught each week. Some of these books may be borrowed from the library and placed in a simple basket (or box) at home. Students are then able to choose those titles that most interest them, exposing them to a wide variety of literature, while enriching their learning experience. Children who love to read also love to learn.

These books do not have to be read cover to cover and even older children will enjoy good picture books, especially non-fiction. Also if you are unable to get books from the library any given week, you do not have to have any of these books to continue with the program since all of the assigned books are included in the package.

Hope that helps!
Lucy :)
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Re: When and how long should we "do" book basket?

Unread post by kugoi »

I usually have my kids do book basket first thing after breakfast chores. They do book basket for 15-20 minutes and then they do free reading. Sometimes they choose to continue reading their book basket book. I spend that time "doing school" with my preschooler and getting ready to start the school day. We've actually not done book basket more than we have due to issues getting to the library, but we always miss it when we don't do it and I feel like the kids enjoy what we're learning about more when we do it.
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Book Basket Questions

Unread post by TriciaMR »

cjgrubbs wrote:I am planning to get lots of book basket books through our library system for each week. I'm still trying to decide the best way to utilize this for my kids. I will have an 8th grader, 5th grader, and 2nd grader schooling and we will be doing 1850-Mod. My oldest 2 kids were in public school until 3 years ago. They are also very task oriented. The older two will also each be doing a separate literature selection each week so this will not be their only reading time. Ideally I would love for us to all do this together but I know it probably won't happen as I will be schooling 2nd grader and 3 year old (just home from China - so we have things we need to work on each day, too!)

Should I just assign a set amount of time to spend with book basket each day? and then have them narrate?
Should I give them a notebook page to draw or write down interesting facts that they learn each day? If I do this, I fear my 5th grader will sit down to write the first 3 things he reads and then say he's done. Please give me your most successful ideas!
I just set a timer for 20 minutes. They don't have to read every book. It's like reading a magazine at the doctor's office. You read what's interesting in it and put it back when they call your name. :)
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
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