YMB #80 Beloved: A Conversation with Missy Andrews

Today I am joined my Missy Andrews from the Center for Lit to talk about her book My Divine Comedy: A Mother’s Homeschooling Journey.

I can’t explain how encouraged I was by today’s episode. No spoilers, but there is one nugget that Missy lays down that is going to have lasting change on how I view myself as a homeschool mom and how I view the work I am doing with my children.

We also chat about the definition of education, homeschool disillusionment, and the dangers of tying our identities to the success of our homeschool. I think you will be encouraged.

missy andrews


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

Hello there and welcome to Episode 80 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Okay, guys, so much fun on today’s episode of the podcast. Actually, maybe fun is not the right word to describe it. Recording this episode of the podcast with my guest really made me think hard about myself as a homeschooling mother, and ended up giving me so much grace to think about what my role is and what I’m supposed to be doing, and kind of changed my paradigm a little bit at how I look at myself as a homeschooling mom.

All of this was brought about by my guest, Missy Andrews, from centerforlit.com. She has a book out called My Divine Comedy: A Mother’s Homeschooling Journey, where she reflects on all of her years of homeschooling, and from there, has some really great insights about what education is all about, and about how we get tied up with the idea of success in our identity as homeschool moms. We have some really great insights for you, and I think you’re going to enjoy it right after this word from our sponsor.

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Missy Andrews is co-director of the Center for Literary Education and the mother of six homeschool graduates. She earned her BA from Hillsdale College in English, and her MA in imaginative literature, we're going to have to talk about that one, Missy, from Harrison Middleton University. Missy is the co-author of Teaching the Classics: A Socratic Method for Literary Education and Wild Bells: A Literary Advent. Her newest book, a memoir entitled My Divine Comedy: A Mother's Homeschooling Journey, reflects her 25 years in the trenches of homeschooling. She and her husband Adam live on a mountaintop in northeast Washington where she collects children's books and reads and reads and reads.
Missy, welcome to the podcast.
Missy: Thank you so much for having me.
Pam: It is so nice to have you on. You and I have actually spoken before.
Missy: Yes, I remember.
Pam: Yes, for a different podcast, and I know a lot of people are really familiar with your husband because you let him do the public speaking at the homeschool conventions.
Missy: Yes lets, that's funny. Yes, he has definitely been the public face in our little home business for years. I have been so grateful to him for his willingness to do that.
Pam: Okay, so one of the things we didn't mention in your introduction, which we probably should have, was you have a podcast of your own.
Missy: We do, yes. Our little company, Center For Lit, started a podcast called BiblioFiles with an F. It's actually a play on words. We do know how to spell bibliophile. We just discuss all things literary, and we have a really good time doing it. It's my husband and my oldest son, and my daughter-in-law, his wife, and then my daughter Megan and myself, and we just bat around the great ideas and the great conversation, and we have a great time.
Pam: You've really made podcasting a family affair?
Missy: We have, yes.
Pam: Awesome. Awesome. Yes, so that's a fun one to listen to if you're looking for something to add to your podcast queue, and you like books. It's a really good one to add. Go check that one out.
Missy: Thank you.
Pam: Well, Missy tell us a little bit about you and your family?
Missy: Well, I am, as you said in your introduction, your gracious introduction, I am a mother of six. My oldest is a boy, and he just turned 28 this year, which is hard for me to really soak in and digest, that my baby is 28 years old, but he is. He and his wife, Emily, work for our company, and have since they graduated from college. Both of them earned a BA in English Literature from Hillsdale College where they met.
My second, my daughter, Megan, also works with us. She teaches all of our elementary classes online, and also some of our junior high classes, and she serves as registrar for our little homeschooling academy or literary academy. She's 26.
I have a second son, who is my third child, and he has been working for the Detroit News for the past year as a journalist, and he's also married. He married another Hillsdale girl. All my kids have gone to Hillsdale College. He too was an English Lit grad, so is she.
My fourth is Molly Kate, and she just married Henry Listenberger. That was just a couple of weeks ago, and they have moved to Austin, Texas, where he teaches at a little classical Christian school.
My youngest two are still unmarried, and they're both students at Hillsdale College. One will be a junior, Calvin, and the youngest, Charlie, has just completed his freshman year at Hillsdale, and he'll go back in the fall as a sophomore.
Pam: Okay, so I have to know, is everybody getting an English degree?
Missy: No, not everybody.
Pam: Okay.
Missy: So far, everyone has gotten an English degree, but my fifth child, Calvin, I think is going to break the mold. He's very interested in the French language. I think he will get either a double major in French in business or a business major and a French minor. The youngest is still undecided. He's a liberal arts mind, so he's thinking history or literature. He's also very interested in Greek, so maybe a language.
Pam: Oh, wow. Fascinating. Okay, so I was just sure for a second there that it was going to be all literature majors all the way through.
Missy: Well, so far it has been. We'll see.
Pam: How did you guys get started at homeschooling?
Missy: Oh, that's a funny story. I am the daughter of two public school educators. My mom taught high school literature and grammar for 34 years, I think it was, and my dad taught history and did some administrating in the public school sector when I was a young child. When I met my husband in college, and he said he wanted to homeschool, I said, "Homeschooling? What about socialization?"
Pam: Of course you did.
Missy: Some of you probably said the same thing. My take was that public school was good enough for me, it's good enough for my kids, yada yada yada. We fought. I think it was completely unresolved until my oldest son, Ian, was a toddler, and I came to bed one night with a magazine tucked under my arm that basically presented all the different approaches to homeschooling. My husband said, "What's this homeschooling business? I thought that public school was good enough for your kids. It's good for you. It's good enough for them." I said, "What are you talking about? Of course, we're homeschooling."
As I thought back about what happened there, because after that initial argument that we had before we were married, we never discussed homeschooling again. I think in retrospect, what happened is the truth is, an idea is different than a person. The idea that I had in my mind of what would be good enough for my kids was very different than the reality of holding my firstborn in my arms looking down at him and realizing that I was responsible for this child in all the ways, including his education. There is just no way in the world I was going to put him on a bus to go spend the best hours of every day with somebody else learning from them what's most important in the world. That's why we home schooled.
Pam: It's really different. My plans were changed as well, not so much homeschooling, but even just-- I wasn't even going to be a stay-at-home mom when I was pregnant with my oldest, and then once I held her in my arms, there was no going back. I knew I had to stay home with her. I know exactly where you're coming from with that. The idea that you have in your head changes when you meet the child and you know the child and you come to the point where you've got to either put them in daycare or send them off to school and it's like, "No, I don't think I'm going to be able to do this. This is not what I want. I want to spend time with them."
Missy: The more you delve into the philosophy of education, my understanding of education really didn't jive with what the public school ideology is, what their philosophy and their pedagogical techniques and all those things. It just wasn't going to work for us.
Pam: Let's talk about that, because you great segue into my next question. Having graduated six homeschool students, what do you feel like education is now?
Missy: It's interesting, education comes from a couple of Latin words. One, educare, which is Latin for train. The other one is educere, meaning to lead out. Those of you who are Latin probably see educere to guide in there as well. As you look at those etymological roots of the word education, that idea of leading someone out begs the question, out of what? What are we leading children out of? What are we ourselves being led out of when we are educated?
As I ponder that, I've come to believe that really what we're being led out of is the confines of our own minds and selves, because when we're born, the whole world revolves around us. A swaddling infant, we think we are the center of the universe. As we grow, we learn that we're not the center of the universe, that we aren't little gods to be served, but that we're very loved, that we are very significant. The fact that we're not the center of the universe makes that significance all the more weighty, I believe.
Education should first and foremost help us along in gaining that kind of perspective about who we are and who we're not. Though an education can't actually save you, a Christian education should inform us along the way and help us come to a knowledge of the fact that we're not little gods running around, but there is a God, and if we can come to that point ourselves, if we can bring our children to that point, then they're poised and ready to receive the Lord when He comes knocking on the door of their heart. Education has a lot to do with perspective and with self-knowledge. As we see more and more what manner of creature we are, we come to know for sure that we're not little gods and goddesses.
That there's got to be a God out there somewhere, and we are not He. All of the different subjects work in concert in order to acquaint us with that creator, God, who wants us to know Him.
Pam: We're just going to stop right there for just a second. What you're saying is, all of the subjects, even things like math and grammar, are preparing us and helping us to see God and the world He's created. Can you unpack that a little bit?
Missy: I really do believe that the subject matter of every single discipline presents an opportunity for us to come up against the fact that there are realities in the world that preexist us, and that we rub up against all day long every day. Every single one of those realities, not only testifies to the nature of the Creator who made them, but also it's other than us, and we have to deal with those things. Think about science, the law of gravity, we can defy the law of gravity, but we do it at our own peril because it's a law, it's present in the universe. We bend to it or it bends us.
The same thing with mathematical ideas, oh, I used to beat my head against a wall with mathematics when I was a child. I was definitely a right brainchild. These left-brain concepts, they made me really come up against myself and know my limitations, but also the subject math presents a very orderly universe. Why is the universe orderly? It begs the question. All goes to different subjects, present us with opportunities, and present us with questions that must be answered that I think segue into a knowledge of the God who created all things and who created us and would be known.
Pam: Education is teaching us about the creator, and also teaching us about our place in His world.
Missy: Exactly, yes.
Pam: Oh, I really like that. I like that a lot. I'm going to have to chew on that one for a while, but that's a really cool way to think about it.
Missy: It's very different than the way that I was brought up to think in a public school environment where education was about mastery, and the more we knew, the more significant we could make ourselves in this world, and that really life was about mastering the known world, becoming gods on this earth.
I think pedagogically speaking, that made education the actual stuff of education, the getting of education, a lot about information transfer and the filling up of a cup as opposed to an encounter with the universal questions that all men in all times have to wrestle with in order to come to grips with who they are and who they're not and what their place is in this world, what their relationship is to other men and to other creatures and to God who created it all.
Pam: Here's my next question for you, having been brought up by public school teachers, and you've admitted a couple of times now that you've come to a separate idea of education than what you had as a child. This was immediate, right? You just looked at that little five-year-old and flipped the switch and it was all perfect.
Missy: Wouldn’t if that were so. I have to say, when I got started, my husband and I both were ideologues. We graduated from Hillsdale College, got a very conservative liberal arts education, really valued the life of the mind and liberty, but principled, we were principled, and we decided we were going to homeschool our kids, we were doing this thing, but when I went about the project of homeschooling, I can see in retrospect that I took that acquaintance with education, that idea of education that I had as a child.
Even though I wouldn't have necessarily agreed with everything that I was taught, the frog in the soup illustration, I guess, actually applies here, that you don't know how much you've just soaked in and absorbed the culture that you were brought up in until you're removed from it and you lose the smell and you're stewing in a different stew for a while. When I first started educating my son, I think I really took a lot of the philosophy of education that I got when I was young in the public school system, and just planted it right there in my homeschool economy. It took a lot of years before I came to understand education as I do today.
Pam: I was wondering, because not only did I go to public school, I was a public school teacher, and I find that's one of the biggest hindrances to developing a new philosophy of education, and seeing education differently was all of this baggage that I carry from not only my own education but also teachers' college and teaching and things like that.
Missy: Sure. Absolutely. From the idea that it takes a professional to teach a child to read or to educate a child, who do you think you are that you can educate your child? It takes a whole slew of teachers to educate a child in the public school system. You have to overcome that kind of mentality. For me, because I've always been a real type A performer type, that meant I was going to do it all, and I was going to do it well. I was going to master every subject right alongside my children, and we were going to do it.
Pam: I completely understand. Let's talk about homeschooling itself. As you're beginning to homeschool all of your six children, and as you are learning this new philosophy of education, and I know that this takes years to develop, because mine is still in the process of developing this, changing from that public school mindset and what I learned education was. It's a wrestling with constantly all the time these big ideas and coming to new conclusions. When you were in the thick of it, let's think about the day-to-day of homeschooling itself and the act of homeschooling - Did you ever become disillusioned with that and think, "Maybe I shouldn't do this anymore?”
Missy: I didn't in the younger years. Like I said, I was ideologically motivated. I was a Christian, and I believed then, as I still do believe now, but for different reasons, and I think I mean something different when I say this now than I would have meant when I was young, but I really do believe that home education is a living sacrifice that we give to our children and to the Lord, and that it really does cost us a lot, but that the result is that we're raising up a generation that doesn't bow their knee to Baal, that really honors God in all things.
We're doing a really wonderful thing. I want to encourage everybody who's been called by God to do this thing. It's not for everybody. Not everybody feels equipped, not everybody is able to homeschool their children. Some people have other things that they're being called to do that really do preclude the option, but for those of us who are called, it's a really beautiful calling. I want to laud you for taking this opportunity, for taking the charge, and I want to acknowledge the fact that that's really costing you something in the day-to-day. That really motivated me.
Here's the problem, though. The problem was, for me, that when I was young, I thought that because homeschooling was very noble, that it was a noble thing that I was involved in, that that meant that I was very noble.
Boy oh boy, there's a big difference between those two ideas. I, over time, realized that though homeschooling is noble, I myself am a sinner, and that over time, I came to see that I was actually the fly in the noble homeschooling ointment that I was applying. The homeschooling process really does give mom a chance at her own education, a second chance at her own education. We say that all the time. Homeschooling gives mom a second chance at her own education. Isn't that great? What we mean, of course, is, "I'm going to get that second chance to learn my states and capitals, because I never really did master those the first time around." The silly people that we are, we're right, we do get a second chance at our own education as parents when we're homeschooling our children, we just don't know what that means.
Because if education is about coming up against ourselves and really figuring out who we are and who we're not, it's a violent encounter. It can be a very violent encounter where the Lord and his severe mercy rips the scales off your eyes, then shows you that you are just not God, you are just not as in control as you think you are, that you're not who you think you are, you're not as good as you think you are. As a matter of fact, you're very flawed. Even the best intentions of your heart are deceitful and desperately wicked. Who could know it? Who could know it? I didn't know it when I was young, but as I homeschooled my kids over the course of about 25 years, I came to know it. That all came to a head when my oldest received a scholarship. He did very well on his SAT tests. He was a straight-A student, he was extremely articulate, and we'd always been really close. Then when it came time for him to go off to college, he went right off the deep end, not because he wasn't equipped or because he wasn't prepared, but because he got the wind-up.
What I mean to say about that is that he started to smell a rat when he looked at the homeschooling process. That is to say, I think he began to realize that somewhere along the way, him doing well meant I was doing well. That he began to feel responsible along the way for my success. That's because I, like many people, I think, maybe like all people, confuse my identity with my activities. It's common.
Aristotle, I think it was, said that we are what we do. It's kind of a trope now, people say, "Oh, yes, we are what we do. We are what we do." People look to their careers to figure out who they are, and a lot of their self-concept comes from their success or their failure. Sometimes there's that. The truth of the matter is that that does not jive with what the scriptures say, because the scriptures say that we receive our name, that we are given a name by proclamation, and that name is actually Beloved. We receive it through Christ, we receive His name, which is the better name, Beloved.
That's a really different concept, and because ideas have consequences, it really doesn't matter which way you see this thing, because the consequences of the idea that, "I am what I am I do" in this performer here, meant that I just kept doing, and doing, and doing, and doing, and I never stopped doing, and nothing I did was ever enough, and I was pushing and pushing.
When you put that together in a homeschool environment with your children, because mom and child and the nature of the homeschooling project, the relationships are so bounded together with the work, it's almost impossible-- From the beginning when a child is announced, the baby's coming, they're actually a part of your body, they're an extension of you.
When they're born, you begin this process of realizing that though you carried them, they're not you. They're a unique individual before God, and the separation begins, and it takes, I think, a lifetime to accomplish it, at least for the mom. That idea that they're an extension of you, when you put that together with the concept of identity, figuring out who you are, wanting to be success, wanting to do well, wanting to be good, all of these things that are so natural to the human condition.
Well, in the homeschooling day-to-day, what that means is you project onto your child success or failure. Johnny gets an A, you get an A, Johnny gets an F, you get an F. They're smoking all their tests, they're getting straight As in their lit category, but boy, that math, they're flunking it, they're flagging it. "I am F in math. I've got to do better. I've got to teach better. I've got to help them in this math."
It's a difficult thing to see when that's going down, the inordinate pressure that that weights the homeschool relationship with, because it's appropriate when you're mom and teacher to push your child to do well, to encourage them to be diligent, to want them to get an A on their test, to want to equip them with knowledge so that they can go out into the world knowing how things work, knowing their ABCs, being able to read well, being able to figure, having the tools to get around in this world that we live in.
It's easy to wink at that darker underbelly that is the identity quest that can be so easily, I think, infected by this false idea of where identity comes from. Then, what happens? Well, for me, what happened is I pressured my kids. I was a performer, and performancism was a part of our daily homeschool routine.
I still can hardly talk about it without crying in regard to the pressure I put on my children. My idea that I was what I do caused me to communicate to them that they were what they did, and there's nothing good that comes out of that, except this, that God allowed sin to enter this world, and He uses it. He makes the wrath of man to praise him, the Psalmist says.
That was certainly my own experience, that in spite of me, and my sin, and my husband and his sin in regard to these things with our children, and in spite of my children's response-- My son's response was rebellion, to say, "I smell a rat, I'm out," and to just not attend his classes, not do his homework, just basically be hard and angry. The Lord let all that go down, He let all that go down, but the results of it was that everybody saw their own sin in the end. Adam and I saw our sin. We realized, "Oh my goodness, we've taken this very good thing is that it's homeschooling," and we have looked to it to give us a name. That is, we've made an idol out of it. We've made secondary things into the primary thing, and that's idolatry, folks. Even if it's this good thing called homeschooling, if we make it primary, but we're creating an idol. We repented. We repented to our son. The result of that was that he was capable and free to look at his own sin in the matter and realize that the failure he was experiencing in his own life wasn't anybody's fault, but his own. That he had his own sin to look at. That's really his story. I'm sure he will talk about it in his own time. He's a really good man and knows the grace that saved him.
The result of this in our life together was that we have a deep, rich, loving relationship that's based on a foundation of forgiveness and reconciliation and grace. Because the playing field was very leveled between us when we both saw our need for the grace and mercy of God, both personally and relationally with one another. We became dependent on the Lord who loves and saves, and who knew we needed Him before we knew it ourselves. That rewrote my understanding of identity, and anchored me in terms of my self concept as the one that Jesus loves. The one that Jesus saved, and that Jesus continues to save on a daily basis. Every time I forget who I am and go running after "other gods" activities.
Pam: Whether the world decides you're successful at homeschooling or not.
Missy: That's right.
Pam: Your identity is still the same.
Missy: My identity is the same. My goal in homeschooling became suddenly not to be the world's greatest homeschooler, but just to be a faithful witness to the grace and mercy of God, and to do the dry as dust work of educating that he put before me every day, and always looking for opportunities to point at him and make much of him. Instead of this idea of making much of myself, making much of my children, puffing us all up with an inflated view of ourselves. Education is not about the self in that regard.
Pam: You know Charlotte Mason's idea of you've got to be humble before you can be educated.
Missy: I think I would say that humility comes as we encounter an education, true education breeds humility.
Pam: One of the things that strikes me about this whole story is the fact that you have this child, and you talk about this. Actually I was just reading this chapter in My Divine Comedy while I was eating my lunch a little earlier. You talk about him going off to college and really not doing well there. A lot of parents would have just taken this knee jerk response and blamed the child. You knew what he was capable of, and put all the blame on him and he put all the blame on him and driven that relationship even further apart, but you had the insight to see what your role was in this situation as well. It sounds like that he also-- You said at the end, he didn't just say, "My parents screwed up, they made all of this happen", but he took responsibility for his own actions. I think that's a testament to you guys as a family that you were able to see that and act upon it in the right ways.
Missy: I don't know. What I see it as a testament of is the severe and loving mercy of God functioning in our lives and prompting us. Because as I was preparing him for college and it was getting closer and closer and we sent off all of the information, he was going to go to our Alma Mater, and he was going to sit in the classroom with my professors, because many of the same professors that I loved and had been corresponding with in Christmas cards since we graduated all those years ago, they were going to be his teachers. What was I looking for? If I'm honest, I was looking for an A. I wanted an A on my homeschool project, and isn't that so ugly? Also isn't that so relatable?
Here you've been laboring in obscurity with your children at your kitchen table all these years. No one knows, and now they're going out. They're going to go out there in that world, and they're going to either be successes or failures, and you want them to be a success because what is that going to do? That's going to shine back on you and say, "Good job, mom, good job. You did it." Good job, you did it. Okay, but really? Is that how we should be thinking about this? Is that what we're doing this for? I hope not.
Basically I felt in my heart I knew that that rat that he had smelled was real rank. The Lord forced me to it. He forced me to it with such kindness. When God is the one convicting us of our sins, it's singular. It's not like somebody else pointing the finger at us and say, "You did this wrong." God, when he shines the light into our hearts and exposes our sin, right along with it, there comes mercy and love and acceptance and grace and a covering to right the wrong that we've done. As soon as we look at it and say, "You're right, I agree. That was wrong. I was wrong. I did it all wrong." There's no despair in that, because the Lord is good. He makes beautiful things out of the twisted sticks that we are.
Pam: Let's talk about the mom who's listening to this right now and she's feeling convicted. She's like, "Oh, wow. This lady has me pegged, this is exactly me," and maybe starting to feel a little bit of despair, maybe even a little bit of shame or a little bit of worry. What would you say to encourage that mom? These moms who find themselves-- Somebody who finds themselves hyper focused on the results as opposed to relationships and this right ordering of education towards God?
Missy: The first thing that I would say to you is that you, by proclamation, are the beloved of God. He calls you beloved. That you who are in Christ bear his name. You are inheritors of the kingdom of God. He knows you. He knows everything about you. He saw you before the foundations of the world and knew everything that you would do good, bad, and ugly, and he made you anyway. He made you anyway. He died for you before you knew that that kind of sacrifice was ever going to be necessary so that when you looked up today, feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and knowing that, "Yes, this is me. I've done this thing." I too am an idolater. When you looked up, you would see him smiling at you, not frowning. There's no frowny face on God when he looks at you. He delights in you. You're the Apple of His eye. You're His daughter. He loves you.
I think that is the beginning of knowing. Let me say that again. I think that knowing that, that really owning our identity in Christ is the beginning of being able to extend that to our children. Here this segues into this idea of the educator, as the guide. The guide, because a guide is someone who's been somewhere before. Usually when we talk about this in terms of education, what we think that means is that we have to stay a few pages ahead our kids in their history book, so that we can take them where they're supposed to go, but if we think of education more organically, not just in an individual subject, but in terms of coming to know who we are and who we're not, coming to know the source of all knowledge. Coming into a knowledge of your uniqueness, you created uniqueness and the calling on your life, that's an identity question.
Mom, you need to come into your identity and know who you are in Christ before you can extend that to your children and guide them into a knowledge of their belovedness. I would say that first and second, when you know your belovedness in Christ, all of the good things that He filled your life with, all of the activities that He's filled your life with, like being a mom and being a wife and being a homeschooler and all these things, they become activities again. The freighted-ness of those activities cannot be underestimated when you are trying to get your identity from them because they simply can't deliver. The thing about a false god is not that it's a god and it competes with God, like there are two, there's only one God. The reason God doesn't want us to commit idolatry is because all those false gods, they're just activities. They can't give us any of those things that we're going to them for, only He can. We wants us to turn to Him so that He can give us those very good things. When we get primary things primarily, and we worship God and know God and receive our identities from God, then we're ready to address the activities of things he's placed beneath us, right? To take dominion over and to enjoy, to just function on our gifts, to be diligent in the things that he's put beneath us. To walk in those good works He's given us to do, because they're not gods. They can't name us, so we don't have to fear failing.
Let's say we home-school, and we're teaching our history class, or we're teaching our literature class, or our math classes, we don't really know what we're talking about. The truth is, we've never been that great at math before, but our kids here and he's alongside us then we're learning together and, boy, if you're getting your identity from that, as a mom, what a setup, right? What a setup. If you know, this is not our identity, this is just an activity. Let's learn it together, and if we can't figure this out, we're going to go find someone who can. There's no shame in that. There's no shame in that at all.
Maybe we're never going to be math minds. Maybe we're never going to master math. Maybe math, in the end, is going to get us, and we're going to get along, we're going to be able to balance our checkbook and stuff like that, but we're not going to be math geniuses, you and I. Instead, what math is going to show us is that the world is bigger than we are, and we're very small creatures in it, and that we don't know everything. We're never going to know everything. That's a good lesson. That's a really good lesson. We can take that lesson and we can succeed without being puffed up because we've just had this great time, we've had this fabulous discussion, we talked about all these wonderful things. Isn't it wonderful that we are created in the image of God and that we can think great thoughts alongside of him? Isn't that amazing?
You see, when we're not looking to these things, to the whole stuff of homeschooling, or the stuff of our careers, to get our identity, suddenly we're free to enjoy them as activities, blessed activities that allow us to better come to know God in His world.
Pam: Wow. That's it for the homeschool mom, but it also completely changes our relationship with our child, certainly from our side, but then also their identity is it wrapped up in the math either.
Missy: Yes, absolutely.
Pam: It changes the way we interact with them, but it also can change the way they interact with us and with the subject, and there's so much freedom to be found there.
Missy: Yes, I think there is. When I came to realize this, it really did change the atmosphere, the environment in our home school with the younger ones. They grew up with a freedom where education was concerned that the older ones had to come to on their own later, and maybe are still coming.
Pam: Well, Missy, I just want to thank you so much for coming on today and talking with us about what I think is going to be a topic that really sets a lot of homeschool moms free. I'm so glad we're doing it at the beginning of the school year, where they can begin thinking about these ideas and leaning into God's grace and knowing who they are as beloved of God. Tell everybody where they can find your book.
Missy: You can find my book at our website, www.centerforlit, all one word, C-E-N-T-E-R-F-O-R-L-I-T.com.
Pam: Thank you so much.
Missy: Well, thank you so much for having me today. It was a pleasure to talk with you.
Pam: There you have it. Now if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Missy and I chatted about today, including where to get the transcript for this episode of the podcast, you can find it on the show notes at pambarnhill.com/ymb80. Also over there is a little bit of instruction on how you can leave a rating or review for the Your Morning Basket podcast on iTunes. The ratings and reviews that you leave on iTunes help us get word out about the podcast to new listeners, and we really appreciate it when you take the time to do that. Thank you so very much.
I'll be back again in two weeks. In two weeks, I'll be interviewing my very good friend, Colleen Kessler. I realized this past summer that we had never talked about morning baskets with gifted kids or twice exceptional kids. Colleen is going to be on with some really great insights about how Morning Time can help give to kids. What are the benefits of doing this, what are some ways that they benefit that neurotypical kids might not. Then also the sticky situations that come up. The difference is when you're dealing with a gifted or twice exceptional kid in your morning basket, and as always, Colleen has some wonderful, wonderful insights. We'll be back again with that in a couple of weeks. Until then, keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your home-school day.

Key Ideas about Beloved

Education is an exercise of humility by which the one being educated comes to learn that there is a God and we are not He. In education, we get to discover Him and everything we learn puts us in touch with our own limitations as creatures of a mighty and loving God.

As mother educators, it is easy for us to allow our identity to become wrapped up in our children’s successes and failures. But our identity is found in Christ alone and in Him, we discover that our name is Beloved.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:00] meet Missy Andrews
  • [7:55] how she became a homeschooler
  • [11:00] Missy’s view on education
  • [13:40] every subject reveals our Creator
  • [19:45] confusing our identity as homeschool moms
  • [36:35] receiving our identity from Christ

Leave a rating or review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
  2. Click on Listen on Apple Podcasts under the podcast name.
  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

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!



  • Anna says:

    Oh my goodness. This episode got me. My heart was pricked by this issue of identity this week, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Your conversations with Missy just hit it on the head. Thank you so much!

    • Dawn says:

      I agree – so much to think about how the posture of how we approach our work.

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