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Morning Time gives us a gift. It gives us a time in our day where we can enjoy the music, poetry, and art of a culture — either our own or the culture of others. Today, I am joined by Amber O’Neal Johnston who talks about why exploring both are important, and she has a ton of examples and ideas of how we can do that in our Morning Time.

This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day.
Welcome to episode 115 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host. And I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, today on the podcast, we have a special guest, Amber O’Neal Johnston also known as Heritage Mom. She’s here to talk about how we can use art music and poetry, especially in our Morning Times and our homeschool to celebrate cultural heritage, whether that be our own cultural heritage, one that we’re very familiar with, or even learning more about, or the cultural heritage of others around us. And so it was a really fascinating conversation. What I love about Amber is she brings so many great examples to the table, and I think you are going to love this conversation.

Now, before we get started with the interview, I want to share with you our summer reading program We are traveling through the pages this summer and exploring the world with books. And you can get the summer reading program absolutely for free. We have some great games for you there. Some printables, some things to encourage your kids to read outside of their normal genre.
They have like a little reading passport that really encourages them to stretch their wings just a little bit and try out some new books this summer. So you can find those, and we’ll have that download for you there absolutely free. And now on with the podcast.
Amber O’Neal Johnston lives in Georgia nestled among pine trees, hammocks, and zip lines with her husband Scott and their four children. Her happy place is the back porch on a rainy day, preferably with a giant mug of hot tea and a good book. And although she was raised in air conditioning, somehow the woods is where she feels most at home these days. Amber shares about the beauty of a culturally conscious home environment in her book, A Place to Belong: a guide for families of all backgrounds, celebrate cultural heritage and kinship with others while embracing inclusivity in the home and beyond. And when she’s not spreading the feast for her children, Amber enjoys sharing experiences and resources on and @heritagemomblog on Instagram. Amber, welcome to the podcast.
Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here, but it is so great to have you here and just start off by telling us a little bit about you and your family and your homeschool.
Sure. So I’m originally from Illinois. My husband is from Ohio, so we are Midwesterners through and through, but we met here in Atlanta at the art museum. So it’s a perfect little homeschool story and we have four children. They are 12, 10, 8, and six. The older two are girls. The younger two are boys. We’ve been homeschooling them from the very beginning and yeah, we love it. And we’re in it for the long haul.
So that is how you know that he’s the one for you because you meet him at the art museum.
Yeah, for sure. And the funny thing is that I told my sister that night, I was like, oh my goodness, I met this guy. He’s beautiful, he’s intelligent. And he was at the art museum at the same exhibit as me. You know, this is meant to be, and I put all my eggs in that basket. And later he told me that he was there to meet a good woman. So he was not interested in being exhibited at all. And I thought, well, you know what, I’m still going to give him points for being smart. And it worked and let’s go with it.
They went to a good place to meet a good woman. So there you go. I love it. I love it so much. Well, let’s talk a little bit about art. That’s one of the things we want to talk about today, and I want to talk about how art music and poetry, any kind of the arts in fact, can provide an entry point for families to learn about various cultures.
And I want to talk about it from kind of two viewpoints, like learning more about your own culture, but also learning more about other cultures that are not your own. So let’s start with your own culture. Why are these things such a good place to dig into and learn more about the culture of your family?
Well, I, yeah, I found it to be really nice to have some delightful things that represent our culture for our children to hang in there kind of memory hall.
And I think that because we spend so much time studying history, which is really important, a lot of American history and the history of every country really has a lot of trauma, traumatic things that have happened, a lot of tragedy. And I think those things are important for our kids to know, but that doesn’t, we don’t want that to be the only thing that they think about when they think about a certain group of people, especially themselves. So for my kids in particular were African-American family and we were studying a lot about enslavement and civil rights and all of that. And it was great, but my kids were feeling pretty down kind of like, well, wow. I mean.
It was heavy.
Yeah. It was kind of like this, this really stinks, you know, like, you know, what else is there? What else do we have to talk about? And my oldest, she was like, I’m tired of talking about this. And she said that, you know, it was starting to make her feel kind of depressed, you know? And I thought, wow, this is, I realize now that I’ve gone really heavy on one side of the seesaw and I need to swing over to the other side and show the fullness of who we are as a people.
And so I thought, well, this is perfect because we follow the principles of Charlotte Mason and our lessons are already set up to include art and music and poetry. I just hadn’t been utilizing those to the fullness of what I should have or could have for my family. And so we started really diving deeply into black or in most cases African-American, but sometimes black people from other countries into the music that they had created and Negro spirituals and hymns sung in a traditional way that our churches that I grew up in would sing the same hymns.
And with art, we had been really studying exclusively European artists that were well-known and important. And the art really was beautiful. So I thought, well, there was nothing wrong with that, but I could do more. I could expand. And so we started studying black artists and oftentimes their subjects were black people. So for the first time my kids were seeing reflections of themselves in fine art.
And we were listening to poetry poets that looked like us. And that I could tell my kids, you know, came from the Harlem Renaissance or from other time periods. And to hear them oftentimes talking about things that felt very familiar to us, family connections and music and food and culture. And this was the first time my kids could connect with something like that on a personal level.
And so I really got a chance to see that these types of subjects or studies can add delight to our days. And once I realized that I was like, Hey, I’m never going to go back again.
I love that. You know, it amazes me sometimes how often culture is divorced from historical studies. Like you’re just studying the facts and maybe you like dip into the people. And I know Charlotte Mason is really big on kind of those hero stories when kids are younger, they want to, you know, we’re going to talk about the people, not so much as all the facts and the wars and all of the things that happen, but then culture is kind of relegated to a different part. And that’s such a huge part of history.
And I love what you said about your kids being able to see themselves in what they’re learning about. And so marrying that culture with history, I think is a good thing. How though, can you learn about other cultures through this kind of experience? So my family is not African-American. So how do we go about finding the resources so that my kids can learn about other cultures this way?
Well, I think there are a couple of ways, you know, the low-hanging fruit I found as being in community with other moms, other homeschool moms and other parents, because all of the lessons that I do with my kids, I then turn around and share on my blog or my website. And I know I get a lot of ideas from my friends or people.
I see online, other moms who have done that research on their own cultures. I think that’s the best place to get the recommendations because parents in that culture are able to really sniff out authenticity and resources that really ring true to their own cultures better than I would be able to do with someone else’s culture. And I think that’s the fear for a lot of us and people often think I don’t have that fear because I’m black and I’m like, well, yeah, I don’t have that fear about black stuff, but I have that fear about other cultures, just like you may have about my culture. I can read a book or see a piece of art and think, I think it looks okay. I think it sounds okay. And a friend of mine can be like, no girl, that’s not okay.
And I’m like, okay, teach me. I want to know why I want to be, I want to share things that are true and good and honest with my kids. So I think depending on friends is one way, the other way is following up on things you might find online. I am not a historian. I always tell people I’m just a mom, but I found that a passionate, you know, being a passionate mom has been more than enough. So to give you an example, when we studied the 1700s or we started it, we’re still there now in American Revolutionary times and all of this I was looking for like, is there anything that I can say that black people were doing in this country that is not negative or depressing or sad?
And I’m like, surely we were creating something somewhere. And through some research, I found that there were a couple of artists who were either enslaved or formerly enslaved in New England who were painting portraits during that time. And one of them, Prince Demah and the other one, Joshua Johnson, there were very little known about Prince Demah. But I saw online that the Hingham historical society in Massachusetts owns, or has two of his paintings in their facility. So I was like, well, I’m kind of crazy. I’ll just go ahead and email them. Like, Hey, I’m a homeschool mom. I want to teach my kids about this artist. I don’t know anything about him. Surely you guys must’ve read, must’ve researched you own two of these coveted originals.
And they wrote me back the president of their society. And she was like, yeah. She was like, well, let’s hop on and talk about it. I was like, can I record it? And she was like, yes. So I recorded a zoom session where I interviewed her, my kids were on as well. They also interviewed her and she told us everything she knows about that artist. And you know, that’s just an example of kind of the types of things that didn’t cost me anything. It was an hour of time. And I was able to show my children that no matter what circumstances people are in, they will find opportunities to show their creativity and to express joy.
Yeah. Yeah. I think of like Phyllis Wheatley from that same time period as well, you know, a poet, not an artist, but so yeah, you’ve introduced me to a couple of artists that I had not heard of before. And I love that. Like just, don’t be afraid to get out and seek out what you’re looking for and research what you’re after, because you’re right. There had to be, you know, black people who were making that kind of contribution who were doing that kind of art. And it’s just a matter of us finding, finding them or finding, you know, whatever culture who’s doing that. So, yeah, I like that.
Another thing too, I found, I think that a lot of it, sometimes we think we have to do too much, like we have to become experts at something or deeply study it. And I found that with my kids when we’re studying other cultures and I want to bring that in, honestly, just the exposure is a gift because our eyes and ears almost have to be trained to see beauty in other cultural expressions of things at times, because if we’re used to only seeing one type of art or hearing one type of music, I mean, adults are guilty of it as well. But especially for our children, they can see that as the norm that’s normal and everything else is not normal, or this is beautiful and everything else is. And so I think just the pure exposure, even if you aren’t able to really study it deeply is something that can go a long way.
You know, that’s what I love about the Charlotte Mason approach though, is because as the mom, you really are supposed to just expose them to this stuff and then kind of step out of the way. So using that kind of approach makes it easy. It like takes a lot of the pressure off the mom. Like I don’t have to know everything about this artist or this style of art or this kind of poetry. Like I can expose my kids to some of the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance without like knowing everything about it. We can just share some of the poems together. I stepped back and get out of the way and let the poetry speak for itself.
Right. And that’s great for me because I don’t know, you know, and, and then that’s the thing a lot of times, you know, with my brand online and the things I talk about, people assume that I’ve been studying all of this for years and that I’ve become an expert.
No, I’m like girlfriend, I have the same education you had. I have the same lack of knowledge that you have. I’m just basically helping my children walk through the threshold and presenting them with this information. And we’re learning together. I always tell people, I am about three nights ahead of my oldest child in school. So, you know, I research at night when she goes to bed and I’m like, okay on Wednesday we’re I going to learn about this together. So you don’t have to know it all and it’s kind of nice. I think when there’s a little bit of imperfection, because I don’t want to come in to my kids, like, Hey, I am the grandmaster and I’m going to impart all of my knowledge and didn’t dump it all on you, but instead I can say, Hey, I mean, this is the general goal. Let’s dig around and see what we can come up with. And I think the kids remember that more too, when there’s a little bit of our digging and research involved.
Yeah. We talk about that a lot with Morning Time, kind of like you’re a co-learner along with the kids, you’re not just dumping all the knowledge and it takes a lot of pressure off you as the mom, me is the mom to just say, Hey, we’re going to experience some of this stuff together. But I think the important thing is the willingness to embrace other cultures. And you’re right. Beauty is all about exposure. There are a lot of kids out there who don’t like classical music by dead white guys, because it’s not, you know, right? And so what we do as moms is just expose our children to that over and over again. And the same goes with stuff from other cultures as well. You just expose them over and over again. And then they begin to see the beauty in it.
So we were really good example. I often say, you know, whatever, I want my kids to see as beautiful. We go through long periods of time where we’re listening to that as like the soundtrack of our lives. So we play the music and we have Alexa in the kitchen. And every night at dinner, we have a little bit of music. Sometimes it’s jazz. Sometimes it’s classical music. It may be the composer we’re studying at the time.
It could be folk music, but I just, I don’t say, Hey, kids let’s listen at that time of day. I’m just playing it. And I just want them kind of like elevator music. I just want them to grow up hearing it. And I think that that’s a large part of my strategy there. If you want to call it, a strategy is just pure exposure. And I think that’s all that I’m looking for there. And, you know, I think that you mentioned about Morning Time, for me part of the proof that all of this is working, that’s my children’s favorite time of day. And in my opinion, that’s my least buttoned up time of day, you know, I, where I’m kind of winging it and learning alongside them and flowing and moving and they love it.
I think there is some amount of beauty that the children see in that natural learning more so than some of our afternoon stuff or late morning stuff, I have really gotten, we’re going to read these pages and this is what we’re studying and you know, not that they don’t enjoy it, but no one’s begging me for that. And if we ever miss Morning Time, they’re begging me for it.
Yeah. Yeah. I love it. I love it. Okay. So let’s talk about food. Okay. Yeah, let’s do it. Well, yeah. You also talk about food. It’s kind of like a natural entry point to explore cultural heritage. So tell me about that.
Okay. So a couple of things, I come from a family of cooks. So my grandfather was a chef. He was a chef in a hotel by day, and then he had his own place that he would go at night and work. And my grandmother’s, as many grandmothers were known for their cooking and their special dishes.
And I come from a big family. And so food was always part of our love language. And so that was my background. And then I became a registered dietician. So kind of by trade that’s one of my many, I say I had a portfolio career, one of the many things I did. And so I have a keen interest in food and it was natural then for me to share that with my kids, as me, try to get to know people, and as we try to connect with our own culture, I would often start with food. So we’ll make recipes, go to certain restaurants and that’s layer one tasting, knowing, getting to know the dishes and the actual food. But I think the deeper layer is then learning about how certain cultures feast, like what are they thinking or feeling, and what’s happening in the moments that they’re sharing food or breaking bread. And I can talk, you know, for my own culture, you think of something like soul food Sundays, where you have all of this extended family in this huge table filled with greens and cornbread and macaroni and cheese and fried chicken and blackeyed peas.
I mean, when I say that, even to you right now, I’m feeling
You’re making me hungry.
I’m like, woo, this is exciting. It’s like warm and fuzzy. I think of, I feel loved. I feel embraced. And you know, it wouldn’t be the same if we had, you know, cold cut sandwiches on the table, that’s a completely different feeling. And I want to know what I feel when I talk about my culture’s food. I want to know that feeling from other people. And that takes discussion conversation, really digging in and asking questions and spending time learning, but also hopefully being around other people and kind of talking to them like, okay, so what are we doing right now?
I’m like, oh, this is my mom’s favorite dish. You know, this is what she always ate growing up. And I’m like, yeah, let me try it. You know? And I think it’s a great connecting point. And at that same time, I am always teaching my kids to not wrinkle up your nose and turn down or say disparaging things about someone’s food, because to you, you’re just thinking this food tastes gross or I don’t like it. But to them it’s hurtful because you’re really, you know, making a blemish or a mark against who they are and where they come from. So that’s been something that’s been interesting for us.
I love that. I love that so much. Yeah. Food is such a huge part of just the fact that you said, you know, how they feast. So it’s not just what you eat, but it’s how you encompass celebrations with food. And that makes it such a larger part of a culture, you know, and all cultures do this, all cultures have this kind of, of feasting. And I think we all can think of situations where the food kind of defines like holidays for us and special occasions and even just something as simple as a Sunday dinner.
So how do you go about connecting for these kinds of things? So you’ve mentioned a couple of times throughout this conversation, you’ve mentioned conversations. So if you have, you know, the homeschool mom, who’s maybe feeling a little isolated or, and I’ll just be honest with you. Homeschooling is a lot of sameness where I live. There’s not a lot of diversity in the homeschooling in my area. So how do we go about making these kinds of connections so we can have these conversations?
Sure. I think, you know, for us, for instance, recipes, we started with cookbooks, I’m old school. And so I know there are all these recipes online, but I get overwhelmed. And so like when we were digging into Puerto Rican culture, I got a Puerto Rican recipe cookbook, and we just started making things from there. And I don’t know if they weren’t legitimate, I’m going to blame it on the cookbook writer, but you know, it felt good. And it, and there, I like to get cookbooks that have storytelling, not just recipe after recipe, but where they talk about the recipe a little bit, or the writer will talk about how it relates to their family. I love that type of cookbook. So that’s one, you know, easier way.
And for us, a lot of our interaction has been through travel and yes, global travel. That’s a part of what we do as a family, but also local travel. So one of the things we did last year, we went really deeply into studying the American south. And I wrote this whole study. It was called sweet tea and cookies. And it’s funny because I got a lot of feedback online. People were like, Ooh, girl, I’m glad I saw who it was. Cause at first I was like, they were like the study and celebrating the American south who is this.
And I was like, see, that was your misperceptions about what it could be. And my whole study is about the beauty of the south and that was throwing people off. And so I thought that, you know, my kids are from here and I want them to be proud of where they’re from. And yes, there’s a lot of hard history.
And I specifically chose the states that were part of what was considered the deep south, where chattel slavery was the worst. And I chose those dates because I wanted to show my children that beauty can come from anything. And so we studied the art and poetry and music and stories and food of those states, things that originated there. And of course, sweet tea and cookies. Cause in the south, you got to have sweet tea. So every week we made a different batch of a different type of sweet tea. And so I think things like that in that case, we didn’t necessarily need anyone, but we were doing it at home with just ourselves, but we were extending ourselves to really dig deeply into a certain area and all of the things that happened or associated with that area. And that’s just within our own country.
So I think things like that, you know, those intentional things. And if you do have the chance for global travel, I mean, we have learned amazing things. I remember in Bolivia, in our ignorance it’s in South America and our ignorance, I thought we were about to go down there and tear up like rice and beans and tortillas and salsa and guacamole that’s I love that food.
And we got there and none of those things were available. And I was like, oh my gosh, I’m so ignorant. And where we were staying was mountainous and they were really known for potatoes and it was a meat and potatoes place and we’re vegetarian. So hello, surprise. And I was like, okay guys, this is it. We were settling in, we were there for three months. I was like, we just, we’re going to have to figure it out. That’s an example of how I made some assumptions based on the limited information that I had and I was wrong. Surprise!! And so, you know, we learned, and we made adjustments. I’d never cooked at a really high altitude before. And you know, we just, we got a chance to really see what it was like to live there. So I think it’s not one big thing to answer your question. I think it’s just a series of ongoing small things.
I love that. And I love how you don’t beat yourself up, you know? So you were wrong. I mean, you just, it, and it’s fun to watch you because you throw your hands up, you know, I was, and then you like, okay, we learned something new. So every opportunity it seems is a learning opportunity. I think that’s what I’m hearing.
Yeah, definitely. I think so. I think it’s more about your intention and being open to opportunities as they come along and then also not looking for perfection. Like I’m sure that there are so many, an expert could come to my home and point out all the ways that we’re learning about other cultures in the wrong way or imperfectly. But I just, I don’t know. I don’t care. I feel like this is so much more than what I ever received. It’s also the best that I have to offer. And I’m not sure if anyone could ever expect me to do more than that with my kids.
I love it. Well, we mentioned before the kind of, some of the heaviness that your kids were feeling and that prompted you to go off and study some of the art music and poetry to relieve some of that heaviness. But let’s talk a little bit about how approaching culture in this way helps when you’re trying to tackle some potentially difficult topics.
Sure. I think that it allows us mostly to connect with the beauty, the ingenuity and creativity and culture of people rather than solely kind of the tragedy and trauma, or even the triumphs of their past or current situations. So I think that looking at some of these things, the art, the music, the poetry, the food, the nature, I’m not trying to gloss over hard history because I do do that. I go through that with my kids. I think that what I’m trying to do is show them that people are multi-dimensional and yes, things can happen to you, or sometimes you do things or whatever it may be, but that’s never the sum total of who you are. And, you know, to give you an example, there’s a book that I like, and it’s like Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters. And it talks about obviously what it sounds like Christmas day or, you know, and what it was like for people who were enslaved and living in a slave cabins and people in the big house there. And I have always loved that book. And I was reading online one day where it came up in a Facebook group or something.
And a lot of the moms were like, that’s a horrible book. I would never read it to my kids because it shows enslaved people dancing and having cake and celebrating. And that’s just making it seem like slavery wasn’t that bad. And I haven’t really sit with that and think, wow, there’s so many things that are up for interpretation because what I drew from that was even in the middle of the worst possible scenario that you could ever imagine, you can still choose to grasp on to whatever little tidbits of joy you can find even if once a year. And so I just thought, well, you know, I think that sometimes we have a choice with how we interpret things and that I want my children to see that bad things happen to all of us, all of us do bad things. And that neither of those define who we are, there are other things that we can do and make and create and other ways that we can be. And those are just as important as the things that happen to us and the things that we do that we may not be as proud of.
Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, as I was thinking, as you were talking and just thinking about, you know, these subjects that we’ve been talking about are called the humanities. And I think one of the reasons that they’re called the humanities is because it’s, it’s, it’s about the humanness in all of us. And so when it comes right down to it, we, all humans, you know, art, music, poetry, this is something we all have in common, no matter what our cultural background is.
Yeah, I think so. And it’s a way of connection and I think that’s a good point that you bring up because one of the things that I often talk about, just the nature of what I talk about brings up a lot of differences, but I always remind parents that mostly we have tons of things that we have in common that are similar.
We just have often a different lens or a slightly different bit, or turn here or there. And that it’s nice for our children to see both that a lot of us are very different, but at our core, we share this humanity that connects us. And so the poetry of my people maybe different than the poetry of your people, but then yet we’re both American and we have some shared poetry and culture there as well. And I think that it’s so nice for our children to see the nuanced approach to that.
Yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot more we have in common I think then we have different.
That’s right.
So we’ve talked a little bit. I just, I want to give you the opportunity,cause we’ve talked about art and we’ve talked about poetry and we’ve touched on music a little bit, and food. Let’s don’t forget the food now that we’re all hungry. So anything else that you might add to your Morning Time along the same vein? I just want to give you the opportunity to give me anything I forgot.
I mean, like in music, I mentioned briefly hymns and one of the things we do, that’s really big. I talk about heritage hymns. And so we use traditional hymns and we listen to them each week though, song a different way. So maybe more traditionally, and this was basically born out of, I was following different curriculum options when my kids were little and they would have hymn study and I’d click the link and there would be music there. And I’m like, okay.
And my husband walked by one day and he mouthed the words, “What are you doing?” Because these songs were not like we were used to. And I was like, oh my gosh, okay, kids, listen, the truth of the matter is black folks don’t sing the song like this. So here I’m going to play a different link for you. This is how we sing the song, but we’re still going to listen to other people. And my kids were like, oh yeah, you know, we kinda got into his gospel music and they started learning it. And, and I thought, you know, I think this is telling basically whatever we’re used to hearing with our families or in our communities, that’s what becomes cool, normal, fun, nice. And so I said, I’m gonna introduce my kids to that same him country with banjo and, you know, Bluegrass, Celtic, which I was like a bagpipe, you know, that’s new for me, but we listened to that and instrumental and jazz and acapella and all of that. And I that’s become how we do our hymns, but also folk music. And, you know, just all kinds of things like that.
Also in the morning, I read picture books because my little guy, you know, that’s his, a big portion of, you know, what he’s getting from me. But my older kids were like, listen, here, we did not want you to go in the other room and read those books.
They kept meandering in following us. And I said, you know, they love these. And so we read picture books, whatever I’m reading that week for picture books, I read out loud in the morning and our family read alouds, which are all over the place. So basically our Morning Time is everything that we all do together, no matter what it is with no restrictions. And it changes throughout the year. And then after that, we kind of end up slowly splintering off here or there.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s a lot of how ours looks as well. And my little guy is 12 years old now, but still a large part of his history is what we read in the Morning Time. And then the older two go off and do more history. So yeah, it still works that way even when they get older.
okay. So if I am looking for some good resources to help me explore other cultures, whether that be the black culture or whether that be cultures overseas, where are some good places to start? Do you have some specific resources and then do you have just some general places to look as well?
Yeah. I definitely think that there are a few different websites. I usually use. One is stories of And I really like almost like don’t tell me what to read, just present me with all my options. And that’s what this is. So you can look by time period, by culture, by country and find a lot of really great books.
Another one is called Biblio Guides and it’s similar, but there’ll be summaries of all of the books and series and different things like that. I really like to search on there as well. And, you know, I spend a lot of time just looking at like, we have the Newbery award. We think the Newberry, Newberry honor and the Caldicot, th those are both really popular, but each culture also has their own award, you know, system. So there’s the Coretta Scott King award and the Ezra Jack Keats award. And, you know, all of the different cultures have their own awards. And I like to go each year and look and see what they chose for their culture, that they feel is best represented. What they feel are the best books, you know? So that’s another option or resource.
I love it. And then what about like music? Do you publish like your Heritage Hymns studies on your blog as well?
Yeah, I do. So those are all up there. I have different series. I think each one has 15 hymns. So it’ll take you quite a lot to get through each one of those and same thing. Some of my folk songs, if we do a particularly like really awesome folk study that my kids really get into, I’ll put that out there as well. Pretty much everything that I do, that my kids love. I put out there because I think for a homeschool moms, a lot of our issue, I haven’t found very many people who are like, I’m not willing to do new things or expand, or I don’t want to, it’s usually like, oh, you know, I’m so time-starved, I don’t know what to do. And so I share to make that easier for them.
I love it. I love it. Okay. So Amber tell everybody where they can find those wonderful resources online.
Yeah. You can find me on and you can find my book and I’m on Instagram, Instagram, and Facebook at Heritage Mom Blog. Okay. So let’s talk real quick about the book. I’m so glad you brought it up. Give me the publication date and talk a little bit about pre-order bonuses. Okay. So it comes out May 17th and for everyone who orders before May 17th, they will be able to go and download on my website two heritage packs. So some there they are choosing them. So it could be the heritage hymns that we talked about, or the sweet tea and cookies. And I have, I think, seven other ones that the Harlem Renaissance, a lot of the things we talked about today, they can download those multicultural lesson guides. And I have some other goodies coming up that haven’t been announced yet. That will go to everyone who already pre-ordered and those who pre-order before May 17th still.
Awesome. So you still have time to go and check out the book, a place to belong, and pre-order your copy and go and get those wonderful pre-order bonuses as well. I’ve had a sneak peek at the book and I really enjoyed it.
So Amber, thanks for sharing that with me as well. So thanks so much for coming today. It was fun.
It was thank you for having me.
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Amber and I chatted about today, you can find them on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. That’s at Also on the show notes, we’ll have information about how you can pre-order or order. If you’re listening to this after the publication date, you can order Amber’s new book, a place to belong and get those pre-order bonuses. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks, we’re going to be talking all about summer reading here on the podcast, and we hope you will join us for that episode until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

Traveling Through the Pages Summer Reading AdventurePinTraveling Through the Pages Summer Reading AdventureA Place to Belong: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and BeyondPinA Place to Belong: Celebrating Diversity and Kinship in the Home and BeyondChristmas In The Big House, Christmas In The Quarters (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner)Christmas In The Big House, Christmas In The Quarters (Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner)


Key Ideas about Celebrating Cultural Heritage

  • Using art, music, and culture is a great way to explore your own family culture. It gives you an opportunity to dive into things that may feel familiar to you but also to better understand them.
  • You don’t have to be an expert on any topic in order to teach it to your kids. Allowing your children to share what they find interesting, following their lead, and letting go of doing it all perfectly is a great recipe for learning about other cultures.
  • Learning about the food of a particular culture also provides a unique opportunity to enter in on a deeper level. There is so much to learn about a culture based on how they prepare meals, feast together and share life over a meal.
  • Studying the beauty of a culture does not mean you have to ignore the hard history that might also be there. Instead, it gives you the opportunity to see the multi-dimensional nature of human beings. And, it can be inspiring to see that even in difficult times, people find ways to create and find joy.
  • One way to use music in your homeschool is to listen to the same hymn, or piece of music, sung in many different ways. If nothing else, play music of the culture you are studying in the background throughout the day so that your kids can get more exposure to it.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • 2:28 meet Amber O’Neal Johnston
  • 4:43 art, music, and poetry to learn about your own culture
  • 9:13 learning about other cultures through art, music, and poetry
  • 18:13 using food to learn about various cultures
  • 26:52 dealing with difficult topics
  • 31:16 using music in Morning Time
  • 33:57 Amber’s suggested resources

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