Yep, we’re going there. Being a good homeschool mom is an important responsibility that involves creating a consistent, balanced, and flexible educational atmosphere according to the family’s values and beliefs. It also entails having the courage and determination to do what is right, even in challenging situations.
Join Laney and me as we chat about what being a good homeschool mom even means, how YOU have to define it, and some tips that help you know when you are on the right track — all delivered with a dose or realism and encouragement. We also discuss how Morning Time can help create family connections and provide structure so that homeschool moms can be more effective in their work.
Links and resources from today’s show:
- Find the Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot course here.
- To download a sample of our free Month of Morning Time plans visit us here.
- To join our free homeschool community of Morning Time moms, you can create an account right here.
- For a done-for-you Morning Time experience complete with over sixty sets of Morning Basket plans, live events where we teach your kids, and support with your new Morning Time habit join Your Morning Basket Plus today!
Pam: Are you ready for homeschooling to feel joyful again? Do you wanna build closer relationships, remove some of the stress around planning and enjoy learning with your children? Welcome to Your Morning Basket. I’m Pam Barnhill, a homeschool mom just like you. And I’m going to show you the magic and fulfillment that Morning Basket or Morning Time can bring to your homeschool. Grab your coffee or tea and let’s get started.
So today I am joined by Laney Homan. She is the member Success manager at Your Morning Basket Plus, but she is also a homeschooling mom of eight kids from ages 24 down to seven, and she’s still homeschooling five of them. So that means she has graduated three already and she lives in the Midwest with her husband and her family. And Laney, thanks so much for joining me here today.
Laney: Thanks for having me. I'm glad to be here.
Pam: She's saying this, but what you don't realize is that we're recording this at seven 30 in the morning because how else do two homeschool moms actually have time to record a podcast?
Exactly. Okay. So we are talking today about an interesting topic and I thought you would be a great person to talk with me about this because you have graduated three kids and you've been homeschooling for how many years now?
It's like 18 years, I think. Maybe this might be my 19th year.
Pam: And how many more years do you have to go?
Laney: I don't think about that. Pam.
Pam: Totally get it. I like, I completely understand. And so you've graduated some, they've left the nest, they're like successful functioning adults, which is like the goal that we all have for our children is that they become functioning adults and leave our homes and you're still homeschooling kids and you've made some major changes in the way you homeschool. You actually said to me that you don't homeschool your younger kids the same way that you homeschooled your older kids. Right?
Laney: Absolutely not. If I could, I always tell my older kids, I'm like, if I could go back and do it again, it would be totally different. But you know, I tell my oldest all the time, he's just my Guinea pig. So I get to do all of my experimenting on him.
Pam: Yeah. Yeah. I think my oldest, it's, it's exactly it the same way. And that that's pretty common. Okay. So let's talk about this idea of being a good homeschool mom. And I think the first thing that I have to say when we, when we think about this concept, this question, am I a good homeschool mom? Is, in order to know, you kind of have to define what is a good homeschool mom. Because if you came to this podcast thinking that Laney and I were gonna tell you what it is, you got another thing coming. Right.
Laney: Exactly. I'm not sure any of us ever feel like we're good homeschool moms. We have moments where we like feel like, oh, we're doing this really well and we get into like a really great flow, but something's always gonna disrupt that and then it's gonna feel kind of wonky again. It's not ever like a, it's not a checklist that you can achieve and then just be like, okay, I've got this. It's something that is constantly changing and you have to constantly adapt to that.
But I think that being willing to adapt to the changes in your home and your life circumstances is part of what makes you a good homeschool mom.
Pam: Oh, so kind of flexibility or adaptability with things that come up.
Laney: Yeah, I think that's one of the things that would, you know, if we become so rigid in the way that we do things that we're not willing to be able to flex with situations that come up it really, I think, creates strife for not only us, but sometimes our children. And I think that being willing to assess your current season in life, your current situation and being able to provide what is needed in those moments is part of the journey of homeschooling well.
Pam: Yeah. Okay. So I have a couple of thoughts I wanna bring up and see what you think about them. So do you think that sometimes in order to be a good homeschool mom you have to do things differently for different kids? Like, I can be a good homeschool mom for this child, but to be a good homeschool mom for this child, I may have to do things slightly differently.
Laney: I think that's true. I, I mean, that's actually one of the reasons that I started homeschooling in the first place was that I saw that my oldest two children had these really different academic needs and I wanted to be able to meet their individual needs.
And meeting individual needs in a homeschool does sometimes mean that it looks different for one child versus another. But that doesn't mean that we can't have something that brings us all together as a family so that we're like one cohesive unit. It just means that we may have, like when I have high schoolers, my high school transcripts don't all look the same for every child.
They're tailored to that child's individual needs and interests and what it is that they need to kind of get them moving into adulthood and what it is that their interests are and where they want to go. And I see that our job as a homeschool mom start, we can start that tailoring at a much younger age and helping them kind of figure out, but then there are these certain things that are just kind of, well, we have to do this and the doing of it every day, which is challenging is the thing that, you know, when we hold ourselves accountable to be consistent with educating our children, no matter which methods and philosophies we're using, it's that consistency that constantly builds up.
And we've talked about that before with the concept of Morning Time about it's the little grains of sand that pile up to be something big in the end. And I think that it's the little ways that we meet our children where they are that, you know, add up over the years to kind of help them figure out how to help themselves and to kind of figure out what it is that they need to do in the future as they are becoming adults and they're coming against obstacles and they have to solve their own problems. At least that's kind of the goal.
Pam: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Exactly. Okay. I love that. And, and I do, and I think about like my youngest, he, like, he has, for whatever reason, I mean I like to say it's because he's the baby and he's spoiled, but like he needs me there more than my older kids at that age.
Now I could probably force the issue. I don't know that I want to, cuz I think it would mess with the relationship, you know, but he's just, he's different. And then my oldest is different. My middle child is, they're just all so different than each other. And so for me to be the homeschool mom that they need in the moment, I have to sometimes behave a little differently and do things a little differently for each one of them.
So when I was thinking about this concept this morning as I was getting a shower and washing my hair before we got started, I, because I always do all of my best thinking in the shower, I think because it's quiet. One of the things that occurred to me was if I were to take stock and figure like grade myself, you know, as a homeschool mom, how would I know what to grade myself against? And I kind of went back to my vision that I write. So in our course, put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot, the very first thing we do is have you write a vision for your homeschool. And the vision for your homeschool is not what you want your kids to be or everything that you want them to know or something like that.
But instead it's about the things that you can control, which is the atmosphere of your home. The things that you need to work on are you can work on every day to create this atmosphere of learning that's important to you, important to your husband, important to your faith, important to everybody under your house. And so you come up with this idea of a vision of what's important.
And as I was thinking, you know, if I'm going to evaluate whether or not I'm a good homeschool mom, I think I would have to evaluate myself up against that vision. What do you think about that? Because I know you have a vision.
Laney: Yeah, I think that is a really valid point and you have to kind of have, what are the main things to you? What are the most important things to you and what are your expectations out of your homeschool? But I think one of the things you said there that's most important has to do with, it's not the things we have to make sure that our vision includes things that we can control. And it has more to do with the atmosphere in our home than a specific thing that we're gonna do. Cuz you know, you were talking before about how each of your kids is so different and homeschooling them looks different. And I know that's the case in my homeschool as well. But I think especially, and this, this came over years for me, but as I was homeschooling my oldest children, I had ideas about what I wanted my homeschool to look like and the maybe educational philosophies that we were going to use.
And then I would recognize that this idea or this picture that I had in my head was something that maybe I almost held as like an idol kind of thing. It's what I wanted and it was what I viewed as success. But then I had to learn to let go of some of those things as my kids are individual people and they don't think exactly as I think and they don't, you know, they don't necessarily conform to all of my ideal homeschool scenarios. They want, you know, something different or they need something different. I personally could be just happy if all we ever did is read books. But I have some kids who are much more hands on and need to be using their creative outlets for things.
And so art is something that is really difficult for me to implement in my homeschool because it's not something that I naturally gravitate towards, apart from reading a book about art appreciation. But they want to actually do art. Right? And so I think sometimes it's just kind of this process of seeing where your kids really thrive and what it is that brings them joy and delight.
And as we are willing to let go of the things that we hold so closely to us that we can then have this homeschool that really reflects who our kids are. But not losing sight of the fact that the, and you say it all the time, the best homeschool curriculum is the one that you'll do. So if I choose a super hands-on crafty, you know, very art, project centered curriculum, guess what? It's not gonna be done all the time. Cuz that's hard for me. But I can still recognize my kids really appreciate and need this aspect of that so I can stretch myself out of my comfort zone and do these things with them. But it doesn't mean that I have to let go of reading them books. It just means that I have to be willing to stretch myself to meet their needs.
Pam: Okay. So flexibility, we've talked about, yes. Good homeschool moms need flexibility. But it sounds like good homeschool moms also need balance. Balance. Yes.
Laney: You are a part of the equation.
Pam: Yes, yes you are. That's exactly right. You are actually, I wrote a post a number of years ago that the most important person in your homeschool plan is you. Cuz people are always like, oh my kid's learning style is this and you know, my kid likes this and my kid likes that. But if you don't plan things that you're actually going to implement, then those plans are going to sit there undone.
And so really it is about striking that balance. And then, okay, so the third thing about knowing you're a good homeschool mom is having a vision, being able to define yes. What it looks like to be a good homeschool mom.
Okay. So let's talk about this idea. We've got our vision. We're being flexible, we're very balanced. Everything is looking good.
And so when we're doing all of these things and it's all perfect, our homeschools just gonna run smoothly and there are never gonna be any problems. Right? That's what you found?
Laney: Absolutely not. Of course not. Cause they're people, there are people involved. Nothing ever runs smoothly when there are people involved. I think that's my assessment. You know,
they have like, we have good days, we have bad days, they have good days, they have bad days, they have hard seasons. You know? I've had one child who has been smooth sailing for schooling for several years and now we're hitting puberty and things are getting bumpy and rough and we wanna fuss about things again. And I'm like, I thought we were done with this.
But we're not. We have to continue to to work and recognize that they're growing and they're changing and, and all of that is just that it still kind of goes back to that flexible process. But it also means that sometimes life isn't all sunshine and roses at the table every day. Sometimes we have to, you know, give consequences. Sometimes we have to bring people back in and say, you know what, I'm sorry, but you can't go out and play with your friends today because you didn't complete your math.
Or, I mean, there are things that we have to do to help hold our children accountable and to teach them that they must be accountable for what it is their, is their responsibility to do.
Pam: Yea. And And that's hard.
Laney: It's hard because sometimes it's easier to let them go. Yeah. And let them do what they wanna do.
Pam: I mean, it's hard because we love them, so it's hard to teach them, you know, hard lessons and consequences. But it's also hard because we're just tired, tired that they wear us down. You know?
Laney: Exactly. At three o'clock in the afternoon when you're supposed to be outside playing with your friends, I want you to be playing with your friends because I have things to do. Maybe I just want a minute to myself. And I don't wanna have to make you stay inside to do your math because you're not gonna be happy about that.
And it means that I have to take the time that I thought I was gonna have to myself for a few minutes to make you do your math and sit there with you to make sure you're doing it. Yeah. So there is a sacrifice involved. I don't think that homeschooling is ever an easy proposition, but it's so worthwhile when you start to see them becoming their own people. And you know, like I said, I find such joy in seeing my kids move out and find their way on their own. A lot of people are like, isn't that terribly emotional? Isn't it so hard to let them go? There are some bittersweet aspects of that, but I find incredible joy in watching my kids leave the nest and really like start to kind of figure things out on their own because they're so excited about doing it.
And I'm like, this is what we've been working for all these years. And I'm really happy to be able to be a part of watching it happen and watch them go and have their own lives. And to, like I said, sometimes that's hard too, is watching them kind of stumble through things. But that's all part of that growing process and that's what we're doing as homeschool moms, is we're shaping them and helping them to grow and develop into people who are functional adults, hopefully.
Pam: Yeah. Yeah. I'm coming up on this now and, and, and honestly I don't think my senior is going anywhere yet. Right? You know, I think she's probably taking a gap year or she's staying locally and going to college, you know, taking some classes locally. But I, I think, I think it's easier to see that on the other side of it. So I'm glad I have moms like you who are on the other side of it to kind of lead me through the whole thing. For sure. For sure.
Laney: Yeah, It's, I mean, it's like I said, it, there's so many emotions. I'm getting my, my daughter's decided to graduate early and she keeps moving that date, you know, closer and closer. And I'm like, but wait, I thought I had a little bit more time and it's okay. Like, she's ready and she's doing the work and she's, you know, she's ready for the next steps. So I don't want to keep her from doing that because she's really working hard to achieve the things that she wants to achieve. And that's part of the excitement and part of seeing them.
You know, I had what my 18 year old moved outta my house like two weeks ago, something like that. And it was hard to be sad to see him go because he was so joyful about what he was going to do on his own. And so I love that. I'm like, it's not like I'm not gonna see him. You know, we're we still, we've seen each other several times now. He did just move like right in our little local town. He's, he's close by and so we do get to see him and we've had other kids that have moved further away and those things are hard, but to see them have successes and joys is really, it's a blessing. And that is one of the things that I don't regret about homeschooling all these years is that I, I got to spend all this time with them. I've had them close by and I've had so much more time with them than I would have if we would've, you know, chosen a traditional route of education.
Pam: Yeah. I love it.
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Pam: Okay. So what I'm pulling from this little section is homeschool moms have to do the right thing even when it's hard cause we kind of went in a couple of different directions. So a good homeschool mom does the right thing even when it's hard. Whether that's making the kids sit there at three and do the math worksheet even when she would rather be sitting on the couch eating bonbons or letting them fly from the nest with joy because that's what they're supposed to be doing.
Okay. So let's talk about critics because here is my thought and then I'm gonna get your thought. My thought is when people are evaluating am I a good homeschool mom, they're trying to answer their toughest critic and for me, my toughest critic lives inside of me. It's like the little voice in my head. Do you find that to be true?
Laney: That that's a hundred percent true? I think that that's, I think that's probably fairly universal for homeschoolers. Or occasionally you'll have somebody who has a very vocal critic, like maybe a family member who doesn't support the idea of homeschooling and then they're working towards proving somebody else wrong. But I still think that that insight that still comes with our own internal critic because we're worried about meeting somebody else's expectations. And I think that also comes from inside of us and it is, it's hard to day in and day out and and feel like you've made mistakes but you are going to make mistakes. Yeah. Right? Yeah. At least I'm gonna, Pam, I think you've probably made mistakes, right?
Pam: Lots and lots of mistakes. And I think, I think that's a thing right there is when as a good, I think the good homeschool mom and we keep, you know, I mean this is what we're doing the podcast about y'all, so don't get upset that I keep saying good homeschool mom, like there are bad ones out there, but the good homeschool mom is the person who's going to learn from those mistakes and pivot from those mistakes. And so I think not letting that critic's voice become so loud that it drowns out reality and it drowns out.
You know, like mistakes are learning opportunities and so when we make a mistake cultivating the attitude, growing that mindset of yeah, I made a mistake, I probably could have done that better. Maybe I need to apologize to somebody usually in my house it was a child, right? I needed to apologize to a child. What a great opportunity to model asking for forgiveness.
You know? And then how am I going to do things differently next time? You know, how am I going to pivot this situation?
Laney: Exactly. And you know, isn't that, isn't that again, it's just a modeling cuz isn't that what we want our kids to do? How, you know, I don't want to correct my child and then have them continue in the same behavior and I don't want to like get down on myself about something that I've made a mistake or I've done something that I feel like I shouldn't have done.
And I'm feeling repentant of that. Well part of repentance is turning, right? It's not just a oops. And so it, I think that pivoting is an essential part of, you know, learning from what it is. Like how did I do this that I'm not happy about it? And then wanting to change it so that you can do something a little different the next day or in the next moment.
We don't have to continue. And I think it's really important to not stay just kind of bogged down with letting yourself, you know, telling yourself that you're not a good homeschool mom. Since we're using that term, and I'm just gonna throw this out there, if you're listening to this podcast, I probably think you fall into the category of good homeschool moms.
Yeah. Because you're worried about whether you're a good homeschool mom or not. Yeah. You're seeking other information and you, you're looking for, you know, other people to kind of help you figure out like what does that look like? And I think that just that desire to learn and to grow and to really put ourselves in a situation where we want to to know more, that's an indication that that you are doing the things that need to be done to be, like you said, I can't, this is audio, but you know, we got the air quotes here, the good homeschool mom, right?
Pam: Yeah. Well people have asked me before, you know, like, I don't know if I can homeschool. How do you know if you can homeschool? You know how how like I have these kids, I think I wanna homeschool 'em, but I'm just so scared I don't know that I can do it. How do I know that I'm capable or qualified or whatever? And my response is always, if you have a willingness to, to learn, if you have a willingness to do the work, if you have a desire to better yourselves and then you know better yourselves back to the air quotes, like you are going to be a successful homeschool mom. Because I mean, that's what it takes. None of us knew how to homeschool when we started. Right? None of us knew that. And we've all just learned as we went along. And so anybody with a, with a love for their children and a willingness to do the work quite frankly, because we're not gonna sugarcoat it for you here. Homeschooling isn't easy, but if you have a willingness to do the work, then you can successfully homeschool your kids.
Laney: Absolutely. And again, it's not easy, but it's so worthwhile I think. Yeah.
You know, you said none of this starts out feeling like we can homeschool. I, I remember when we decided to pull our child out of public school and I called a couple of local homeschool moms that I had, you know, kind of been put in contact with and I was discussing it and I was probably just a panicky hot mess and didn't realize it.
Cause I remember this, this older mom who'd been homeschooling for many years and had lots of kids, she was like, the first thing you need to do is just calm down honey. And she was like, it's all gonna be okay. And I just, I never forgot that because I think that that's true. Like when we all, when we enter into homeschooling, it is this big scary thing that is like we enter and we're trying to figure out whether we can do it. Yeah.
Even those of us that go into it and we're like, well I always planned on homeschooling and I had a plan and this was the philosophy I was gonna use and this was, this is the curriculum I'm gonna use.
Pam: I Had all 13 years mapped out on a spreadsheet. It was great.
Laney: And how many of your 13 years look like what you thought it was gonna look like when you started?
Laney: Exactly. So I think it just really doesn't matter whether you think you've got it all together at on the front end and you've done all the research and you know, or you feel like this floundering, panicky hot mess of, I don't even know if I can do this. I think it's just an opportunity for us to do the work and let God's grace work through us. Because that is really what it's all about. We don't control outcomes. But you can rest in knowing that you are doing the work that has been put before you.
Pam: Yeah. Okay. So I'm so glad you brought up God's grace because I wanna pick at something that's been bothering me and I'm, I'm not gonna make any friends right here, but this whole, “you are enough” mantra that keeps going around telling moms “you are enough, you are enough, you are enough.” I'm sorry, let's stop telling moms you are enough because you're not, you're not enough, you're not enough and you don't have to be enough. Even more important than that, you don't have to be enough.
Nobody's asking you to be enough. Nobody's requiring that of you. Like you're the vessel, you're the conduit, you know? And so asking for God's grace and take the pressure off yourself, like it's not even a question of am I enough or not? That's not the right question. We're not asking the right question. If the answer is “you are enough,” it's how much can I depend on him? And you can depend on him so much. I mean his is just abundant and overflowing. You just have to ask for it and be receptive to it. And you don't have to be enough. Stop asking the question where that's the answer, you know?
Laney: Well, and That's just it. You're never gonna be enough. No matter how many things you're doing, no matter how many co-ops you belong to are running, no matter how, you know, doesn't matter how academically rigorous your curriculum is or how laid back or how unschooly you are. Like there's no, there's no place where any of us are the answer for our children. We have to recognize that Christ is the answer for all of us.
And as we were talking about before, about just like being able to model, you know, certain behaviors like forgiveness and turning when we make mistakes, I, you know, those are the bigger things that I want my kids to, to learn and to take away from. I've had conversations recently with some of my older children, they're like, well you're, you're different now than you were. Like whenever, you know, we were younger or whatever. I said, and thank goodness, right? Like God is continuing to grow me and I am not the same person I was whenever I was your mom 10 years ago or whatever. I said, because I'm glad at 45 that I can still learn and grow and change and be changed by Christ.
And that as I grow closer in my relationship to him, that he still has the ability to work in my life. And that praise Jesus that they can see that like, that it's, it's different now than it was then. And that's not just because mom changed her homeschool methodology. That's because I have continued to be shaped and molded and hopefully that is going to be true for my children as well.
And I don't want them to ever think like that the job is done because you're 18 now or you're 25 now. But you know, it's like, well great, but you still have lots to learn and you're still going to go through these rough things. And I just think that homeschooling is a beautiful, a beautiful picture for our kids as we learn and grow through Christ.
Because we are not going to put enough, we're not gonna academically pour enough into our kids to make them be the people that they need to be. That doesn't come, that doesn't come from us. We don't have that kind of control. And so I think what you were saying, you know, we need to lean into God's grace and we need to understand that the, the work of growing these children is God's work. And we are like a conduit. We have the work that we should do as we are loving them and teaching them and training them. But it is, the outcome is not, it's good. Like our vision, the, you know, you don't wanna put things on there that are things that we can,
we can't control. You can't really control the outcome of your children. And as moms and I think as a homeschool mom in particular, that is especially, especially hard, I have a theory that homeschool moms all have control issues,
Pam: Imperfection problems. Yes.
Laney: Yes. It's why we're willing to go against the grain of what everybody else is doing cuz we need to control something.
Pam: Yeah. Yeah.
Laney: But you know, I think that that can be used for good, but we, we have, we have to be able to let go. And I think, isn't it Sarah Mackenzie that says like, you know, to hold loosely like Yeah, I, I don't have a quote in my head, but from her Teaching from Rest book, it's, you know, about we can make a plan, but you hold them loosely.
Pam: Yeah, yeah. And she talks about like showing up. I mean, you know, bring, like your job is to show up and be faithful to the work. Yeah. Right?
Laney: Bring your basket.
Pam: Bring your basket. That's exactly right. Bring your basket. And so, and, and what we're alluding to there is, is, you know, from the gospels where Jesus fed the 5,000 and, you know, they brought the basket, the apostles found the basket from the little boy that had the loaves and fishes in it. And you know, Jesus didn't start with nothing. He could have started with nothing, but he took the basket that they had brought to him and then multiplied it. And so when you bring your basket, when you do the work, when you show up, then he, you know, showers his grace down upon it and multiplies it into what it needs to be. And I, I just thank, I thank him that, you know, I don't have to be enough because I know I'm inadequate to the task that he's the one who's, he's the one who's gonna do it.
All right. Well this is Your Morning Basket and you know, so let's kind of circle this around and talk about as we finish up, can Morning Time help you to be a good homeschool mom?
Laney: Well, it helps me be a better homeschool mom for sure. It does. And there like, kind of going back to a number of the things that we've talked about, you know, I talked about even just like, well I don't really love art projects, but I would really prefer to read books all the time. Those kinds of things. I, one of the things that we have done in our homeschool is implement Morning Basket and it brings everybody together.
And it's also the place where we get that cohesive unity in our family. Because as I said, I homeschool a lot of my children differently depending on their needs and their interests and things like that. But it doesn't really look like these eight individual, you know, plans that are all going off in different directions. We really have our Morning Basket to bring us together where we're kind of centered around something that is cohesive and it allows us to build relationships through discussions and just really just getting together every day.
Like having that face time. It is really easy to be able to just split off and go do, especially as the kids get older, people are working, you have different classes and co-ops and there are so many things that take you away that our Morning Time is the time that brings us all together. And I currently have everybody from my 16 year old down to my seven year old.
I have five of them. And they gather at the table almost every day of the week. And we read and discuss and do art projects together. And it's the time where we have connection before everybody is kind of separated to go off and do their own things. And that connection time happens consistently with our Morning Basket time so that we maintain those relationships.
So, you know, my seven year old was very upset that her 18 year old brother was moving out. And that's because she has a connection with him and it's something that, she has because we have this constant gathering. He was a part of her life even though he was so much older and already like out and about and doing things.
And I feel like that's so much harder to maintain when everybody is getting up first thing in the morning and splitting off. You know, if we're, if we're leaving to do things. So that coming together, it really helps to build our family unity and cohesiveness. It's where we have our, like our bible time and we do our catechism and we can connect through our faith in that way.
But it also, like for me, when I started using the Your Morning Basket subscription in particular, everything was all laid out. And so it gives me opportunities to do things that maybe I wouldn't normally plan or maybe a little outside of my comfort zone.
Pam: Like that art.
Laney: Yes, like that art we did, we did it like what it was the Valentine's Week.
I was like, oh, we're gonna do this art project and I even bought all this stuff to do it. And it was a project from one of the, it was like a event replay from the Your Morning Basket subscription and it was a painting project and I was like, we're gonna do this. And then something happened and we didn't get it done. And by the end of the week I was like, Nope, I I'm gonna do this. And so we sat down, we did it, and the kids all had such a great time and they all had all created and I sit and do it with them. Like I, I'm not usually somebody that sits down to do that, but I sat and painted with them and they get to see me learning and kind of experimenting in the same ways that, that they are. So Your Morning Basket gives me the variety of subjects and different topics and things that I might have never thought about covering, but it never fails how it will spark somebody's interest and it will help them kind of figure out what it is that they maybe want to pursue further. And at the same time, it still is that central hub of our homeschool that like brings everybody together for that connection before they all break off for their individual activities and interests every day.
Pam: You know, I was thinking about how, how does Morning Time make me feel like a good homeschool mom? And, and I think there are a couple of ways, and one of them you kind of touched upon upon and this is that it is the place where I get to keep learning, you know? As I look at our community of people and guys, like if you're listening to this, anybody within the sound of my voice, you are totally welcome to come over and join our community. It's absolutely free to join. It's at community.pambarnhill.com and it just so many great moms in there, you know, supporting each other. But when I look at our community, it's such a community of learners.
It's people who are so interested in keeping on learning. And that's me. And you know, I, I always make a joke like I know the long division and so I'm teaching it to my kids even though I really don't teach my kids math anymore, but like the grammar or the writing or, you know, we're no longer learning how to read.
But when we did that, when I was teaching them how to read, I knew how to do that stuff. And I very much played the role of teacher with that. Like, I have this knowledge, I'm imparting it to you, but Morning Time is so wonderful because that is the place where I get to keep learning about things that I didn't know before.
And I think that's the hallmark of a good homeschool mom is that she is always learning.
Laney: I agree.
Pam: She, she's always like, you know, working on her craft as a homeschool mom, but then she's always learning new things and, and Morning Time gives me the place to painlessly do that with my kids. And so I'm modeling lifelong learning to them, but I'm also like filling up my own cup with like cool things and knowledge and you know, stuff that I want to know. And so that's one of the ways, and then the second way that I, just as a checklist mom and I definitely am like, you know, me Laney, like I've, I've got to like make all the lists and check off all the boxes and everything and that's how I feel like I'm winning.
I feel like a good homeschool mom when I'm done with Morning Time because it's a, it's a short compact time of day, but we move through things so quickly that by the end of that we have checked off so many boxes. We've gotten so much done in such a short amount of time. Do you find that?
Laney: I do. In fact, I think that that's actually really a valid, like it's, it's a really key point to, you know, I've, I've said several times we have to do the work as homeschool moms. It's not an easy thing. We have to do the work and we have to get up and we have to do school every day and we have to hold our kids accountable to doing school every day. But I'm gonna tell you if we've done Morning Basket our school, I feel like we have done school for the day.
I feel like I have, you know, kind of checked that box that says I have done the work and we cover so much in Morning Basket and it's not, like you said, it's this really compact time where so much learning and activity is happening. And it could be a few minutes.
The ages of my kids currently, we usually run about an hour and a half. But so, so much has been accomplished during that time and the learning with them, I've, I have had so much fun learning things and I'm always constantly telling my husband when he gets home, did you know what I learned today? Like oh my gosh, I had never, I had never heard this thing last night I went to bible study and we were reading about the Crucifixion and Peter denying Christ and then Christ restoration of Peter and g giving him his commission to feed his sheep. And I was like, did you guys know that the rooster on the weather ban was like mandated,
it was required for churches to have this and Pam knows what I'm talking about because she taught a kid, or she taught a class yesterday in membership at Your Morning Basket and she gave about weather, but she gave us this fun little fact about the fact that roosters were mandated by a pope in a very,
Pam: I can't remember which century pope, but it was the ninth century. Yes. Every church had to have a rooster on its steeple on the weather vein. So to remind us of Peter's denial of Christ. Yeah. I thought that was so cool.
Laney: And I thought, I was like, that's fascinating. And so here I am, I'm sharing it with like all the adults at our adult Bible study last night. And everybody, I mean like people started getting out their phones and Googling it and we were all reading about it and talking about it, but it was, it, like I said, that was just something cuz I learned that while my kids were doing school and I was sitting there participating with them and I I love that it, it was so much more fun than when I was in school and being, you know, told that I had to learn things or I didn't, I don't remember my schooling ever being quite as enjoyable as what I'm learning with my kids now. And I think that that's actually the best part of homeschooling is getting to, to learn all these new things and to be able to enjoy them with my kids. And cuz they get excited about stuff that you're excited about or
Pam: At least when they're little, Yes, this is true.
Laney: And when they're older they're like, yeah, I don't agree with that. And you're like, Oh.
Pam: And that's why we say you switch from Bible stories to apologetics when they get older. So, you know, they, they lean into that arguing and en enjoy it so much.
Yeah. And then I'm, I'm gonna close this out by saying, you know, we sing the Doxology at the end of our Morning Time every single day. And I, I will say it again, I've said it already this season, I will say it again. I don't think you can be grumpy and sing at the same time. So, you know, the singing that we do in Morning Time just really, really, you know, the whole Morning Time sets the tone for our day and the singing is just kind of the cherry on top of the sundae there that it is. We move in, we move into the rest of the day. We've, we've breathed deeply, we've, you know, we've sung out and and sang praises to God and it's, it's just a good way to start all the rest of the stuff that we have to do.
Well Laney, thank you so much for coming on today and talking to me about what, what is a good homeschool mom and what it means and how do you know that you're a good homeschool mom? I hope that we've given you guys some, some things to think about.
Notice that we didn't completely define it for you. We've left a lot of it up to you, but we hope that we've inspired you in some ways. So if you would like to, to chat with Laney some more, you can find her in the community community.pambarnhill.com. And if you're interested in signing up to become a Your Morning Basket Plus member and letting us help plan out your Morning Time, how do you help people get started Laney?
Laney: Well, when you become a member of Your Morning Basket, you have an opportunity to schedule a meeting with me where we'll chat one-on-one and we'll talk about the resources inside membership that will best meet the needs of your specific homeschool. There's so many resources available inside Morning Time and we really want to help families kind of get oriented but not just be overwhelmed by everything inside.
We want them to really target the pieces of membership that are going to best benefit their families. And so that's what I do is I meet with the families or the moms individually and be able to kind of guide them through where to get started and I'm always available to answer questions and to give helps and it's just a fun, it's a, it's a very pleasant place to be online.
Pam: Yeah. That's not always the case online, but Yeah. And and that's true. I can't take credit for any of it because I am not an online community kind of person. So we have a wonderful community manager, Dawn Garrett, and then Laney's in there and Allie is in there and they just, they make it the wonderful, delightful place to be so I can say it, it's like one of the best places online cuz I had nothing to do with building it, so. All right. Well thanks Laney. Thank you so much for coming.
Laney: Thanks for having me.
Thanks so much for listening to Your Morning Basket. If you are ready to spend less time planning and more time engaged in learning with your children, join Your Morning Basket Plus a monthly membership with everything you need to start a Morning Time practice in your homeschool. To join, head on over to ymbplus.com and I'll see you there.
Key Ideas about Being a Good Homeschool Mom
- Being a good homeschool mom involves continually evaluating and adjusting educational experiences to fit each child’s needs.
- Flexibility, balance, and having a vision for success are important for homeschooling.
- Develop an atmosphere of learning centered around faith and values.
- Have the courage and determination to do what is right, even in difficult situations.
- Take joy in witnessing your child’s transition into adulthood.
Find what you want to hear:
- [0:32] Meet Laney
- [2:45] What is a good homeschool mom?
- [3:20] The necessity of being able to adapt
- [4:15] Homeschooling different kids
- [7:22] Using your vision as a measuring stick
- [13:10] Good days and bad days
- [15:25] Graduating kids out of your homeschool
- [19:45] Our biggest critic
- [26:45] You’re not enough
- [32:48] What about Morning Time?
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Thanks for your reviews
- Thank youby mrsbeliever from United States
I take my walks outside two times a day. I enjoy listening to all the knowledge you have on your podcast! I am a mom of 7 and have been homeschooling for 18 years! I’m not a novice but have loved all your advice and input! Thank you for everything you do! I love it!
- Always a favorite!by Lizzie O' from United States
Pam continues to do an amazing job with this podcast. She is a wonderful host, never hurried, asks great questions and really lets her guest share his/her experience fully. The variety of experience & wisdom here is fruit for the homeschooling community at large. I’ve been listening from day one and this podcast continues to be a top favorite. Thank you Pam!
- Morning time will change your lifeby RachBoz from United States
I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!
- Life Affirmingby Logandinco66 from United States
This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.
- Life giving!by lapatita5 from United States
This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.
- You've made my school year!