YMB #99: Grammar in Morning Time: A Conversation with Andrew Pudewa

It is always a fun honor to chat with Andrew Pudewa and this conversation was no different. First, this guest comes prepared. In the podcast Andrew dives into three different modes of teaching grammar — and what we think of as traditional grammar instruction is only a part of one of those modes.

We also chat about why grammar (and words and thinking) are so important — especially in the times in which we live today. There is so much good information in this one, it is going to blow you away. Enjoy!


I mean we could wax philosophical and go even deeper and say, well, grammar is the thing that makes everything possible. What are all these things called? And what are the rules that govern their behavior? And when we start failing to identify things, and when we start failing to understand the rules that govern their behavior, and that extends beyond English or a foreign language or anything that, I mean, there’s the grammar of stuff in life. And when we fail to understand the rules that govern behavior, we’re actually failing then to understand the thing itself.

This is Your Morning Basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day.

Hi everyone. And welcome to episode 99 of the Your Morning Basket podcast.

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I'm Pam Barnhill, your host. And I'm so happy that you're joining me here today. Well, on today's episode of the podcast, we have the very wonderful Andrew Pudewa who is probably one of the biggest influences in my own home school, started all of that, reading the loud and memorizing poetry, thanks to Andrew. And he's just had such a huge impact through the years, as we've used more and more of IEW’s, wonderful materials, teaching the kids to write to handwrite and to do composition as well. So love having Andrew on the show as always, and today he's going to be talking all about Krammer now hold onto your hats, because this is not the podcast that you might expect it to be. We do talk a little bit about nouns and verbs and things like that.
Andrew also talks about kind of the three modes of learning grammar. I'm going to let him share with you what those are and how one of those Morning Time is absolutely the perfect fit for that. So we're going to be diving deep into what grammar means and how we can learn it in our homeschool. And why is it even important for us to teach it?
So we're going to get on with that conversation in just a minute, but before we do, I would like to invite you over to download our free month of morning, time, morning, time plans. These Morning Time plans help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. And we have done all the hard work for you. We've chosen the art. We've chosen the books. We've chosen the poems for you, the songs, everything that you need to make it super easy on mom, to begin a wonderful Morning Time habit in your home. And you can find this free sample set of plans pambarnhill.com/month. And now on with the podcast.
Andrew Pudewa is the founder and director of the Institute of excellence in writing. And he is a father of seven. He is a beloved voice in the homeschooling community who speaks on issues related to teaching, writing, thinking, spelling, and music with clarity, insight, practical experience, and humor through his work, he has helped to transform reluctant writers into confident ones and has provided educators with valuable tools to improve their students' skills. He and his wife, Robin have homeschooled their seven children and are now proud grandparents of 14. They make their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Andrew, welcome to the podcast.
Hey Pam, it's so good to be with you. And I want to be sure. And let you know that I have a couple of homeschooling daughters who love Your Morning Basket. Oh. So glad to hear that. So glad to hear that. So, so much fun.
Well, listen, I want to talk to you a little bit before we get started diving off into grammar about what you have seen happening in homeschool education in the past year. Has this been kind of a big explosion that you've seen?
Oh, sure. It was in a way kind of the perfect storm for us unexpectedly, but when the COVID hit and the schools mostly shut down and people were just looking for “Now what am I going to do for the rest of the year? What am I going to do next year? If the schools don't open?” And so we just had a huge influx of traffic to our website, I think mostly through searches and word of mouth.
We also didn't do any conventions as you know, in 2020. And so we took that convention budget and put it into more online outreach and we got a whole lot of good results from that effort. And then the third thing that happened was we released our new program Structure and Style for Students, which had been three years in the making. And so we were able to release that at the beginning of 2020.
And so new products are always a good thing for us and people finding out and getting interested. So yeah, we were up almost to the point where we couldn't handle the volume by the late fall of the year. So now the big question on everybody's mind is how many of those people who were unintentional homeschoolers or accidental homeschoolers or reluctant homeschoolers or COVID schoolers, how many are going to continue and stay outside the school system that they were part of previous to that.
Okay. Okay. So yeah, that was one of the places I was going to go with this question. Do you have any insight into that? Do you think that we're actually gonna, we're actually gonna keep some of those folks in the homeschooling community?
Well, I think so I've been to a few conferences this year, as I think you have. And I met a lot of people who came to my talk or came to our booth and said, yes, you know, this was our first year homeschooling. We really didn't know much about it, but I found some friends or people at my church and they helped me figure out what to do, and my kids are happier and we're going to keep going. In fact, this very day, this morning, I got two letters from kids. One was nine years old and one said she was in seventh grade, one in Massachusetts, one in California. And both of them said in the letter, we're doing your writing course. That's why I'm writing to you to tell you how much I love your jokes. And I've learned a lot about writing and I never did anything like this in school, and now we're homeschooling and I hope we are going to continue. So if you know, that's any reflection of the sentiment among the kids out there, this could be kind of a permanent expansion.
Yeah, yeah. You know, I think that the greatest thing that I've heard this year and what has just been so wonderful for me are the moms who have come to me and said, “This was something that I always wanted to do. And I never thought I could. And now, because we were thrown into it now I know I can do it and I want to keep doing it.” And I just love to hear that. I love to hear, you know, people just kind of being empowered to take this on and take a little more, being a little more active in their kids' education. I mean, obviously, you know, I was a school teacher for a number of years and the kids who really succeeded even in the public school system where kids who had parents who were involved and active in their education, but now they're, they're being filled with this confidence that, Hey, I can keep doing this. And so I love that so much.
Yeah. The other thing of course, is the explosion of resources that are available from online classes to video courses like we have, and then kind of an explosion of alternative programs like hybrid schools or charter schools in states where it's legal and strong. These programs are all thriving. In fact, I have a few friends who run hybrid school programs and they say, they've just been blown away by the increased level of interest and enrollment for, you know, even in the fall. So I think people are, are basically saying, Hey, it's possible to break free from this every day, five days a week, send your kids to school. And like you said, be more involved, be more aware and the resources are so, so abundant right now.
Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I agree. And I will tell you, we did a structure in style for students this year with my two boys and we absolutely loved it. The boys loved your jokes. And we did level a for both of my boys, cause I have one who was about that right age and then another one who struggles with dyslexia and it was perfect for him.
I had talked to some of your folks there at IEW and said, where should I put this kid? And that's where they told me to put him. And it was perfect because he was able to be so independent in the program. You know, the readings were interesting and just so many things and we actually got lizards, there were so many, we got lizards for Christmas and it was, there were so many of the articles and the stories and everything in that particular level had to do with reptiles and lizards and things like that. I'm like, okay, I'm pretty sure that these lizards are Andrew Pudewa’s fault.
We, we didn't try to create a theme like we have for our theme based writing lesson books, you know, ancient history based writing lessons or Narnia based writing lessons. But we did want to have some kind of thread that kind of connected the source text and that was deserts. So a while we did have some rattlesnakes and lizards, we, we also visited Antarctica which unbeknownst to many is a desert it's so little precipitation. And of course, you know, I'm, I'm always trying to make source texts that are boy friendly that kind of attract the imagination of the child, especially if they're kind of a reluctant writer, because that just makes it easier when, when they kind of can say that's cool.
Yeah. Yeah. And it totally worked. It did. And so now we're the proud owners of a leopard gecko and a bearded dragon, so
Oh, wonderful.
So much Fun. So yeah. Well, let's, let's kind of dive off into our topic today of grammar.
And you know, the other thing we did this year was we used Fix It Grammar, the boys use level one and it was, it was a great program for them. They really picked up on a lot of grammar and were able to have conversations about things like strong verbs and good additives and LY words and all kinds of things. But why, why is grammar important? Why should we even bother to teach it to our kids?
Well, you know, that's a question that has been asked for some time in many schools and by many academics is, you know, why teach this? And Hey, you know, it kind of goes back to the idea of, do you want to just do something haphazardly,
like speak and write English? Or do you want to understand it better so that you can do it better? I would say that we're reaching kind of a, a very, that there is a very vocal group of people out there who are now starting to say things like not only is grammar, unnecessary, it's actually racist because when you say that there's a correct way of doing things, well, then what about all the people who don't do it that way? Are you making them wrong, invalidating their communication, et cetera, et cetera. And so you do have to kind of walk through now carefully because I think there's a lot of misinformation about what Grammar is and why you would teach it. And then of course, you know, how do you teach it?
One of the quotes that I came across as I was kind of researching a little bit about this, I think is, is very, very insightful. So I'm going to throw that at you. It's actually from Confucius. So it goes back a long, long way, about 500 BC and Confucius is said to have said, and I'll quote this as exactly as I can. “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant. If, what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone. If this remains undone morals and art will deteriorate. If justice goes astray that people will stand about in helpless confusion, hence there must be non arbitrariness in what is said, this matters above everything.”
So that kind of blew me away because it's, you know, he was talking about the nature of accuracy in language and the morals and the art and consequently, the justice of a society.
Yeah. Like everything in the society hinges on that, on that language, on what words are chosen. Wow. That's a big quote.
Well, and we've, we've seen various incidences of public figures saying things that came across as rather ridiculous from a grammatical or logical point of view, but remained unchallenged. There was a president who said, “that depends on the meaning of the word is.” Okay, there, there was a speaker of the house that said, “We need to pass this law so we can find out what's in it.”
Now, if you have even the simplest apprehension of language and logic and its grammar that makes logic possible, those should strike you as being misinformed at best and unintelligent. And yet very little repercussions of this. So, you know, we could go into a deep dive of how language is, has been used throughout history to manipulate, mislead or control people. And, I think as a teacher of language and as a homeschooling, I have to say grandparent now, cause all my kids are grown, but all of my daughters who have children are homeschooling or are intending to homeschool their kids, it goes against our gut level instinct. That correct use of language is kind of core to learning anything and particularly to communicating well, you know, you, I think are familiar with that whole idea of the Trivium and the quadrivium and the liberal arts and the trivium being grammar, logic and rhetoric. Well, it's grammar that allows for logic and rhetoric to happen. And so if we degrade the value of grammar, we then also will see a corresponding decline in the quality of logic and of rhetoric in the, in the sense of seeking truth. You know, the word rhetoric kind of has a bad rep these days. You know, if you hear it or read it on a blog, it's usually, oh, that rhetoric as if this is some horrible, person's attempt to convince us of something we shouldn't believe. But really, you know, our rhetoric is not just the art of persuasion, but the art of truth seeking. And how can we seek truth if we don't have a common understanding of what makes language accurate? And I mean, we could wax philosophical and go even deeper and say, well, grammar is the thing that makes everything possible. It's it's what are all these things called and what are the rules that govern their behavior?
And when we start failing to identify things, and when we start failing to understand the rules that govern their behavior, and that extends, it extends beyond English or a foreign language or anything that, I mean, there's the grammar of stuff in life. And when we fail to understand the rules that govern behavior, we're actually failing then to understand the thing itself.
Oh, I love that. I love that. Well, when we think of the idea of English grammar then, and we think about the ideas of, we need to understand the rules that govern so we can understand the thing itself. So we need to understand the rules that govern language so we can understand language and we can use it to communicate.
I think a lot of moms who are kind of struggling with this idea of do I need to teach grammar or a lot of moms, honestly, I feel like teach grammar, but don't understand why they do it. They just do it because you know, it comes with the curriculum or somebody says it needs to be done, or it was what they did in school. So how does something like learning to identify nouns and verbs help us to understand the thing itself?
Wow. So I'm going to recommend a book. We don't sell it and it is a fairly expensive and small book. So you might, you know, go to Amazon or, or Barnes and noble and look at this book and say, wow, that's expensive.
But you know, diamonds are small too, but it's entitled The War Against Grammar by David Mulroy. And Mulroy was a professor of classics, classic literature at, I believe the University of Wisconsin for many years. And he noticed over his tenure there that the students coming to him had a decreasing ability to understand just the literal meaning of things that they were reading.
And he wondered, you know, what, why is this? And so he tried a little experiment. It's really quite a humorous, tragic, painful, but humorous at the same time, a little chapter in his book, he decided to give all of his students the first sentence of the Declaration of Independence, which is, and, we will acknowledge is a 72 word sentence. So it's not a simple sentence, but it is kind of foundational to the whole rest of the declaration and everything that stems from that. And he asked them two questions as bonus points on a quiz, right? So for extra points, answer these two questions. Number one, do you recognize this? And if so, where's it from, and number two, in your own words, what does this mean? Now? These were not bonehead English students. This was a classics literature class, large public university. So these weren't stupid kids, but what he found is that fewer than half of them could recognize it at all, had any idea where it came from.
And only about a third of them had any idea what it meant. And in the book. And the humorous part is he actually put some of the responses that he got from the students in the book, and you could read what they wrote to paraphrase it. And what was very clear is that they couldn't understand it because they couldn't parse the sentence.
In other words, they didn't know what the subject of the sentence was. And this, this little experiment, he tried it many times found this pretty much the same results caused him to take a sabbatical and go and research. And the result of this research was the book he wrote the war against grammar that there has actually been an active opposition to the teaching of formal grammar in schools for close to 50 years now.
That okay. So I had to pull up the Declaration of Independence. Cause I knew like the first couple, you know, the first little bit I could get you to through like the pursuit of happiness. Right. But yeah. Wow. That, that is, I'm going to have to go find that book now. Well, you'll, You'll love it. And your kids will think it's interesting too.
It's a little book. I've probably read the whole thing four or five times and I've read parts of it more than that and quoted from it. But you know, I think that if we have a generation of people who cannot read a complex sentence from our own founding documents and understand what it means, well, I think that should be considered kind of problematic by most of us.
My good friend. I know, you know, my friend, Andrew Kern, he weren't said I quote him because I think it's, it's tragically humorous again. He said, “If you cannot read a complex sentence and understand it, you cannot think a complex thought. And if you cannot think a complex thought, please don't vote.” Yeah. Yeah. There is something to be said for literacy of our heritage, unless what we want is to just throw it all out and start all over again, light years behind.
Well then you could make arguments that that is sometimes what it seems to be that people want as well. And boy, we could go off on a rabbit trail as to why there has been a deterioration of the teaching of grammar in schools. You know, it's funny because my kids often ask me, well, mom, why do we have to learn to write cursive? You know, why do, and, and I said, you know, I said, learning to write cursive is a good thing. I love it when I take you into the bank to open an account, or a couple of my kids just got jobs this summer and they had to actually sign the forms and they knew how to do that, which was fabulous. Cause I still have one little one that's working his way into being able to sign his name. But I told him even more important than this is the ability to read cursive. Because if you cannot read cursive, then you cannot read a lot of these source documents, these founding documents. And you'll just have to rely on somebody else to tell you what they say.
Yeah. You can also tell those kids since they know me a little bit, that I've done some research and I have this in a talk that I gave and I think it's recorded and available online. It's called Paper and Pen: What the Research Says, but evidently you can tell them writing in cursive stimulates areas of the brain, particularly in the artistic and intuitive areas of brain function that are not stimulated in the same way with printing on paper.
Oh, interesting.
You actually use more of your brain and, and very possibly promote a creative side to your writing by doing cursive. So there's some real practical application as well. But you know, I would say that for a lot of parents and kids, there is this question of, well, okay, why study English, grammar?
I already speak English. I already know it. So it's irrelevant to me. And that's one of the paradoxes. Grammar is hugely important. And yet it seems irrelevant because you know, you, you speak English pretty much perfectly, and you've done so since you were six or seven years old. So why, why study, how you do what you already do? It makes about as much sense as sitting through a lecture on how to ride a bike, right? It's like, yeah, I know how to ride a bike. Why do I have to sit here? Well, you need to know all the biology and physics that makes bike riding possible. Could I just go ride my bike, you know, would that be okay. And so there is that kind of thinking.
And so I've pointed out that I believe there are three divisions or aspects of the study grammar. One is inherent grammar. It is the just absorption of language that you get pretty much accidentally through growing up the people you live with and talk to the environments that you go into more significantly would be the books that you hear or read because you're more likely, as a child growing up, you're more likely to encounter a higher level of complexity of language in a book than you are in a day to day interaction with anybody or online or whatever.
So when parents read and I know you're a huge fan and we've talked about this before, but when parents are read to children from books that are maybe even above that child's decoding level that's and talking about it, that's pulling up comprehension, that's giving them what I would call inherent grammar. And that is by far the most important thing, I would guess that Mulroy’s students didn't necessarily fail to understand the sentence because they didn't diagram it or, you know, parse out all the parts of speech in it. But because their sense of language in general has been declining since the advent of screen-based entertainment and kids not being read to a lot decrease in reading, even among people who want to read more, we're all reading less because we're distracted by continuous interference of technology and current information. So I always say to parents, look, if you read a good or great book to your kids out loud and talk about it a little bit, to find some words, you know, explain some idioms, connect the dots with the illusions whatever's happening there. You're actually teaching grammar in the fundamental and most important way you can do it. So if you have no other time to do anything else, except read out loud to your kids, that's going to accomplish more than half of what you want to try and accomplish in teaching language skills.
I love that. I love that because so often we feel like, oh, we've got to pull out a workbook or we've got to, you know, we've got to kind of set aside this formal time. And, and there certainly is a place for a lot of that. I really think as kids get older, not so much with kids who are like really, really young, like a first or second grade, but so much of that inherent learning can come from reading really good quality books to your kids and having those different kinds of conversations about figures of speech and idioms, as you mentioned, and things like that. And I think as we see the language has changed so much since the Declaration of Independence, because as the grammar has become it's, the writing has come down in quality too. And so the kinds of things that our kids have the opportunity to read when they do read are not written in this way at all.
Right. And you know, a lot of kids, they kind of do lateral shifts in their own readings. So they start out and they get their, you know, tools for decoding. And then someone throws at them, some drivel like Babysitters Club or Star Wars and they practice their decoding and they're titillated by these stories and that's okay. But then, you know, they get a little older, so they have to read something that looks like it was written for someone a little bit older. So they do a lateral shift and they pick up, you know, whatever is popular at that time.
And then they get a little bit older. So I have to read something that looks like, you know, is written for someone older. So they pick up popular young adult or teen fiction, and then they become adults and they do another lateral shift and they pick up popular stuff that looks like it's written for adults, but really the only difference between Danielle Steel and Babysitters Club is the length of the book and the debauchery of the characters, the yeah, the complexity and sophistication of language is not much different. And that's why it's so important for parents to read to children and maybe supplement that with audio books too. But to do that at a level above their own decoding skills. So that there's something that pulls up their comprehension. And you, you can sure. Tell a kid who's read too a lot because their vocabulary just kind of pops out at you.
Like, wow, how did that kid know that word? He heard it not in daily life, not in conversation, not on the internet, but because someone read to him a good or great book. So I would call that inherent grammar. And it is by far the most important thing, because that creates the database of vocabulary and syntax and understanding of the relationships between words and how they work together to create meaning, all of that stuff.
That's by far the most important thing. And one thing you said just a minute ago reminded me of something, my friend, Todd Wilson once said, he said sometimes the best homeschooling doesn't look like school at all.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think the great thing is you have a whole bunch of moms who are listening to this podcast right now. And I can just heard this collective sigh of relief because I, one of the questions I, you know, that was going to come up in the conversation was what do you do about the mom? Who's like, I can't diagram a sentence. I hated grammar. When I was in school. I don't know what to do. And you know, we've just given them permission, read to your kids above their reading level and have some just general good conversations about the words on the page and the ideas in the book. And that is the best way to teach grammar with your kids, this inherent kind of grammar.
Yeah. So that's the first of the three divisions. The second is what I term applied grammar. And that would be okay. Can you use words to say what you wanted to say? And can you use a variety of grammatical constructions to make your expression engaging, interesting as well as, as accurate as possible. And that mostly comes through writing. When you teach composition, you're kind of forced to learn grammatical stuff. Assuming you want to get beyond just the stream of consciousness, random flow of words, coming from a kid's brain onto the paper. But if you want something that's organized, something that is a little bit stylish, something that maybe pushes the limits of the sophistication of which that child is possible. Then you end up having an opportunity to teach those things through a composition, you know, particularly our approach. You, you know, it well structure and style. We have these checklists, so, okay. There's going to be a strong verb. And the checklist will to do that. You now have to know what is this, what is a verb and what makes it strong to do, you know, and to do a subordinate clause, an adverb or a dependent clause, you have to know what that is, but you learn it best by doing it and not just trying to identify it. And so by using the tools, and this is true in anything, you know, whether a child is studying some other art form like music or, or painting, or whether it's a sport, you don't learn things by saying, aha, I know what that is. You learn it by doing it and showing that you know what it is.
And that's a hundred times more powerful. So I always like to say to people, you know, we teach grammar surreptitiously, we sneak it in on you. Yeah. You don't have to know what an adjectival clause is to do one.
Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's, I think, you know, as moms are listening right now, like never once this year, did my kids, the word subordinate clause or anything like that, we just did it in the writing, you know, as it came up. So it's not like they're throwing the big words that the kids know that they can't handle big words, but sometimes it's just you practice doing it first before you find out what it is, especially when you're in elementary school, you're able to, to use those, some of those clauses and things like that without necessarily having to use the name of it in the conversation.
Right. And once you've learned to do something, then if someone says, oh, by the way, that is innovative. And they're like, oh, well I know how to do that. Then you've got something to attach the idea to.
Whereas if you, you know, you just turned chapter 12, verbals, participles, infinitives, and gerunds, you know, who cares, but if you, if you know how to create those things, and then someone gives you the label for it, you've got something to attach it to, and it works better. And that kind of leads us to the third division of grammar, which is what I would call analytical grammar. In other words, knowing all of the details of what are those things called and how do they work and what are the variations under what circumstances, what do they exactly mean? And like taking the whole motorcycle apart and figuring out what every little piece is called and then following a diagram to try and put it back together.
For most people, you learn that better by just trying to take a piece of your motorcycle off and put it back on rather than deconstruct the whole thing. So I think we tend to dump analytical grammar on kids at an age when it is least likely to be engaging, least likely to be useful. And then again, using the wrong method, by trying to teach grammar in English. English is actually the worst language to study grammar because you already speak it. It's also got crazy number of oddities and exceptions because English is this mishmash of Greek and Latin and French and German and Anglo-Saxon and who knows what else? So I always say, if you actually wanted to study analytical grammar, the best thing to do is study a foreign language because you don't already know it.
Therefore now you have a need for the information to be able to read something in French or Latin and understand what it means as well as write something in French or Latin and communicate what you're trying to. So, and I I've talked to any number, probably if I counted them all many, many dozens, if not hundreds of people who have said to me, something like, I never understood English grammar until I took German in college. That's when it made sense.
Yeah. Yeah. I'm a, I'm actually one of those people that a little book, I can remember it very fondly. I kept it for years and years, but it was English Grammar for Students of Russian. And because I took Russian in college and that was the book that taught me more grammar than, than anything else. But you, you hit upon something. And I have said this for years and I have absolutely no scientific data to back it up, but I feel like the brain, when it, when it's ready to handle algebra, then it's ready to handle analytical grammar. There's almost like a, to me they're kind of the same, they idea of algebra and analytical grammar and kind of like the kinds of thinking that it takes to do both of those things seem to come about the same time to me.
Yeah. I would agree. It is very, it is a very abstract thing. And so there is a level of maturity. I mean, kids reach that age at different levels. You know, I've met ten-year-olds who couldn't actually grasp the concept of variables and equations and start to do, you know, some algebra at that age. And then I've met, you know, older kids who are still not quite ready for that. Same thing with the grammar, I would point out a significant difference between grammar and math. And that is that in math, you always get the same answer. If you do, if you solve the problem correctly, it's concrete, it's absolute, it's black or white it's right or wrong.
And that's really very comforting when you compare it to grammar, there are lots of opinions about things and those things make it more of an art than a science. It's not something you can just know, and it's always the same. It is one of the liberal arts. It's something you do, you practice it and being in art, it changes over time.
You know, the correct English that we would look at is say, Microsoft Word grammar, checker standard today would be different than declaration of independence. Thomas Jefferson, even Charles Dickens, you could paste in a bunch of Charles Dickens to Microsoft word, and it would green light, green, green underline, huge chunks of it. You can go back even further and say, well, Shakespeare used words we don't even have in the dictionary anymore. Does that mean one is right or wrong? No, it's changed. So, the standards and rules are somewhat fluid in that they do change from generation to generation, from country to country. Sometimes even from classroom to classroom within one institution. And, you know, I could throw at you a very simple sentence that any English speaking person would say without a thought and ask you a question about it. And there would be at least three, maybe four different answers that people would give. You want to try it.
Oh sure. You can just display my ignorance for the world to see.
No, no, you know, this is, so this came from a book that I had many years ago called Enough About Grammar by Joe Floren. It was a book for business people, how to use, but not be hindered by the bugaboos of English grammar. So anyway, the second chapter was entitled, Pay Your Money and Take Your Choice. So here's the sentence he gave this sentence to four to six grammar experts, head of department, high school, head of department college grammar hotline. This was, you know, this is five, six decades ago. So before the internet, here's the sentence. “We went camping every summer.” very simple, short, natural English sentence. We went camping every summer. Now the question he asked is what part of speech is camping?
You want to hazard a guess? I am going to say, give me just a second. I'm trying to just, sorry. Cause it is hard.
It's good. And I hope all the listeners are having that same question. Like, okay, what part of speech has camping given my knowledge of grammar? How would I label that? If it were, you know, in a workbook or someone tried to make me do that? What, what would you do? My gut reaction is it's a nail down.
Because it is an activity that we are doing, but I'm trying to figure out how that fits with the burb. So this is a problem almost specific to English. There are other languages that this would not be a problem with, but he gave it to six experts and get this four different answers. So answer number one. And I don't know if there was a, he didn't say which got the more votes, but of six people, there were four answers. So two them must have been repeated, but one answer was kind of what you said, which is camping is a Gerund.
So it's, it's a verbal, but it's operating like a noun receiving the object of the verb go. So you, you, you got one of the answers. So feel Good about that. The second answer was “go camping” is a verb. So you can't separate the went and the camping because it's operating as a single verb. And that would probably be the way it was in a different language, like Latin, where you'd have, you know, you'd have a, a particular construction and it would be an ending rather than a separate word. So the third answer to me, this was a real stretch, but Hey, this is an expert who gave the answer. Camping is operating as an adverb because it tells how or where or when you went.
That opened a big big can of worms for me, because if you start calling things like that, an adverb, then you've almost redefined a part of speech for most of us. I wouldn't vote for that one, but my favorite answer was the expert who said camping isn't anything. Well, wait a minute, That violates every principle you're supposed to be able to lay well, everything. So I always point that out to people and say, you do have to relax a little bit because grammar is an art, not a science. There are lots of different ways to get to the end and it's changing. But that doesn't mean that we don't want to attend to the particulars of how we use language here and now, and for what purpose.
So kind of a humorous problem. But I do find that that also gives the mom this little sigh of relief, like, okay. So I don't have to know every single right. Answer to everything in order to teach this.
Yeah. And that, and that's very much the case. So many times that, that you really, really don't. So that's a great example and it really is true. I've had these conversations with friends before where we were trying to figure out, you know, what part of speech specific words were in the sentence and they're usually you could make an argument for more than one answer. And so I do think for moms, just take this deep breath and step back and it's okay. Because, you know, it's all about the conversation that you're having about words and language at that point. And just the fact that you're having the conversation is sometimes more important than getting some of these little nitpicky things. Exactly. Right. You know, so I love that.
Okay. So how can we do some of this in our homes? You've already given us some great examples with inherent grammar, which I think is probably the best way to bring grammar into Morning Time reading aloud to that group of kids, reading a little bit above their level, having conversations about what you're reading and the words and the different figurative language and things like that, that you're seeing in there. What are some of your other favorite resources for grammar education in the homeschool?
Well, I, of course like our structure and style writing programs, because I, you know, I've actually had adults, I've even had teachers, you know, professional people who are teaching come to our seminar, learn our program of Structure and Style practice with all the dress-ups and openers and decorations. And then say to me, you know, sometime after that, wow, I feel like I've learned more grammar in this course than I knew before. So there is that tremendous value of just practicing it, practicing it, practicing it.
And then, you know, I encourage everyone to do a foreign language for sure. The questions then are when to start and which language to teach. And again, you know, you can kind of get into conversational foreign language with young children. And there are a lot of curriculums and programs available to promote that idea. And we know that the younger a child is the more readily their absorbent mind will catch on to the pronunciation or the combinations of words and gain fluency, given the right conditions and opportunities more easily because they're younger.
However, when it gets to the more formal study of the language where you want to be able to read and understand, and also write to some degree in that foreign language, you know, usually that's somewhere around, you know, kids being 10 years old, like, like you said, you know, getting into that abstract math phase, 10, 11. One school I know starts their formal Latin instruction in grade, but you know, there's no reason you'd have to start that young. It would be great to start, you know, somewhere around the middle school. And in terms of the best language, probably it's Latin, but a lot of people say, well, Latin's a dead language. You don't even use it.
So why would you waste your time learning that there's a huge argument that can be made as to why Latin is actually the most useful foreign language to study. If you are an English speaking student and that's almost the topic for a whole nother hour's worth of podcasts. But, you know, the short answer is Latin is extremely well-organized. So it's convenient for learning grammar and you learn more grammar faster by learning how to conjugate verbs and decline nouns and memorize the lists of prepositions and understand how, you know, gerunds work and all that stuff. That's going to happen after a few years of studying Latin and it'll make a whole lot more sense. As I said, you know, the college, you know, the adult who said, I didn't get it till I went to college and studied German because then you have to know that stuff. So I would strongly encourage people to consider Latin as a foreign language to adopt in their homeschool, probably starting, you know, grade four or five plus or minus a little bit. But, you know, even if you've got teenagers, it's not too late, it is better to have studied a couple of years of Latin when you're older than two, haven't done none of it at all. And then if indeed, you do want to study Spanish because you live in a place where there's a lot of Spanish speaking people or French, or honestly, even Japanese, I lived in Japan three years and I will tell you that studying Latin in high school gave me a quicker access to learning Japanese because I understood more about the structure of languages, right? And then you can get into, you know, the fact that over 60% of English words of three syllables or more are derived from the Latin.
You get into the idea that if you go into any kind of thing, like law or medicine, the vocabulary, any science, the vocabulary is all derived from Latin. There's just so many advantages. And I'm by no means the best person to talk about it. I can speak from experience, but not from academic mastery.
It's funny. We had Martin Cothran on the podcast earlier this year, and we were talking about being a logical thinker and critical thinking and things like that. And his answer for that was, oh, you need to study Latin. And so we just keep coming back to this idea, this kind of the versatility of this language and, and all of the things that you gain from a study of Latin, it just keeps coming up again.
And again and again. So yeah, I wouldn't want any new homeschool mom out there to be, you know, frightened by the idea that, oh, no, if I don't someday teach Latin to my kids, I'm failing them. Or I guess I can't be, you know, I can't be a, a good homeschooler if I don't do this. That's, that's ridiculous. I mean, there's 101 ways to homeschool and more, there's a thousand ways to homeschool and it's kind of like a smorgasbord there's, you know, there's main dishes and there's, you know, side dishes and their salads and there's desserts in it. You don't have to do it all to have a really great meal. And so you'll choose and maybe say, well, no, I'm more comfortable learning French or I'm more comfortable learning Spanish. That's okay.
But I do believe that one of the best ways for a student to understand his or her own language, which for us would be English, is the study of any other foreign language. Even if it isn't connected with English, even if it's Chinese or Arabic or whatever.
Yeah. Yeah. I agree too. And yeah, the Barnhill family, we don't, there are some kids who are not studying Latin, so yeah. Homeschool in a way that works for your family. So well, Andrew, wow. This was a fascinating conversation. It always is. I always start with this big, long list of questions and then add you just take me to places that I hadn't planned on going. And it was all that much more fascinating because of it. So thank you so much for coming on and chatting with us today about grammar and, and how we can do it in our homeschools.
Well, thank you so much. It is always a joy to talk to you. Whether informally as we meet here and there, or making a recording like this, and you're doing such a great workout, they're encouraging so many moms. And hopefully that will continue to grow as the parents that are finding out about the, the potential and the potential joys of homeschooling grow in the ranks.
Well, thank you. And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books or resources that Andrew spoke about today, or a link to check out the wonderful materials on the IEW website, you can find them in the show notes for this episode of the podcast. That's at Pambarnhill.com/ymb99. And, oh my goodness. Did you hear that 99? That means our next episode is our hundred, Your Morning Basket podcast episode. And we are so excited about this one. Dawn Garrett, and I will be back in a couple of weeks and we will be counting back and talking about our favorite episodes of the podcast and some of your favorites based on download numbers as well. So you're going to want to join us for kind of a look back through the years as we take a peek at all the different Morning Time topics that we've talked about until then keep seeking truth, goodness, and beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Grammar in Morning Time

  • Grammar is essential to being able to understand and communicate complex ideas.
  • Andrew discusses the three divisions of the study of grammar: inherent grammar, applied grammar, and analytical grammar.
  • The most fundamental and important way to teach grammar is simple. Read good books with your kids that are above their reading level, and then talk about new words they may not know, explain idioms and figures of speech, or discuss illusions that may be present in the text.
  • Being able to use words to convey what you mean, as is done in written composition, is applied grammar. Analytical grammar is the skill and ability to recognize the different parts of speech and how they can be used in a sentence.
  • Studying a foreign language, particularly Latin, is an important and useful tool for better understanding grammar.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:06] meet Andrew Pudewa
  • [4:00] growth in the homeschool community
  • [11:00] the importance of grammar
  • [18:24] how grammar help us understand “the thing” itself
  • [26:35] three divisions of the study of grammar
  • [47:48] why studying Latin will help with teaching grammar

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Thanks for your reviews

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

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

  • Morning time will change your life
    by RachBoz from United States

    I’ve listened to YMB and Pam off and on for years, and she literally changed my life 7 years ago when I was just starting to homeschool. I’m so thankful for her ministry and encouragement to homeschool moms of all ages! I highly recommend doing morning time!

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

    This podcast is amazing and has helped me so much as recovering perfectionist homeschooling mama! Pam gives so much great insight into so many aspects of life and focusing on homeschooling.

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

    This podcast has been so great. It’s so practical and encouraging without being overly preachy or narrow. It gives ideas in a take-what-fits kind of way. I have used many of the recommended resources and ideas mentioned and been inspired by many others. Even the episodes that I found less relevant to me specifically, often had tidbits that I could use. Pam’s podcasts, books, and resources have been a godsend to me in my beginning years of homeschooling, helping me discover my own way to teach my kids in a way that prioritizes what is most important to us.

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, My children are almost 11 and 13 and I never sent this review in! I found it sitting here. This is testimony that I am still so blessed by this podcast years later. So here it is: I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

    Love your content and the guests you have visiting the show! I am a huge believer in using the morning hours well. Thank you for your direction and products!

  • Enjoy the podcast & some thoughts…
    by rufocused from United States

    I enjoy listening to tips on starting and using morning time as I am just starting it this year. We have kind of done it in the past, but when you only have one child you tend to just call it bible, story time, etc… but now that my second one is old enough to join we’re going to have more of a true morning time. I did notice Pam mentioned CNN ten in one episode. CNN can be pretty liberal biased in the main news, I’m not sure if they curb that in the “CNN ten”, but thought I would mention the Daily Wire, which is from a conservative viewpoint (and often covers indoctrination in public schools) and could be fun to compare and contrast with CNN. Our family also recently discovered Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family which has a very Christian perspective, which has been refreshing as news can be so depressing sometimes! Just thought I’d throw that out there… but really do appreciate the perspectives and insights of these women who have been doing this for awhile!

  • Very helpful and pleasant to listen to.
    by Heather homeschooler from United States

    I have listened to many episodes of this podcast and have highly recommended it to others. It has been a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. Pam has a great voice and presence and I love that she does not interrupt or talk over her guests. Thank you for your hard work!

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

    Pam always has great great guests who bring great insights and encouragement! I so appreciate her down to earth style and ability to ask great questions! Keep up the great work!!

  • A wildly encouraging and equipping podcast for homeschool families.
    by Eryn Lynum from United States

    As a homeshool mama of four (Ages 2-9), Pam's podcast has been an increidble encouragement to me. Not only that, but I have discovered so many helpful resources for focusing on what is lovely and true during our homeschool days. I love that it is not overwhelming in nature, but instead a gentle help for moving forward one day at a time in our homeschooling adventure.

  • Best podcast for homeschooling/variety of topics
    by Bethetal from United States

    I love this podcast for so many reasons. (1) Pam is friendly, funny, humble and kind (2) She covers a multitude of topics (one at a time)- I have learned about nature notebooks, classical music study, narration, living books, Shakespeare and so much more. Whenever I have a question about a new (to me)HS term or practice, I come here to listen to Pam interview someone about it. Her interviewees have all been all-in on their respective areas of interest/expertise and I love the way she interviews/asks questions to really let the guests shine as they speak. I have changed the structure of my homeschool, found books for my kids and me, purchased materials, and found inspiration due to this podcast and I can’t recommend it enough! This podcast has shaped my homeschool in so many positive ways, most of which I probably can’t even articulate yet, as the changes have been done inside of me. Thanks, Pam!

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

    I love the variety of things that are talked about on this show for homeschooling - things that I would never even think about including or doing - with easy ways to do them. Very much recommend this podcast

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

    I am listening to the past episodes and loving it. This podcast has helped me develop my own homeschool. So many ideas!! I love morning time so much, we do a nightly family time so my husband and public school attending son. We do all the things instead of watching tv, playing ps4, and YouTube. My kids hang around me every evening asking if we are doing family time. I can tell they love it but don’t want to admit it.

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

    I am so excited Pam is back to her morning time focus for 2020. Our homeschool has been shaped by the rich ideas and practical wisdom shared here.

  • Yay! Morning time is back!
    by Homeschooler in Germany from United States

    I was so happy and excited to learn that Pam is shifting her focus back to Morning Time for 2020! I’ve missed the morning time exclusive podcast and can’t wait to hear her back in my earbuds.

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

    I absolutely LOVE this podcast and was so disappointed when I realized you were not actively producing it! I’m NOW relieved to know there is a whole year of episodes ahead! I’m beginning my homeschool journey with 4 little ones very close in age and my style falls somewhere in the Classical and Charlotte Mason. I found your podcast by chance via Instagram recommendation as I was doing research on “morning menus.” Your content is beautifully philosophical but at a level most parents will be able to grasp and appreciate. Filled with truth, beauty, and goodness! Your episodes fill me up and leave me feeling inspired personally and in regards to my children’s education. Everything is so good! Please don’t stop producing ever again! I’ll be grateful forever!

  • So glad Your Morning is back!!!
    by alissajohn2020 from United States

    So glad to have the morning basket podcast back! Thank you for bringing it back!!

  • So good I ran out of gas.
    by JoanieHummel from United States

    This podcast is awesome! It was recommended to me a few years ago by a very wise and experienced homeschool mom but I didn’t start listening until I saw it come up a few more times on Facebook, recommended in various groups (in particular, episode number 41). I wish I had picked it up years ago! So much great information, I’m learning so much! Be careful though, I was so interested listening to this podcast that I didn’t notice how low my gas tank was getting! I ran out of gas and as I write this review I’m stranded on the side of the road waiting for a friend to come rescue me! Happy listening!

  • Knowledge Goldmine
    by A.J. Edwards from United States

    I’ve just been eating up every episode of this brilliant podcast over the past few months. The guests are stellar and Pam’s interview style is wonderful. She gets each guest to the meat and potatoes of their topic but it’s anything but a plain meal. This is a feast for the homeschool mom’s mind. I know I’ll be revisiting many of my favorite episodes again and again. Feeling so inspired by each guest!

  • Myths and fairytale truths for homeschoolers
    by Allierhn from United States

    Mind blown! I’m listening to the myth podcast and it’s absolutely perfect. It is answering so many questions I’ve struggled with my whole life. It helps me to view our curriculum and informs my teaching so much more.

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

    I can’t speak highly enough about this podcast. It has been a huge inspiration and a practical help to my homeschool! Thank you so much Pam Barnhill and everyone else who contributes to this. It has been an amazing blessing to me and my children… And possibly generations to come!

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

    Not only am I inspired by each episode of this podcast but I have actually put so many of the ideas into practice in our own morning time. Such a huge help as I seek to inspire my non-stop boys to truth, goodness and beauty. We are now memorising poetry as they jump on the trampoline and they love Shakespeare. That's a parenting win in my book!

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

    Thank you, Pam! I’m now bursting with inspiration and can’t wait to start our 2019 school year with a strong morning time routine.

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

    My heart is enriched and I can’t wait to learn more.

  • Just what I was looking for!
    by Joey5176 from United States

    I was looking for morning basket ideas—simple ones. These podcasts are giving me a picture of a good morning basket.

  • Wow!! What amazing nuggets of knowledge
    by HeRo84 from United States

    This is truly life changing information for me as a homeschool mother. Thank you Pam for this amazing series.

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

    I love all of Pam’s podcast but this one is prob my favorite. I love to listen to all her guest and see the different ways a morning time can be done

  • Excellent
    by W.A., R.A. Hall from United States

    Love this!

  • Love, love, love this show
    by SarahPMiller from United States

    And I'm not even a homeschooling mother! But I've created a Morning Time for my children nonetheless, and I wouldn't have been inspired to do it -- nor could I have done it -- without this podcast. It's my favorite, and I get something out of every single episode.

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

    This podcast has changed what I thought I could offer my children, my family and myself... I never would have believed that it would be possible to live a life as so many people actually do. Thank you for these tools and for what you do to help women, teachers, moms and all those on this path. You are amazing and I just can’t get enough, each episode teaches me so much!! Thank you again!

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

  • Insightful, Inspiring, Life-Giving Podcast
    by Mackenziechester from United States

    I love this podcast. It has turned cleaning my kitchen into a really valuable part of my day. There are great tips here for gathering your family together and finding ways to share the things you are passionate about but can never quite find the time to fit in to a typical school day. So many ideas, so many varied topics. Great, inspiring guests. Life-changing podcast. Thanks so much for sharing these ideas!

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

    This podcast is inspirational for your homeschool plans. Pam Barnhill has a delightful interviewing style and her guests share their insights and enthusiasm for their topics. Among my favourites are the episodes with Cindy Rollins, and Angelina Stanford. Don’t miss this encouraging podcast!

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

    Some great interviews and very helpful for figuring out the flow of our mornings.

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

    Just started this podcast. There are some very interesting ideas here on how to create quality time with your children, learning together and focusing on the things that are most important in life. Great hearing other moms' stories too.

  • WARNING: This podcast will revolutionize your homeschool!
    by JoysTeacher from United States

    Honestly, I started listening to this podcast because I had run out of other homeschool podcasts to listen. I really didn't think we needed a morning time! I homeschool one teen daughter and I thought the concept was too "baby" for us. WOW! I was completely wrong!! We needed a morning time, and it has changed the climate and the productivity of our homeschool. The habit was so important to us, we still do morning time when we are one break. (And neither of us is a "morning" person). Pam is an talented interviewer and will not waste your time (her time is precious, too)!

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

    I'm really enjoying the ideas and tips Pam bring up in this podcast!

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

    I have started a morning basket just because of listening to this podcast. Pam sold me on the beauty of having a morning basket. I love all of the ideas I've gleaned from listening and I've implemented many of the ideas I have heard about through this podcast. It's really helped simplify some things in our homeschool day!

  • Easy to listen too, incredibly practical
    by HarrisFamily0323 from United States

    I really enjoy Your Morning Basket. Pam is a great host and I have taken away many practical ideas and had many unrealistic expectations corrected. I don't listen to all the episodes, but the ones I've thought were pertinent to my needs and have been able to apply something helpful to our homeschool. Thanks Pam!

  • So helpful for this new homeschooling mom
    by klund08 from United States

    I'm planning our first homeschool year and have really enjoyed this podcast! The interviews are great and I enjoy hearing from different homeschooling moms and how things work in their family. I'm excited to start Morning Time with my kids!

  • You've made my school year!
    by Lizzie O' from United States

    Pam, I wrote you an email when I first felt it placed on my heart to homeschool my now 6 & 8 year old children and you responded with a warm response. I then began to listen to every podcast you have (all 3!) and I have been so very inspired and encouraged in so many ways that it would take up too much time here to explain it all. This Morning Basket podcast is really a light for me and my children as not only are they the recipients of our mornings of gathering but so am I. I have learned so much from your guests (and you!) and have been able to take tips/ideas to add to what my own mornings look like. We truly have experienced Truth, Goodness and Beauty. God certainly has chosen you for this type of work and serving to others. Thank you for what you do!

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

  • Truth, goodness, and beauty
    by I'm Sonny from United States

    Need I say more? I am deeply grateful for this profound and practical resource as we seek to surround our children in the truth, in goodness, and in things beautiful. I leave feeling encouraged, refreshed, determined and equipped.

  • Very encouraging
    by .....hk..... from United States

    So helpful with recommendations for new things to do in morning time.

  • A wonderful podcast full of useful tips!
    by Klarnold79 from United States

    I have listened to almost every episode over the last few months on my morning runs and they have made me look forward to running! I have learned so much and have been inspired to add truth, goodness and beauty to our homeschool days. Thank you so much!!

  • Wow! Talk about a solid series!
    by KastenbauerFamily from United States

    Each episode is fabulous alone, and when you've been listening for a while, they all continue to be full of new information!

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

    I enjoy the variety of topics covered as well as Pam's cheerful personality. Thank you for being a cup of cold water for so many homeschool mamas.

  • Great guests and host
    by My Life as a Rinnagade from United States

    I love the people Pam has on and all the great morning time tips! Thanks for a wonderful show :).

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

    The ideas, information and encouragment that Pam shares through the different guests and talking about the purpose and practice of Your Morning Basket has been a huge blessing to our family. Helped me to practically see how to bring truth, beauty, and goodness to our day.

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

    I have just started listening and am gaining so much knowledge and practical advice. I can't wait to keep listening to more.

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

    I absolutely love Your Morning Basket podcasts. Pam interviews excellent people & so far, I've incorporated information from each podcast & have purchased many items that the interviewee's suggest. I think all families could benefit from this even if they don't homeschool! Thank you so much!

  • Love Pam's podcasts
    by Flourishing Mama from United States

    There are many homeschool related podcasts that I enjoy, both for their content and the host. But I must say that Pam Barnhill's podcasts are top-notch for the following reasons: 1) the content is both relevant AND in-depth, 2) she NEVER interrupts the guest speakers with incessant (annoying) "uh huhs," "ummms," and such, 3) she provides multiple lists and links to supplemental materials that are really useful and interesting, and 4) she shares forms she's created even though she could make you pay for them. She has a gift for tapping in to the issues homeschool moms are REALLY dealing with. Thanks Pam. Keep up the good work!

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

    Every episode inspires me to start my day bringing my children the true the good and the beautiful through our family time.

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

    Every time I see that I have a new podcast from Pam Barnhill I know it's going to be good. Every one I have listened to (which is all of them!) have helped, inspired and encouraged me in some way or another. Pam is so good at summarising what her interviewee has just spoken about; a great knack which helps me distill the main ideas from all that good conversation. I really like that she always has links to whatever is discussed so that I can go back to it in the future and find what I need.

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

    Such a help for a new homeschooler. Highly recommend that you check it out if you'd like to learn more about starting your day with morning time.

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

    This podcast is filled with great information to help you take full advantage of morning time or all together time in your homeschool. It also has great tips for extending your child education whether they are in public or private school as well. We all want to aid our kids in thier success and no matter if you are a homeschool parent or a public/private school teacher this podcast will enlighten you and provide valuable information you to to better help your students.

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

    One of my favorite podcasts and I love and subscribe to all of Pam's podcasts. Thank you for the fabulous interviews.

  • Must-Listen for Homeschooling Moms
    by DaffodilSocks from United States

    This podcast has revolutionized how I homeschool my young children. A must-listen.

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

    Love Pam and all of her podcasts - can't wait for new episodes!

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

    Just found this podcast and have been listening to them over the summer break. Pam is a great host and has fun guests and together they bring a lot of inspiration to the concept of morning time in homeschool. Thanks for the great resource!!

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

    I would not be exaggerating if I said that I have learned so much from this practical, encouraging podcast that has changed our homeschool. Thank you Pam!

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

    This podcast does a great job finding guests who give a ton of practical help to make morning time enjoyable and educational for everyone. I always feel reenergized after listening to any of Pam Barnhill's podcasts.

  • by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

  • Such a wealth of information!
    by Jeaine6 from United States

    There is so much wonderful information to be found in these podcasts. I can go about my daily chores and fill my homeschool mom cup simultaneously! They allow me to look at areas of our hs that need improvement or just need new life and feel encouraged while I'm listening. Thank you!!

  • Encouraging & inspiring
    by God's Ranch Hand from United States

    So thankful for this podcast! I look forward to listening to each episode when it comes out.

  • Homeschool Professional Development!
    by Jo.W.17 from Canada

    As a new-ish homeschooling mama, I've found this podcast super encouraging and helpful. I would highly recommend it!

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

    I love the practical application that comes from this podcast! Thanks!

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

    This podcast has become my most favorite podcast on the subject of homeschooling. The topics discussed often go right to the heart of why I'm doing what I'm doing in our home--and God has really used the great advice shared in this show to help me be a more confident (and calmer!) teacher. Thank you, Pam, for creating such a great program! Already looking forward to next season.

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

    This podcast has absolutely changed my perspective on homeschooling, in a great way! All of the guests have been wonderful and I leave each episode feeling both sad that it is already over, and encouraged and excited to figure out how I can use what I’ve learned! It has a great flow to it, very light but meaningful, informative, encouraging….I could go on and on! Absolutely LOVE this podcast! Thanks to all involved!

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

  • Practical, helpful & concise tips
    by sproutnchic from United States

    This podcast continues to help. I appreciate the Pam Barnhill's professional, organized, yet warm interviewing style of some well-picked guests.

  • So refreshing and helpful
    by a. borealis from United States

    I've really appreciated the depth and breadth of Pam's look into Morning Time and also the practical ideas and tools to make it work. It is so inspiring! It helps me think through my own Circle Time, realizing what an opporunity I have. There are so many great ideas for additions and tweaking my approach. I am loving it.

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

    This podcast has been so helpful and packed full of practical ideas to use with my children!! Some of the episodes I have listened to more than once!!

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

    Pam makes this morning time concept so attainable! She gives great ideas but simple ways to begin. These tips and recommendations reach far beyond just morning time and are benefiting our entire homeschool and family life!

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

    This podcast is full of amazing ideas to grab my kids attention first thing in the morning. I love listening to Pam and her guests. Pam asks such great questions of her guests!

  • A Favorite for Homeschool Encouragement!
    by JamesDWitmer from United States

    I have been so encouraged by Pam's podcasts on Morning Time. She walks you through many of the wonderful activities that you can choose to include in your homeschooling, and also the details about how to do it! It has truly been a blessing. Thanks Pam!

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

    I just stumbled upon the "Your Morning Basket" podcast this weekend. I have already listened to 2 episodes, and they are wonderful - perfect for the homeschool mom. I am going to share this on my Periscope channel tomorrow. So great!! Jamie @OurLittleSchoolhouse.

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

    I love the idea of a morning basket, and this podcast has helped me learn a lot about the different ways it can look! I love all the different subjects she discusses within it!

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

    This podcast has been such a blessing to me! Informational and insightful, it opens a window into how other families incorporate morning time into their day, as well as what they fill it with. This has completely changed the rhythm and content of our days for the better. Our whole family has fallen in love with morning time! Thank you!!

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast! It has been so encouraging as I begin to implement Morning Time with my 5 girls. I have listened to them all & can't wait for more!

  • This podcast has changed our homeschool
    by Momof4athome from United States

    Pam has relieved some of the pressure to "get it all in". We now begin our day with the good true and beautiful in an almost effortless way and are all enjoying our time together before the "serious" subjects! Yay for the morning basket! Her guests are all lovely people you would want to have over for tea. I love this podcast.

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

    I am loving this podcast. I just stumbled across it after hearing the recommendation over at Read Aloud Revival. I have been wanting to start 'Morning Time' for a year now so this is giving me direction and so many wonderful and helpful tips and suggestions. I love Pam's enthusiasm and personality.

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

    I was lucky enough to find YMB and Pam’s other podcast, Homeschool Snapshots, when I started my first year of homeschool this year. These 2 podcasts have been SO helpful to me with getting ideas for morning time and the rest of our homeschool day. I am very grateful for the excellent work Pam has done on both of these podcasts, and I hope they continue for many more years!

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

    This podcast was inspiring and encouraging. It was a good blend of practical and theoretical and exactly what this tired homeschool mom needed to hear today to rejuvenate.

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

    Very well done! I really enjoyed listening! Very practical and informative.

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

    Pam lays out a feast of homeschooling topics that are relevant, helpful, and validating. The show is well organized and her interviews are clearly well thought out. In addition, Ms. Barnhill's relaxed and warm personality puts one at ease. It's like going to your favorite homeschool conference without leaving home!

  • I love this podcast, great content!
    by Sara V from United States

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

    I absolutely love this podcast. The show is well organized with great guests and helpful information.

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

    I'm so happy that I found your podcast, it has truly blessed our homeschool life!

  • Wonderful help in my homeschool
    by BT and Jessica from United States

    This is a great resource for all homeschoolers (and I would say any educator). I am challenged to make sure I am giving my children truth, beauty and virtue through the morning ritual of our morning time. I’ve learned of new books to share with my children, how to incorporate fine arts, good habits for our day… I could go on and on. Pam asks great questions and has wonderful guests.

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Excellent inspiration and tips for homeschoolers! I have learned so much from this podcast.

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

    I have gotten SO many practical tips from this podcast! A must listen for homeschoolers!

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

    Another home-run podcast! Pam has a knack for inspiring great things in your homeschool! And the wonderful thing is she doesn't leave you with the "lofty ideal," but offers practical tips, aids, etc. all while encouraging you the whole way. Each interview is professionally done and such a joy to listen to! Thanks, Pam, for putting your heart into this! 🙂

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

    Like having a cup of coffee with a friend. So helpful and informative.

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

    This was been a great podcast about Morning Time! How encouraging and informative to hear from other homeschool moms who are in the midst of it all!

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

    I have finally had opportunity to listen to this podcast and regret not doing it sooner!!! Very informative and encouraging.

  • Full of Goodness, Truth and Beauty
    by CJMance from United States

    This is such an inspiration to get the beautiful ritual of morning time established. Thank you Pam!

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

    I'm so excited about this podcast! My kids range from ages 4 - 11, and I've been needing to reduce my workload a bit. I'm using the fantastic things I'm learning here to combine all my kids together for read-alouds, Bible time, memorization, and some other fun things. Thanks so much, Pam! I love your other podcast as well!

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

    I am so glad I found this podcast. Morning Basket / Circle Time / Morning Time - lots of interviews with families who make this part of their day a treasure for years to come. Just getting started homeschooling, and this is going to help shape our days. Thanks Pam.

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

    Loving learning about how so many families are using Morning Time in their homes!

  • Wonderful ideas for creating your best morning time.
    by Flowerpetal2 from Australia

    The ideas presented here are wonderful, it's great to hear how different families put together their morning time and how we can all make this a rich but simple time of beauty in our schooling days.

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

    Pam Barnhill is a truly excellent host and producer of podcasts. They are a pleasure to listen to, full of applicable and inspirational content. Unlike other podcasts in this genre, which are produced at home, Pam's podcasts never make me cringe because of awkward pauses or bad sound quality. Another of Pam's strengths is her ability to reflectively listen and summarize what she's heard from her guests in a way that wraps up the different segments of her interviews. Well done, Pam!

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

    We’re just starting out with morning time and this podcast has been an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas. Keep up the good work!

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

    I’m always counting down the days until the next podcast…one of the best homeschooling podcasts out there!

  • Among the Best I’ve Heard
    by More Like Mary from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie so when I say that this is among the best, that’s really a compliment! Pam is an excellent interviewer. She re-states main ideas and summarizes information in a way that is helpful and not condescending. She asked poignant questions and stays on topic. Her guests are phenomenal and I’ve learned so much from each episode. So far, this podcast is “big picture” homeschooling talk with lots of tips for implementing lofty ideals into daily life. The perfect combination. I will be looking forward to many more of these!

  • Gave me the tools I needed!
    by Momofmany:) from United States

    This podcast is amazing. (I am spoiled now; the quality alone is superb!) I have listened to the four current episodes several times and now understand "morning time" in a way I never have before-- in particular, the schole part. I've longed for restful learning for ten years, and now I have tools to actually do it. Our whole family has benefitted so much. Thank you, Pam!!

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

    Pam Barnhill’s new podcast on Morning Time is a great help to those of us who are homeschooling. I’ve only listened to the first episode so far, but it’s wonderfully encouraging to hear Cindy Rollins’ talking through her own experiences with Morning Time. I’m looking forward to listening to more episodes with others who are focusing their schools on the important things - the true, good, and beautiful.

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

    I just started listening to the first podcast this morning and I am completely hooked on this podcast. I took the advice in the first podcast and just started with morning time. Instead of trying to “give birth to an adult” morning time I just started doing something and will add things in as this becomes a habit. Thanks for the wonderful tool!! I am now off to listen to episode 2!!

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

  • A Gift to the Homeschool Community
    by HGPII from United States

    This podcast is so well done, informative, and just what the homeschooling moms needs. It includes achievable, sound suggestions as well as an abundant dose of inspiration. I can’t wait to revamp my Morning Time and watch the results!

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

    I have enjoyed Your Morning Basket from its first episode! I am a second generation homeschooler and just started our own family's homeschooling journey. Thanks to YMB, I implemented our "circle time" starting our second week of school and it has been such a blessing to me already even its very simple form of prayer, Psalm, Mother Goose, and then read-aloud time with my kindergartner. My 2 and 4 year olds also love it and it encourages me to include things in our day that might get left out, like nursery rhymes and simple children's songs! Thanks to Pam and YMB I feel like I am starting out with a great centering tool and routine that can be expanded and adapted as we grow!

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

    Your Morning Basket Podcast is a great resource for to help implement morning time into your homeschool day. I have enjoyed every episode so far.

  • Thank you for wonderful bonus at the end!
    by Caj312 from United States

    I just discovered this show and listened to the first 4 episodes. All were inspiring and I loved the useful links at the end of the show that help me improve my homeschool days! Well done and I look forward to the next episode.

  • One of my VERY favorites
    by Dianna @ The Kennedy Adventure from United States

    I’m a bit of a podcast junkie, but YMB ranks among my very, very favorites. If you’re a homeschooling mother, or a mom who wants to connect with your children and show them truth, goodness and beauty, this is a must listen. Kudos, Pam, on a another amazing podcast series.

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

    I’ve been trying to figure out morning time on my own, but Pam with this podcast has figuratively sat down with me and explained how to get things going. I’m so glad to have this resource at the beginning of my family's homeschool journey! The Basket Bonuses have also been so helpful.

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

    Thank you Pam for a great podcast, I am really enjoying it. I always come away inspired and with ideas I can use!

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

    I have been listening to the Your Morning Basket podcasts recently and Pam's blog writings about creating morning time traditions with your children and I feel like it has made a huge positive difference in our homeschool. I love Pam's ideas for creating a restful learning environment and focusing on truth, goodness, and beauty as we begin our day together. I listen to these podcasts over and over and take notes!

  • Excellent for homeschooling veterans and newbies
    by ASnow512 from United States

    I'm very new to homeschooling and I'm still deciding if our family will pursue that path. This podcast has been such a wealth of information and a wonderful encouragement!

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

    I was immediately inspired to create a more cohesive structure to our homeschool mornings. This podcast is full of helpful suggestions to make morning time meaninful for every type of homeschooling family. I've already implemented many of the wonderful suggestions and I can already see the benefits! An absoulte must for the homeschooling family!

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

    What an amazing podcast! This podcast has wonderful suggestions for bringing joy to (or back to) your homeschool. Everything is doable and enjoyable for the children and parents alike. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

    This is our first year of homeschooling and I am really enjoying the concept of morning time. It is a sweet way to start our day together and this podcast has been amazing! Enjoyable, super practical, and filled with lots of creative ideas. Thanks for creating it.

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

    Pam's Your Morning Basket podcast is one not to be missed! She and her guests inspire and spur me on to do great things in our homeschool, but it's not just adding more to my to-do list. There are practical suggestions for how to make morning time a refreshing and vital part of our day.

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

    I have been homeschooling for a many years. I like that I can count on Pam to make to make it worth my while (and my short amount of time!) for a listen. As always, practical info I can start using right away.

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

    Love Pam's interviews. I learn much from each poscast!

  • A Joy to Listen to!
    by Cude 🙂 from United States

    I am thoroughly enjoying this new podcast! I love to listen to people who encourage me on my homeschooling journey and I have added Your Morning Basket to my list.

  • JUST what I needed!!!
    by Foodie in Training from United States

    This is our first year homeschooling (Kinder) and this podcast has been INCREDIBLY helpful and a GREAT source of information!!! I cannot wait for more to come!

  • Practical - worth a listen!
    by Bloggerific! from United States

    As a homeschooling mom of 6, my free time is limited. But I always come away with some practical, useful tips from Pam Barnhill. I love to listen if I’m alone in the car (rare these days!).

  • Well done [FIRST NAME]
    by MattMcWilliams from United States

    WOW… Your Morning Basket Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Pam. Keep bringing it.

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

    What a great podcast. At first I was dubious whether you could have an entire podcast series about homeschooling using morning time, but now that I have listened to two of them, I see where Pam is going with this. It is affirming for me in what I am trying to do in our homeschool, and at the same time inspires me in ways to improve and refine our time together as a homeschooling family. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to simplify their homeschool efforts while simultaneously enriching their family's experience!

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

    I absolutely love it. Ever since I read about morning time, I wanted to know more. This podcast clearly explains what to do and how to do it. Episode with Cindy Rollins was brilliant. It gives you the overall idea of morning time practice, as she is doing it for 27 years. Andrew Pudewa in second episodes shared some insights about memorisation, which really makes so much sense. Pam asks clear questions and then repeats the main points in answer, which is very helpful, especially for new homeschooling mums. Overall this programme has everything one can ask for to get inspired and motivated. Thanks very much for putting so much effort. Well done.

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

    I have really appreciated everything Pam Barnhill puts out. I have been introduced to so many great homeschoolers and their resources through The Homeschool Snapshots podcast, and I love that she is digging deeper into a great homeschooling practice on her new show, Morning Basket. It is definitely on my Must Listen list each week!

  • Bring the best you to your homeschool
    by mystiewinckler from United States

    Our Morning Time is the best part of our homeschool, and Pam’s podcast helps us learn how to make it even better and encourages us to pursue the true, good, and beautiful still more. So helpful!

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

    I've only recently found out about Morning Baskets, after 14 years of homeschooling. What a find! And now to have these podcasts to help guide me along on my new journey! I've been sharing this like crazy, and my morning routine is fabulous now! Thank You!

  • Education to Educate
    by Isaac in St Louis from United States

    I have gained so much from these first two early podcasts. I am grateful to you, Pam. Thank you for offering this as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty and privilege to give our children an education. Please continue. I see such great things coming from this. I rank this up their with Circe’s offerings.

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

    When you're on the homeschool "circuit" it's easy to become one of Andrew Pudewa's groupies. So the excitement level for Pam's newest podcast doubled when I opened it on my iPhone and saw Andrew's name. I was remiss in not reviewing her first segment. Pam is a wonderful interviewer and has the ability to make conversation with her guests based on their answers and move seamlessly to her following questions. That is not easy to do. Highly recommend this to parents who Homeschool. Encouraging, motivating, and validating.

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

    So inspiring! This podcast is what I needed to get our homeschool off to a great start this year. I will not miss an episode.

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

    I've always thought memory work was so important in my 8 years as a teacher in a high school setting. I often required memorization and was criticized for this requirement. I recently decided to homeschool my children and this podcast was so affirming to me. I am glad to be able to follow my instincts as a teacher and give my kids what they deserve! Thank you for this wonderful podcast that inspired me to make memory work an important part of my homeschool.

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

    I knew I would enjoy this podcast but I didn't know that I would LOVE it! As our family has moved more and more towards a simplified homeschool method, this podcast is just the thing to reaffirm our choices and continuously inspire us with new ideas. I can't wait for each new episode!

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

    This is just the kind of podcast I need to breathe life into my homeschool year. I’m so grateful for this new show, and Pam is a talented host. I won’t miss an episode!

  • Delightful...a Must Listen
    by 1coltsfamily from United States

    While I have heard Cindy Rollins speak about morning time before, I was pleasantly surprised to glean many new nuggets of wisdom that I can incorporate right away into our morning time. I always enjoy listening to Pam and find her questions spot on! The podcast is a wonderful balance of inspiration and practical tips. Can't wait for the next one!

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

    So lovely and inspiring! Looking forward to more...

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

    A great resource for homeschool moms and so well put-together. Full of useful information, not fluff. Pam has a wonderful conversation style that keeps the show moving at a steady pace. I wish I didn't have to wait so long for the next one!