YMB 84 Advent Carols: A Conversation with Genie Shaw

Continuing with our November theme of celebrating Advent this year, I am joined on today’s show by the Your Morning Basket Plus music specialist Genie Shaw. We are talking all about Advent music, what makes it different from Christmas music and why you might want to add some of these pieces to your holiday playlist. We give you ideas for which pieces to start with and how to add celebrating these to your holiday season.

Pam Barnhill:

This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness and Beauty to your homeschool day. Welcome to the Your Morning Basket podcast.

I’m Pam Barnhill, your host and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. On today’s episode of the podcast, we are talking all about Advent Carols or Advent music with my very good friend Genie Shaw. Genie is a mom of seven who has the most beautiful voice. She studied music in college. She was actually introduced to music by her mom in her own homeschooling days. This is a second generation.
The great thing is, Genie is not just keeping all of this wonderful music knowledge and that beautiful voice in her home, she is sharing it with all of us. We’re going to be talking today all about Advent music and how we can use music to set the atmosphere of our homes in the days leading up to Christmas.

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We continue the conversation that we started last week about Advent with what it is and what's some of the differences between Advent and Christmas music or hymns? My hopes after this episode of the podcast is for you to take a look at a couple of these wonderful hymns and maybe decide to use one of them in your home this holiday season.
We’ll get on with it right after this word from our sponsor. This episode of the podcast is brought to you by our Advent Morning Time Plans. These wonderful morning time plans are four weeks to help you prepare your heart for the holidays. In Morning Time, you can use these with your kids and they make a wonderful addition to your holiday Morning Time. The best thing about these plans is they are absolutely free. All you have to do to get them is come over to the website at pambarnhill.com/advent, enter your email address and you can download your set of plans.
Now, they are freshly revamped this year. They've gone from three weeks of plans to four weeks of plans to take you all the way through the Advent season. We focus on Handel's Messiah, some Advent prayers, memorizing verses from Isaiah related to the Messiah, some Christmas themed map and some Christmas themed art for picture study and also, some art projects that you can do as well, there's a little bit of nature study on the side. So many great Advent and Christmas themed activities in this free set of plans we have just for you, so pambarnhill.com/advent to get your set today.
Genie Shaw is a second-generation homeschooling mom of seven living deep in the heart of Texas. Genie holds a BA in music voice from Texas Christian University. She is the author of an e-book, Awaiting the Messiah, a family Advent devotional that walks through Handel's Messiah. Genie shares her musical expertise through the music notes portion of our own morning time explorations, and she is also the author of the Catholic morning time plans here at Your Morning Basket.
On her website, barefootabbey.com, Genie offers readers inexpensive ways to live the liturgical year with good music and delicious food and she gives us a peek into the life in her domestic monastery. Her newest book O Come Let Us Adore Him, is the perfect way to enter into Advent and Christmas through Carols. Genie, welcome to the podcast.
Genie Shaw: Hi. Thanks for having me.
Pam: I think this is the first time you've ever been on the podcast with as much as we've done together.
Genie: I know, I know, I guess you're right.
Pam: I'm happy to have you here.
Genie: Oh, thanks.
Pam: Well, start off by telling all the listeners out there a little bit about you and your homeschool.
Genie: We are Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers. Mostly Ambleside with some tweaks for our faith. We try to just do as much as possible overlapping with ages because we do have a lot of kids. That makes things a little more manageable for me. Half of them are not school-age, so balancing that it helps out to have that little bit of flexibility and overlap.
Pam: Remind me of their ages?
Genie: My oldest son is 11 and they step down from there. My youngest is 18 months old right now.
Pam: George is not the baby anymore there--
Genie: No, he got kicked up or I guess promoted. That's the nicer way to say that. There we go.
Pam: He was my buddy, gosh a couple of years ago at the convention now, right?
Genie: Yes, yes.
Pam: Well, I tell you, you're second-generation homeschooler and you brought your mom to the Texas convention a couple of years ago. I love her. She is a bundle of energy.
Genie: Never met a stranger.
Pam: She certainly hasn’t. Your own love of music, where did that come from? Was that something from homeschooling, from church? Where did it develop?
Genie: Well, actually it started with hymns. After lunch, my mother would practice. She’s not a trained musician, but she could read music from high school marching band. She would pick out on the piano, two parts of a four-part hymn. That was really my earliest introduction to music. From there, she would just try to expose us to different things. Like you said, she didn't have necessarily a curriculum or education in the subject, but she could turn on the classical music station or she could remember a piece that she had heard and listen for the name at the end of it and then would play that or find recordings back when tapes and CDs were still a thing.
Like Pachelbel's Canon, we had, “Here’s the version with the C in the background, and here's the version with just the piano.” She’d find something and just really fall in love with a piece here and there and that was more of the classical introduction to music. The hymns and then those pieces that resonated with her but she then had for us to then remember just through every exposure.
Pam: Your love for music came from what she exposed you to and in her own love for music and just her playing those different things for you. Then you went off to college and decided this was what you were going to do.
Genie: Yes, and it was more. I fell into it through the historical door of it. I sung in high school choir, but that was it. There wasn't really much of a choir-church wise, so there wasn't that opportunity until college. I just fell into it. From there it was actually Dvorak Stabat Mater that I heard on the first day. When we would start a semester, the masterwork that we would do just for the basic college choir, like low-level no audition, no nothing.
We would listen to the piece and I was so moved by that masterwork by Dvorak that-- I was like I need to be a part of this and I need to help make that more accessible. If you don't know about it, it's hard to then incorporate it for your family and find ways that work for you to use it and it not be as daunting.
Pam: That's the wonderful thing about what you've done for us. First, with the Morning Time Bites and then through the Explorations as well. We get that lovely recording from you every single morning and families can sing along. It's so funny. I had somebody tell me recently they were like, “Oh my child told me, ‘Mom, Miss Pam is singing opera.’” I'm like, “Oh no, no, no, that’s not Miss Pam, that’s Miss Genie who’s doing that.”
Genie: Some months are better than others. It just depends on the time of day.
Pam: We love it. You do make it where families can use it and make it approachable for them and so that such a gift. I know as a Catholic family, you practice the liturgical year. I guess if I can say it like that practicing the liturgical year. You live the liturgical year. Why do you think music is such a great way to enter into different liturgical seasons? When I say that, I’m also talking about seasons like Christmas and Easter that all Christians celebrate as well. Why do you think music is a good way to live the liturgical year?
Genie: At least it's easy way for us to set the tone and atmosphere and mark the change of the season. For example, with Lent and Easter, you've got that more penitential time of Lent and then you go into the celebration of Easter. Likewise, with Advent and Christmas, you have that preparatory anticipatory season of Advent and then the greater celebration of Christmas that would go until, basically, February in medieval times.
It's the sounds. People bake and things like that that fills their other senses, smell and taste, and things like that. You also have the opportunity to do so through the sense of hearing and things like that. Then also, if you choose to sing as well, it's just another way to mark that change for us, our family, specifically.
Pam: I love that. You're right. So much of the atmosphere for these different seasons of the liturgical calendar can be set with music. We do things through smell and we do things through sight with decoration or lack of decoration during some seasons. It's just another way to utilize those senses and set the atmosphere. That's great. I want to talk to you about something that might be a little bit of a point of contention. What is the difference between Advent music and Christmas music or is there a difference between the two?
Genie: Well, carol-wise, we have to look at-- Of course, you can call them Advent carols or Advent hymns or Christmas carols or Christmas hymns, they're the same. Those terms are interchangeable, meaning hymns and carols. It's really when we look at the text and we look at even the tunes, you're going to see a lot more, like I mentioned, for Advent, there's the preparation.
You can think about it like the leading up to any baby being born. You've got to prepare, you've got to get things ready, you might have a baby shower, things like that. You're going to be focusing on different things. Also, Advent itself, not only is it focusing on that first coming of Christ in the flesh, but it's also focusing on His second coming. There's that dual preparation, dual focus, within the text that you can find.
Sometimes, you can even hear in the tune that it might be a minor or not as happy of a tune when they're setting or when they did set those texts. Sometimes, you can hear the difference between the two, whether it's the Advent carol or a Christmas carol. Some are more peppy than others, but it's usually what is the content of the lyrics that's going to tip you off.
Pam: A lot of times it's the lyrical content, the words themselves that are talking about the difference. We're going to talk about some more specifics in just a minute, but I'm going to put you on the spot. Are you a purist when it comes to music for Advent and Christmas and when each kind of music has to be played?
Genie: This is a tough one. This is a really tough one because I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings too, but then, also, my husband, he's like, "I'm going to turn up that," when he drives. He's like, "I'm going to turn on the local station." That of course, starts their-- I think they're playing it now actually, their Christmas music. It's the popular-- I wouldn't say modern, but I would say classic holiday music.
Think Bing Crosby, think Nat King Cole, things like that. He loves it. He eats it up. At the house, I'm more like, we're going to have just the Advent type. It's mostly for the kids because I do want to be able to mark that shift, when Christmas actually begins, because otherwise for me, it's six weeks of doing Frosty over here.
Pam: Yes, and you're sick of frosty, you really are. Frosty has nothing to do with Jesus.
Genie: Yes, there's that, and I think that the more somber tone of some of the Advent music, be it carols, be it classical music, be it even just like the Winter instrumental things, what comes to mind for that, like Charlie Brown soundtrack, things like that, which I would group in more of like folk music. With that, I feel like you have more space to prepare your hearts and just get ready time so that you do feel prepared when it actually hits and you're rolling in a snowball to the other season. I know to each their own. It's a contentious subject, I know.
Pam: Yes, that's interesting that you would put the Charlie Brown instrumental music, in that's okay before Christmas. It's more of a preparation music. I wonder if that has to do with the fact that you and I grew up watching Charlie Brown before Christmas.
Genie: Right, we had that atmosphere.
Pam: Or it could be the fact that you could probably just listen to that one all year round and not get sick of it.
Genie: It's really calm. It's not like a Sousa March or something that's getting you revved up.
Pam: It has no lyrics.
Genie: Yes, exactly.
Pam: It may be so, but then I'm with you, I don't know that they're playing it right here right now, but they start the day after Thanksgiving. The worst part about it is they stop on Christmas Day. It would be nice if they would just carry it out through January 6th and so you would have the option, but unless you have your own Christmas music queued up and you're listening to the radio, you have no choice if you're going to listen to the radio. I didn't really want to put you on the spot too much. I will say that I try to hold out each year and get closer to Christmas if I can. I certainly don't start listening before Thanksgiving.
Every once in a while, will turn it on in the car, but I try to get closer and closer to Christmas. Let's move on to the next question, which is, what are some examples of Advent music? This is where I struggle. I struggle finding music that I enjoy listening to throughout Advent so that I don't feel like I have to resort to Christmas music to get into some different spirit. I'm not going to say the holiday spirit, but just an out of ordinary time spirit, if that makes sense.
Genie: There's a few different routes you can go on that. We've mentioned a few, the classical music or the instrumental or even the hymns themself. If you want just an artist or a choir that's really good that you can look for, say, on your Amazon Prime music or things like that, the King's Choir of Cambridge is really good high quality. They're the ones who do the lessons in carols with a new hymn each year and it's always on Christmas Eve.
What we try to do is, we try to line up our big tree decorating day with that. Of course, it's going to be a recording because they're in the UK, but the new one will be out that day, that Christmas Eve for us so we can try to incorporate that. They always have a new hymn composed or reset each year. That's a fun thing. They're always excellent in their recordings, so anything by them, I would recommend.
Pam: Can you give me some examples of songs because I can think of two whole Advent songs, and I know there have got to be more out there.
Genie: Yes, of course. Like I said, there's some that are going to focus more on the second coming and then some more, your traditional, preparing for the birth of Jesus. There's: Behold The Bridegroom Cometh, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. Even, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, is technically an Advent hymn. Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending, O Come Divine Messiah, O Heavenly Word Eternal Light. On Jordan's Bank The Baptist's Cry, that's technically an Advent hymn too. The Angel Gabriel, The Cherry Tree Carol.
Pam: You have a bunch.
Genie: Yes, I've got a long list that I've compiled over the years.
Pam: You've got a lot.
Pam: Are there any Advent songs that, I'm not going to say secular, but that are, let's say more popular than-- You know what I'm talking about.
Genie: Yes. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, is like the number one that everybody-- whether they know it's an Advent hymn or not, they pretty much know. There's that one. One that's more popular in the Anglican world is People, Look East. That's one that we really like. We actually sing that one around the Advent wreath versus O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
Pam: That's interesting because, People, Look East is my favorite Advent song.
Genie: I love it. I just love the imagery of it and all that.
Pam: Yes, it's so lovely. I had never considered that I could substitute that one for O come, O come, Emmanuel around the Advent wreath, so you have given me permission to do something new.
Genie: Do it. Go for it, girl. Go for it. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is actually from the last week of Advent with the O Antiphons, My INTJ, I want everything in its proper place as much as possible as I can with seven kids so the things I can control, I'm like, okay, we're going to put this here.
Pam: You're not supposed to sing that one until the last one.
Genie: Yes. In the Divine Office where it comes from that's when they start using those antiphons so that's where it all originated.
Pam: Tell everybody who's listening who maybe doesn't know what the O Antiphons are? Give them a little background on that.
Genie: Another name for them is the Golden Nights and that's basically, if you look at Advent in the liturgical sense, it builds as you go each week. There's now a lot going on even feast-day wise towards the beginning, and then you reach Gaudete Day Sunday, and that's when it's like, “Okay, we're getting close, we're getting close.” Last week of the O Antiphons, you're going over different names for Christ, which each antiphons has a different name in the Latin so if there's O Wisdom and an O Key of David, and you're actually moving through chronologically the genealogy as well. It's almost like a mini Jesse tree if you're familiar with the Jesse tree.
It just hits those different names each day until you hit Christmas Eve and actually, if you look back, they spell out Ero Cras, which means “tomorrow He comes.” That's just a modern thing that people have pulled out of it, but it was a big deal in the monastery because that's when they started having a little more laxity to their fasting during the season so they'd bring out the good wine on one of the nights and they'd have the fruits that were left over in the pantry or the root cellar on another night and things like that. They were building towards that greater celebration with Christmas.
Pam: Yes, because historically, Advent, and I've heard it called before a little Lent, this was a time of fasting and preparation. We think a lot of Christmas in the modern sense that from November to December, you're on this downhill slide of going to parties and baking cookies and things like that but traditionally, that period there, those four Sundays of Advent and that entire period was a time where you were holding back. You were preparing, but you were not feasting yet and you actually didn't start the feasting until December 25th. Then of course went for the 12 days of Christmas through January 6.
Genie: Yes, that's right. The tradition of even when you started baking wasn't until December 21st for St. Thomas. There were all these little things that were built in, okay, this is when we can we start this, and this is when we have enough time to start this and, but still have that character of the more penitent looking forward.
Pam: Right. I think that's one of the things, and I've talked about this with the Scholé Sisters before, and I can link to that. We've had a couple of different podcasts on not being the White Witch and this idea that we put so much pressure on ourselves to immediately after Thanksgiving start doing Christmas. Then it all ending on the day after, on December 26, if we thought about it, if we just pulled back a little bit and stopped and used those weeks for their traditional purpose to build up to the big day, we would probably have a lot less stress around the situation.
Genie: Right. Then you can give yourself grace in there too. Oh, well, we didn't get to this thing or this tradition or this activity, we've still got the 12 days after Christmas, when we're off anyway usually from school. Even people that don't homeschool, usually have a bigger chunk of time there and you're not trying to run to a holiday concert or this or, you know what I'm saying? There's that breathing room for mom.
Pam: Yes. We've gotten into this, what was my next question is why is it important for families to slow down and lean in to Advent? I think we've talked about that there, that you do, you really do give yourself time to lead up to the celebration and then I love what you said about giving yourself grace and taking some of those days after Christmas to do some of those activities that you didn't get to. Let's talk about-- You have a lot of little kids at your house, so what are some ways that we can celebrate that Advent Christmas season with those little kids and music?
Genie: For us, just because of my background and having sung it multiple times, one thing that we incorporate as our Advent calendar versus candy or things like that are snippets or excerpts, whatever you want to term it as of Handel's Messiah. When you look at the whole form of Messiah, there are three portions, there's the Christmas portion, of course, there's also the Easter, or you would call it, it's more geared towards Lent because it's the suffering of Christ and then there's the afterwards Christian life and then looking towards the second coming.
We break that up and I have a calendar to where if Advent-- because it does change if you're in a liturgical church, the length of time changes-- so I have it split up in a way into the Messiah with different years links. I have it, each piece or sometimes it's a couple of the movements to listen to. What spurred that is that we were listening-- over the years, when I first put it on for the kids, they would only want to hear like five of the songs, so we listened to the same five movements and I'm like, "There's a whole other, you're missing some stuff here". That was really my way of trying to give them a fuller picture of that masterwork and making more of the pieces memorable for them.
Pam: How much would you say-- Like on a daily basis, let's just talk a little bit about Awaiting the Messiah, which is the devotional where you've broken this down for people, how big of a snippet would you say that you listened to on any given day of Advent?
Genie: None of them are even on the longer days, like when Lent is really short, not longer than 10 minutes, but most of them are like, here's three minutes of one, probably a recitative is usually paired with one of the arias And that's it.
Pam: Now I'm just going totally practical on you. I've got this house full of little bitty kids and I'm wanting to play this music for them and they maybe don't have a lot of exposure to it, what are your kids doing while you're playing this three to 10 minute piece of music?
Genie: It depends on the day. Over the years it's changed but if I had a bunch of little kids and only little children, I would put them all in the bathtub and it would be part of bath time or it'd be part of snack time. They're playing Duplos quietly, okay, we're going to pop that on right now while they're not running around because I had a bunch of boys in a row. I had five boys and then our first girl, so things have been very loud for a very long time.
I would jump on those opportunities when there was a lull in the volume. I'm not talking about critical listening as some might when you get into music education and things like that, that critical listening. I'm talking about free listening where it can be the ambient music in the background. Then as they get older, we go into that more attentive listening because I don't really care for that word critical when talking about music study.
Pam: Okay. About what age do you start making a transition into that attentive listening and then what do you do if you have two or three who are above the attentive listening age and then a number that aren't? How do you make that work?
Genie: Well, when they get to-- I would say, when they're sitting down and can do a read aloud with you, they can listen to a short piece. You can still be doing handicrafts and things like that, that aren't taking their full attention if it's a longer piece, it's nice to have those things. If it's a shorter piece, even just like my elementary-aged children, which they all are now, but like even the younger elementary-aged children, they can lay their head down or they can be eating a snack or they can-- anything like that because they can still hear and pick things out even though it might not seem like they're giving it their full 100% to every beat of the measure.
Pam: Once the piece is over, then what does it look like? Do you move into some discussion or explanation or you're just like, "That's it"? That's all there is to it.
Genie: In Awaiting the Messiah, specifically, I have four weeks worth of more structured, basic music, you can call it music appreciation, if you'd like, music study, four specific pieces that fall in that week. That's the deeper dive if you want to take that, but even just, what instruments did you hear? One thing that even my younger kids like to do is, because sometimes it's a choir, sometimes they're soloist, sometimes things like that are swapped between or during a piece, you can say, "Raise your hand when it's just one person singing. Stand up if the choir comes in." Things like that.
That's just little simple things that I don't even write down that you can throw in there just so that you know that they are listening to that more attentively than just background music. That's not even a necessity for each one or even what text or what was your favorite part of that piece or what line did you hear that you liked or what do you think they meant when you heard them saying this? There's lots of different things, and it's got all the text in there that you can--
Handle has a bunch of runs in the music and that's just a lot of notes for one syllable. In chant, they call that melisma. When you're into classical music, they're just called runs and things like that. Sometimes, even though it is in English, it can be difficult to hear what the actual text is. It's nice to have either a child read that after the fact or before or pick out a line from there and try to hear for it. There's just so many options to make it fit your actual ages and stages.
Pam: Oh, I love it. Everything that you've just said to me, you don't have to be any kind of musical expert to be able to pull off in your home.
Genie: No prep. That's my thing. If it's got a lot of prep, I'm like, "Oh, do I really want to do this?"
I try to talk myself out of it, because I'm like, "What's the payback on this?"
Pam: You're exactly right. You mentioned attentive listening, but it almost seems to me like it's active listening when you start talking about "Oh, raise your hand when you hear this" or "Stand up when you hear that." That's so perfect for those elementary age kids and then moving into, let's read this line, let's hear these words or listen for these words, then that starts aging the activities up.
Genie: You can get into mood and all that stuff. Did it sound like it was happy at this point when they were talking about this or did this seem more subdued here? You can make it as elevated vocabulary-wise as you want and still be drawing just from the basic level of the text and the music. You're not even getting into theory analysis or anything like that for it to still be good for those older ages.
Pam: Just having those good conversations about what they're hearing. I think sometimes leaving the theory out of it makes it a more enjoyable practice for-- It's just like, you're just having a conversation about something beautiful that you're hearing and it doesn't become a subject you're doing in school.
Genie: There's not as much pressure put on upon the experience there.
Pam: Very much so. I love that. So many good ideas there. If there's some families who want to include Advent music, and we're not even talking at this point about replacing Christmas carols. If you're the person who listens to Christmas carols from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas, we're not saying, “Oh, throw those out and don't listen to them at all.” If they would like to maybe add in some Advent carols and begin to hear some of the differences in those lyrics, where would you have them start?
Genie: There's tons of free options now, whether it be Spotify or Amazon or just different things. You can just type in Advent music and King's Choir, they've done several recordings of just that or type in, lessons and carols because you know all those are going to be Advent hymns, just anything like that. Even if you wanted to go the classical route Bach did a bunch of his cantatas for Advent. Although he wasn't Catholic, he wasn't writing for that, he was writing for a liturgical church. He did have stuff for just about every time of year. There's options like that.
I'm putting up playlists and things like that to where it's just the versions that we like and that'll all be up on the website, just things like that. I would even just take one and learn it this Advent, this year.
Pam: Starting with one would even be--
Genie: You wanted that to be your hymn study for December. It doesn't have to be, we're going to throw them all in there and let's just jumble it all up. It can be just, let's find one that speaks to our family and it's going to have an impact on our family. If we like it, we can add another one next year we can just try it out.
Pam: I love that. Let's talk about, Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him. Tell me a little bit about that because that's your newest book for families.
Genie: Right. Like how I said about Messiah, we were focusing on the same five. I know that my mom did not say, this week, we're learning this one. I realized that somehow she had made it to where we had a lot of exposure to-- They weren't Advent carols because my dad is a Baptist minister, but I'm talking about Christmas carols here, but the same thing.
What I wanted was that there was a more intentional exposure to different Advent carols versus the same two, [laughs] like O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and People Look East. They're like, they've got that down. They know this.
Pam: They wrote this book for me.
Genie: Most of everything I write is because, I'm tired of messing with this, I need to get organized so that I can make something happen in my home, honestly. It's a calendar for that and to have different Advent carols spread out throughout the season that can be picked from. We know what day they apply to specifically, but if you just like it, you can also use it there. It's got the history behind it, a recording that you can learn with your family, things like that, the text of course.
What a lot of people I don't think realize is that, when you get into those more classic holiday songs and things like that, a lot of those are still copy written. It's hard to do, if you're going to use the text, if you're going to use recording things like that, to use those as much as my kids do love them. When a song is 200 years old or the tune is 200 years old and then 100-year-old English text, then it's a lot easier to work with. Oftentimes, it's a lot better written when you get to the prose of the text.
Pam: With the book, you said there were recordings. Are these recordings that you've done yourself?
Genie: Some of them are. Right now, because there's so many of them, they're not all by me, but they're all going to be free, either ones that I put up on YouTube on my channel, or, just free, good quality ones that are by other folks on YouTube.
Pam: One of the things that I like about the recordings that you make for us is that there's not typically instruments in there. It's very easy to focus on learning to sing the words and learning the melody along with you. Sometimes when we get into these more traditional hymns and things, especially when it's like a choir singing, there's so many parts and moving things going on, it's like, "Oh, which one do I saying?" How do I find the melody?
Genie: Exactly. When you're learning any sung music, the most basic way that we have learned that as humans is that we would listen to our parents. It's the passing of that oral tradition, even though it is singing from the parent to the child. When I record stuff, I'm trying to be the next best thing, if that makes sense. If I know somebody that doesn't have musical expertise or doesn't know this particular thing-- that's really what started our Singing with the Saints stuff and everything, was that somebody asked me to do a St. Lucy Day recording in English because she couldn't find a recording in English. She didn't know anything about music. All she said were the words in front of her or a copy of the English words translated and no recordings for her daughter to sing along with.
That really spurred a lot of having the courage to even record anything because with my personality, I don't want to be out there. I stand behind the organ if I have to do something at church. If I'm at a funeral, I'm like, "Okay, let's just hide over here."
Pam: We thank you so much for doing it and we're so appreciative of the fact that you have put yourself out there and made these lovely recordings. Both of these resources that are going to be good for families at this Advent, you can either choose Awaiting the Messiah or O Come Let Us Adore Him depending on which direction you want to go, our Genie would probably be happy if you chose both.
Genie: Do one each year. That's the thing that I tried to do with it two is that you can choose how in-depth you want it to be. You can do it once a week and have it just be their soundtrack while they're playing and just hit the seven days worth in an afternoon. You can make it work for you. That's my thing. I don't stay on track with everything. I can't hold all the balls, juggling them in the air constantly. Something's going to drop at some point. Having those opportunities to catch up or to tweak a little bit here or there and still not feel like a failure, I'm all about them.
Pam: I love it. I love it so much. You're speaking my language. Genie, tell everybody where they can find you online.
Genie: Most of all my stuff is just on the website barefootabbey.com. If you want more daily saint stuff or what we're doing on the fly type of thing, that's going to be Instagram. That's about as much as I can keep up with online-wise.
Pam: Is that BarefootAbbey on Instagram?
Genie: Yes. It's BarefootAbbey just all smooshed together.
Pam: Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on and joining me and talking about Advent music. You made me feel better about it, I will say.
Genie: Oh, fabulous.
Pam: You really did. I'm going to be looking at some of those recommendations you made and you're right. Let's just take one new one and add it to our rotation this year and we can just keep doing that year after year and before you know it, we'll have built up our collection. I love it.
Genie: Awesome.
Pam: There you have it. If you would like links to any of the resources or songs that Genie and I chatted about today, you can find them on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. Those are at pambarnhill.com/ymb84. We'll also link up both of Genie's fabulous holiday music studies for you over there as well.
Now, we are about to head into our Winter hiatus here at the Your Morning Basket Plus Podcast. The entire team is going to take a little bit of time off to spend the holidays with our families, but we are coming back on December 29th with a very special New Year's Resolutions for your Morning Time episode. Dawn Garrett and I will be back with that and then we'll be jumping straight into the new season of the podcast in January.
We have so many great things planned for you guys. We're going to be talking about studying travel in your Morning Time, a little bit of math, doing some tea time, how to handle multiple ages of kids, a growth mindset from a Christian perspective. We're even going to have some very special guests like Martin Cothran. So happy to be launching that next season. Do come back and join us then. Until then, happy holidays, Merry Christmas from our families to yours

Key Ideas about Advent Carols

We often mark the change of seasons with food, decorations, and smells. We can just as easily use music to help mark these seasonal changes and set the atmosphere in our homes by choosing to listen to music that appropriately matches the liturgical season.

Advent and Christmas carols differ in their theme and tone. Advent carols will primarily focus on the coming of Jesus as a baby as well as His second coming and will have a somber tone. Christmas carols will focus on the joy of Christ’s arrival and will have an energetic tone.

It’s possible to do music appreciation even with small children. You can start by just listening and enjoying the music in the background during playtime or meals. As children reach early elementary they can likely participate in more attentive listening being guided to pay attention to the instruments they hear, the mood of the music, or even share their favorite part.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:08] meet Genie Shaw
  • [9:15] music and living the liturgical year
  • [11:00] the difference between Advent and Christmas music
  • [16:25] Genie gives examples of Advent music
  • [25:09] using music even with little kids
  • [34:24] practical ways to add more Advent music

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Thanks for your reviews

  • 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 life
    by 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 Affirming
    by 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!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, My children are almost 11 and 13 and I never sent this review in! I found it sitting here. This is testimony that I am still so blessed by this podcast years later. So here it is: I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

    Love your content and the guests you have visiting the show! I am a huge believer in using the morning hours well. Thank you for your direction and products!

  • Enjoy the podcast & some thoughts…
    by rufocused from United States

    I enjoy listening to tips on starting and using morning time as I am just starting it this year. We have kind of done it in the past, but when you only have one child you tend to just call it bible, story time, etc… but now that my second one is old enough to join we’re going to have more of a true morning time. I did notice Pam mentioned CNN ten in one episode. CNN can be pretty liberal biased in the main news, I’m not sure if they curb that in the “CNN ten”, but thought I would mention the Daily Wire, which is from a conservative viewpoint (and often covers indoctrination in public schools) and could be fun to compare and contrast with CNN. Our family also recently discovered Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family which has a very Christian perspective, which has been refreshing as news can be so depressing sometimes! Just thought I’d throw that out there… but really do appreciate the perspectives and insights of these women who have been doing this for awhile!

  • Very helpful and pleasant to listen to.
    by Heather homeschooler from United States

    I have listened to many episodes of this podcast and have highly recommended it to others. It has been a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. Pam has a great voice and presence and I love that she does not interrupt or talk over her guests. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

    Pam always has great great guests who bring great insights and encouragement! I so appreciate her down to earth style and ability to ask great questions! Keep up the great work!!

  • A wildly encouraging and equipping podcast for homeschool families.
    by Eryn Lynum from United States

    As a homeshool mama of four (Ages 2-9), Pam's podcast has been an increidble encouragement to me. Not only that, but I have discovered so many helpful resources for focusing on what is lovely and true during our homeschool days. I love that it is not overwhelming in nature, but instead a gentle help for moving forward one day at a time in our homeschooling adventure.

  • Best podcast for homeschooling/variety of topics
    by Bethetal from United States

    I love this podcast for so many reasons. (1) Pam is friendly, funny, humble and kind (2) She covers a multitude of topics (one at a time)- I have learned about nature notebooks, classical music study, narration, living books, Shakespeare and so much more. Whenever I have a question about a new (to me)HS term or practice, I come here to listen to Pam interview someone about it. Her interviewees have all been all-in on their respective areas of interest/expertise and I love the way she interviews/asks questions to really let the guests shine as they speak. I have changed the structure of my homeschool, found books for my kids and me, purchased materials, and found inspiration due to this podcast and I can’t recommend it enough! This podcast has shaped my homeschool in so many positive ways, most of which I probably can’t even articulate yet, as the changes have been done inside of me. Thanks, Pam!

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

    I love the variety of things that are talked about on this show for homeschooling - things that I would never even think about including or doing - with easy ways to do them. Very much recommend this podcast

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

    I am listening to the past episodes and loving it. This podcast has helped me develop my own homeschool. So many ideas!! I love morning time so much, we do a nightly family time so my husband and public school attending son. We do all the things instead of watching tv, playing ps4, and YouTube. My kids hang around me every evening asking if we are doing family time. I can tell they love it but don’t want to admit it.

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

    I am so excited Pam is back to her morning time focus for 2020. Our homeschool has been shaped by the rich ideas and practical wisdom shared here.

  • Yay! Morning time is back!
    by Homeschooler in Germany from United States

    I was so happy and excited to learn that Pam is shifting her focus back to Morning Time for 2020! I’ve missed the morning time exclusive podcast and can’t wait to hear her back in my earbuds.

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

    I absolutely LOVE this podcast and was so disappointed when I realized you were not actively producing it! I’m NOW relieved to know there is a whole year of episodes ahead! I’m beginning my homeschool journey with 4 little ones very close in age and my style falls somewhere in the Classical and Charlotte Mason. I found your podcast by chance via Instagram recommendation as I was doing research on “morning menus.” Your content is beautifully philosophical but at a level most parents will be able to grasp and appreciate. Filled with truth, beauty, and goodness! Your episodes fill me up and leave me feeling inspired personally and in regards to my children’s education. Everything is so good! Please don’t stop producing ever again! I’ll be grateful forever!

  • So glad Your Morning is back!!!
    by alissajohn2020 from United States

    So glad to have the morning basket podcast back! Thank you for bringing it back!!

  • So good I ran out of gas.
    by JoanieHummel from United States

    This podcast is awesome! It was recommended to me a few years ago by a very wise and experienced homeschool mom but I didn’t start listening until I saw it come up a few more times on Facebook, recommended in various groups (in particular, episode number 41). I wish I had picked it up years ago! So much great information, I’m learning so much! Be careful though, I was so interested listening to this podcast that I didn’t notice how low my gas tank was getting! I ran out of gas and as I write this review I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting for a friend to come rescue me! Happy listening!

  • Knowledge Goldmine
    by A.J. Edwards from United States

    I’ve just been eating up every episode of this brilliant podcast over the past few months. The guests are stellar and Pam’s interview style is wonderful. She gets each guest to the meat and potatoes of their topic but it’s anything but a plain meal. This is a feast for the homeschool mom’s mind. I know I’ll be revisiting many of my favorite episodes again and again. Feeling so inspired by each guest!

  • Myths and fairytale truths for homeschoolers
    by Allierhn from United States

    Mind blown! I’m listening to the myth podcast and it’s absolutely perfect. It is answering so many questions I’ve struggled with my whole life. It helps me to view our curriculum and informs my teaching so much more.

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

    I can’t speak highly enough about this podcast. It has been a huge inspiration and a practical help to my homeschool! Thank you so much Pam Barnhill and everyone else who contributes to this. It has been an amazing blessing to me and my children… And possibly generations to come!

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

    Not only am I inspired by each episode of this podcast but I have actually put so many of the ideas into practice in our own morning time. Such a huge help as I seek to inspire my non-stop boys to truth, goodness and beauty. We are now memorising poetry as they jump on the trampoline and they love Shakespeare. That's a parenting win in my book!

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

    Thank you, Pam! I’m now bursting with inspiration and can’t wait to start our 2019 school year with a strong morning time routine.

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

    My heart is enriched and I can’t wait to learn more.

  • Just what I was looking for!
    by Joey5176 from United States

    I was looking for morning basket ideas—simple ones. These podcasts are giving me a picture of a good morning basket.

  • Wow!! What amazing nuggets of knowledge
    by HeRo84 from United States

    This is truly life changing information for me as a homeschool mother. Thank you Pam for this amazing series.

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

    I love all of Pam’s podcast but this one is prob my favorite. I love to listen to all her guest and see the different ways a morning time can be done

  • Excellent
    by W.A., R.A. Hall from United States

    Love this!

  • Love, love, love this show
    by SarahPMiller from United States

    And I'm not even a homeschooling mother! But I've created a Morning Time for my children nonetheless, and I wouldn't have been inspired to do it -- nor could I have done it -- without this podcast. It's my favorite, and I get something out of every single episode.

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

    This podcast has changed what I thought I could offer my children, my family and myself... I never would have believed that it would be possible to live a life as so many people actually do. Thank you for these tools and for what you do to help women, teachers, moms and all those on this path. You are amazing and I just can’t get enough, each episode teaches me so much!! Thank you again!

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

  • Insightful, Inspiring, Life-Giving Podcast
    by Mackenziechester from United States

    I love this podcast. It has turned cleaning my kitchen into a really valuable part of my day. There are great tips here for gathering your family together and finding ways to share the things you are passionate about but can never quite find the time to fit in to a typical school day. So many ideas, so many varied topics. Great, inspiring guests. Life-changing podcast. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

    This podcast is inspirational for your homeschool plans. Pam Barnhill has a delightful interviewing style and her guests share their insights and enthusiasm for their topics. Among my favourites are the episodes with Cindy Rollins, and Angelina Stanford. Don’t miss this encouraging podcast!

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

    Some great interviews and very helpful for figuring out the flow of our mornings.

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

    Just started this podcast. There are some very interesting ideas here on how to create quality time with your children, learning together and focusing on the things that are most important in life. Great hearing other moms' stories too.

  • WARNING: This podcast will revolutionize your homeschool!
    by JoysTeacher from United States

    Honestly, I started listening to this podcast because I had run out of other homeschool podcasts to listen. I really didn't think we needed a morning time! I homeschool one teen daughter and I thought the concept was too "baby" for us. WOW! I was completely wrong!! We needed a morning time, and it has changed the climate and the productivity of our homeschool. The habit was so important to us, we still do morning time when we are one break. (And neither of us is a "morning" person). Pam is an talented interviewer and will not waste your time (her time is precious, too)!

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

    I'm really enjoying the ideas and tips Pam bring up in this podcast!

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

    I have started a morning basket just because of listening to this podcast. Pam sold me on the beauty of having a morning basket. I love all of the ideas I've gleaned from listening and I've implemented many of the ideas I have heard about through this podcast. It's really helped simplify some things in our homeschool day!

  • Easy to listen too, incredibly practical
    by HarrisFamily0323 from United States

    I really enjoy Your Morning Basket. Pam is a great host and I have taken away many practical ideas and had many unrealistic expectations corrected. I don't listen to all the episodes, but the ones I've thought were pertinent to my needs and have been able to apply something helpful to our homeschool. Thanks Pam!

  • So helpful for this new homeschooling mom
    by klund08 from United States

    I'm planning our first homeschool year and have really enjoyed this podcast! The interviews are great and I enjoy hearing from different homeschooling moms and how things work in their family. I'm excited to start Morning Time with my kids!

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6 & 8 year old children and you responded with a warm response. I then began to listen to every podcast you have (all 3!) and I have been so very inspired and encouraged in so many ways that it would take up too much time here to explain it all. This Morning Basket podcast is really a light for me and my children as not only are they the recipients of our mornings of gathering but so am I. I have learned so much from your guests (and you!) and have been able to take tips/ideas to add to what my own mornings look like. We truly have experienced Truth, Goodness and Beauty. God certainly has chosen you for this type of work and serving to others. Thank you for what you do!

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

  • Truth, goodness, and beauty
    by I'm Sonny from United States

    Need I say more? I am deeply grateful for this profound and practical resource as we seek to surround our children in the truth, in goodness, and in things beautiful. I leave feeling encouraged, refreshed, determined and equipped.

  • Very encouraging
    by .....hk..... from United States

    So helpful with recommendations for new things to do in morning time.

  • A wonderful podcast full of useful tips!
    by Klarnold79 from United States

    I have listened to almost every episode over the last few months on my morning runs and they have made me look forward to running! I have learned so much and have been inspired to add truth, goodness and beauty to our homeschool days. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! Talk about a solid series!
    by KastenbauerFamily from United States

    Each episode is fabulous alone, and when you've been listening for a while, they all continue to be full of new information!

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

    I enjoy the variety of topics covered as well as Pam's cheerful personality. Thank you for being a cup of cold water for so many homeschool mamas.

  • Great guests and host
    by My Life as a Rinnagade from United States

    I love the people Pam has on and all the great morning time tips! Thanks for a wonderful show :).

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

    The ideas, information and encouragment that Pam shares through the different guests and talking about the purpose and practice of Your Morning Basket has been a huge blessing to our family. Helped me to practically see how to bring truth, beauty, and goodness to our day.

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

    I have just started listening and am gaining so much knowledge and practical advice. I can't wait to keep listening to more.

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

    I absolutely love Your Morning Basket podcasts. Pam interviews excellent people & so far, I've incorporated information from each podcast & have purchased many items that the interviewee's suggest. I think all families could benefit from this even if they don't homeschool! Thank you so much!

  • Love Pam's podcasts
    by Flourishing Mama from United States

    There are many homeschool related podcasts that I enjoy, both for their content and the host. But I must say that Pam Barnhill's podcasts are top-notch for the following reasons: 1) the content is both relevant AND in-depth, 2) she NEVER interrupts the guest speakers with incessant (annoying) "uh huhs," "ummms," and such, 3) she provides multiple lists and links to supplemental materials that are really useful and interesting, and 4) she shares forms she's created even though she could make you pay for them. She has a gift for tapping in to the issues homeschool moms are REALLY dealing with. Thanks Pam. Keep up the good work!

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

    Every episode inspires me to start my day bringing my children the true the good and the beautiful through our family time.

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

    Every time I see that I have a new podcast from Pam Barnhill I know it's going to be good. Every one I have listened to (which is all of them!) have helped, inspired and encouraged me in some way or another. Pam is so good at summarising what her interviewee has just spoken about; a great knack which helps me distill the main ideas from all that good conversation. I really like that she always has links to whatever is discussed so that I can go back to it in the future and find what I need.

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

    Such a help for a new homeschooler. Highly recommend that you check it out if you'd like to learn more about starting your day with morning time.

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

    This podcast is filled with great information to help you take full advantage of morning time or all together time in your homeschool. It also has great tips for extending your child education whether they are in public or private school as well. We all want to aid our kids in thier success and no matter if you are a homeschool parent or a public/private school teacher this podcast will enlighten you and provide valuable information you to to better help your students.

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

    One of my favorite podcasts and I love and subscribe to all of Pam's podcasts. Thank you for the fabulous interviews.

  • Must-Listen for Homeschooling Moms
    by DaffodilSocks from United States

    This podcast has revolutionized how I homeschool my young children. A must-listen.

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

    Love Pam and all of her podcasts - can't wait for new episodes!

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

    Just found this podcast and have been listening to them over the summer break. Pam is a great host and has fun guests and together they bring a lot of inspiration to the concept of morning time in homeschool. Thanks for the great resource!!

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

    I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have learned so much from this practical, encouraging podcast that has changed our homeschool. Thank you Pam!

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

    This podcast does a great job finding guests who give a ton of practical help to make morning time enjoyable and educational for everyone. I always feel reenergized after listening to any of Pam Barnhill's podcasts.

  • by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

  • Such a wealth of information!
    by Jeaine6 from United States

    There is so much wonderful information to be found in these podcasts. I can go about my daily chores and fill my homeschool mom cup simultaneously! They allow me to look at areas of our hs that need improvement or just need new life and feel encouraged while I'm listening. Thank you!!

  • Encouraging & inspiring
    by God's Ranch Hand from United States

    So thankful for this podcast! I look forward to listening to each episode when it comes out.

  • Homeschool Professional Development!
    by Jo.W.17 from Canada

    As a new-ish homeschooling mama, I've found this podcast super encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend it!

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

    I love the practical application that comes from this podcast! Thanks!

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

    This podcast has become my most favorite podcast on the subject of homeschooling. The topics discussed often go right to the heart of why I'm doing what I'm doing in our home--and God has really used the great advice shared in this show to help me be a more confident (and calmer!) teacher. Thank you, Pam, for creating such a great program! Already looking forward to next season.

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

    This podcast has absolutely changed my perspective on homeschooling, in a great way! All of the guests have been wonderful and I leave each episode feeling both sad that it is already over, and encouraged and excited to figure out how I can use what I’ve learned! It has a great flow to it, very light but meaningful, informative, encouraging….I could go on and on! Absolutely LOVE this podcast! Thanks to all involved!

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

  • Practical, helpful & concise tips
    by sproutnchic from United States

    This podcast continues to help. I appreciate the Pam Barnhill's professional, organized, yet warm interviewing style of some well-picked guests.

  • So refreshing and helpful
    by a. borealis from United States

    I've really appreciated the depth and breadth of Pam's look into Morning Time and also the practical ideas and tools to make it work. It is so inspiring! It helps me think through my own Circle Time, realizing what an opporunity I have. There are so many great ideas for additions and tweaking my approach. I am loving it.

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

    This podcast has been so helpful and packed full of practical ideas to use with my children!! Some of the episodes I have listened to more than once!!

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

    Pam makes this morning time concept so attainable! She gives great ideas but simple ways to begin. These tips and recommendations reach far beyond just morning time and are benefiting our entire homeschool and family life!

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

    This podcast is full of amazing ideas to grab my kids attention first thing in the morning. I love listening to Pam and her guests. Pam asks such great questions of her guests!

  • A Favorite for Homeschool Encouragement!
    by JamesDWitmer from United States

    I have been so encouraged by Pam's podcasts on Morning Time. She walks you through many of the wonderful activities that you can choose to include in your homeschooling, and also the details about how to do it! It has truly been a blessing. Thanks Pam!

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

    I just stumbled upon the "Your Morning Basket" podcast this weekend. I have already listened to 2 episodes, and they are wonderful - perfect for the homeschool mom. I am going to share this on my Periscope channel tomorrow. So great!! Jamie @OurLittleSchoolhouse.

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

    I love the idea of a morning basket, and this podcast has helped me learn a lot about the different ways it can look! I love all the different subjects she discusses within it!

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

    This podcast has been such a blessing to me! Informational and insightful, it opens a window into how other families incorporate morning time into their day, as well as what they fill it with. This has completely changed the rhythm and content of our days for the better. Our whole family has fallen in love with morning time! Thank you!!

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast! It has been so encouraging as I begin to implement Morning Time with my 5 girls. I have listened to them all & can't wait for more!

  • This podcast has changed our homeschool
    by Momof4athome from United States

    Pam has relieved some of the pressure to "get it all in". We now begin our day with the good true and beautiful in an almost effortless way and are all enjoying our time together before the "serious" subjects! Yay for the morning basket! Her guests are all lovely people you would want to have over for tea. I love this podcast.

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

    I am loving this podcast. I just stumbled across it after hearing the recommendation over at Read Aloud Revival. I have been wanting to start 'Morning Time' for a year now so this is giving me direction and so many wonderful and helpful tips and suggestions. I love Pam's enthusiasm and personality.

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

    I was lucky enough to find YMB and Pam’s other podcast, Homeschool Snapshots, when I started my first year of homeschool this year. These 2 podcasts have been SO helpful to me with getting ideas for morning time and the rest of our homeschool day. I am very grateful for the excellent work Pam has done on both of these podcasts, and I hope they continue for many more years!

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

    This podcast was inspiring and encouraging. It was a good blend of practical and theoretical and exactly what this tired homeschool mom needed to hear today to rejuvenate.

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

    Very well done! I really enjoyed listening! Very practical and informative.

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

    Pam lays out a feast of homeschooling topics that are relevant, helpful, and validating. The show is well organized and her interviews are clearly well thought out. In addition, Ms. Barnhill's relaxed and warm personality puts one at ease. It's like going to your favorite homeschool conference without leaving home!

  • I love this podcast, great content!
    by Sara V from United States

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast. The show is well organized with great guests and helpful information.

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

    I'm so happy that I found your podcast, it has truly blessed our homeschool life!

  • Wonderful help in my homeschool
    by BT and Jessica from United States

    This is a great resource for all homeschoolers (and I would say any educator). I am challenged to make sure I am giving my children truth, beauty and virtue through the morning ritual of our morning time. I’ve learned of new books to share with my children, how to incorporate fine arts, good habits for our day… I could go on and on. Pam asks great questions and has wonderful guests.

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Excellent inspiration and tips for homeschoolers! I have learned so much from this podcast.

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

    I have gotten SO many practical tips from this podcast! A must listen for homeschoolers!

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

    Another home-run podcast! Pam has a knack for inspiring great things in your homeschool! And the wonderful thing is she doesn't leave you with the "lofty ideal," but offers practical tips, aids, etc. all while encouraging you the whole way. Each interview is professionally done and such a joy to listen to! Thanks, Pam, for putting your heart into this! 🙂

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

    Like having a cup of coffee with a friend. So helpful and informative.

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

    This was been a great podcast about Morning Time! How encouraging and informative to hear from other homeschool moms who are in the midst of it all!

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

    I have finally had opportunity to listen to this podcast and regret not doing it sooner!!! Very informative and encouraging.

  • Full of Goodness, Truth and Beauty
    by CJMance from United States

    This is such an inspiration to get the beautiful ritual of morning time established. Thank you Pam!

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

    I'm so excited about this podcast! My kids range from ages 4 - 11, and I've been needing to reduce my workload a bit. I'm using the fantastic things I'm learning here to combine all my kids together for read-alouds, Bible time, memorization, and some other fun things. Thanks so much, Pam! I love your other podcast as well!

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

    I am so glad I found this podcast. Morning Basket / Circle Time / Morning Time - lots of interviews with families who make this part of their day a treasure for years to come. Just getting started homeschooling, and this is going to help shape our days. Thanks Pam.

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

    Loving learning about how so many families are using Morning Time in their homes!

  • Wonderful ideas for creating your best morning time.
    by Flowerpetal2 from Australia

    The ideas presented here are wonderful, it's great to hear how different families put together their morning time and how we can all make this a rich but simple time of beauty in our schooling days.

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

    Pam Barnhill is a truly excellent host and producer of podcasts. They are a pleasure to listen to, full of applicable and inspirational content. Unlike other podcasts in this genre, which are produced at home, Pam's podcasts never make me cringe because of awkward pauses or bad sound quality. Another of Pam's strengths is her ability to reflectively listen and summarize what she's heard from her guests in a way that wraps up the different segments of her interviews. Well done, Pam!

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

    We’re just starting out with morning time and this podcast has been an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas. Keep up the good work!

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

    I’m always counting down the days until the next podcast…one of the best homeschooling podcasts out there!

  • Among the Best I’ve Heard
    by More Like Mary from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie so when I say that this is among the best, that’s really a compliment! Pam is an excellent interviewer. She re-states main ideas and summarizes information in a way that is helpful and not condescending. She asked poignant questions and stays on topic. Her guests are phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from each episode. So far, this podcast is “big picture” homeschooling talk with lots of tips for implementing lofty ideals into daily life. The perfect combination. I will be looking forward to many more of these!

  • Gave me the tools I needed!
    by Momofmany:) from United States

    This podcast is amazing. (I am spoiled now; the quality alone is superb!) I have listened to the four current episodes several times and now understand "morning time" in a way I never have before-- in particular, the schole part. I've longed for restful learning for ten years, and now I have tools to actually do it. Our whole family has benefitted so much. Thank you, Pam!!

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

    Pam Barnhill’s new podcast on Morning Time is a great help to those of us who are homeschooling. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but it’s wonderfully encouraging to hear Cindy Rollins’ talking through her own experiences with Morning Time. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes with others who are focusing their schools on the important things - the true, good, and beautiful.

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

    I just started listening to the first podcast this morning and I am completely hooked on this podcast. I took the advice in the first podcast and just started with morning time. Instead of trying to “give birth to an adult” morning time I just started doing something and will add things in as this becomes a habit. Thanks for the wonderful tool!! I am now off to listen to episode 2!!

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

  • A Gift to the Homeschool Community
    by HGPII from United States

    This podcast is so well done, informative, and just what the homeschooling moms needs. It includes achievable, sound suggestions as well as an abundant dose of inspiration. I can’t wait to revamp my Morning Time and watch the results!

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

    I have enjoyed Your Morning Basket from its first episode! I am a second generation homeschooler and just started our own family's homeschooling journey. Thanks to YMB, I implemented our "circle time" starting our second week of school and it has been such a blessing to me already even its very simple form of prayer, Psalm, Mother Goose, and then read-aloud time with my kindergartner. My 2 and 4 year olds also love it and it encourages me to include things in our day that might get left out, like nursery rhymes and simple children's songs! Thanks to Pam and YMB I feel like I am starting out with a great centering tool and routine that can be expanded and adapted as we grow!

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

    Your Morning Basket Podcast is a great resource for to help implement morning time into your homeschool day. I have enjoyed every episode so far.

  • Thank you for wonderful bonus at the end!
    by Caj312 from United States

    I just discovered this show and listened to the first 4 episodes. All were inspiring and I loved the useful links at the end of the show that help me improve my homeschool days! Well done and I look forward to the next episode.

  • One of my VERY favorites
    by Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventure from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, but YMB ranks among my very, very favorites. If you’re a homeschooling mother, or a mom who wants to connect with your children and show them truth, goodness and beauty, this is a must listen. Kudos, Pam, on a another amazing podcast series.

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

    I’ve been trying to figure out morning time on my own, but Pam with this podcast has figuratively sat down with me and explained how to get things going. I’m so glad to have this resource at the beginning of my family's homeschool journey! The Basket Bonuses have also been so helpful.

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

    Thank you Pam for a great podcast, I am really enjoying it. I always come away inspired and with ideas I can use!

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

    I have been listening to the Your Morning Basket podcasts recently and Pam's blog writings about creating morning time traditions with your children and I feel like it has made a huge positive difference in our homeschool. I love Pam's ideas for creating a restful learning environment and focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty as we begin our day together. I listen to these podcasts over and over and take notes!

  • Excellent for homeschooling veterans and newbies
    by ASnow512 from United States

    I'm very new to homeschooling and I'm still deciding if our family will pursue that path. This podcast has been such a wealth of information and a wonderful encouragement!

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

    I was immediately inspired to create a more cohesive structure to our homeschool mornings. This podcast is full of helpful suggestions to make morning time meaninful for every type of homeschooling family. I've already implemented many of the wonderful suggestions and I can already see the benefits! An absoulte must for the homeschooling family!

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

    What an amazing podcast! This podcast has wonderful suggestions for bringing joy to (or back to) your homeschool. Everything is doable and enjoyable for the children and parents alike. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

    This is our first year of homeschooling and I am really enjoying the concept of morning time. It is a sweet way to start our day together and this podcast has been amazing! Enjoyable, super practical, and filled with lots of creative ideas. Thanks for creating it.

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

    Pam's Your Morning Basket podcast is one not to be missed! She and her guests inspire and spur me on to do great things in our homeschool, but it's not just adding more to my to-do list. There are practical suggestions for how to make morning time a refreshing and vital part of our day.

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

    I have been homeschooling for a many years. I like that I can count on Pam to make to make it worth my while (and my short amount of time!) for a listen. As always, practical info I can start using right away.

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

    Love Pam's interviews. I learn much from each poscast!

  • A Joy to Listen to!
    by Cude 🙂 from United States

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new podcast! I love to listen to people who encourage me on my homeschooling journey and I have added Your Morning Basket to my list.

  • JUST what I needed!!!
    by Foodie in Training from United States

    This is our first year homeschooling (Kinder) and this podcast has been INCREDIBLY helpful and a GREAT source of information!!! I cannot wait for more to come!

  • Practical - worth a listen!
    by Bloggerific! from United States

    As a homeschooling mom of 6, my free time is limited. But I always come away with some practical, useful tips from Pam Barnhill. I love to listen if I’m alone in the car (rare these days!).

  • Well done [FIRST NAME]
    by MattMcWilliams from United States

    WOW… Your Morning Basket Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Pam. Keep bringing it.

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

    What a great podcast. At first I was dubious whether you could have an entire podcast series about homeschooling using morning time, but now that I have listened to two of them, I see where Pam is going with this. It is affirming for me in what I am trying to do in our homeschool, and at the same time inspires me in ways to improve and refine our time together as a homeschooling family. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to simplify their homeschool efforts while simultaneously enriching their family's experience!

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

    I absolutely love it. Ever since I read about morning time, I wanted to know more. This podcast clearly explains what to do and how to do it. Episode with Cindy Rollins was brilliant. It gives you the overall idea of morning time practice, as she is doing it for 27 years. Andrew Pudewa in second episodes shared some insights about memorisation, which really makes so much sense. Pam asks clear questions and then repeats the main points in answer, which is very helpful, especially for new homeschooling mums. Overall this programme has everything one can ask for to get inspired and motivated. Thanks very much for putting so much effort. Well done.

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

    I have really appreciated everything Pam Barnhill puts out. I have been introduced to so many great homeschoolers and their resources through The Homeschool Snapshots podcast, and I love that she is digging deeper into a great homeschooling practice on her new show, Morning Basket. It is definitely on my Must Listen list each week!

  • Bring the best you to your homeschool
    by mystiewinckler from United States

    Our Morning Time is the best part of our homeschool, and Pam’s podcast helps us learn how to make it even better and encourages us to pursue the true, good, and beautiful still more. So helpful!

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

    I've only recently found out about Morning Baskets, after 14 years of homeschooling. What a find! And now to have these podcasts to help guide me along on my new journey! I've been sharing this like crazy, and my morning routine is fabulous now! Thank You!

  • Education to Educate
    by Isaac in St Louis from United States

    I have gained so much from these first two early podcasts. I am grateful to you, Pam. Thank you for offering this as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty and privilege to give our children an education. Please continue. I see such great things coming from this. I rank this up their with Circe’s offerings.

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

    When you're on the homeschool "circuit" it's easy to become one of Andrew Pudewa's groupies. So the excitement level for Pam's newest podcast doubled when I opened it on my iPhone and saw Andrew's name. I was remiss in not reviewing her first segment. Pam is a wonderful interviewer and has the ability to make conversation with her guests based on their answers and move seamlessly to her following questions. That is not easy to do. Highly recommend this to parents who Homeschool. Encouraging, motivating, and validating.

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

    So inspiring! This podcast is what I needed to get our homeschool off to a great start this year. I will not miss an episode.

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

    I've always thought memory work was so important in my 8 years as a teacher in a high school setting. I often required memorization and was criticized for this requirement. I recently decided to homeschool my children and this podcast was so affirming to me. I am glad to be able to follow my instincts as a teacher and give my kids what they deserve! Thank you for this wonderful podcast that inspired me to make memory work an important part of my homeschool.

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

    I knew I would enjoy this podcast but I didn't know that I would LOVE it! As our family has moved more and more towards a simplified homeschool method, this podcast is just the thing to reaffirm our choices and continuously inspire us with new ideas. I can't wait for each new episode!

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

    This is just the kind of podcast I need to breathe life into my homeschool year. I’m so grateful for this new show, and Pam is a talented host. I won’t miss an episode!

  • Delightful...a Must Listen
    by 1coltsfamily from United States

    While I have heard Cindy Rollins speak about morning time before, I was pleasantly surprised to glean many new nuggets of wisdom that I can incorporate right away into our morning time. I always enjoy listening to Pam and find her questions spot on! The podcast is a wonderful balance of inspiration and practical tips. Can't wait for the next one!

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

    So lovely and inspiring! Looking forward to more...

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

    A great resource for homeschool moms and so well put-together. Full of useful information, not fluff. Pam has a wonderful conversation style that keeps the show moving at a steady pace. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next one!