YMB #1 What is Morning Time? A Conversation with Cindy Rollins

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.

Pam:

This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring Truth, Goodness, and Beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone and welcome to episode 1 of the podcast. My name is Pam Barnhill and I am your host. I am the homeschooling mom of three children ages 10, 8, and 5. A few years ago I stumbled onto the practice of Morning Time on the blog of Cindy Rollins, and we started implementing this practice into our homeschool; slowly at first, gradually adding more, and it has been such a blessing to us in our family.

Little did Cindy know 27 years ago when she started practicing memory verses with her little four year old (AWANA Cub) that she would spark a whole generation of homeschooling women to start practicing Morning Time in their families. And so today, I am absolutely delighted to have Cindy on the podcast as our very first guest.

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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.

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

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Thanks for your reviews

  • 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.

  • <3!!!
    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! <3 THANK YOU!!!!

  • 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!

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  • Amy says:

    Is the podcast available on Stitcher? I can’t find it there.

  • Anna says:

    Lovely inspiration, Pam and Cindy! Thank you!

  • Kristin says:

    Thanks so much for starting this aspect of your website, offering the new guide/resources, and talking to Cindy first.

    This was a good reminder that I need to keep things simple.

    I continue to cram way too much into my “cultural banquet” and I need to pare it down, being faithful in the simple things, having confidence that it will all add up over time.

    Little drops of water, little grains of sand. . .

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Yes simple is better — especially just starting out, but also after the habit is established. If it gets difficult it is usually because I have tried to cram too much in there! Thanks for your kind words.

  • Heather says:

    This was excellent!!! Morning time is so dear to our hearts & I always love hearing Cindy! You should link to her blogs series on morning time- it’s amazing! 🙂

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Good idea Heather. It didn’t make it in the show notes because we didn’t specifically talk about it in the podcast, but I added it up there now. It has been invaluable to me.

  • Kristin says:

    Pam, when I try to put the Morning Guide – the Big Basket – in my cart, I get a red minus sign and a red X on the cart – and it won’t link up to PayPal. Is this a problem on my end, or is the guide unavailable? I’m sorry to ask this in the comments section here, but my e-mails to you are undeliverable, too. CRAZY.

    THANKS!

  • Alli says:

    I’m excited about this resource but can’t really process what is being said without seeing it! Is there a transcript available to read, or plans for one? Thanks!
    Alli 🙂

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      No plans for one at this time Alli. Transcription service is fairly cost prohibitive unfortunately, and it is not a skill I possess myself. I run about 30 WPM.

  • Kelly Vega says:

    This was SO inspiring and informative! Thank you!

  • Tamara says:

    Thank you! I loved this podcast, and I am already looking forward to the next. There were so many great take home points in this.

  • Faith says:

    Love those Southern accents! 🙂 Thank you, Pam and Cindy, for this podcast. Pam, your free resources are sooo helpful. You will be in my daily prayers!

  • Karen says:

    I am enjoying the podcast…..is there any way to subscribe thru Simple Podcatcher?
    I have been unable to manually add it to my subscribed podcasts in SimplePodcatcher.

    Thanks so much!

  • Erika says:

    Love this podcast! My morning time is a continual work in progress and I love the ideas, inspiration and encouragement. Thanks again.

  • Andrea says:

    Hi Pam,

    I listened to this over again to answer my doubts about whether or not we are practicing Morning Time “properly” in our homeschool. Cindy’s laid-back attitude was a confidence booster.

    I am not a morning person and morning is not the most peaceful time of the day in our house so we break up the MT practice into our three homeschooling sessions in the day- Table Time, Calendar Class, and Family Formation Time.

    My doubts were about breaking up Morning Time practices into these three sessions rather than doing it all at once. After listening to this I think what we’re doing is just fine, but the ritual we have in the evenings with hymns, prayers, and stories probably most closely resembles Morning Time practices. In the afternoon Calendar Class we incorporate some of the other practices, like art study and music appreciation.

    I’m always looking for the “perfect formula” but have to reconcile myself to the fact that it is going to look different in every family, and may look different every single day! Any tips for consistency to help me feel more organized?

    Maybe I’ll take Cindy’s advice and just start with a routine of a song, a devotional, and a poem after breakfast…

  • LeAnn Taylor says:

    Does Cindy Rollins have a book I’m overlooking? I keep hearing/reading references to her information, but is it just her blog people are reading? I can’t seem to find a book she has written in my searches. Thanks!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Not yet (and that’s all I can say about that). Right now the only thing out is the Morning Time Moms site we link to.

  • Anna says:

    Hi Pam,
    Thank you for your lovely podcasts, which I enjoy.
    In the questions for Chapter 3 on the attachment for this podcast, the first question is:
    Does Macaulay’s writings on in this chapter convict you to make any changes in the way you
    “do discipline” in your home?
    I think there is a word or two missing? Just wondering. We used the questions last month for a few of us to chat about the book, and will be using them again this month. Really glad you put them up.

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      I don’t think so. Has it changed the way you “do” or handle discipline in your home. That is what we were getting at.

  • Emily Swinger says:

    I just am hearing about “Morning Time” for the first time and listened to podcast #1 last night. We already have some of these pieces/components in place but am wanting to incorporate a bit more. I’m looking for good “memory work” for a the early elementary years. Is there a book you would suggest to use as a resource, filled with examples, or a link, where someone has already collected a list to work from? Thank you!

  • Sal says:

    Oh my goodness. Thank you. I’ve been homeschooling for 7 years now and we have a foundation to work on to make morning time work for us the ways you are suggesting. I really appreciate your comments on wide age ranges too, my children are 3 to 14 (6 children) and I’m trying to restructure our homeschool learning.

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