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To begin with, you may be asking, what on earth is a Mealtime Basket? It’s pretty simple, and almost just what it sounds like. A Mealtime Basket is a container of some sort that you keep easily accessible during your family mealtimes. This container houses a variety of books or other materials that can be read and enjoyed during your family meals.
We started this tradition in our home a few years ago after I heard about morning time. I loved the idea behind it but hated the thought of trying to add an additional hour to our homeschool schedule.
I had almost given up on the idea altogether when I realized that we spend about 30-60 minutes at each meal, sitting at the table together. We were not utilizing much of that time in the best way possible, so we created the Mealtime Basket and decided to give it a try. We discovered a number of benefits to this concept and one of the best parts is that it works for all families, whether you homeschool or not. So here are 5 Reasons You Need to Be Using a Mealtime Basket:
1. Prevents Unnecessary Messing Around
When we are reading, discussing, or working on memorization from our Mealtime Basket, it captures the attention of our younger kids. This gives them the opportunity to finish up their food while also listening to what is going on… without getting distracted by little things or siblings and messing around at the table.
2. Offers Additional Education Opportunities
Using a Mealtime Basket provides an opportunity for you to educate your children in areas that you may not otherwise have time. This gives you a chance to cover a number of different topics, including cultural, foundational, character and more. The options are endless, and we can include topics, scenarios, and life lessons that could easily go untouched without this intentional experience.
3. Multi-Level Learning
If your children are in school, they are most likely accustomed to learning in an environment where they are grouped with other kids their age. It is so good for them to have an opportunity to learn as well as help teach along with different age groups. Doing so along with their siblings also has the added benefit of helping to build and nurture those relationships.
4. Tradition of Mealtime
When you use a Mealtime Basket, you are establishing the habit and tradition of coming together and taking time out of your day to relax and enjoy your meals. This prevents some of the common tendencies in our society to rush through meals or turn to the television for distraction while you eat.
5. Family Relationships
Lastly, but most definitely one of my favorites, is the bonds that are built and relationships that are developed during this family time. Between the reading, the prompted discussions, and other activities that take place, it can bring your family together in a way that might be missed otherwise.
I encourage you to give the Mealtime Basket a try in your family. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or planned out. Just grab a couple of items that you think everyone would be interested in and start incorporating them into your mealtime.
What do you think you may include in your Mealtime Basket?