YMB 18 Making Math Enjoyable… Really! A Conversation with Kate Snow

We know that there must be more to math than just slogging through page after page of multiplication facts, but what? Last time I checked, wondering at geometrical patterns in God’s creation was not in the scope and sequence of my math curriculum, but it’s something I long for my kids to have opportunities to do.

When can I fit in a math read-aloud or few rounds of one of the logic games collecting dust on the shelf? What about hands-on exploration with big math ideas like probability, estimation, or measurement?  How can I make time for this kind of math in my homeschool?

We are joined on this episode of the podcast by Kate Snow of Kate’s Homeschool Math Help. Kate explains that, while skill work in math is certainly important, it really is okay sometimes to play with math without a lesson plan and Morning Time is the place to do just that.

By weaving math explorations, stories, and games into Morning Time, we can put our kids in touch with big ideas and expose them to the beauty found in mathematics.

Making Math Enjoyable... Really: A Your Morning Basket Conversation with Kate Snow Feature


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

Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 18 of the Your Morning Basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I’m so happy you’re joining me here today. Well, today’s topic is a great one. It’s one that I know you guys are interested in because you have been telling me you’re interested in it, you’ve been asking me questions, and you’ve been wanting to know some resources that you could use to bring a little Beauty to mathematics in your homeschool, to make it more interesting for your kids. I think we all get bogged down in the day to day of math and learning the procedures of mathematics, learning the algorithms, memorizing those ever-so important math facts, and it kind of sucks the Beauty out of it for us. So I think you’re going to really enjoy today’s guest. Her name is Kate Snow, and she’s going to talk to us all about how we can bring a little more life and excitement and Beauty back to mathematics in our homeschool and how we can do that through doing math in Morning Time. So, sit back and enjoy the show.

Kate Snow is a classroom teacher turned homeschool mom with a background in mathematics. She has a knack not only for teaching math but also for equipping others to tackle this sometimes intimidating subject. Through her blog, Kate’s Homeschool Math Help, and her books, Addition Facts That Stick, and Preschool Math at Home, she provides practical resources for homeschool families to approach math with both competence and confidence. Kate is joining us on the podcast to discuss how we can incorporate the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness found in mathematics into Morning Time. Kate, welcome to the program.

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Kate: Thanks so much for having me, Pam, I’m so thrilled to be here.
Pam: I am so excited to have you on and I have to tell the funny story of how you ended up on the podcast.
Kate: Sure.
Pam: So, I sent out this email telling everyone, and honestly, when you’re writing subject lines for an email the main purpose of the subject line is to get people to open the email, and so I sent out this email that said, “You shouldn’t start your homeschool day with math” and Kate responded and she was very gracious in her response and she said, “I like the content that you’ve got going on here but I really disagree with your subject line.”
Kate: It did catch my attention, Pam, that’s for sure.
Pam: It did its job, and you offered to write a guest post on the blog which I thought was a fabulous idea but I knew immediately that instead of having you do that I wanted to have you on the podcast instead to talk about how we can start our day with math and it can be delightful.
Kate: I am so glad to be here because I know it’s a hard thing for a lot of moms and so many of us were taught math in such a boring, dry, textbook-y way that it can be hard to imagine that there’s any other way to do it.
Pam: I think for me, personally, I do really desire to give my kids that Beauty. It’s kind of like bugs; you go outside and you’re looking at bugs with your kids and you never want to go “ewww, yuck” you always want to go “That’s a great bug, that’s a lovely bug.” You don’t want to convey that “yuck!” kind of feeling about the bug to your children, and for me, that is very much the same way.
Kate: I applaud you for trying not to convey because it’s so important. There’s this amazing research how parents’ attitudes really affect kid’s attitude toward math, even for kids who go to school. I can only imagine that for homeschoolers that it matters even more.
Pam: You’re exactly right. Let’s work a little bit on not conveying that attitude and let you give us some tips on how to make it better. But first let’s start off with a little bit about you telling me a little bit about what Morning Time looks like in your home, because you do Morning Time, correct?
Kate: That’s right. We have actually started with Morning Time since my son was two-and-a-half. Henry is almost nine now and my daughter Elizabeth is almost six. And when I was a classroom teacher I had started my classroom day every day with Morning Meeting, and that had a different purpose- it was where I build community and to set a positive tone for the day. And so, I had this little two-and-a-half year old and I just felt like our days had no structure, and I thought, ‘Well, you know, I’m just going to do Morning Meeting with him.” So when he was two-and-a-half we just started sitting down on the couch and reading a pile of books together every morning and so that’s evolved a lot obviously from a two-and-a-half year old to a nine year old and a five-and-a-half year old, and as I’ve learned more from you and the other Schole sisters I feel like that’s really enriched my Morning Meeting Time, to be a lot more purpose, and help me to really think about what’s Truth, and Beauty, and Goodness, it is a positive start to the day but I’m also trying to get those most important things in during my Morning Time. So these days we usually start with some sort of singing, usually something from church that we’re working on (to learn and memorize) but also to have fun just singing together, then we do some memory work (usually a little bit of poetry, a little bit of Scripture) and then we have a rotating book basket. I do days of the week; I like lists, I like to know exactly what I’m supposed to do next, so we have different books for different days of the week. For example, right now we’re reading Greek myths, one of those great Holling C Holling books, Pagoo, he wrote Paddle to the Sea this wonderful geography/science all in one, we’ve been reading Fairy Tales, and then we also do some math. Right now, our main math in our Morning Basket is East Academy, which is my son’s math curriculum. They have this great graphic novel textbooks and my daughter loves to read along with even though she doesn’t understand any of the math, so we do a lot of that in our Morning Meeting as well.
Pam: OK, great. Let’s segway into some of this mathematics talk. What is it that you, Kate Snow, love about math? Help me see.
Kate: So, what I love about math is I see it as the intersection of what people have created and the natural world, because math is something that is completely invented. People have made it up and have been working on it as a system for thousands of years, but at the same time they’ve created this system but it describes the natural world so beautifully. Astronomers can use math to do incredible things. Right now, there was an article last week that said that astronomers think that there might be a ninth planet beyond Pluto, and the only way they know about it is by math, we can’t see it, but they can tell from the equations that there could be something out there. And, so I just love how math can make creation more known to us, help us to understand it better, and yet it’s also this very human system that people have had to work at and strive at and put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into it as they’ve developed it over the centuries.
Pam: Oh, that’s really great. You do make it sound exciting.
Kate: Good!
Pam: Well, it may surprise some people to hear the words “math” and “Morning Time” in the same sentence. So, why do you think that the study of math has a place in the practice of Morning Time?
Kate: Well, I think the main reason is that math is a beautiful subject, but the way that we often treat it, we treat it as skill work and so our kids aren’t able to see that beauty. And so, for me, it really helps to pull that out to make sure that we’re putting that into our schedule in other places. And it’s like language arts, in language arts there’s so many skills; we need to teach punctuation and spelling, and so we teach those skills but we also make sure that we’re reading wonderful books out loud to our kids, that we’re enjoying silly poetry, that we have conversations and they see how all those skills come together, and in math it’s kind of like we’re just teaching them the punctuation and spelling, we’re just teaching the skills and not helping them see the big picture of what math is all about. And so doing math in Morning Time I feel like it lets us share that big picture with our kids, helps them see the subject as a whole lot bigger than long division and multiplying fractions.
Pam: OK. Nobody has ever put that like that to me before, and that is so true. I am completely blown away by this analogy, because in language arts, there are four or five different pieces that you’ve got to keep juggling and keep up in the air and some of them are very utilitarian, and other ones are very beautiful, but with math we only do the utilitarian part.
Kate: Exactly.
Pam: Why do you think that is?
Kate: I think it’s because, for just a long time, math hasn’t been taught well. It has been considered the province of professors and people who know a lot of stuff that we don’t know, the rest of us. But it’s really not that complicated, and so I think it just has been beyond what people can achieve but that’s not true. Anyone can pick up a beautiful book or read some math poetry or enjoy a game with their kids, and bring that Beauty into their daily lives and bring it down to earth.
Pam: So, when you say beauty in math that is what you’re talking about, a well-written, living math book, or some kind of math poem. I know, is it Theoni Pappas has some math poetry …
Kate: And some wonderful books, actually.
Pam: So, is that the kind of thing you’re talking about when you’re talking about Truth, Beauty, and Goodness in mathematics? Can you give me some examples?
Kate: Sure. And it’s also that, it’s seeing the bigger picture of math, it’s also about seeing math outside of numbers. Number patterns and sequences can be very beautiful, but I think a lot of the time we need to see math through a geometry, through shapes, through other kinds of patterns, and through patterns that play out in the real world, to really give us those moments of transcendence with math that we have with say, writing. It is a matter of playing with math and taking it out of the realm of just practicing your addition facts or learning to multiply.
Pam: I’m going to ask you to get really specific. How can I see a pattern in math outside of numbers? How can me, as somebody who’s sitting here going, ‘Where am I supposed to see this?’
Kate: Well, one place I recommend people start, there’s this wonderful series of youtube videos called ‘Doodling in Math Class’
Pam: Vi Hart.
Kate: Yes, and this woman takes these ideas in math and makes them visual. For example, the Fibonacci sequence is a famous sequence in math, and what it is, is you just start with adding together; you start with the number 1, add them together and make 2, and you take the last two the 1 and the 2 to make a 3, the 2 and 3 to make a 5. So it’s not very exciting when you’re just looking at those numbers in a row. What she does is she makes it visual and then she shows how those patterns show up in nature over and over and over again. Everything from pineapples to pine cones to sunflowers and all of a sudden this pattern comes alive.
Pam: OK, so by watching a video like that and learning where those patterns occur in nature, then that would be something I could point out to my kids?
Kate: Right. But then in terms of doing things that are more hands-on, one thing that I think is really fun to explore as kids is tessellations. Are you familiar, have you heard of that word before?
Pam: OK, it’s like repeating shapes that fit together perfectly or something?
Kate: It is, and so bathroom tiles is generally a tessellation; if you have all squares the squares fit together and they can completely cover a surface, and sometimes we use hexagons in the bathroom floor- you can put those hexagons together to cover a surface.
Pam: Like the beehive.
Kate: Exactly. But not all shapes tessellate. And so it’s really fun to grab out a bin of pattern blocks and try different shapes and see, “Can I take the skinny diamond and put them together to completely cover the surface?’ ‘What if I use a combination of a skinny diamond and a square?’ and you make beautiful patterns along the way but also explore some really interesting things with the angles and the sides of the shapes.
Pam: I’m going to stop you right there. So I build these pattern blocks across the table and we start putting together and we figure out these will tessellate and these won’t and if we combine these two, these will tessellate but then what do I say to make it a math lesson? What do I say to help them see that there’s math in there?
Kate: That, I think, is the hardest part about this honestly, because as homeschool moms we want to have a lesson plan, we want to feel like we’ve accomplished something. And there are some ideas that we just have to play with. It’s kind of like observing a beautiful owl, and observing its feathers, and observing its beak. I know we talk about the function of those things, but at some point we just want our kids to bask in the beauty of it, and the enjoyment of it, and so in that, you could say, “This is a tessellation, it covers things,” and define tessellation. It’s not very exciting though, but what the kids have accomplished is that they’ve played with a lot of angles, they’ve seen that little squares with their 90 degree angles fit together, but some of the other ones that are real pointy with really small angles they can’t cover. So, I can’t tell you there’s something specific and concrete that you’ve accomplished with that lesson but the kids have explored angles in a way that will make high school geometry a lot easier, that they’ve had some hands-on experience with it, and built some skills along the way.
Pam: So, I guess this might be some of Charlotte Mason’s big ideas and Cindy Rollins would say you don’t want to beat the big idea into the child you just want to present the idea and let them come in contact with it? Is that what we’re going for?
Kate: Yes, I do think so! To understand that not all things have to be functional, it’s kind of the whole point I’d say of math and Morning Time. It doesn’t have to have a purpose, that it can be tied to a very specific lesson.
Pam: OK. Well, let’s talk about some other rules of thumb for how to approach math during Morning Time. You’ve made a really big point – is that there doesn’t have to be this concrete lesson or point that we’re trying to drive home, we can just play and explore. Are there any other rules of thumb for approaching math in Morning Time?
Kate: Related to that is the idea that in Morning Time it’s a really good opportunity to build kids’ thinking muscles, I call them. And so there are a lot of games and logic puzzles that aren’t directly tied to a particular math objective, say, for elementary school. But anytime that kids are thinking and strategizing and using logic, they’re building those thinking muscles in a way that helps them to think more deeply about everything and builds their logic for all subjects, and helps them learn to be better problem solvers.
Pam: Do you want to give me a couple of ideas?
Kate: Sure. So, for example, just in our newspaper we have a little feature call KenKen, it’s like Sudoku, you know those little logic puzzles where you fill in all the digits from 1-9 in either direction and my kids just love sitting at the table with me with a pencil and we work on it together, trying to figure out, ‘Well, could there be a 1 here, could there be a 2 here?’ and trying to use process of elimination to figure it out. It doesn’t teach them anything about addition or subtraction but that process of elimination logic that they’re doing just builds their thinking muscles for when they are solving problems during our math time.
Pam: OK. Any more?
Kate: There’s also some great solitaire-style logic games that are on the market. We play them as a family. So there’s one called Rush Hour where you set up cars and you try to get the car through the maze. There’s one called Animal Logic that’s the same way. And again, they’re not direct math skills but they’re building those math logical foundations.
Pam: OK, and those things would be perfect for Morning Time because my kids wouldn’t see them as school at all.
Kate: Exactly. They look like a toy; they’ve got little wooden animals or little plastic cars, and so it feels completely different.
Pam: Well, we often talk about mom as a learning alongside her kids during Morning Time, and it seems like this would be especially applicable when it comes to math, because so many of us feel ill-equipped to teach mathematics. Do you have any suggestions how a mom could approach math during Morning Time and be a co-learner with her kids? You’ve given us some great ideas but any more for the math-phobic?
Kate: For the math-phobic, I think, really accepting that you’re going to learn along with your kids is the most important thing. Living Books and good math read alouds are wonderful ways for a mom to be able to do that because it does allow you to experience the wonder at the same time. And so one book that I really love is called The History of Counting and this is a book for first through third graders or above. And it just goes through how people have developed counting over the years, and how the different cultures have contributed to how we use numbers today. So it’s a great time with history but also allows mom to learn along with her kids.
Pam: So sharing those living math books with your kids and learning alongside them as you’re reading.
Kate: Yes, I think that’s a wonderful way to do it. Another book, you mentioned the Pappas books, by Theoni Pappas, and the Adventures of Penrose is a book that she wrote that my kids and I have gone through in our Morning Time and just loved, and this book is great because it just offers a couple of pages of introducing a topic. It’s all about her cat and how her cat gets into her math stuff and explores it, and then there are some really specific and hands-on activities to do with each section. So, for example, you create your own fractal in one section, or you explore the math of soap bubbles, and so there are things that you can do that are hands on but also help you to just dabble in a few of these topics that might seem really intimidating.
Pam: And there’s a cat!
Kate: And there’s a cat. If the cat can do it, we can do it.
Pam: That’s true.
Kate: Very approachable.
Pam: Either that, or if you can’t do it, “Gosh, this cat can do it, what’s wrong with me?”
Kate: The thing about doing this in Morning Time too is that you have to keep in mind is you’re running a one room schoolhouse when you do this, and so your kids at different ages are going to different things out of it. My kindergartener and my third grader, they’ve got different things out of these activities when we went through them. But they’re fun for everybody and even the kindergartener can enjoy some of it even if she doesn’t quite get the full idea.
Pam: Right, and what age range would you recommend Penrose for?
Kate: I’d recommend anywhere from first to about fifth grade. There’s really a lot of good content in there.
Pam: We actually have that book and we have not read it yet.
Kate: It’s a good one.
Pam: I’ll have to pull it off the shelf. What else do you like as far as living books go for mathematics? Give us a couple more.
Kate: Sure. I really like David Schwartz’s books. He’s the guy who wrote, How Much Is a Million, and he has a few more books like that of counting to a million, and they’re wonderful books because they really get you thinking about what a million means. If you counted to a million how long would it take, or if you had a million of something how much space would it take up? So, they are really fun just for developing number sense for littler ones. And then my favorite book for older elementary kids is called The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger and this book (it’s a very playful devil it’s not a scary devil) but each chapter goes through these interesting number patterns and again, gives activities to do together and some ideas to play with, and they get into some really interesting ideas in there, like where the irrational numbers come from and what square roots are, kind of is a little tour of our number system in a very playful way.
Pam: OK, great.
Now, you’ve given me some wonderful living books here, and we’ve talked about tessellation and the fibonacci sequence. What are some other math topics that moms might look into to explore with their kids in Morning Time?
Kate: Well, one thing that’s really fun to do is to play with estimation. And that’s something that kids of lots of different ages can do, and it can be really valuable for kids of different ages. So, for example, just grabbing a bowl of dried beans, it can be as simple as that, and then have each child try to estimate how many in the bowl. It’s a start. But then what you can do is, say there’s about 200 beans in that bowl, you pull out a group of 10 and look at that group of 10 and then use that 10 and think, ‘Well, how many groups of 10 are in there? Could we make our estimate better?’ Or you can count out half of it and then see if the kids can refine their estimates after they know how much half of it is. Estimating is always a hands-on activity that kids can engage at a whole bunch of different levels of sophistication.
Pam: OK, because they’re not going to really, when they are looking at that bowl of beans for the first time, and honestly, I think we should use m&ms here…
Kate: That sounds so much better!
Pam: … so when they’re looking at this bowl of beans (or m&ms) for the first time to them, your average five or six year old, this could be a million? Or it could a thousand? Or it could be fifty? And they aren’t going to really have any idea. So what you’re doing is breaking down and showing them, modeling the strategies that they could use to get a better grasp on making a good estimate. OK, what else besides estimation?
Kate: I think also measurement is a great thing to work on at Morning Meeting. It can be so fun. Kids really need to develop hands-on sense of those and one way to do that is to teach them a measurement benchmark, so for example, a foot. You can show them how to hold their hands about a food apart from each other or give them a ruler even, and then you can take that and send them off and have them all try to find something that’s about a foot long, and you can do that with an inch or with a meter or something that weighs a pound, and it’s a great way for them to get to know those and to find them, again, outside of the math book, to find them in the real world.
Pam: So this could be like a scavenger hunt?
Kate: Exactly. You could do one a day, you could do a few in a row. Whatever works best for your family.
Pam: That sounds like a lot of fun. I think my kids would really like that. OK, so if I’m looking to stock my Morning Basket, my little homeschool area even, with manipulatives or other materials so that I could, at any morning, pull out and have a really great math exploration, what are some things you would recommend me having on hand?
Kate: I mentioned pattern blocks before and those are really great, there’s a lot of different things you can do with them. You can make patterns, you can tessellate, you can make symmetrical designs. They’re really handy to have on hand. Another thing I really like for younger kids are Unifix Cubes and Ten Frame Trains. Unifex Cubes are those colored blocks that snap together, and they’re great for teaching addition and subtraction, but they’re also great for making patterns, and when you combine them with Ten Frame Trains, which are little trains that have 2x5 grid on them for the box to fit into, now you can really do a lot of fun games with things like roll a die and add that many cubes to your train, and race to see who can fill up a couple of trains first, talking about 10’s and 20’s and multiples of 10 with those. And another thing I really like for stocking your math basket is just coins and play money. This is more of a skills thing, but just having a cup every morning where you have some coins in and have your kids count them. It’s not about Truth and Beauty quite so much but it’s a fun skill thing to incorporate into Morning Meeting to figure out how much the coins are worth.
Pam: And it would be something that would get their brain firing.
Kate: Exactly, right. Just a little warm up.
Pam: OK, anything else?
Kate: There are a lot of board games that are great to have, that you might already have around your house as well. We really like Qwirkle and Yahtzee at our house for games that kids of different ages can play together. And again, that can get those math muscles going.
Pam: I was about to ask, I’m sitting playing Yahtzee with my kids, do I need to talk about probability, but then I realized I wouldn’t even know where to begin. So what does somebody like me do in a situation like that?
Kate: With Yahtzee a lot of the fun is just rolling the dice and working on keeping score and adding up all those numbers. That’s a great place to start. For starting to explore probability, I’d suggest starting with some real hands-on activities that are very concrete. For example, putting two blue socks and a red sock in a basket or a brown paper bag or something, take one out and record what you get. Do that 10 times. Take it out, put it back in. And see, did we really get more of the red socks than blue socks? Is that how it worked out this time? Or flipping a coin 20 times and writing down whether you got heads or tails and then seeing what happened in the end. It’s really good for kids to have hands-on experience with probability and to see how we can predict that with flipping a coin we’ll get heads about half the time, tails about half the time, but it’s not always going to be half. Sometimes you might get 12 heads or you might get 15 heads even sometimes, so for them to experience that probability is only telling about what we think will happen but it’s not always going to happen in every case.
Pam: OK because I was really on the edge of my seat here wondering what was going to happen. I know so little about probability, “We’re supposed to get that about half the time, are we?”
Kate: If you do that experiment 20 times or so it’s amazing how many times you’ll get strange results.
Pam: So really, the answer is mysterious which is what I’ve always thought about probability.
Kate: It is. We can predict that the probability is only telling us the average, about what will happen.
Pam: If I as a mom want to learn more about the beauty in mathematics and how I can bring math into my Morning Time and things of that nature, do you have anywhere you can point me to just become better educated about these kinds of things myself?
Kate: My favorite book for this is called, Let’s Play Math. It’s by Denise Gaskins, and she is a homeschool mom herself and has a blog, and her book is this treasure trove of ideas. It has lots of game ideas, wonderful resource list of living books, it has tons of information. It would keep you going for several years of Morning Time, so that’s one I’d highly recommend.
Pam: So that would be a great resource for us.
Kate: For how to do it in Morning Time. And then there’s also a website called Bedtime Math.
Pam: Oh yeah, I’m a big fan.
Kate: Have you seen that? It’s great, they have a lot of really fun problems and they’re Facebook page has so many beautiful expressions of math. I like to follow their Facebook page and just show them the beautiful things that come up in it to my kids just to wonder at it and enjoy it together.
Pam: Great. I was not aware of their Facebook page but I have been recommending their website and their book and their app to people for a couple of years, that’s largely how we get our mathematics in Morning Time is through their materials.
Kate: Very exciting.
Pam: It is. Well, tell us a little bit about what we can find at your blog.
Kate: At my blog I really try to equip and empower parents to teach math with confidence. I have articles. I have curriculum reviews for people who are trying to pick a curriculum. And then I also have articles about the nitty gritty of how to teach math, especially how to take concepts apart and teach them all to our kids, but then I also try to include some fun stuff, some of these hands-on activities that we could do at Morning Time or other times in the day to make math come alive. So for example, my kids and I, we made a scale model of the planets a couple of weeks ago so I have an article about that, or at Halloween we try to find the volume, the kids each had a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch and were arguing about whose was bigger, and so we put up about all the different ways they explored to see whose was bigger, including finding the volume of them. So those are some of the things you can find at my site. And I also on my blog have a collection of games that are appropriate for kids who are working at multiple levels in math. These are more skill oriented games. But if you’re looking for games that a kid who is learning addition and learning multiplication can play at the same time, I’ve created some games that kids can play to do that together.
Pam: That is an awesome resource, because I have kids like that.
Kate: Most of us do.
Pam: Wow that will be really great for homeschool moms. OK, that blog is Kates Homeschool Math Help and we will include a link to that in the Show Notes. Well, Kate, I just want to thank you so much for coming on and joining me today and helping me get over some of my fears on bringing math into my Morning Time.
Kate: Well, thank you so much for having me, Pam. It’s been such a pleasure.
Pam: And there you have it. Now for today’s Basket Bonus, Kate has put together a lovely packet of math games for us that you can play with all of your kids together. So kids of multiple ages together and you can get that Basket Bonus and any links to resources Kate and I spoke about today by going to EDSnapshots.com/YMB18. While you’re there check out the link that we have there to Kate’s brand new book, Preschool Math at Home. This was just very recently published by Well Trained Mind Publishing and it’s all about a great way to introduce your preschooler to numbers and mathematics in your home, so be sure to check out the link to that as well. Believe or not guys, this is the final episode of Your Morning Basket for season 2. We are about to go on a brief hiatus for the rest of the summer. We’ll be back in August with some more great Morning Time interviews for you. In the meantime, we have a new endeavor coming out. Be sure to check out the Homeschool Solution Show. Now, the Homeschool Solution Show is an audio blog that we will be doing, the people here at EDSnapshots.com will be producing for you, and it will start May 20 and it will be a weekly show, it will come out every Friday. So, if you’re going to be missing Your Morning Basket over the summer, and we certainly hope you are, watch iTunes on May 20 for the Homeschool Solution Show. We think you’re going to like that one a lot. You guys have a lovely summer and we’ll be back again in August, and until then, keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Making Math Enjoyable

Math is a man-made system that is able to beautifully describe the world God has made. Math can help us understand our world and put us in touch with the discoveries of great thinkers of history and today.

In this interview, Kate makes a thought-provoking analogy between language arts and math. In teaching language arts, we are careful to not only instruct children in phonics and grammar, but also to expose them to beautiful poetry and great stories. As we teach math, it is important not to stop at teaching the skills; we should also seize opportunities to explore the beautiful ideas of math with our children.

During Morning Time, we can set aside the math lesson plans and objectives and focus on putting our kids in touch with some big ideas. Through play and exploration, children will begin to connect with those ideas and make them their own

Find what you want to hear:

  • [4:23] Kate’s morning time
  • [6:28] math as a man-made system that describes the natural world
  • [7:30] why math has a place in Morning Time
  • [7:52] Kate’s analogy between math and language arts
  • [9:32] beauty in math
  • [10:40] the Fibonacci sequence
  • [11:38] tessellations
  • [12:28] playing with ideas; leaving the lesson plan behind
  • [14:37] building “thinking muscles” through games and logic puzzles
  • [16:33] math living books
  • [20:18] estimation
  • [21:49] measurement
  • [22:40] Kate’s favorite manipulatives
  • [24:17] board games
  • [24:50] probability
  • [26:09] resources for mom
  • [27:35] an overview of Kate’s blog

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Thank you
    by mrsbeliever from United States

    I take my walks outside two times a day. I enjoy listening to all the knowledge you have on your podcast! I am a mom of 7 and have been homeschooling for 18 years! I’m not a novice but have loved all your advice and input! Thank you for everything you do! I love it!

  • Always a favorite!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam continues to do an amazing job with this podcast. She is a wonderful host, never hurried, asks great questions and really lets her guest share his/her experience fully. The variety of experience & wisdom here is fruit for the homeschooling community at large. I’ve been listening from day one and this podcast continues to be a top favorite. Thank you Pam!

  • Morning time will change your 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!



  • Sarah M says:

    Oh, this podcast was SO wonderful. I’ve been thinking of Beast Academy for my son next year, actually! I was on the phone with another homeschooling mom friend and I had just heard the beginning of this podcast, and we started talking about math and I had this great podcast to pass along to her. LOVED the links this time, too!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      So glad you found it helpful Sarah!

    • Tabitha Teeter says:

      Are you going to use it as your main math curriculum or as a supplement? I’m just now learning about it, but I’ve heard Beast Academy mentioned once before. Thanks.

  • Melina says:

    I just so enjoy your wonderful podcast- Pam, you are a treasure! This was especially helpful. Great resource and guest!

  • Tania says:

    This episode was so good. I have wanted to incorporate math in our circle time (I learned about morning time from Brandy so I’ve been calling it circle time because she does) but couldn’t quite get it working well. I even put it on my circle time schedule as “living math Monday.” We would do it first thing of the week so that I didn’t chicken out and skip it. We did a couple of fun things like draw a map of the outside of our house, estimating how many feet each wall was by counting how many of my steps it took to walk each wall, and then adding up to find the perimeter. The kids all really enjoyed this because we were outside and it was like a game. But since then I’ve really struggled figuring out how to combine math when my children are in 4th, 2nd, and 1st grade and are at different stages in the math skills learned. This episode has given me more ways to think about combining math, and, more importantly, more ways of cultivating wonder in math. I loved it! So timely. Thank you so much.

  • Cassie W. says:

    Any suggestions for older students (I have an almost 12 and a 15 year old boys) for math morning time resources?

    • Kate Snow says:

      Great question, Cassie! Here are a few possibilities:

      1. Solve logic puzzles together. Grab a book of Sudoku or Boris Kordemsky’s “The Moscow Puzzles” and start each morning by trying to solve a puzzle or brain-teaser together. (Or, if your kids like to compete, make a copy of a puzzle for each of them and let them race each other.)

      2. Delve into the history of math with a read-aloud. There are some great popular math books for adults out there that make good read-alouds for older kids. One I really enjoyed is “Fermat’s Enigma,” by Simon Singh, a gripping story of how Fermat’s last theorem was finally solved over the course of centuries. If you go this route, don’t worry about understanding every single mathematical point in the book, but just enjoy the story and the human blood, sweat, and tears that go into big discoveries.

      3. Explore statistics. Kids need to understand charts, graphs, averages, medians, etc. as they prepare to be informed citizens and make real-life decisions. One simple way to add statistics to Morning Time is to look at a chart or graph from a newspaper or magazine and discuss what it shows. Or, you could do a read-aloud that helps make sense of data. “How Not to Be Wrong,” by Jordan Ellenberg, and “A Mathematician Reads the Newspaper,” by John Allen Paulos, would both be great for this (but keep an eye out on how appropriate the content is for your kids–there may be a couple sections you’d want to skip).

  • Monica says:

    Fantastic!! Pam, you find the best guests. I’ve been doing Morning Time for 5 years now, and I learn something new each episode. Thank you.

  • Yvonne says:

    This was a FABULOUS episode with so many wonderful suggestions that were new to me! I would love the transcript for this episode – I think I will be listening to it again and writing down all the great suggestions. Thank you too for asking for the specifics – each time I was thinking “I would love a specific example or idea” you asked for it and her answers helped me so much!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Yvonne — Transcripts are something we are looking into for the future (and will do back episodes if possible).

  • Shannon Cook says:


    This is the first of your podcasts I’ve had a chance to hear, and it was wonderful! I have now gone back and listened to several back episodes, and they have been such an inspiration and help to me. We have been doing and loving morning time for almost 10 years now, and your podcasts have given me some great ideas to add variety to what we already do.

    The only math we’ve ever done during morning time is opening up a math read aloud. I can’t wait to incorporate your fun, hands-on activities!

    Thank you both for the time and effort that you put into this podcast.


  • Molly E. says:

    Loved this one. I love all your podcasts but this one really stands out. It had me thinking about math in a brand new way and I am actually excited to explore math with my kids now! Ha! I have never been interested in math and it seems like my brain doesn’t “speak math” past a certain level. Now I am eager to dive in to learning using some of the resources you recommended. I wasn’t sure how to sneak math in to morning time other than math facts so, thank you for the help! 🙂

  • Caroline says:

    Thank you for this podcast!! I am so excited to add some fun math into our Morning Time Loop (again, thank you for the loop schedule!!). I never knew math could be so fun! I have a full blown phobia of math that I am trying desperately not to infect my kids with. I have gained so much from every podcast you have done, keep up the AMAZING work!!! 🙂

  • Amy Marie says:

    Loved this!!! Thank you!

  • Erin Gray says:

    You talked about exploring tessellations. 360 degrees is the magic number to help move to deeper concepts. If your shapes have angles that can be combined to form 360 degrees you can tile a surface with no gaps or overlaps. You can formally measure angles or use the angles you know to find the ones you don’t know. An important AHA! is that angle measurements are additive. If 6 equal triangle angles surround a point (a full turn) 360/6= 60. You can use the benchmark angles like a right angle(90), a straight angle (180), or a full turn (360) to deduce the angles of all your patterns blocks 🙂

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