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Today we are giving you a peek behind the scenes at what is included in our ready-made Morning Time plans at Your Morning Basket. I am joined by our member success manager and mom of eight Laney Homan as we dissect what’s in the plans, who are they for, and how to get the most out of using them in your homeschool.

Pam: This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone and welcome to episode 120 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy you’re joining me here today. On today’s episode of the podcast, I am joined by our Member Success Manager, Laney Homan. And we’re going to be talking again about how you can successfully use our Morning Time plan that we have at Your Morning Basket to help you lay out a beautiful Morning Time for your family.

Now, there are some people who like to plan their own Morning Time. Hey, I get it. I’m a big fan of that myself, but there are a lot of other people who are like, you know what? Just make it easy on me. Just give me some fun plans to follow. And we have exactly that. We have a ton of fun plans for you to follow everything from history to geography, seasonal plans, preschool plans, and literature based plans, and our Catholic plans for our Catholic families as well.

Now, as you are listening to this, if you are listening to this right when it comes out, Your Morning Basket Plus the membership is currently open for a few more days. That is the best place to get access to all of our plans at one time, and to be able to mix and match resources, which is something you’re going to hear Laney talk quite a bit about during this episode of the podcast. Now, never fear. If you’re listening to this after the doors close on the membership, which is August 19th, then you simply come over to the shop and check out the different sets of plans we have to offer.
And if you’re just wanting to have a peek at what we have going on at pambarnhill.com/month and you can get a sample set absolutely free right there. Okay. Enough with all of that, let’s get into the podcast. I think you’re going to enjoy this conversation.
Hey, there today I am joined by the Your Morning Basket Plus member success manager. Miss Laney Homan, and we are going to be talking all about the Morning Time plans.
These are our full sets of Morning Time plans that we have in Your Morning Basket. Plus they’ve actually been around for about six years now and how you can use these Morning Time plans in your homeschool. So Laney, before we get started, remind everybody like how long you been homeschooling, how many kids do you have and how long have you been doing Morning Time.
All right. Well, I’ve been homeschooling about 16 years. I have eight kids, two of which have graduated. One more is just so close. So I still have my five youngest kids at home and I’m homeschooling them. They’re almost 16 down to seven. And we have been doing Morning Time for, I think this coming year will be like our seventh year of doing Morning Time.
Okay. So seventh year of doing Morning Time. So that means you did Morning Time before we made plans. So how long have you been using the Morning Time plans?
So I’ve been using the Morning Time plans from Your Morning Basket for probably about three years in incremental doses. So when I started using some of the little bits and pieces, it really, I guess I just didn’t understand the full scope and sequence of everything that they offered. And so I would kind of dabble in them, but the more that I use them and then I would look for something else and I was always surprised by kind of the fullness and richness. And now it’s almost all we use.
Okay. So that’s interesting. So there are so many things to unpack in what you just said. So I don’t even know where to start, but yeah, I think that’s, well, let’s get to unpacking that later, the different ways that you can use it. But first of all, let’s start off by talking about what the Morning Time plans even are for somebody who is completely unfamiliar. And before you started using the Morning Time plans, you really were planning out your own Morning Time. Right?
I was, when I first started doing Morning Time, I was really focused on utilizing resources that I already had on my shelf that maybe I had purchased. And then in the daily box checking, just, we really didn’t get to some of those kind of things that were full of truth, goodness and beauty, because they weren’t set as a priority.
They were always kind of highlighted in different curriculum packages that they may have come in is kind of like, these are the ad-ons, these are the extras. These are the electives. And what would happen is with so many kids in our homeschool, we would get through the heavy academics and then everybody just wouldn’t have energy for that. So I had these resources, many of them had been shelved and not used. And then as I kind of decided that we needed to change direction and what we were doing, because it just wasn’t working. We had a lot of unhappy people in our homeschool. And as I came across the ideas of Morning Time, my first focus was just to utilize the things that I had that we had never used, even though I had bought them thinking they were wonderful. So I started to piece together my own Morning Time in that way. And I still use some of those resources, but as I joined the Your Morning Basket community and had access to some of the plans, and I believe maybe some of the first ones we did were the summer reading plans, which we’ve talked about in another podcast, but, you know, they were kind of a, “oh, I’m going to get these free pages. And then I’ll go ahead and download the little supplemental Morning Time plans.” And they were so fun and the kids really enjoyed them. That kind of led me into looking into more. And when we joined Your Morning Basket, initially we just started with some of the, I guess, really we started with the live classes and then eventually we pulled in some of the Explorations and that kind of thing. But as I began to really look more into the Morning Time plans, as I began planning to put together my own homeschool plans, like I had been doing, what I discovered was they were just so rich and beautiful that the work had been done for me.
And that it was really, it was really more beneficial for me to just use these plans as like kind of the spine and the background of what we do for our Morning Time. And then, because I still had the extra resources on my shelf, I was able to use these Morning Time plans as a really rich, beautiful set of plans. But then if I recognized, oh, there’s this artist that we’re reading about? Well, I had the opportunity to just look at my own shelf, but it’s completely unnecessary. And the more we’ve used the plans, I feel like the less we utilize other things. So initially I thought that I would use them by adding them to what we were doing. And they quickly came to eclipse, everything else that we were doing. And it’s really the backbone of all of our homeschool at this point, we still of course do skill subjects and split off in that way. But the Morning Time plans really do form the backbone of what we do for our homeschool as a whole.
An example of that would be the first time I started trying to plan our history unit for a year, I was like, oh, Your Morning Basket has some history plans. These will be a lovely addition to what I’m already like pulling in and planning together. And as I began to open them and really look through them, I was like, oh, these are complete history plans. We don’t need anything else. And that year I just dropped all of the other, you know, things that I was planning on buying and pulling together. And we just used the history plans and the book lists were so rich and it was a great year of history. We use the, The Ancients, I think we use the, the second semester ones term two this. We were ready to study the Romans. And that was, that was the set that those, that the Romans were included in. And very quickly, I noticed that even the resources that I had, that I was like, oh, I already have this. I’m going to use it. My kids were so much more interested in the resources that we found in the history plans, but I really did. I just stopped using everything else. And boy did my life become simpler. I always like to over-complicate things. So it was so much simpler whenever I just started trusting the plans and saying, oh, these are really complete.
Like I said, when you add the books that are suggested in the plans, it really rounds out to be something quite beautiful.
Yeah. So when we started creating these plans years ago, like I said, they’ve been around for about six years now because the membership itself has been around for five years. We have some members who just had their fifth renewal. And so the plans were around for about a year before that. And what we wanted to do in creating these plans was we had so many moms who were saying, I want to do this Morning Time thing. We had a resource out there to help them plan their own Morning Time. But we had moms saying to us, could you just plan it for me? Could you just tell me what to do? I mean, I like to plan, I know Laney likes to do a little bit of planning, you know, but believe it or not, there are a lot of homeschool moms out there who just don’t get the same thrill that we do out of creating plans.
And so that was really why we started putting together all the different kinds of Morning Time plans. And we started with the seasonal set.
So just to kind of talk about what we have, we do have seasonal sets of Morning Time plans, which I like to say, or little additions of the truth, goodness and beauty that you can use on top of the other things that you’re doing.
So it’s just the right amount of material. You use it over a season. So it’s about when you divide it up in weeks, it’s about seven weeks of material that we do have a loop schedule in there. So you don’t have to divide it up in weeks if you don’t want to. And it’s great if you are even like school at home, school in the box, kind of people. And you’re just looking to add a little bit of art and music and stuff to your day. They’re really wonderful. We have our history plans, which Laney was talking about just a little bit earlier, and we’re going to dive deeper into, as we go, we have our literature based plans, which are about, I was talking to Jessica about these today. And these are about different worlds that are out there. So like you enter into the world of The Hobbit or the world of Green Ember or the world of Anne of Green Gables or the world of Peter Rabbit. We have our reading program plans that Laney and I have chatted about before, our geography plans, which are our newest set, which take you all around the United States. And what am I forgetting…our preschool plans? That’s another set. Am I forgetting something else? Our Catholic,
The Catholic plans. That’s what I was gonna say.
Yeah. And that, that go along with the liturgical year and, and different things like that. And so, you know, what we really tried to do was help the mom who wanted to do Morning Time, but did not want to plan things out. Maybe it’s somebody who, unlike Laney, does it have tons of resources on their shelves? Maybe there’s somebody who’s newer to homeschooling. So they don’t have this huge collection of resources that they can pull from. And they just want someone to point them in the right direction. And then after we developed that, I think one of the best things that has come out of the Morning Time plans is Jessica’s ability to choose books.
Absolutely. Her book lists are phenomenal. It has become the first place that I look for books. Even if I’m not planning on using a full set of plans for something. If I know we’re going to be covering something that the plans cover, the first place I go is to look at the plans and pull the book list. And we use our library very extensively.
I know that not everybody has a great library system, but I think that her book lists are great and they are, she offers so many varieties and suggestions that you don’t have to have all of the books by any, like we couldn’t again, going back to those history plans, even if I was able to find all of the books in my library, I wouldn’t have time to read all of the books that are listed and they’re not necessary for a complete experience, but you know that if the book is on that list, it’s going to be something that you can kind of trust and lean into a little bit.
Yeah. Yeah. So Jessica Lawton writes all of our Morning Time plans that are not the Catholic plans. Geni Shaw actually is our author of the Catholic plans. Geni has a blog at barefootabbey.com. You can check out her other liturgical resources over there. And she is our Catholic plans author, but Jessica Lawton writes everything else. And she was an in real life neighbor of mine. And we started getting to know each other and I walked into her house one day and it was like a library.
She has a passion for children’s books and good children’s literature. And she just really has a gift for, to me she kind of does the medium ground between, she’s not afraid to dabble in the, the older books, more classic books, something like you would find on like an AO website or something like that. But then she’s also really not afraid to find the great modern books, the, the latest and greatest things that are out there that are like what you would find on a Read Aloud Revival booklist. And to me, Jessica, just really, and I go to both of those book lists, don’t get me wrong. Like, I’ll go search for a resource on AO, or I’ll go search for a resource on Read Aloud Revival.
But to me, Jessica marries the best of both worlds and get, you know, all of those books. And I will tell you that with the history book lists, we do put way more books on there than what you could ever read. And the reason is we want people to feel comfortable. We want to give books suggestions that might be in any library.
So if you walk into your library and they’re like, I know people feel frustrated about this. They’re like I went to my library and there were none of the books on there from this particular book list. And so what we try to do is we try to put so many books on there that when you walk into your library, so many good books on there, that when you walk into your library, you feel comfortable in taking home the ones that you do find. And so we really do put more on there than what you can read. And Jessica, and I’ve talked about books on the podcast before, and I’ll link that particular episode. So you can get kind of some of our philosophy behind which books we choose.
And so if there are seven or eight books about Lincoln on the list, you’re really only supposed to read one or two for sure.
Well, how do you do it with multiple ages Laney? So you’ve alluded to the fact that you feel like our history plans are a good history program to use in your homeschool. Yeah, and I think so too. I think especially if you’ve got elementary age or elementary into early middle school, you really don’t need to go buy a history curriculum and then add our history plans on top of it, our history plans, if you’re hitting those books throughout can be your history curriculum. And I think it’s great because it really does add the culture, which I think a lot of history programs don’t do. They get the events, they get the people, but they don’t always get the culture of the different periods of history and the history plans do. So how do you make that work with multiple ages?
I agree with that. So what I do is we use the history plans and everybody participates in what we do for the history plans. And then once my kids are in high school and I want them to have like a full history credit for high school, I just pair that with additional reading, there is a focus for each week in the history plans, which is something that’s a little different than the other types of plans we have, but each week, and the history plans gives you kind of a topical focus of what you’re going to be looking at. So for example, in the Middle Ages, then, you know, it breaks it down by week. And it’s going to tell you, you’re going to look at the first Christians in week one and week two, you get early Britain and Beowulf and week three, you get monasteries and monks. It breaks it down by a topical thing so that you can easily pull resources for an older child that needs even high school credit.
So we’ll have a spine that they might read independently, and they might have some writing projects to do. But again, that place that we can all come together and be discussing the same topics and the same ideas that they’ve researched on their own are going to come from the Morning Time plans themselves. So my 7 to 12 year olds that’s all they do for history is the Morning Time plans.
And we make sure that we include plenty of books. And again, if my library doesn’t have them, or I don’t have something on my shelf then because of that kind of focus each week, it’s not too difficult to find something that is applicable without going too far outside the bounds. But I often find many of the books on the list at my library, and we just we’ll do the, go through the activities and make sure that we’re just reading through some of the books, even my high school, or we’ll sit in through some of the gorgeous picture books that are on the list because I find that the picture books allow her, and I say her, currently my 15 year old is my only high schooler I’m actively homeschooling, to get to know additional people, additional events in a way that is kind of a shorter, shorter introduction to it. But then she can take her interests from whatever she’s learned from some of those books. And then she can choose topics to research deeper and write on and those things to kind of help round out that curriculum.
But, you know, for the most part, like I said, my twelve-year-old all the way down to my seven year old, we use the history plans as stand alone history for our homeschool. We don’t add a lot to it. As long as you have the books to go with it, the activities and the different art projects. And we like the history plans include art, there’s a geography focus each week. Some of them even include math. They have memory work that are applicable, music appreciation, nature, study, picture, study poetry. I’m looking at the Middle Ages history plans. They even have prayers. And then they have read aloud suggestions to go along with those. And it really does, like Pam was saying, it really does with the, with the artwork and the music and the poetry and the things that we memorize to go along with this, it brings together such a beautiful picture of a time period, a place, a culture, rather than just learning about specific people or events.
And then the books, like I said, they really do help to, to bring you into there’s lots of biographies and lots of books that just kind of dive deeper into the subjects that you’re discussing.
So one of my favorite resources to pair for like a middle school aged kid. So elementary children just do the Morning Time plans for history. Middle school age children do the Morning Time plans and add on one of the IEW theme-based writing programs, one of the history theme-based writing programs, because all of those example essays and different things that you’re using in there, they’re learning so much content and they’re reading so much, they’re getting writing, they’re getting history and they just make a fabulous companion to those Morning Time plans. So for me, middle school, we’re reading all the books in the plans we’re doing the Morning Time plans. And then we’re doing that writing program alongside, and you’ve, you’re killing two birds with one stone, which is a horrible saying.
I’m chuckling a little bit because Pam, we actually do the same thing. My daughter this year used the theme, like the upper level theme-based Middle Ages writing program to go, and she was doing Middle Aged history and it does it shockingly for a writing program. It really does add quite a bit of knowledge and depth. And then, you know, especially for the older kids, it’s walking them through specific topics to research and write papers on. So it is a very good pairing for sure.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s one that is one of my favorite pairings, right there is to use those those Morning Times the plans along with that writing the writing program from IEW.
So let’s talk a little bit about, I’m thinking about doing this. I’m a mom, I’ve got some kids I’m thinking about using these Morning Time plans. You’ve touched on a little bit of what’s in the history plans, but how do you schedule this into your day? Do you Laney like to use the loop schedule or the block schedule?
I definitely use the loop schedule. My life is not conducive to blocks if we block schedule in it’s. I think of it more as like term scheduling. If we’re talking about block scheduling, like I do this on this day, I do this on this day. That doesn’t happen in my world. I can write it out and my weeks are going to get turned upside down.
So we are definitely loop schedulers. I usually combine more than one set of Morning Time plans when I’m planning my Morning Time, I been using the new Morning Time planner and journal to pull those resources together. And that gives me a place to do it very easily. I really, my family has really latched onto the Explorations that we offer, which we’re not really specifically talking about today, but they love the monthly topics and it’s just fresh and new every month. It’s very fun. And it just gives them something to look forward to. It’s like the treat and their homeschool day. And I pair the Exploration with another set of plans in our homeschool. All of our content subjects come from our Morning Time at this point, our skill-based subjects are taught separately and like on an individual basis, but everything else, we pretty much bring everybody together and cover it in a long Morning Time.
Okay. And can we, can we touch just a minute on the difference between skill-based subjects and content areas, subjects, because I think you’ve mentioned this a couple of times and I want to make sure everybody understands what we’re talking about here. So skill-based subjects or subjects like math, composition, handwriting, learning to read. Those are the subjects where your kids enter in at a certain point and they progress along, they master these skills and they’re going to use them later in life to learn other things or just to function as adults. Whereas content area subjects are subjects like history, science, literature, all of the fine arts.
They are equally important subjects in our homeschool, but your kids don’t have to quote unquote, start at the beginning and move along a prescribed path. They can dip in and out of these content area subjects based on what you’re planning each year, you combining your kids, what their interests are. And they basically are using these content areas, subjects to learn about the world, around them, to learn truth goodness and beauty, and knowing the difference between the two kinds of subjects gives you a flexibility in your homeschooling. Because you know, a lot of times when we think about school and we think about third grade, you know, the third grade classes do X, Y, and Z, but really there’s no reason in the world why the third grade classes have to do X, Y, and Z. They really could do A, B and C instead. It’s just somewhere. Somebody determined that third grade was the year to do X, Y, and Z. You know, third grade is the year to study American history and to study botany and, and things like that. But really you could be studying ancient history and chemistry.
So our ancient “hemistry”, which, you know, would be a great combination. So I think that’s such an important distinction because you’ve mentioned that a couple of times, and that’s, that’s really where the Morning Time plan shine.
Yeah. It really is. I, like I said, all the things that we can do together, so, and the Morning Time plans for me, like, okay, so we’re gonna, we’ve talked about the history plans and this is the same for like the seasonal plans and stuff. But when I used to plan my homeschool and I was like, oh, we need to cover history because that’s, you know, that’s a subject that we’re supposed to cover it. Right. And then we would, you know, focus on events and people kind of a timeline. None of that is wrong. It’s just that. But anything else, like there in everything else was kind of considered like these add-ons, so music, well, that was an elective that you would add to whatever you were doing, art. It was an elective that you added to whatever you were doing.
I think the beautiful thing about the plans for me is that it really pulls all of those aspects in together and in our history plans, yes. Things are generally centered around a particular history or time period. But in things like our seasonal plans, for example, we have all kinds of things that are just scheduled in that I feel like usually get bumped to the periphery of any homeschool curriculum that you buy, but they’re really building upon the same types of things that you’re wanting to focus on, but they pull in the extra things rather than having them be extra. Yeah. So for our seasonal plans, we are offering, you know, still art and math and memory work and music and nature study, picture, study, poetry, prayers, read alouds, and it all kind of comes together in this, this beautiful picture of something bigger than a particular subject that you’re checking a box for. And I think that it has really, I mean, we use the phrase truth, goodness, and beauty a lot, but it really does add something beautiful to what my kids are experiencing in their homeschool, as opposed to just focusing in on a particular topic, learning about people and dates places, or even as science, you know, specific topics. It really shows you how our world is so interconnected and they can begin to make connections between these things when they’re learning poetry about autumn and listening to music about the seasons, and they are encouraged to really branch outside of what is typically taught in. I would say even a classroom setting without segmenting everything into these individual subjects.
Yeah. So when we add things like art and music and nature study and picture study, and we add these things as extras or electives to other curriculum, I think often they’re not quite so interconnected with their themes. And then it’s harder for our children to make connections between these things. But when they’re learning to listen to music and get a sense that when we listen to music, we can get a feel of a season from using our seasonal plans. And then they’re going to take, you know, an art project and they’re going to create their own scene from a particular season. Or they’re going to look at somebody else’s artwork through a picture study where they can see that other people have seen similar things, or it gives them new ideas.
And they begin to make connections through the way that the Morning Time plans are put together under kind of these topical themes, whether it’s seasonal, whether it’s history, but we’re bringing together all of the things that usually get pushed to the periphery as electives. And we’re bringing them all together under one umbrella that allows them to truly make connections in the world around them.
Yeah. So talk to me about this. And I do want to get back to loop scheduling, but I want to touch on this before we leave kind of where we’ve gone with this topic, you’ve graduated two, you have one who’s 15, and then you have 12 to seven are the rest of them. You have a bunch of kids you’ve been doing this a long time. Don’t you worry about not spending enough time on the traditional subjects?
It hasn’t been an issue so far. I mean, I was explaining this to somebody the other day, somebody was like, well, how do you get it all done? Like, how can you, how do you hit the truth, the goodness, and the beauty, and still get to the math and the spelling and the writing at some point in my homeschool. And I can’t even tell you exactly what year it was. And it may not have definitely corresponded with our implementation of Morning Time. But at some point I decided that those things were as important, maybe even more important than what we push as traditional academic subjects. And that became the backbone of my day. If we get nothing else done, we do Morning Time. Rather than if we get nothing else done, we’re going to hit math or we’re going to hit reading. Or if we get nothing else done in our homeschool, we have come together at the table. We have prayed, we have read scripture and we have enjoyed something beautiful together. And through every piece of things that they have seen read, created tasted felt, anything through our Morning Time, they are learning so much about the world around them. And I have found that by putting that focus there and then allowing like after we do our Morning Time, that’s when we break off into our skill subjects where people are working at their independent level, and we might spend a little less time on those particular subjects. But as long as we are consistently doing those things, I have yet had a child that did not progress through elementary and middle school and be prepared for high school.
Now our high school does look different than what our elementary years do. Our high school is very tailored to what a particular child’s goals and kind of where they’re, you know, where they’re going, what it is that they’re looking forward to. And so high school for each of my kids might look a little different and we began to morph into some things that look far more traditional, just so they have the experience of that. But what I have seen over the years is that this methodology of saying, you know what, this is what we’re going to focus on and making this the primary thing and pulling in our skill subjects like our math and that kind of I’ve yet to have a child who wasn’t prepared for high school level math. I have yet to have a child who could not engage in a high school level science text. Somehow it has worked. And I, this is, you know, I know that people have probably heard me talk before I have eight kids. We have a variety of neuro divergences in our family. We have giftedness, we have learning disabilities. We have sensory processing disorder. There are all kinds of different needs. And my family and across the board, I have still seen the same progression of being able to make connections from the things that we’re focusing on in Morning Time with truth, goodness, and beauty to be pulled across. It’s such rich learning. You’re not leaving their brains idle when they’re learning to look and observe through nature study and picture study, you’re not leaving their brains idle when they’re learning to listen to music and to pay attention.
These are skills that are developed sort of under the radar as they’re being exposed to these things. And those are the skills that are essential for them to be successful in later studies. And I think that that has just shown itself to work out in my personal homeschool in each of my kids and my kids have taken very different paths in their, you know, kind of upper teenage and adult lives. And yet I still see this commonality that they all experienced and it has brought them each to a place where I think they’re comfortable with. And nobody, nobody had a crisis once we got to high school, or when I threw something at them that was a little bit more traditional. They were, they were able to use what we had done and, you know, kind of, kind of bring that, bring that along with them.
And the beauty is you were able to survive as a homeschool mom, because you were able to combine them all in those younger years for all these subjects.
Let me say, just as a side note, I did not start out that way. I was advised to combine my kids, but I knew better. So I, like I said, I like to plan. I like to overcomplicate things. There were years in our early homeschool where we were using curriculum that was designed to combine multiple age students. And I was like, this just won’t work for me. And I would still insist on doing all of the individual levels for things that were intended to combine. And it was insanity and it didn’t work because I’m one person and I only have so much capacity.
And so being able to pull your kids together, sometimes it’s a challenge. I I’m gonna, I’m going to say it took me a lot of years to be able to get there because when you have lots of small children or you have kids that maybe don’t get along so well, or you have constant disruptions, sometimes it feels like the effort of doing the Morning Time is more than it’s worth, but keep going, persevere. It is so beautiful when you, when you finally get through some of those things. And I know, I don’t know if it’s Mystie Winckler or Sarah Mackenzie, somebody talks about how those characters that are being developed. That’s actually the lesson for the day. You know, when you’re, when you’re struggling,
That’s Lynna Sutherland. So yeah, I think that’s Lynna with the Sibling Relationship Lab. Yeah. That’s yeah.
That’s your morning, time is your training ground. Yeah. We had a podcast about that. Okay. But back to the plan. Yes. So the loop schedule. Yeah. And thank you for that answer, because I do think that’s a concern that people have about, like, if we spend all of our time doing all this truth, goodness, and beauty stuff, when are we going to learn this stuff we’re supposed to? And it is the stuff we’re supposed to be learning. We just don’t know it yet. But with the loop schedule, I mean, that’s my favorite way to do it too. And so we do offer both of the plans we do offer the more traditional schedule that says on Monday, we’re going to try to do poetry and on poetry and math on Monday, picture study on Tuesday, music appreciation on Wednesday. It’s certain days for certain subjects. And we kind of keep them the same across all the plans so that when you start doing branching out and doing different kinds of plans in multiple plans, you realize that if that’s the way you function, that we always have you doing nature study on certain days. But the loop schedules my favorite because my life kind of like, you just never functioned in that I’m going to do this on this day because something happens on that day and then I get behind and then that just freaks me out. And so I followed the loop schedule instead.
Yeah. The loop schedule was a game changer for us. And I think, you know, there are times whenever I do have to kind of look at our week and I’m like, even if we’re following the loop schedule and I know we’re going to get to this, I can see very clearly like, oh, we’re supposed to do this art project on Thursday, but we, you know, we have an appointment or that’s gonna, if we, if nothing crazy happens, this is where we’ll end up in the loop. And I know we are not going to have enough time. I can move forward in the loop schedule. And then come back to that on a day that we, you know, where we have a little bit more time or, you know, if we want to go for a nature walk and it’s rainy or, you know, we can, it’s, I find the loop schedule easier to adjust. And then I can just mark off. I’ve done this. We can go back in the loop. We can go forward in the loop and nobody gets too upset and now will others, the other way that I have actually used these, and this is not a way that we’ve really ever talked about for scheduling, but I think I did this last, I did this last fall when we went through the Fall 3.0 plans together in our community. My kids really started to kind of enjoy, like we would listen to the music, I think we did Mendelssohn and there was such an interest in that, that we ended up doing all of the music in one week. Like every day we met, we just focused on the music. And we learned, we really, that I think that in some ways stuck with them because we spent an entire week listening to Mendelssohn every day and talking about him and meeting about his life.
And, and then, you know, when we moved to art and we did Angelica Kauffman is the same thing. We, every day we looked at her work for, you know, a week or whatever. And then, you know, at the end of the week, they had fun recreating some of her artwork, those kinds of things.
So the plans, while we do offer like the block schedule and the loop schedule, you can think outside the box for what works for your family. And so that was a really fun way for my kids to do that. Like, you know, if, if there’s a particular nature study topic, we might just take a week, that’s going to be really nice and we’ll just hit all of the nature study stuff and just like spend our whole week in the fall, like outside, because the weather is so gorgeous and we’re still doing school and we’re still like covering some of the things that we need to do. So I’ll grab a couple of books from, you know, the topic for our nature study and we’ll head out to wherever we’re going to go.
And the kids can bring their little journals and colored pencils. And we might do that for several days in a row covering the different topics rather than spreading it out throughout the loop. But again, the way that the loop schedules work in the community, when you have the plans and we have the tracker, it’s really easy to keep track of what you’ve done, because I can quickly go in and mark off, oh, I’ve done art. I, we did art every day, this week and I can easily check off art from week one, week, two week, three week four, even though we didn’t do it over the course of four weeks, it helps me see what I have accomplished rather than what’s next. If that makes sense. And then I can kind of pick and choose according to the kids’ interests. And I don’t have to have it scheduled out day by day, because I know like over the course of this time period, this is the set of plans we’re going to focus on.
Yeah. I love that. I love that because, okay. So first of all, I was a loop skipper myself. I would be working my way down the loop and I would get usually the art project and I would say, oh yeah, we’re not doing that today. So we would skip it and come back to it. Sometimes we wouldn’t come back to it. And I just wouldn’t tell my kids. And, and so that’s okay.
It’s totally okay to leave subjects out of the plans and not do them altogether, but I love the going through and saying, okay, this is art week. We’re going to do all the art this week. And this is like, it’s going to be a beautiful week outside. The weather’s going to be great. We’re going to do all the nature study this week. So I love that approach as well. And I think that’s the beauty of the plans is how, how flexible they are, you know?
So We’ve been going for a while. I want to touch on a couple of things before we, before we kind of leave, because this has been such great information. So one of the things I wanted to touch on is, you know, history, history, plans. That’s what they’re about. They are sometimes people wonder like, are these Catholic friendly, are these non-Catholic friendly? Like, who are they good for? Because you know, there’s always a worldview embedded in any set of homeschool curriculum. Quite frankly, even if they say there’s no worldview, that’s kind of a worldview.
And so just to touch on it, our history plans are you Ecumenical? I am Catholic. And then Jessica Lawton who writes our plans is not, she’s actually attends a Reformed church. And so we have made sure that even some of the stickier time periods are covered with a respect for everyone. And so if that’s something that you were wondering about, I just wanted to answer that question for you.
And then the seasonal plans, we say that they are loosely based around a seasonal theme. So it’s not that every piece of art, everything that you do, everything that you look at is going to be about that season. We were joking in the community the other day about having pumpkin spice plans. So where we say fall, we promise that it’s not pumpkin spice,
everything in the fall plans actually Laney was just talking about the fall 3.0 plans, which include Angelica Kauffman and Mendelssohn, which are not necessarily fall topics. But we, we, I think the poetry is mostly the poetry and some of the books are some of the things that are mostly seasonal.
Yeah. And I think the nature study stuff probably tends to focus a little more seasonally. And that’s true. The other thing I will say about the Morning Time plans in general is open them and look at them because I still, even though I have used many of the plans and I work with the plans on a daily basis, I still am surprised by the things that I find in the plans. I’m like, this is so wonderful. Like, I didn’t even know this was here. I’ll open up a new set of plans. And I’m just like, oh, how, how fun this is. I’ll have a preconceived notion about what I think is going to be in the plans. And sometimes I’ll either like, be like, oh yes, I’m really excited this about this. But sometimes I’ll be a little bit skeptical about like, oh, you know what? I’m not really interested in the seasonal plans. We don’t need to add, we don’t need to do those. The first set of seasonal plans I did were the ones that we did with the fall 3.0 last year for the walkthrough. I had used some of the other types of plans, but that was the first set of seasonal plans I had done. To be honest, seasonal plans just didn’t jump out at me as something that I was like super interested in. And I never opened them to look at them. And since we did those plans, they are something that I plan consistently now because they were so rich and so wonderful. And they had so many such a variety of ideas.
And like you said, it wasn’t like all things, pumpkin spice though. I did, I chuckled as we were talking about that in the community, because again, it’s always the surprising thing, dig a little deeper because we have, we do have, I think somebody mentioned that we have like a pumpkin week in this, in the, in our Holiday plans, we have pumpkin Holiday plans and how fun, I mean, it’s not like we’re going to talk about pumpkins for an, you know, a seven week term, but for a week that certainly gives you a place to kind of pull in some activities. I know when I was looking for things like for the 4th of July, we were able to, you know, we had some 4th of July holiday plans, our geography plans actually up in the Northeast, they had a lot of really rich stuff that would be associated with Independence Day. And so just looking through them and that’s the other thing we haven’t really talked about today is the geography. That’s actually what my family is going to be utilizing this coming year. I haven’t used them yet. I have been so excited about them.
Well, They’re kind of new. They only came out last year.
They are right. And so that’s, I’ve seen a lot of chatter in the community about people that are wanting to start using the geography plans this year and that my family is one of those. So I’m very excited about that. And again, I think, like you said about the history plans, providing that cultural influence, the, the geography plans are written to really help you kind of get a sense of the culture of a region to understand it a little bit deeper, same thing for the literature plans. One common question we get about the literature plans is where is the reading schedule? There is no reading schedule with the literature plans. They’re usually about four weeks long and they are designed to immerse you in the culture and the world that the book is set.
It’s designed to help really kind of broaden the atmosphere of that book for you. And you can read the book at your pace. You can read some, then do the plans alongside, you can read, you can do the plans before or after. It just helps to really broaden the world that the book is set in. And in some ways that is what we do with the geography plans and the history plans as well.
Yeah. Oh yeah. That’s really true. That really, really is. Okay. So let’s talk a little bit about how people can get their hands on plans. So when this podcast comes out, our membership, Your Morning Basket, plus we’ll be open. And Laney has alluded to this a number of times today. Like she uses a bunch of different kinds of plans.
He uses our Morning Time journal and planner to put it all together. She picks and chooses from the explorations and all the things. And so if you are a person who like you would like all the things you want to mix in that you want to have access to everything you want to have access to kind of the support we provide in using the plans. We are going to go through this year, we’re doing our fall set in community. So we call it Morning Time together in community. We’re going to work through that fall set. We have some extra fun and games, some bingo ways for your kids to get involved. You can join Your Morning Basket Plus. And so that is available. It is open in August, from August 11th through August 19th.
That’s when you can get in there and then we’ll be closing the doors and supporting you as you learn to use these Morning Time plans. We’ve even got some fun things for mom this year and a way for mom to win some prizes and some extra little workshops and stuff like that. If a membership is not your thing. And, and I totally get that sometimes it’s not for a variety of reasons.
Then we do have the individual plan sets available in the shop. And so you can just go into the shop and you can purchase an individual set of plans and try them out, use them when you’re done, come back and get another set or use them as a, like, I want to try this out and see if maybe I want to join the community, join the membership on down the line. And we’ll be opening that again in January for the second semester. So, lots of different options they are. And if you’re like, you know what? I just want to see what it’s all about. We have our free month of Morning Time plans at Pambarnhill.com/month. And you can try those out there. And that’s just like a general sample kind of a lot, like our seasonal set of plans. It’s about three weeks worth of materials. And we even show you, you can download the PDF like you would do. If you were going to purchase them in the shop, or you can come onto our app, we have a free section in our app and you can access the month of Morning Time plans on the app. So you see what it would be like to be a member and have access to all of the great learning time goodies on the app.Cause we haven’t even talked about that. I mean, we haven’t even touched on the fact that when you’re a member, you access all of your Morning Time plans through the app on your phone and it just makes it super.
It’s so wonderful. I love having everything in one place rather than having multiple files that I have to access. Everything is accessible right there in the community. The links are in the community. Videos are embedded right there. Yeah. It’s great.
Yeah. You don’t even have to go to YouTube and see the smarmy comments or anything like that. You can just watch it all right there in the community. So it’s great. It just makes it fabulous and easy access. You don’t have to remember where you downloaded the PDF or anything. All you need is, is just right there.
So well, Laney, thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us today more about the plans and how you use them and what they’re all about. So I hope this was helpful to everybody out there. And if you have any other questions that we haven’t answered, you can always email us info@pambarnhill.com or do come over to the show notes for this episode. And we’ll have a link to the free portion of our community there. Whether you ever buy anything from us or not. This is a place for homeschoolers off of social media. And it’s a wonderful community, wonderful group of moms and we just support each other.
So come on over and join us there. And you can ask any questions or just, just hang out with us.
Yes. It’s a great drama free place. It is. We love it. We love it. So, all right. Thanks Laney. I appreciate it.
All right, thanks.
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the resources and books that Laney and I chatted about today, including the free month of Morning Time plans or more information about Your Morning Basket Plus or purchasing your own set of plans. You can find them on the show notes. That’s at Pambarnhill.com/ymb120. And Hey, we thank you so much for taking the time to listen to us every other week as we come alongside you and really help you bring some truth,
goodness, and beauty into your homeschool. Now I will be back again in a couple of weeks with an interview with Cheryl Swope. Cheryl is the author of Simply Classical, and we’re going to be talking about a living education for everyone, but until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty and your homeschool day

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

The HobbitPinThe HobbitGreen EmberPinGreen EmberThe Anne of Green GablesPinThe Anne of Green GablesPeter RabbitPinPeter Rabbit


Key Ideas about Morning Time with Multiple Kids and Ages

Laney shares that when she began using the Morning Time Plans provided by Your Morning Basket she would pull out select activities and primarily used them to supplement her curriculum. When she realized that the plans were quite comprehensive, she began using the plans fully, as written, and leaning on them as a full curriculum for content area subjects.

Laney uses these plans with her kids of all ages. For her high schooler, who needs more work to earn a credit, she supplements using the themes provided in the plans.

The Morning Time plans can be used as weekly plans with everything scheduled out for you daily or you can use the loop schedule. Laney will sometimes choose one type of activity, like art appreciation or music, and do all of them over one week.

There is no need to worry that Morning Time will keep you from getting the more traditional subjects into your homeschool day. You will, and prioritizing truth, beauty, and goodness is worth it.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • [2:30] meet Laney Homan
  • [4:44] Laney’s transition from creating her own plans to using YMB plans
  • [9:51] Pam shares the variety of Morning Time plan sets available
  • [16:25] using the plans with multiple kids and ages
  • [22:53] scheduling Morning Time plans into your day
  • [31:20] overcoming worry about not spending as much time on traditional subjects
  • [37:53] loop scheduling and other ways to use the plans
  • [48:57] how to get YMB plans and what’s new in the community

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