Join Pam Barnhill and co-hosts Meg Angelino and Laney Homan as they delve into the purpose and structure of Morning Time in homeschooling. In this episode, the hosts discuss the importance of setting goals for Morning Time, its role in fostering lifelong learning and family connections, and strategies for making it a valuable and efficient part of the homeschool day.
They share their personal experiences, tips, and insights on how to incorporate Morning Time into various homeschooling philosophies and its impact on family life.
Pam Barnhill [00:00:04]:
Are you ready for homeschooling to feel joyful again? Do you wanna build closer relationships, remove some of the stress around planning, and enjoy learning with your children? Welcome to Your Morning Basket. I’m Pam Barnhill, a homeschool mom just like you, and I’m going to show you the magic and fulfillment that morning basket or morning time can bring to your homeschool. Grab your coffee or tea, and let’s get started. Happy New Year, and welcome back To the Your Morning Basket podcast, I am so happy to be joined today by 2 of our team members here at your morning basket? And I’m just gonna have them really quick really quick, like, under a minute, tell, who you are and, like, how many kids you’ve been homeschooling and for how long? So, Laney Homan, you go first.
Laney Homan [00:00:58]:
Alright. I’m Laney Homan. I’ve been homeschooling for almost 20 years. I have 8 kids, 4 of which are no longer homeschooled, so I have only 4 left, that I’m still kind of plugging away with every day.
Pam Barnhill [00:01:13]:
So how many years do you have left to homeschool?
Meg Angelino [00:01:16]:
Laney Homan [00:01:16]:
have an 8 year old. I I don’t know.
Pam Barnhill [00:01:19]:
A long time. It’s quite
Laney Homan [00:01:22]:
a quite a lengthy time.
Pam Barnhill [00:01:24]:
Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Meg, how about you?
Meg Angelino [00:01:27]:
I have, been homeschooling for 10 years now, and I have 2 middle schoolers. So we’re in the thick of things like hormones and attitudes, but it is, it’s good.
Pam Barnhill [00:01:44]:
I love it. I love it. Okay. So Meg is our operations manager here at Your Morning Basket Plus, and then Laney is our member success manager for, the Your Morning Basket Plus membership? So so good to have both of you here. And if you’re kind of a new listener to the podcast, I am the host, Pam Barnhill, and I have been homeschooling for 13 years now. My oldest Has just graduated, in 2023, and then my youngest is 14. So he’s in 8th grade, I think. And then we’ve got an 11th grader in the mix as well.
Pam Barnhill [00:02:21]:
So now I am doing morning time with 2 pretty much high school boys. So lots of fun there. Alright. So today, we are talking all about goals In morning time, and I was telling the ladies before we got on that we’re not talking about, like, the minutia goals in morning time, but More about, like, what is your general purpose? Why are you doing morning time? And I think this is something that we don’t always come to morning time Thinking about this, because I think a lot of times what happens is we’re scrolling on Pinterest or we’re scrolling on Instagram, And we see somebody, we see this influencer or this other homeschool mom or maybe we even talk to another homeschool mom at coop and they start Just waxing eloquent about this wonderful homeschool practice. You know, you see all the pretty pictures and all of this Fabulous stuff, these baskets of books and nature study nature journal pages and watercolors, and There’s just all this beautiful stuff lying around, and all of the children are sitting there looking so sweet and dutiful and, like, They have a a care in the world and everybody loves and enjoys learning, and they label this as morning time or a morning basket. And you think, oh, I want some of that. And I think a lot of times that is the impetus for starting morning time. I think for me, that was the impetus For starting morning time was the was this kind of dreamy idea that we were and I’ve said this before.
Pam Barnhill [00:03:53]:
We were all gonna sit on the couch In front of the fireplace sipping hot chocolate, reading for hours and hours from books, and my kids were just gonna, like, Be perfect little angels and sit still and love this, and and that was how I got started. So what about you guys?
Meg Angelino [00:04:10]:
I think mine was born out of almost almost desperation. I had, you know, I had 2 little little ones and a a toddler and a preschooler, and I was trying to figure out How to contain the toddler and the preschooler and get some learning in. And so It was, like, just born out of necessity, and then it was, like, coming upon this Morning time idea where the everybody was together. I don’t think that I necessarily had that high in the sky desire to have that Instagram worthy, You know, Facebook, whatever. It was more like, how can I contain these little people and get some learning in? And it’s not that I’ve never had that desire to have that, like, beautiful picturesque, like, my children Sitting quietly and coloring, but more of a you know? It it evolved from more of a place of, like, I really need some way to, like, teach these kids And it be something where I’m not feeling guilty or burnt out. And, So that’s kind of, I think, where we started from. It was kind of a little bit different place, but I definitely have had moments where, like, Oh, wouldn’t it be lovely to have this, like, picturesque thing? It’s it’s definitely the temptation, you know, that To have
Pam Barnhill [00:06:02]:
So yours was the temptation of efficiency. Like Yes. This I need this kind of efficiency kind of thing. I’ve got these 2 kids who are close in age, And that was what you were going for. And I think we’re gonna talk a lot more about that as we go along because I know Laney and I are both big proponents of efficiency. But, Laney, how about you? How did you come to morning time? What what were
Laney Homan [00:06:25]:
When I started, it Was really more I kinda laughed at Meg saying it was out of desperation because it was kind of a similar thing. And just what we were doing wasn’t working. We have just we had been we I had been homeschooling for quite a while, you know, probably 10 years or more. And It just it wasn’t working. We were kind of in the thick of the the hormones and the attitudes and everything else. And I just noticed that, You know, it was when my oldest kids were kind of in those middle grades and likes just starting high school years. And I was 1 person with a lot of people. And that was in the years where I had a lot of babies.
Laney Homan [00:07:06]:
I had toddlers and babies and pregnant, and And I was still trying to do all the things with middle schoolers and high schoolers. And it was really one of the first times that I just felt stretched to, like, How do I get this stuff done? But then we were having such attitudes about what we were currently doing in our homeschool. I just needed a reboot. And that was kind of when I stumbled upon the concept of morning time. And I was like, you know what? This is way different than what we’ve been doing. I’ll just Try it and see what happens. And, it it just was a really good fit. It stuck.
Laney Homan [00:07:42]:
And, Ultimately, what I’ve seen is that it has really helped to forge those relationships in our family. When maybe I started it, it was Kind of a a solution to how do I homeschool and get everything done, and maybe hopefully adjust some attitudes. But now I think it’s just seeing the fruit of the relationships that have been forged around that table.
Pam Barnhill [00:08:09]:
Yeah. Yeah. So I so for you guys, it was desperation for me. You know? Yeah. I’d probably a little bit of desperation. I think a lot of families that just To any some some degree come to morning time out of a little bit of desperation or desire for something different Then what’s going on in their homeschool? Right? And so we come to morning time and I will tell you, like, For the 1st few years of doing morning time, I never thought about why am I doing this. It was just different. It was, enjoyable.
Pam Barnhill [00:08:46]:
Like, we very quickly fell into something that was enjoyable. And I didn’t really think about, You know, what is the why? Like, what are the reasons that I’m doing this? And I really think this is so important for Homeschool families, homeschool moms, homeschool dads, whoever’s doing the morning time with their kids to sit down and make a list of Why am I doing this morning time thing? These are this is what I want to accomplish, and that’s what I’m talking about when I talk about goals for your morning time. This is what I want to accomplish by doing this morning time thing. Because only by doing that, Then we can start saying answering questions like, how long does our morning time need to be? You know, what kinds of Subjects, am I going to cover in my morning time? You know, what am I going to prioritize within the morning time schedule? And those are questions that we get all the time, you know, as people who talk about morning time. But if you haven’t sat down and thought about Why you’re doing morning time? In the 1st place, you really can’t answer those questions, and we certainly can answer them for you.
Meg Angelino [00:10:04]:
Well, in not knowing your why is going to be when you’re in that kind of honeymoon phase of morning time and you’re doing All these fun things and usually, like, when you have, like, the younger kids, especially when they’re in that, like, sweet spot of, like, Kind of middle elementary where, there there’s a lot of independence, but they’re still Sweet. You know? It’s They’re still willing
Pam Barnhill [00:10:34]:
to do everything that mom puts out there for them to do. Exactly.
Meg Angelino [00:10:38]:
They they still Think that, you know, the world the sun and the moon revolve around mom. Yeah. You know? But when When you don’t have that why, when you don’t know what your goals are, Then when you get to those hard places, whether it’s,
Pam Barnhill [00:11:03]:
11 year old boys.
Meg Angelino [00:11:05]:
Middle school kid that is, like, hormonal, like, the fighting During morning time, and bickering and the why am I here, I don’t understand.
Pam Barnhill [00:11:20]:
Could we just get done with school already? Why do we have to do this?
Meg Angelino [00:11:24]:
Exactly. Exactly. When you don’t have that goal And you don’t have the why of this is why morning time is important to me, this is why it is a foundational principal in our homeschool, then you don’t have the cement or the The the thing that gets you through. And I think that having those long term goals are what get us through those hard spots in our morning times and in our homeschool. It’s the thing that Gives us the long term vision because it’s really easy to separate your kids and be like, okay. And and I say that easy in the in not in the practical sense, but in the, More like this is the way we were raised with going to public school where our kids are kind of compartmentalized, and it’s Easy to kind of set those goals up, 1 child to the next. But it I think it becomes a, I’m trying to Follow that. But, like, because that foundational, like, thing where it’s like, okay.
Meg Angelino [00:12:52]:
This is the thing that we are trying to accomplish as a family. This is the thing that We are, we are trying to achieve with our learning where It facilitates the discussions, and it facilitates the, family building. And it facilitates those, like, Those things that in the end, kids can look back on and be like, remember when. Remember when we Learned this. Remember when we read this and, becomes those family jokes and things like that. That’s I think that’s where, you know, that that Having that goal becomes really important.
Pam Barnhill [00:13:33]:
Yeah. And I I do I I do think that that is Probably the biggest reason to have your why or your goal is because it does really help when morning time gets difficult. And, you know, morning time is like anything else in that it’s cyclical. Like, there are gonna be times when it’s, like, super easy to do morning time and everything is great. Then there are gonna be times where it’s more difficult and it’s harder to do morning time. It’s harder to motivate yourself and motivate the kids. And you might even gasp, Go for weeks or months without doing it? Dawn Garrett and I have talked about in the past where we’ve had those periods of time where we actually Kind of fell out of boarding time for a while and then came back to it. And so having that why is the thing that pulls you back in.
Pam Barnhill [00:14:24]:
So going, thinking about that that the why helps you stay consistent. It helps you do it when times are hard. What are some of the whys that you guys have for doing morning time? Laney?
Laney Homan [00:14:40]:
So well and I think that this is, You know, kinda going off of what Meg was saying is for me, what I have seen is the relationship building. Now I would have never Put that into words when we started morning time. It was just like I said, what we were doing wasn’t working so we needed something different. But it’s after it’s seeing my adult kids now having relationships with their younger kid with their younger siblings and with one another Because they sat around that table every day together rather than, you know, breaking apart. And even in even in your Homeschool whenever you’re all doing different things or you’re focused on the academics and the box checking of, like, everybody getting all their subjects done, you still have this separation of people. And what I have found in it has become, like, one of those goals in my morning time is That coming to the table together every day is a touch point in our day Where unlikely combinations of people in such a large family are connecting with one another. You know, my 8 year old and my 17 year old have a fabulous relationship because For the last few years of her high school, she was still coming to the table every day, and actually sitting there with Those younger kids and having discussions, reading and listening to the same books, they can connect on ideas, together And it builds a family culture. It builds memories.
Laney Homan [00:16:20]:
And then it it forges those relationships. And just recently, I was posting in the community about, You know, my I had 2 teenage girls that still live here, but they’re, you know, they’re graduated and they, you know, they’re working full time. We’ll go days without really connecting with them other than a hi and a bye just because busy schedules. But those girls were the ones that, Like, they went to the store and they bought all of the stuff to make gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. And then they brought all the kids to the table And, you know, had them do this great project together. And I feel like, you know, maybe some of those things that are happening now that they’re not in school Would it be happening if they hadn’t had this culture of coming to the table to do things together? Whether it’s listen to a poem and music or whether it’s to do an art project or listen to a story. But they’ve They’ve established this routine in their lives, and I see the fruit of that because they connect, You know, even though it, like, takes a little bit more effort for them to connect now, they’re still making those efforts to connect because those habits have been forged.
Pam Barnhill [00:17:36]:
Well, you know, they’ve talked for years about just the importance of family dinners, you know, coming together as a family. And this is something we still try to do 1 to 2 nights a week, but anytime you have teenagers in your house and teenagers have jobs and activities and sports and, you know, youth group at church and, You know, karate and all of those things, you know, dance for years. When Olivia was in 9th grade, she was still doing dance. That would just it was so hard to do that, family dinner. And so, You know, I know a lot of times dad is not there for morning time, but this is kind of it does give you that extra touch point in your day, that you would norm that you struggle to get as a family when everybody’s going different directions in the evening.
Laney Homan [00:18:26]:
In our family, a lot of times when we do and we it’s a struggle to get everybody to the table for family dinner. Sure. Because, again, busy schedules and in the evenings and things. But I what I think and what I see in my own household is The kids are connecting over things at the table during morning time when dad’s not there. But then when we come to the table for other times, You know, like a family dinner several times a week, they actually have things to discuss. They’re talking about Because they have some commonality in their life. It’s not just a report of who’s doing what. It they can actually have discussions about the same topics and dad’s been there to kind of share in what they do.
Laney Homan [00:19:13]:
And so it’s an extension of Morning time as opposed to just coming together to touch base. And I think that’s the key there. Right? When you’re going when you’re coming to the table to do morning time, you’re doing a shared activity together. And you’re, Like developing a culture of learning together, exploring new ideas together, And focusing on things that you wouldn’t necessarily focus on if you were just following basic academic check boxes for subject areas It’s actually a time to elaborate those relationships and enjoy one another because you do have shared, experiences and knowledge and discussions and things like that.
Pam Barnhill [00:20:02]:
Are you tired of having to come up with morning time resources by yourself? Are you spending too much time googling and on Pinterest to find poetry, art, and music to incorporate in your homeschool day? There is an easier way. Introducing Your Morning Basket Plus, the done for you solution for moms who want to start their homeschool days with delight. Included in your membership is access to over 50 sets of morning time plans plus all the new ones we release, Live events, a community of like minded homeschoolers, and so much more. Join us at panbarnhill.com or the link of the show notes, And start creating a morning time you love today. Okay. I love it. So relationship, I’m gonna say, is With 3 teenagers is definitely a goal of mine, which opens up a whole other can of worms because, you know, that’s what I like to do. But, like, your morning time goals can actually change through the years.
Pam Barnhill [00:21:00]:
But before we talk about that, let’s let’s, elaborate on a few other Goals for morning time. So another one could be, morning time is the place where we put the fine arts. It’s the place where, You know? And I’ve said this before. I wanted to do the hymn study. I wanted to memorize poetry. I wanted to read Shakespeare with my kids. I wanted to make sure that we did art together when, the kids were little? And, like, I was trying to schedule that my homeschool day and I was sprinkling it through the week, And it was just not getting done. It didn’t have any weight.
Pam Barnhill [00:21:35]:
It didn’t you know? And it just never got done. And it wasn’t until I put all of those things together And called them something called morning time, and it gave it a lot of weight that that actually started getting done. So relationships could be a goal. Doing the fine arts could be a goal. Meg, what’s another goal?
Meg Angelino [00:21:56]:
I would say faith building. So, I mean, for us, like, bible, prayer, hymns, they’re a must at morning time. That’s A foundational principle in our morning time. We if we don’t do anything else, we do those things. And I think it just gives the helps build the habit. It gives the habit of Spending time in prayer and in the word, yeah, helps my children to Have that strong understanding of why we believe what we believe and Reminds them that, you know, this comes first. This is of high value, and so it always comes first. And, You know, it when we’re reading the same scripture together, we know where we’re at.
Meg Angelino [00:22:55]:
We know what Things are being covered, and I love listening to my kids discuss about what they got from Whatever scripture we have read that day, Proverbs is, like, a super fun one because, you know, it’s like if you’re reading the proverb of the day, 1 child might connect more with one of those proverbs, you know, than another, and just listening to what is Speaking to their heart. And, you know, we’ve had some friends go through some major health crisis crises this year and, Like, just being able to pray as a family for those people, it’s it means a lot. It Means a lot to my children, and it means a lot to me. And, you know, they’re able to kind of speak Their heart, you know, as they’re discussing, you know, their their friends’ needs and, So I think that, for me, that’s a a major one.
Pam Barnhill [00:24:00]:
I love it. Okay. So faith building as well. And then Laney alluded to this one earlier. There’s one of her and all of these kids. So I think another goal, another why for your morning time. There’s nothing wrong with we’ve alluded to this already, like, efficiency. See.
Pam Barnhill [00:24:19]:
Like, I’ve got 4 kids who are in elementary school, early middle school. I need to teach history. There’s no reason in the world Why these 4 children should be going in 4 different directions studying 4 different periods of history, let’s just do all of that together.
Meg Angelino [00:24:37]:
Or 4 areas of science. Yeah. I do not want to do 4 labs. Thank you.
Pam Barnhill [00:24:42]:
Yeah. Yeah. Or 4. Well, okay. Two labs
Meg Angelino [00:24:46]:
It’s too much. You know?
Pam Barnhill [00:24:47]:
Technically, in elementary school, are they really labs? But, like, they love to put those little, like, annoying experiments in all of the Science curriculums and, like, then yeah. And then you’ve got to multiple. Yeah. So yeah. Baked messes. Exactly. Exactly right. So and I
Laney Homan [00:25:04]:
I think that’s just it. Like, I mean, for me, it was like everybody if I’m having to kind of meet with everybody to make sure that they have checked off all the boxes for Even if they’re doing individual curriculum and they’re doing their and it’s pretty, like, independent from mom, that is a lot what that leaves is a lot of grading time for mom. That leaves a lot of time for me to have to look over their shoulder and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to do on their checklists. It leaves a lot of checklists for me to write and to manage. But if I’m bringing them all to the table, guess what? I know right now that all of my kids are getting their history and their science and their like all of these things. And as Pam was talking about earlier, we’re covering so much more than what we would do if I had all of their curriculum parsed out to individual kids Because, there just wouldn’t be time for, you know, the fine arts and the picture study and the poetry and the hymns and those Kinds of things, like, it just wouldn’t happen. I know it wasn’t happening in my homeschool before, and those are honestly some of the more enjoyable things. But, like, I don’t have to grade anybody’s history stuff.
Laney Homan [00:26:18]:
I don’t have to grade anybody’s, you know, like, Their language arts and stuff, even a lot of that is happening right there. So then I have, like, 1 or 2 kids that I have to, like, Okay. You’re gonna go do a written narration on what we talked about or, like, some expanded things outside of morning time, but It decreases my workload not just for efficiency of, like, everybody, you know, coming together to get Stuff done and check off, but, like, all of the things, if you’re not sitting with your child to do it, there is still a time obligation on your part to Make sure your child has actually completed their work, integrate it, and give them feedback. And so if we’re all sitting together and we’re having these great discussions, Then they’re getting feedback immediately. I’m getting a very good understanding exactly where they are and what they’re comprehending, And that eliminates the step of me having to do that later in my day, which frees up my time. So a 100% just like efficiency for mom’s time management, It’s helpful, but then it’s compounded with the being able to get stuff done. Like the The subjects that maybe wouldn’t fall on an individual checklist. It’s very unlikely that I would assign a child a picture study.
Pam Barnhill [00:27:45]:
Laney Homan [00:27:46]:
It’s an independent check checklist. You know, when you have lots of lots of kids, it’s very unlikely that I would, like, stick a printed picture in their Packet of stuff and be like, okay, study this picture and tell me about it later. Yeah.
Pam Barnhill [00:27:59]:
Laney Homan [00:28:00]:
But those are the things that happen very organically at my table. And somebody will ask a question and we can quickly look it up. I don’t know about you guys, but I have found that my kids are not going to look things up on their own. They might ask a question, but especially when they’re younger, like, it’s it’s a curious thought that passes through their head. But then, Like, the taking the actual time to look that up and to find an answer to that question is something that does not usually happen independently. Perhaps your kids do that or perhaps they can grow into that. But like, you know, my 8 year old does not have access To the Internet, the same way that my older kids do. So she’s limited in her ability to answer her own questions.
Laney Homan [00:28:48]:
Right? But When we’re at the table and somebody asks a question, boy, we’ve got a laptop right there. We can Google it. We can search images. We can We can really elaborate on what it is that we’re talking about.
Pam Barnhill [00:29:05]:
Yeah. Which is That’s kind of another kind of, I think, goal of morning time for me is modeling that lifelong learning for my kids, modeling that Wonder and amazement because so many of the stuff that that we so much of the stuff that we do in morning time, so many of the things that we talk about, I’m not an expert on this stuff. I don’t know. It this is very much not a posture of me saying, I know all the rules for in punctuations and, You know, I’m gonna tell you what these rules are. Right? I’m gonna teach it to you. It’s like, oh, we’re learning today about Michelangelo and there’s so much I don’t know about Michelangelo. Let me model what it means to be a lifelong learner. And so for me, that’s always been a really important Kind of goal in morning time is to show my kids what it means to keep learning.
Pam Barnhill [00:29:55]:
Okay. So I think we’ve touched on a lot of goals And an another one, of course, is just the sheer reading aloud. You know? I think, Sarah McKenzie would come after me if we didn’t talk about just the value of the fact that you’re reading aloud to your kids and all of the value that’s there? And if you don’t know, go check out Read Aloud Revival. And so that certainly the benefits to that are amazing for all kinds of learning for children. And so just Just do that in your morning time. That’s another goal that you could have as this is the time and the space we’re setting aside to read aloud to our kids. So we have a number of different goals that we’ve laid out here. Have I forgotten anything?
Meg Angelino [00:30:38]:
I the only one that or the only thing that I kind of thought about as listening to Laney and listening to you is, one of the one of the things that they talk about in terms of How we learn and where we retain the most is if, you know, you learned this percentage for reading something and this Percentage for listening, but the teaching aspect. And when the kids are together and 1 child understands concept better, They are able to teach that to their sibling, and that helps build retention within the child. Right? And when they’re discussing discussing when they’re doing, like, their narrations, you know, and they’re saying, oh, this is you know, Mom read the x, and this is what I learned from it. There is that Teaching aspects. So you’re instead of your child just filling out a worksheet and kind of blindly going through and learning it and forgetting it, It helps build memory, and then, you know, being able to teach to the sibling the thing that you understand. And it can go either way. It can be the younger child Teaching the older can be the older teaching the younger, and that just really helps build that that retention.
Pam Barnhill [00:31:59]:
Laney Homan [00:32:00]:
And I think it’s like it also helps to build the habit of attention as well. Oh, wow. Because they’re having to sit and listen to something Rather than interacting with it on their own. And with that, you know, you’re paying attention not only maybe to mom reading aloud or or whatever it is that You’re doing, but also when those discussions start happening, you have to have the attention to Actually pay attention to what other people are saying. And so, you know, I just think like in a classroom environment, There’s so much opportunity for sit and listen only to the teacher and not have a lot of input from the students just because That there’s not enough time or disruptions, those kinds of things. But even in a homeschool environment, wherever you have kids that are parsed out individually To do their individual subjects, they’re interacting with only the material. And so they’re building maybe a relationship with The textbook or the book that they’re reading, but then you lose that ability for, Like, really great discussion that comes up because you’re not sitting there with other people To be able to interact with it. And so when you have multiple people, you get different perspectives And you’re able to engage in a discussion.
Laney Homan [00:33:26]:
So I think they learn better communication skills. They build the habit of attention.
Pam Barnhill [00:33:32]:
Yeah. That habit of attention thing, I’ve I’ve actually heard moms talk about this. This was not something I ever, like, specifically set out to do, but just this idea. And I even think and And I can’t remember if it was Heather Tully who did this or somebody she was telling me about where, like, they would do morning time at the same time of day as their worship service. And they would do it for the same length of time as their worship service. So you had these very young children who were learning, You know, 11 AM, we sit for about an hour and pay attention to what’s going on and we’re quiet. And, you know, this obviously doesn’t happen immediately. I mean, We wish.
Pam Barnhill [00:34:10]:
Right? But this is something you teach your kids and train your kids to do. And so, like, they were then they used it as a training ground for worship service? And I know, like, one of Cindy Rollins’ goals for a long time was we’re learning these hymns In morning time, because I have kids who are not yet able to read, who can now sing all the verses of the hymns that we sing at church. You know? And so that’s another very worthy goal. So there are, like, these big lofty kind of overarching goals like, oh, my kids are gonna have great relationships, Or they’re going to learn to handle conflict because we’re not avoiding conflict, we’re actually here. Are you suggesting that there’s conflict at
Laney Homan [00:34:49]:
your morning time table sometimes?
Pam Barnhill [00:34:51]:
Sometimes Times there’s conflict at my morning time. You know? But it like, there there are big lofty goals, but there are also these smaller things like, Oh, we’re just we’re gonna learn to sing the verses of the hymns that we sing at church, you know. So, Okay. So we’ve we’ve laid out a number of goals for people. So do you do you sit down and write these out? I mean, do you think that’s worthy to sit down and say, like, You know, like, this year, I really wanna focus on these things. I mean, I and I realized that they’re like, Relationship is always gonna be kind of a given goal in my morning time, though I do think relationship has taken on a much greater role as a goal for my morning time as my children have gotten older? Like, right now, I would say That we come together for faith. Right? That’s that’s the place where I really like, where we pray together as a family. And if there’s something that I wanna talk about faith wise, that’s the place I put it.
Pam Barnhill [00:35:53]:
And then, relationship is another big one. And I don’t like, this year, I would say that there’s not efficiency is not a goal for us. You know? The boys are really kind of working separately. I’ve only got 2 kids. There’s plenty they’re working independently enough that there’s plenty of me to go around to help them out. So I would say this year, efficiency is not really a goal for us. I would say this year, fine arts is not really a goal for us, though we are doing literature in morning time. But for you know? So does it shift for you guys from year to year? Do you kinda sit and evaluate?
Meg Angelino [00:36:29]:
I do mine whenever I do my plan your year. Like and it it largely is tied in my morning time goals are actually largely tied in to my vision for our homeschool. So And I don’t rewrite my vision every year, but I have rewritten it a couple of times in the last few years as my children have aged. So Do I have them written down? Yes. Was it maybe something that I did, like, just to go, oh, These are my morning time goals for this year. No. But it was, like, you know, part of my larger vision for my homeschool. And, as Our as my children have aged and that vision has evolved, then I have gone in and and touch base.
Meg Angelino [00:37:17]:
And I I try to touch base with that, like, Several times during the year so that I can kind of remember the way we’re going and, kind of stay true.
Pam Barnhill [00:37:28]:
Laney Homan [00:37:29]:
Yeah. So when I do plan your year,
Meg Angelino [00:37:31]:
Laney Homan [00:37:32]:
treat my morning time as a separate student. So it’s interesting Because, like, in plan your year, you have us go through and write goals for individual students about what we want to accomplish. And then we do their course of study and pick what they’re gonna cover for the year and, like, the choose the resources and those kinds of things. So I have Learned to kind of follow a similar pattern for setting up my morning time for the year. So sometimes I will write goals for my morning time I’m like, what do I want to us to accomplish as a group? And sometimes those goals might focus on the minutiae of, like, we’re going to cover, You know, middle ages history this year or something like that. But just like when I’m writing goals for students, Sometimes my goals focus on the minutiae, but then a lot of times there are other like broader character goals or, just like whole person goals. And I think that sometimes that falls into my morning time. So Maybe when we have been going through times where we have a little bit more conflict or some tension between particular siblings and those kinds of things, What I’ll see is that kind of comes to the forefront of something that I want to work on in our morning time is you know what? Rather than, Like, maybe we’ll focus on conflict resolution during morning time this year, those kinds of things.
Laney Homan [00:39:02]:
But I think that it’s Not ever something that I do with, like, philosophical, like, why am I doing morning time, When I’m doing that kind of planning, it’s a little bit more specific than that. But like Meg, I think that often a lot of the goals that we’re talking about here Actually are encompassed in the vision that I wrote for my own homeschool as a whole. Yeah. But just the thought just occurred to me, And I don’t know that I’ve ever really given this a lot of consideration before. But, you know, in plan your year, we spend a lot of time Creating and crafting our homeschool vision. And I think that interestingly, it’s that homeschool vision That then like is played out primarily in our morning time.
Pam Barnhill [00:39:52]:
Laney Homan [00:39:53]:
And so the 2 really Go hand in hand. I’ve just never really considered how my morning time is actually facilitating, Achieving that vision that I have actually taken the time to write out.
Pam Barnhill [00:40:09]:
Yeah. I find that the vision really lines up with the morning time A lot of times and then the goals end up lining up with individual student work probably more often if you cut if you’re trying to do a one to 1. Well and and I just wanna touch on because we we are gonna wrap up in just a minute. But so because and so how does this inform, like, the things that you choose for your Morning time, the subjects that you choose, and how long your morning time is and things like that. So when you look at my goal, I have 2 teen boys. Our major goals are, you know, faith, relationship, and then a little bit of literature. That’s kind of like why we’re doing morning time. So the very first thing is our morning time is not super long.
Pam Barnhill [00:40:52]:
It’s only about 30 to 45 minutes long and that It it’s really closer to 30 minutes long. Like, that’s probably the cap. Because we come together. We pray. We have some kind of reading That we’re doing. We were doing some saints reading earlier this year. I think in the New Year, we’re gonna be working on some there’s a a great book by Catholic Sprouts on, Catholic Social teaching that we’re going to be doing some reading in. That’s kind of the first part, and then we read our literature book.
Pam Barnhill [00:41:22]:
So those are really the the activities that we’re doing right there. And we watch current events. We watch current events, and we talk about it. We watch, The World from a to z. That’s something that the kids enjoy, and it gives us a touchpoint to talk about different things that are going on. So those are the 3 things that we’re doing. We’re talking 30, maybe just a little bit longer if they ask For 1 more chapter, morning time is short, and I am choosing high interest kinds of books that can be used for literature study. I Think.
Pam Barnhill [00:41:49]:
I haven’t a 100% decided yet, but I think we’re going to an Agatha Christie book to start off the next semester, and Then There Were None. I think I read that in the fall myself. I think I’m gonna read it with the boys and see kind of what they think about that one. So what I’m choosing to do and How long my morning time is is really informed by the goals of relationship and discussion, faith building, and let’s do some literature Together. What about you, Laney? How you have a much bigger goal in efficiency.
Laney Homan [00:42:22]:
Yeah. At this point, I have my youngest 2 children, are still, like, really focusing in on phonics and still learning to read. So they’re not doing a ton of independent work on their own. And so They’re really until we get those skills really, like, fleshed out where I know I can give them things to read independently, they’re not doing as much of that on their own. So that comes Part of the goal of morning time is to get their subjects covered in morning time where I’m available to read aloud and discuss with them because Their their reading skills are not really quite up to the level where I can pass that off to them.
Pam Barnhill [00:43:04]:
They’re learning to read, not reading to learn yet.
Laney Homan [00:43:07]:
Exactly. My But that it does inform how we do morning time because my 11 year old and my 13 year old are more than capable of handling some independent texts? And they could they could be doing more independent work in that sense, but because I really Want to cover those things with the younger kids that don’t have that capability yet? They would rather sit and have me read it. And so, That’s you know, even my 13 year old, there are times where I think he gets a bit antsy and he’s like, okay. We’ve been here for an hour and a half. Really? Can we be done? I’ve got other things to do. Because he does have of a more lengthy list to do on his own. And I’ve even given him the options. I’m like, well, you can choose to cut your morning time short And then work on this other subject independently as well, but I find that they just kinda wanna come back.
Laney Homan [00:43:56]:
If everybody else is already doing it, It does become that really efficient time. You know what? Mom actually reads faster and it’s a little more enjoyable to have discussions and laugh along the way than it is to go Sit up in my room with a book by myself. And so and then have to communicate to mom what I read or learned. We’ll keep our morning time really encompassing most of the subjects that we do. At this point, our morning time is An hour and a half to 2 hours long. We are covering, pretty much all of our subjects except for Reading instruction or and math. And then my 13 year old has definitely, he has some more writing assignments and, you know, some more independent work. He’s actually working through a separate science curriculum this year.
Laney Homan [00:44:48]:
And we do cover science in morning time. But, he has a separate science curriculum that he’s working through independently in addition to what we’re doing in morning time.
Pam Barnhill [00:44:59]:
Because of some other goals That you have to have to have
Laney Homan [00:45:02]:
to have to have to have to have Yeah.
Pam Barnhill [00:45:03]:
He’s just ready. I want
Laney Homan [00:45:04]:
to he’s he’s 13 and I want him to kind of bump up what he’s doing for science so he’s more prepared for high school level science. And so I felt like what we’re doing in morning time is sufficient for the younger 3 kids. But in order to prepare him for high school level science, He needed a little bit more of a push and he has to dig a little bit deeper on his own. But we are in at the same Time, like, we’ve kept it in this year. He chose to do biology, so we’ve kept what we’re studying in morning time Is we’re all studying the same thing. He’s just digging a little deeper with a separate curriculum on biology. You know, if he would have chosen chemistry or physics or something else, we would probably you know, I would have set what we were covering in morning time for the other kids To align with what he was doing so that it really just reinforces what he’s studying independently? And that’s that’s one of the ways that we have Kept kids that were older engaged in what I’m doing in morning time as I try to tie that to What is relevant to what they’re studying independently? So it is, it’s adding to it rather than Being, like, a separate subject,
Pam Barnhill [00:46:22]:
if that makes sense. Yeah. What about you, Meg? Because you are. Your morning time, I think, is probably closer to mine in length or maybe It’s
Meg Angelino [00:46:32]:
actually I’m I’m right between the 2 of you guys, Actually, I would say we average hour, hour and a half. We probably do morning time 3 a week, and we always cover bible and hymn and prayer. That that’s a A must. And then we so my son is doing a an online class that Encompasses, history and writing. And so This year is probably the least history we’ve done in morning time, but we still, Touch base. So there’s still a book that we’re reading together, like, all the time so that All of us are on the same page in about the same place in history, and then we do, logic At least once a week, and, we’re doing science. And very similar to Laney, It’s my eldest is doing an independent portion of the same Science that we’re covering in morning time. So because he’s getting ready for high school, he has additional readings separately, But we’re still covering the same subject in morning time.
Meg Angelino [00:47:57]:
So we’re doing our labs together, usually in morning time, and we’re doing, a portion of reading together in morning time, and then he has additional reading to do on his own Just to get them ready. And, and then, you know, we do some of the fine art stuff like Picture study and so on and, so it’s, I think we were somewhere between hour, hour and a half In the end. And then yeah. So so much You’re
Pam Barnhill [00:48:32]:
you’re beating you’re beating those goals. So Yes. Exactly. Yeah. And so that’s just what I want to encourage everybody. If you’ve never given it any thought before and and you you keep coming up against these questions like, What are we supposed to be doing in morning time, and how long should it be, and and how do I know? Well, then the answer to That question or those questions is to actually sit down and think about why am I doing this? Why am I doing this practice? And that way, when you You know, it is going to help you answer those questions. It is gonna help you choose how long and, who should be there and, You know, what subject should we do? And then it’s also going to be that kind of, help for you when morning time gets tough, when maybe you fall away from it and you wanna come back to it or when you struggle and you’re you’re thinking, like, why am I putting up with these kids to do this? And and and, you know, you have your reasons, and it becomes an integral part of of your homeschool and and why you’re homeschooling the way that you are. So, Laney and Meg, thank you so much for joining me today to talk about this.
Pam Barnhill [00:49:40]:
It was great conversation. Thanks so much for listening to your morning basket. If you are ready to spend less time planning and more time engaged in learning with your children, Join your morning basket plus, a monthly membership with everything you need to start a morning time practice in your homeschool. To join, head on over to ymbplus.com, and I’ll see you there.
Links and Resources From Today’s Show
World From A-Z
And Then There Were None
Read Aloud Revival
Put Your Homeschool on Autopilot
Plan Your Year
Key Ideas About Goals in Morning Time
- Morning Time is adaptable and can work for families regardless of their homeschooling philosophy, prioritizing what is important for each family.
- It provides an opportunity to include academic subjects, making homeschooling more efficient by teaching everyone at once.
- It’s important to incorporate enjoyable elements for each family member in morning time, using it as a fun way to introduce less favored subjects.
- The hosts share their approaches to homeschooling and how morning time aligns with their individual philosophies.
- Tips and insights are provided for moms looking to implement morning time in their homeschooling routine.
Find What You Want to Hear
- [0:04] Intros
- [2:21] Why make goals
- [14:24] Various goals in MT
- [20:02] YMB+
- [21:00] More goals in MT
- [32:00] Habit of attention
- [40:52] MT length
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