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Welcome to the very first episode of Your Morning Basket: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty for Your Homeschool Day! Have you heard about the practice of Homeschool Morning Time but just had a problem wrapping your brain around what the practice is? Do you DO Morning Time but wonder where the idea got started? Or are you a person like I am who could just listen to Cindy Rollins share her wisdom all day long?

If you are any of those people then you are going to love the first episode of Your Morning Basket. Cindy and I chat about how she started the practice of Morning Time in her home twenty-seven years ago, what the practice looked like on a day-to-day basis, and how it bore fruit in her children. I hope you enjoy!

Today’s Basket Bonus is a set of study questions for Susan Schaeffer Macauley’s book For the Children’s Sake. Cindy said this book was pivotal in forming her educational philosophy which birthed the practice of Morning Time.

We’re going to start the podcast off by having Cindy explain to us a little bit about what Morning Time looked like in her family, how she got started with the practice, and how it grew and really bore fruit in her family over all of those many, many years. In future episodes of the show, we’ll be speaking with experts and homeschooling moms alike, a little bit more about the different practices that take place in Morning Time, and ways that you can bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool family. We hope to dig deep into some of the philosophy behind the practices of Morning Time and also to help unpack those practices and make them very doable come Monday morning. As we go along you’ll be able to keep up with us by subscribing to Your Morning Basket on iTunes or by visiting YourMorningBasket.com, and finding the Show Notes for each episode on that site. For today, I hope you’ll enjoy with me Cindy’s story and the story of how Morning Time began.
Cindy Rollins has been equipping homeschool families to do Morning Time for years through blog posts, interviews, and conference presentations. She is mom to nine children, eight boys and one girl who have mostly finished their homeschool journeys. She still has a couple more left to go. So, she knows what it’s like to be in the trenches, and she also knows what it is like to look back and reflect on the learning she and her children have done together. Cindy has a heart for helping and encouraging families to seek Truth, Beauty, and Goodness together. Welcome, Cindy.

Cindy: Thank you very much.

Pam: I’m just so glad to have you here with me today.

Cindy: I’m glad to be here. It’s exciting to get to know you a little bit and to talk about Morning Time.

Pam: I think it’s going to be fun. Well, could you start out by telling me, in your own words, what exactly would you describe Morning Time as – maybe to a new homeschool mom who’s just hearing of it for the very first time?

Cindy: It’s kind of funny because there’s nothing profound about Morning Time. It’s very much a simple idea that just blossomed in my home, but what I would say it is, it’s a time and a place to get together as a family and to do some things in the morning. In a way, it’s like a mini-church service in the morning with your family, but with school, and Christian things mixed in together- poetry, reading; it’s just a place to put in an organized fashion the things that you want to have in your home, especially the really human things, the things that do promote Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Pam: Tell us a little bit how you got started with it? Was it something you kind of fell into or did you make a conscious decision one day that you were going to start doing something new? What ideas influenced you to begin implementing Morning Time?

Cindy: I just have talked to David Kearne about this, but I had gone out and gotten the book For The Children’s Sake on a remainder table, which is a book about Susan Schaffer Macauley’s journey in finding Charlotte Mason’s school accidentally in England. When I read the book I was so drawn to everything she was saying about education. It was quite new to me, so I had that feeling in my heart, and then at the time I read that I had two little boys age two and a baby. My son was in AWANA at four and so we were doing Bible verses every day. And I had read somewhere it’s good to do your Bible verses in the morning and at night, so that you have two different kinds of brain things going on. So, I started getting up in the morning and saying, “Let’s do our Bible verse” and that time began us having morning devotions every morning. I’m a huge fan of nursery rhymes. I know every nursery rhyme. And I continue with my granddaughters and my grandsons with the nursery rhymes. So, we would act out nursery rhymes and then I started thinking about homeschooling and we were already doing this, in fact, we were reading aloud because of Susan Macauley’s book. I was already gleaning that for read alouds, and we were reading aloud some younger biographies. And my son was only four but we were even reading some of the signature biographies which are probably 4th, 5th, 6th grade level but he liked those, so it just quite naturally blossomed. Then one Sunday we went to church and I noticed all our pastors kids were singing the hymns without looking at the hymnals and I thought, ‘Wow, that would be nice for me because I’m always carrying a baby, the hymn book is hard to hold.’ The next day we added a hymn to our Morning Time. And then I started using a concept that I had learned in Bible college for memorizing Scripture. And reading through your book that you’re putting out, I think you would call it Loop Scheduling, but that was how I had memorized Bible verses in college, where you would say your verse everyday for two weeks and then it would go in a different pile, and then you’d say a new verse everyday and then you’d maybe say that verse every other day, and then you just keep moving things into different piles but once a month you’re always reviewing verses that you’ve learned in the past. So, I incorporated that into all our memory work for Morning Time, so all the poems we learned, all the hymns we learned, anything we memorized we assigned, we’d put it on a loop and so we’d always have a new poem, a new Bible verse, and then something to review. And that’s sort of how it got started.

Pam: What I’m hearing from you about the beginnings of Morning Time in your home are a couple of different things. First of all, you really started Morning Time before you “officially started homeschooling,” right?

Cindy: Absolutely. That’s exactly what happened.

Pam: That’s really fascinating to me, especially as someone who’s come at it from the other direction. That’s really interesting that the Morning Time pre-dates any kind of formal reading lesson or math lesson or anything else that you did in your home.

Cindy: Oh yes. Yes. It was well established by the time it was time to do math and reading. When my son was five then we started adding in math and reading and really, it was already the framework for our day at that point.

Pam: That’s really neat. As somebody who has come into it later and has that tension there between (that I constantly struggle with) what I know in my heart is the value of Morning Time and then all of these other things over here that throughout my own years of education I’ve been told are important, I’m very envious of that.

Cindy: It really was the Lord. I do say the Lord went before me in that and really set my feet on solid ground, because in those days there weren’t a lot of ideas about homeschooling. Now, you’re so overwhelmed with information but aback then you weren’t. You just got up and the morning and looked around for information, you certainly didn’t look on the internet, you had to get a catalog from someone and you had to even hear about them from someone, so it was a little bit different, but not as many distractions.

Pam: Right. And then it very much grew organically for you. You didn’t sit down one day with pen and paper in hand and say, “OK, I’m going to make a plan and I’m going to plan this out!” you just started doing one thing and then over time you added more as you came to the realization that this might be a good thing to put in your Morning Time?

Cindy: Oh yes. And then all kinds of things would come up and I’d say, “That’d be perfect for Morning Time” and then Morning Time did get very unwieldy because of that. At one point it was 2 – 2½ hours which was certain times in our family life that was perfect but then other times it got to where that was too long, but finally, I did decide to put pen to paper and organize it and it was funny because I didn’t think about that at first, and then over the years. I gradually added strategies to streamline it because at first every single morning it was “oh we’re reviewing this poem, what poem book was that in?” and I had a list of poems and I knew how we were going to review them but finally I printed (when the computer came out then) it was a really ancient time a long time, I printed out the poems and then I didn’t have to search for the poetry book anymore, but there’s a downside to that because you’ve got the poem book and say, “This is a good one, and this is a good one” and you serendipitously find something else.

Pam: I think we need to tell everyone exactly how old is your oldest because you talked about starting this process when he was four. How old is he now?

Cindy: He’s 31. Every 22 months after that I had another one.

Pam: OK, so this is like, if my math is correct, this is 27 years ago that you actually started?

Cindy: Yes. David Kearne, this morning, figured that out for me.

Pam: I’m glad David did the math for us!
Well, you mention that at times your Morning Time grew to 2 – 2½ hours in length. First of all, let’s talk a little bit about why in the world would you give over so much time of your school day? For me, as a mom who has a 10 year old as my oldest, that’s more than half of my school day right there. Given that, what was it that made you give over so much of your school day to this practice?

Cindy: Well, there was a lot of tension over it, because I was doing what I loved but then something new would come along and everybody would be doing it (Konos, Unit Studies, different programs came out and they all seemed so appealing. But I would have to stop Morning Time in order to do a lot of those programs, so I kept my home school very eclectic rather than buy some big box, which I wouldn’t have had time for. Now, I did do that a couple of times. I tried to do both and it really never worked. So I did keep doing other subjects but I never got in on a whole program that would have required a lot more time for each of the other subjects. So, we would wake up in the morning and the kids always started math right away, so no matter what happened that messed up Morning Time or Morning Time didn’t get messed up or we started late or we started on time, something was going on and getting accomplished. Everybody wasn’t just sitting there waiting for Morning Time, and then I kept running lists for all the kids. For me, we always did the same thing every day. Morning Time was the time for the things you might want to rotate but in their school work I tried to keep it so that each day did the same thing so their list was very simplified so there wasn’t any confusion for what was required of them, and there wasn’t a sense of “Am I doing science or am I doing art today? Or am I doing this or am I doing that?” I use Morning Time for drawing and all the little things I wanted and our regular school days were for their subjects; math and reading and grammar and eventually Latin or whatever other studies but I didn’t add a huge amount of that kind of work because years ago I ended up not teaching a lot of spelling because I found that kids are either spellers or they’re not and when they read a lot and write a lot that’s their spelling, especially if they’re writing a lot. So, I did give up some subjects along the way, and I did give up the idea of ‘let’s just do this fun curriculum that’s altogether’ because Morning Time was the priority for me.

Pam: Last year, one of the things I was trying to do, if you were to look at my school day there was a segment that was Morning Time and there was a segment that would be what I would call skill work (a child learning how to read or do math) and then there was this other segment that was supposed to be a complete science curriculum or a complete history curriculum or something like that on top of the work we were already doing in those subjects at co-op. There just wasn’t time for all of that during the day and so, fortunately, I feel like I made the right choice and that afternoon stuff was the stuff that got jettison that we didn’t end up doing for the year and we kept the Morning Time and the skill work, and I think as I go into this year that’s what I’m planning on doing. I think Morning Time is a rich enough feast that that plus the skill work for the children who are my kids age, it’s seeming to work for us.

Cindy: It is. If you have Morning Time and you have some skill work and the kids are reading, you have a very rounded curriculum. I never taught a formal science to my younger children. I always waited until 7th grade to add in science. But we did read a lot of scientific living books that were more interesting and nature was important to us; we used field guides to draw in our nature notebooks when we couldn’t get out and get things, which was most of the time. They would draw in their nature notebooks while I read aloud. So most of my older kids have quite a collection of nature notebooks from their childhood but that with science and that was all we did. I had to trust that that was enough. I looked at it like this: we have 24 hours in the day and of course, we don’t have 24 hours, let’s say we have 12, but if we’re learning while we’re awake then we’re doing the best we can and the categories aren’t always that important. Yes, we need to do some skill work, skills are important. The way the mind develops when it’s fed on ideas is very important, and that isn’t always something that tests out but I’ve found that when the kids go through to college they really do well because they have such a depth of knowledge to pull from.

Pam: Well, you mentioned when you were talking a few minutes ago that sometimes Morning Time would stretch to 2 – 2½ hours and you said there were seasons of your homeschool when that was OK. So let’s talk about different seasons of homeschools because I know that to layout a new practice in front of homeschooling moms there tends to be some stress involved for those moms. And so let’s talk about different seasons that homeschool moms might be in where Morning Time is not going to be 2½ hours long.

Cindy: That is a problem, because I always said this: for me Morning Time is a way to free us up, it’s not intended to add more burdens to someone. It adds burdens because we don’t trust the processes that we choose, and if you don’t trust it you probably shouldn’t do it. There are seasons in a mother’s life. When my kids were 10 and under and my toddlers were running around I learned to have Morning Time pretty easily, I found that easier for Morning Time than later on when I had busy schedules and work schedules and a lot of other things- more than one almost-adult in the family, people had to be at baseball practice, so now we just didn’t have the whole rest of the day to catch up on everything else, now we really did have to get done at a certain time because people were leaving and going out the door. That was a challenge for me, whereas the babies and the toddlers because what you said earlier about it being organic, we were just a family together doing stuff, and if you look at it like ‘well, we’re just sitting here for 2½ hours’ then no, no baby could do that. I always make critical of churches who say they’re family friendly but then they have the longest services where children are invited into the service and encouraged not to go to children’s church or nursery and yet sometimes those churches have very long services. So, Morning Time is not meant to be a service where everyone sits. There can be, and I think you said this in your materials, lots of coming and going. This person can read, and they can play with legos, and the baby nurses and then the baby is not nursing, and I have had toddlers wander off and do horrible things but there should be something organic about it, not artificial. For me, of course, it was organic so that was nice but if you’re trying to start and it isn’t an organic part of your day then you must, and you said this, just start small. Make it organic. We get up and read the Bible, a Bible verse every day and sing a song. Just do that. And then later you might say, “We’re here reading a Bible verse and singing a song, why don’t we read a poem? Why don’t we memorize this poem while we’re here?” and go about it in that way. I added my reading aloud time to the end of Morning Time so that’s one reason why it went on so long because I would read short snippets of three or four books following Charlotte Mason’s idea of short lessons. Books that were living books but they weren’t story books, and then we’d always have at the end of Morning Time our novel. Tom Sawyer, Swallows and Amazons, or the Wind in the Willows. Then we were reading those and it was very easy for Morning Time to go on and on and on at that point because everyone was enjoying the book.

Pam: I think one of the things I’m hearing you say that that worked for you, but if it didn’t work for a family to have that extended read aloud time at the end of a Morning Time it would certainly be OK to take that out and move it to a different part of the day.

Cindy: Absolutely! Honestly, this is what worked in my family. I tried moving things around and there was a period of time when I had two in AmblesideOnline that were in years 1 and 2 and I decided to put them together and so we would have Morning Time and they were quite young, then they’d have phonics and then we would do an AmblesideOnline time where we read aloud. Well, I had to cut Morning Time a little short because for them I was going to be reading aloud to them from the AmblesideOnline books later, so Morning Time was a little bit shorter for everybody else at that point. At that season, you might have an intense time, or when you’re teaching your child to read, that’s very intense, so you might have to cut off some things during those seasons. But if you keep a small piece of Morning Time: we get together, we sit down in the morning, we talk, we say the whole idea of ‘morning meeting’ so in the morning I’ll say, “It’s time for Morning Meeting” over the loud speaker and we’re like, ‘Oh, Morning Meeting’ but that’s just an organizational principle when you have a lot of people, so you have that, you add on whatever you want to add on and if you have dentist appointments or whatever, the day is going to be different every day. But the key is to get a little bit done every day, do a little bit each day and hopefully over time a little bit of poetry, a little bit of Bible will add up. And honestly, it’s much better to read a little bit of poetry than a lot of poetry, or even the Bible it’s better to sometimes read a little bit of the Bible than a lot of the Bible because you want what’s going to stick in the heart, you don’t want the kids to immediately tune out because ‘here we go, the Bible it’s going to take 30 minutes!’ so they know it’s short, they can be alert and attentive, whereas when we do too much of something, the kids really do tune out. That’s why the key to Morning Time is not to belabor anything but to just quietly move from thing to thing without taking too much time.

Pam: Well, I love that- not to belabor anything. I like that a lot. And then, just the whole idea of you have a lifetime, but you have a good 13-14 years where you’re sitting here with these children and giving them these little chunks every single day, and it is going to add up over time.

Cindy: It really will. It will add up, it definitely does. If you’re consistent enough, if you fall down pick yourself up. If you didn’t do Morning Time, it’s better to do a little bit than have a big grand plan and then not do it. That’s why I hate to see moms start with a full blown Morning Time because they can quickly feel overwhelmed before they see any benefit of it, and then they quit. So that’s not a good idea.

Pam: So, would you say that would be your number one suggestion for somebody who’s starting out, is to start small?

Cindy: Absolutely, absolutely. And not to feel overwhelmed. We can’t look at each other and can’t compare ourselves to how someone else is doing. The neat thing about Morning Time is that it can become a habit. We need to be faithful with our children. We have them, we need to be faithful to actually teach them. That’s the mantle we’ve taken on. So we do need to be disciplined but discipline and habit can be small things that build up.

Pam: OK, Cindy, one of the questions I get asked is by people who are trying to start the habit of Morning Time and their kids are not in that preschool set that you can lure in with the nursery rhymes and finger plays and things of that nature, maybe we’re talking about people with kids who are 11-13/14 years old, and moms can really see the fruit or the value of doing a Morning Time but they’re having a hard time convincing their kids. What kind of advice would you give to a mom in that position?

Cindy: OK, if it was an older kid, 14 and up, and they were not cooperating, there could be a lot of things going on. Sometimes, with an older child you just have to step back and say, “It’s OK. I don’t have the opportunity to do this with this child.” And not stress about it, and not worry about it. There’s a give-and-take with an older child. Number one, they have to give too because if it’s just that they’re stomping their feet and their attitude and you’re giving in, then that isn’t going to work, you’re not really going to be able to homeschool that child at all anyway. Or they may need some time, you may need to just make sure the material you pick out is compelling to them, they start to really want to do it because it’s interesting to them. For younger kids, I would just say give it some time to sink in. Some kids like to check off their list so they’re anxious during Morning Time because they want to check off, they want to be done with school. And since that’s not the point of Morning Time they need to learn that learning is not about checking off lists, there’s much more to it. And sometimes you can draw them into conversation in Morning Time. The older kids, try (don’t always be the one) talking, you can also be the one asking questions or you can listen to what they have to say. It is amazing the places the kids will have insights in the middle of Morning Time, in the middle of a poem, in the middle of a Bible verse, in the middle of all kinds of things, somebody will make a connection and want to share it, and that’s good. Some kids will hog all the time, and you have to protect the whole family from that because some of the other kids will be “oh no.” I don’t if you were in college, but there was always somebody like that in college and you’re like, ‘there he goes, the professor was going to let us go but this guy had to raise his hand,’ so I think the conversational part of it could be enhanced for older children, and I think even the 10-12 year old crowd if they think they’re participating, it’s just like in church, we’re participating. The whole liturgy is set up so the pastor isn’t up there doing everything. Church isn’t about a one-man show, it’s about us participating in worship, so make sure your children have a chance to participate in Morning Time whether it’s through reading some of the poems out loud themselves, or a rich discussion. It would be better to do less Morning Time and allow them to participate than to do more.

Pam: Let’s talk a little bit more about mom’s role in Morning Time. If you were describing to someone what the role of the mother was in Morning Time how would you describe that?

Cindy: I would say that the mother is the facilitator, she’s not really the teacher, and I love what you said in your book, she’s the fellow traveler in Morning Time. So she has to be very, very careful. Now I say this, not because I did this well, especially in the early years, I was a great preacher, and the kids would say you could’ve been a preacher. Oh, I would get off on some moral verse and go on and on about it and when I read Charlotte Mason when I was young and she warned against doing that I disregarded that and thought, ‘This is good, this me, this verse is so good, I’ll expand on it” and I could go on for 20 minutes about a Bible verse. And later it just came to me really not a way to open the kid’s hearts to the things of the Lord it was really a way of closing them off. You have to trust the Word of God and the materials that choose to do the job that you would like it to do. It doesn’t affect a small child, they’ll listen to you ramble, but later when they’re older, what they’ll do is turn their hearts off and you don’t want that to happen. So, it’s much better for the mom to be a part of Morning Time as a fellow learner. And sometimes you’re excited about something. It’s OK, you don’t have to never ever share because you are an excited learner and most homeschooling moms I know are excited to learn, they want to learn, so you can quickly overwhelm everyone with that if you’re not careful. So the mom does need to be a little bit careful that she lets the Bible speak for itself, let’s the connections be made for themselves and just trusts that over time that she’s laying a strong foundation.

Pam: You’ve obviously with all of your children had periods of time where you had a very wide range of ages in your Morning Time. If we have a mom who’s listening who maybe has seven or eight kids and the oldest is 14 or 15 years old all the way down to a nursing baby, and they’re wondering, ‘How do I find a way to meet the needs of all these children in Morning Time?’ What would you tell them?

Cindy: First of all, I would say what Charlotte Mason says. If you have a mind, your mind needs food, and ideas are the food of the mind. And this goes back to the principle that if we’re feeding our children real food for their minds their minds are going to feast on it. Now, obviously, people are at different levels but if I’m reading Shakespeare and my three year old is in the room, all the better, he’s going to get something out of that. And sometimes my kids would just take little lego men and act out. They could tell when the voices were changing they’d have the other guy do this and the other guy do that and it was real cute. It was a big deal for my little kids to always get the little men out because we’re going to read Shakespeare. So, their minds are even processing something at that point. When I finally got 14, 15, 16 year olds I had to rearrange Morning Time so that the heart of Morning Time wasn’t geared toward the big kids. Any of the read alouds would usually be something the 16 year old would like, but they could either come or go as they pleased. But I always did something like Plutarch or Shakespeare early. We would have our Bible reading, sing a song, and immediately go into Shakespeare or Plutarch and then I’d let the older kids go, and then I wouldn’t even work with memory work on them, they might have memory work assigned in their school work but I didn’t keep them there for a lot of the poems and even the review because they did have much more school work to accomplish each day, so I didn’t want them to be stressed because they were in Morning Time too long. So, there does come a time that you have to say goodbye to a child and let them out of Morning Time early. You don’t want them out completely because you want to pray with them and you want to have God’s Word spoken in your home, but as far as the older kids go you do have to, I would say 14 they can start leaving early. Some 14 year olds won’t need to but some will.

Pam: And this is going to depend on the work load that they’re doing for the rest of their school day?

Cindy: Right.

Pam: Then with the kids that you have left, I think I’m hearing you say is go for the ideas with the older kids and let the little ones take what they can from it.

Cindy: Absolutely. There’s a point where you let your older kids go but you’re always going to be going for the oldest kids in the room. You don’t want to dumb anything down for anybody. I think that respects the child and it respects the little children too so that they’re rising up to the material rather than everybody coming down to the material.
Obviously you’re going to read picture books to your little guys some other time but there’s nothing in Morning Time that a three year old can’t take away something from, even if it’s just that he heard a funny word and he’s going to say it all day. It’s not going to harm him in any way to have to spend that time coloring or doing whatever while you’re reading aloud, or talking about poetry, or sharing, or singing. The singing’s always great for everyone.

Pam: Now that you’re looking back on these years of Morning Time and you have children who are adults, can you give me some examples of how doing Morning Time has brought fruit into your kids’ lives as they’ve gotten older?

Cindy: The first time I really realized that it was something that was going to bear fruit, was when my oldest son went into the Navy for a while. He was in a really bad position because he wanted to be in Special Forces but he had to go into the regular Navy and it was a little shocking for him, and he was with people he didn’t understand, and it was confusing for him, and it was a dark place. You know, you’re in a ship and you’re out to sea, and you have this little burr, and he said he would go stand outside on the deck of the ship and say, “sunset and evening star and one clear call for me” the Tennyson poem about crossing the bar, and then when he was on his rock marches later when he did become a Seal but he ended up being a Green Beret and he said whenever he was trying to get through any tough training (and this is three of my kids that have done this- I have a son right now at boot camp and he’s older and he’s going in as a higher up) and he said, “I’ve used every memory thing I have in my mind, Mama, so thank you for all this stuff you put here because that’s how I get through hard things, I say these verse, I say every Bible verse I know, and every poem I can think of, and every song” his mind was filled with that. And then in college, my one son who was a little more utilitarian, he was quite a funny fellow, he said, “Oh Mama thank you so much for teaching us Shakespeare. I didn’t really like Shakespeare but man, does it help me get good grades in college, and impresses my professors so much when I say something about Shakespeare.” I’ve just seen it over and over again, they end up with truly a wide liberal arts base, which is a good base to have, it doesn’t harm them in any way, and it broadens their horizons. I especially like about it is that it takes a child who’s not a genius or not extraordinary that is just a normal child maybe even a slow child and it gives that child that liberal arts base that absolutely gives him an advantage when he goes to college or when he goes out, because he has something to draw out of his mind for any situation, and people turn to him and say, “How do you know this?” or “How do you know that?” and it allows that child not to be stigmatized by maybe a child in school who would be labeled because they struggle to learn, this child may have struggled to learn but instead he might have taken four years to learn to read but he still had a rich heritage and the things that were put in his mind.

Pam: In your Circe talk, one of my favorite parts of it I love, you said that you did Morning Time all those years for the time that they’re in prison staring at their toes.

Cindy: Yes, I said when the rats were eating their toes. Truly, that is the ultimate thing. And when you die, when you’re in the nursing home, when you’re old, they’re all things that are never going to leave you. You’re certainly not going to remember algebra but you will have God’s Word in your heart, and if you go to a nursing home and ever walk the aisles and talk to people, and you will be so surprised at the Scripture that they know and the songs that they can sing from when they were younger. They don’t even remember who they are sometimes, but they have these things in their mind that are food for them even as they’re elderly.

Pam: I think back about my education and so much I learned for the test and then forgot and it was lost forever, but just the idea of having all of these wonderful things that I know I am giving to my children that they can carry with them that I’m learning now that I can carry with me, just seems like such a great gift that was never given to me when I was young.

Cindy: No, and I think we all feel that. Our children don’t have that because they have this, I’m sure they have other things they get upset about, but we didn’t have that. I know, I remember graduating from high school and I read a lot so I would read and then I would say, “Well, I don’t know what they’re talking about” and that would bother me, and it would seem like I had not been taught things that I needed to know so I know when I started homeschooling the history was just so rich because I couldn’t even place George Washington on a timeline when I first started homeschooling. I knew he was the first president of our country but that was about it, I couldn’t have told you when or where or how. He was just the guy on the wall of the school.

Pam: Very true. Well, Cindy, thank you so much for coming today, and talking to us a little bit about Morning Time and what it’s done for your family in the past and I think that the conversation is definitely going to bless a number of other moms as they look forward to maybe implementing (starting small) and doing some of these practices in their own home.

Cindy: Well, thank you so much for asking me. It’s always fun to talk to another mom that’s homeschooling.
OK, this part of the show is going to be one of my absolutely favorite parts and I’m so excited to share it with you today. This part is called the Basket Bonus, and we hope to have one of these for every single episode. At the end of each episode we’re going to provide a little goodie for you, a little bonus to help you make a little bit more of what we talked about in the episode, and implement some of these practices into your homes and your homeschools. So, how can you find these each and every time? Well, you can listen to each episode and at the end of the episode I’m going to give you the web address for the Show Notes for that particular episode and you’ll always find the Show Notes at the address EDSnapshots.com/YMB and the number of the show that you were listening to. So, EDSnapshots is my blog, YMB stands for Your Morning Basket and then the number will stand for the episode number. So for this episode with Cindy where you would find the Show Notes is EDSnapshots.com/YMB1, and you’ll be able to go there and see all of the resources that Cindy and I talked about during the program and you’ll also be able to get links to where any of our guests happen to be on the web, and you’ll also be able to download the Basket Bonus there for each episode. So, for this week with Cindy, our Basket Bonus is a set of study guide questions for the book For the Children’s Sake. Now this is a book that Cindy said was pivotal for her own implementation of Morning Time and her own understanding of how education could be different from what she knew. It’s not a very long book, it’s six chapters long. It will definitely bless you as you take the time to read it. And so, we’ve got a set of study questions there that you can download and you can either use by yourself as you study through the book or you could use them with another small group of women as you study through the book together. So, to get your Basket Bonus for episode 1 of the Your Morning Basket podcast, go to EDSnapshots.com/YMB1.
And there you have it, episode 1 of the Your Morning Basket podcast is in the books. And I just want to thank Cindy Rollins again for coming on here and blessing us and speaking to our hearts about Morning Time and what it has done for her family for all of these years and hopefully inspired us to think about what it might do for our own families. I know it sure does bless mine. If you would like to leave a comment or a question for either myself or for Cindy, you can do that at the Show Notes at EDSnapshots.com/YMB1. And if you like the podcast I would love for you to head on over to iTunes and leave a rating or review over there. Ratings and reviews on iTunes help the podcast to be seen by more people who might be looking for this kind of thing. And we thank you very much for taking the time to head on over there and do that. And that’s it for the very first episode of Your Morning Basket. We look forward to seeing you back in a couple of weeks where we’ll chat more about Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your Morning Basket.

Links and Resources From Today’s Show

For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and SchoolFor the Children’s Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School


Key Ideas about Morning Time

  • Morning Time is the simple and worthwhile practice of setting aside time to pursue truth, beauty, and goodness together. Morning Time is flexible and can be adjusted to suit different seasons of family life. Morning Time invites the active participation of everyone involved, as children and parent learn and wonder together.
  • Each family’s Morning Time is unique in terms of specific practices and elements. But once we have chosen quality books and materials, we can trust the process. We may need to make adjustments over time, but we can rest assured that living books and quality works will allow our children to develop relationships with big ideas and important truths at their own pace in their own time.
  • Morning Time has the capacity to provide our children with a strong liberal arts foundation for wherever their futures may take them. All children, regardless  f their abilities, interests, or long-term goals, are eligible to carry a rich heritage with them of the words, stories, and ideas that they heard in Morning Time.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • 3:17 a definition of Morning Time
  • 4:15 how Cindy got started with Morning Time
  • 10:39 keeping the rest of your homeschool simple in order not to crowd out MorningTime
  • 16:31 different seasons of Morning Time
  • 18:14 starting small
  • 20:38 reading aloud small portions of worthy books; not reading too much
  • 22:56 getting started with older kids
  • 25:26 letting kids actively participate in Morning Time
  • 26:18 mom as facilitator
  • 28:31 accommodating a wide age range
  • 31:50 fruit of Morning Time