YMB #94 Math in Morning Time: A Conversation with Denise Gaskins

I’m not going to lie, this episode of the podcast is a new favorite. Denis Gaskins, homeschool mom and math-lover, popped into my interview seat and blew me away with some awesome new math analogies, a hint that I might be teaching math wrong (gasp), and a ton of tips and ideas for making math meaningful and fun for my kids. This one is not to be missed!


I want you to think of math as a nature walk. There’s this whole world of interesting things, more things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore and everywhere you look, there’s something cool to discover. If you explore this world with your children, you’re not behind wherever you are. You’re not behind because there is no behind.

This is your morning basket, where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi there. And welcome to episode 94 of the, your morning basket podcast. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and I am so happy that you are joining me here today. Well, on today’s episode, you are in for a treat.

I have Denise Gaskins who was a homeschooling mom who has a deep love for mathematics and real math. As she says, she talks a lot in this episode of the podcast about real math and what that means. We also chat in this podcast about how you can support your child in mathematics and how you can bring the idea of truth, goodness, and beauty, how you can bring it out in math because it’s there. We just have to be able to see it, how you can do that in morning time. I think you’re going to love this podcast.

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Now, before we get on with this episode of the podcast, I just want to say, we often include math in our, your morning basket plus plans. We have long seen the need to help our children explore truth, goodness, and beauty in mathematics and go beyond just the worksheets that are available. So if you are looking to find a way to do that, other than the things that Denise is going to share with us today, we often include math in our seasonal morning time plans and in our history morning time plans, and you can check all of those out pambarnhill.com/shop. We would love it if you would take the time to check those out.
And now on with the podcast.
Denise Gaskins is a veteran homeschool mom of five, who has a passion to help parents and children see the beauty and wonder of math. She is the author of a dozen playful math books. Like Let's Play Math: how families can learn together and enjoy it, and her Math You Can Play series covering a variety of topics from preschool to middle school math. Her newest title Pre-algebra and Geometry: Math games for middle school covers topics, perfect for students in grades four through nine. Denise blogs denisegaskins.com. Denise, welcome to the podcast.
Hi Pam. I'm thrilled to be here.
Thank you so much for coming on. I always love somebody who is going to help me and my children see the beauty and wonder of math. So it is so great that you're here today.
Thank you. I'm glad to be here.
Well, can you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and, and your homeschool? Are you homeschooling anymore?
No, not any lawn care. I'm a mother of five. They were all homeschooled all the way through that. They're all now graduated, grown and mostly flown from the nest
Mostly flown from the nest. I love it.
Yeah. My youngest has made the upstairs into her own personal apartment while she finishes up college. I love that too.
So when you guys were homeschooling where you kind of eclectic homeschoolers or something else?
Yeah, we were mostly eclectic. This was back in with Dark Ages before the internet. Our primary curriculum was our local library, but then we got together with our home school group and all, and along the way, I kind of noticed how many of our homeschooling friends just hated or feared math. I think no other subject causes so much pain to so many homeschooling families. So I kind of became a sort of nap evangelist a lot of the way and to sort of spread the news that there is truth, goodness and beauty to be found even in Math.
Okay. I love this. So I want to know, did you have a background in teaching math? Did you have a background in mathematics or was it something you just loved?
My degree was in physics, which is sort of applied story problems. So that's not, not in teaching, but just in, in learning.
So you just had a deep love for bath and you definitely had a little bit of a background in mathematics. So what is it about math that you love so much?
I love the way that math gives us a chance to love the Lord, our God, with all of our minds, God gave us minds so that we could big so that we could make sense of the world. And in all the other school subjects, children have to just accept what the teacher or the textbook tells them. If you think about it, how do you know about Marco polo or John Adams or DNA? How do you know that dolphins are mammals or that Jane Austin wrote Pride and Prejudice? You, you know these things only because somebody told you, but in Math, we don't to just accept what someone tells us. We can figure things out for ourselves. Let me give you an example.
If your kids go outside and they pick up any three sticks, they could make a triangle, except if one stick is the same length as the other two or longer, there's just no way in this world to make a triangle with two tiny sticks and one long one. Now that's a theorem in Euclid's Elements, but it's also quite literally child's play.
Oh, wow. You just blew my mind.
Oh my goodness. So yeah, you're exactly right. This is something, it it's an advanced mathematical concept. Something I probably would never pick up and read on my own, but I could pick up the sticks and I could certainly prove that to myself just by, you know, playing around with different sizes of sticks and messing around with trying to make triangles.And, wow. Okay. So let's talk about this. You, you said, and it's so funny, Denise, because I was, I was with some other homeschooling moms this past weekend. I was onstage with two other homeschool moms doing a panel, Sarah Mackenzie and Colleen Kessler and I do a panel for Great Homeschool Conventions. And one of the questions that we got asked was what was your least favorite subject to teach in your homeschool?
And all three of us had the same answer, guess what it was.
And so You're not alone. There's so many parents that feel unable to help their children learn math.
But I think you just broke it down in such a way, you know, with the, with the one example that is like, wow, I think sometimes we make this harder than what it really needs to be.
Well also we’re a product of our own schooling. Just like, we're hoping to shape our children and their future through training them we are shaped by our own schooling. And for most of us, our own schooling gave us a totally wrong idea of what math is all about. And for many of us, this made us feel like failures.
Okay. So can we dig into that a little bit? What is kind of the wrong idea of what math is about? Could you give me some examples or define that a little bit for me?
Well, yeah, I can. There's, there's basically two things that school teaches us about math. That cause a math trauma in children. One is school rewards children who think fast just by the nature of school, but math, real math is about thinking deeply at any speed. And in fact, many professional mathematicians think rather slowly and in school they report, they felt stupid. The other thing that school does is school math rewards children who follow directions, but real math is about making sense of ideas. Real math is about creative reasoning and it has nothing to do with following someone else's rules.
Okay. That's so interesting. So my mind is kind of worrying over here and I'm thinking about, you know, we teach our kids kind of the building blocks and the steps of learning to read. And then we teach them literature, which to me, the literature is the fun part, right? That's the part that you get to get to once that once you've kind of done the hard work of learning to read It seems like with math that we never get out of the, kind of the phonics of it, the mechanics of it and get to any of the really good stuff in school, we just kind of stay bogged down in, like you said, you know, rewarding kids who are following directions and things like that.
Yeah. I think, and a lot of that comes from the fact that our teachers didn't really understand real math.
We don't really understand real math, so we don't know how to open it up to our children. We understand books. We love to read. Most homeschoolers are bookaholics, but we don't have that same connection to mathematics.
Okay. Well, you've given me a couple examples here. You've told me that real math is about thinking deeply and real math is about thinking slowly. So can you tell me a little bit more about what real math is? If it's not the worksheets that I'm giving my kids to do on a daily basis?
Okay. Well, let me, let me contrast it again with what school and society teaches us. Society really sees math as this race. You run as fast as you can toward calculus. You have to be fast. You have to follow directions, you have to score high on tests and then you win. Or if you don't, you're a loser But let me give you this new vision. I want you to think of math as a nature walk. There's this whole world of interesting things that more, more things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore and everywhere you look, there's something cool to discover. If you explore this world with your children, you're not behind. Wherever you are you're not behind because there is no behind. There's only we're going this direction or we're going to move that way or, Hey, look what I found up for here. And as long as your children are thinking and wondering, and making sense of the math they find, they're going to learn. They're going to grow. So what you want to do is you want to embrace this adventure of loving God with all your mind and approach math with an attitude of playful exploration. And you know, you'll be surprised how much fun thinking hard can be.
Oh, interesting. Okay. So if I want to go on a nature, walk Denise, I usually go to a specific location, right? Like I typically don't go to a downtown urban area though. You can sometimes find lovely nature, walk things down there, but usually I'll head out to the country and start looking for a really great park or nature preserve to go in. If, if I'm going to go on this kind of mathematical version of a nature walk, I'm looking at my math curriculum that I have for my homeschool. And it's looking a whole lot like that urban area. And I feel like I need someplace to go. So where do I go to find that kind of nature walk experience for mathematics?
Actually, most of your curriculum tries to weave some of that in there they'll have little bonus problems or enrichment ideas or little sidebars about mathematicians, but really the library is a great place to go, to get started on, on learning to see that world of math. There's a lot of wonderful books being written for children and for adults on how to enjoy math.
Okay. So that's what I'm after. If I'm heading down to my local library, I'm going to ask my librarian, do you have some books on learning to see math differently or learning to enjoy math for kids? And that's a place I can start?
That would be a good place to start. I can give you, I've got a staff here on my desk. I could give you a few, if you, if you're interested.
Yeah. Give me a couple of recommendations because I know moms out there are grabbing pens all over the country about to write these down.
Okay. Well, here's, here's four for different ages. One of my favorites for young children in is called Moebius Noodles: Adventurous math for the playground crowd. This is put out by natural math. That's written by Maria Droujkova and Yelena McManaman. And it's just a beautiful little book to open your eyes to some of the big ideas of math and how you can play with them. Even with young children, even with babies, she's got ideas for playing with babies.
Yeah. Yeah. We've actually used that book in some of our morning time plans before for the younger crowd. So that's a really good one
For your middle grade children that are beginning to read and can handle a chapter book or for read aloud. I love Math and Magic in Wonderland by Lilac Mohr. She's a homeschooling mom. And she wrote this book to encourage her children to think creatively about math and to discover playful math ideas. It's based on Lewis Carroll’s poetry. And it's just, it's a delightful book, math and magic and wonder man.
Okay. I had never heard of that one. So that's a great one. And then do you have one for the older crowd.
For the older crowd?
I really love almost any puzzle book by Raymond Smulian a great one to start is a book that's called, What is the Name of this Book? And it's just full of logic puzzles, some brain teaser stampers. Then it gets send to mathematical logic puzzles. He's sort of the popularizer of the truth tellers and liars puzzles. If you see those before, there's a lot of those in this book.
Okay. Those are awesome. And you said you had one more, you said you had four.
I do. I have one more and this is for the teachers. This is for the parents. It's called Playing with Math edited by Sue VanHattum. Playing with Math: Stories from math circles, homeschoolers and passionate teachers. And it's a wonderful book to sort of open your eyes to the world of mathematics.
Oh, I love it. I love it. Okay. So, so many good resources there. So it sounds to me like changing your approach to math and starting to think about math differently, something that's not a race, something where, you know, being the fastest one to get the correct answer is, is not the thing that we're going for, but really starting to dabble in and having a very playful attitude towards math is kind of the first step towards maybe changing the way we approach teaching math in our homeschool. What other ideas do you have for moms to kind of make math a little more fun and outside the box?
Well, I think the key to having fun with math is really to focus on teaching the real thing. If you think about it to memorize something that you really don't understand, that's tedious and to always follow someone else's rules, that's boring, but to figure out things for yourself can be exciting and fun. That's one of the reasons that I like using games with math, I don't use the speed drill games where you have to be fast or games that are worksheets in disguise, but real games that have some strategy to them. These games give kids freedom to think through the math in their own way. A game we'll meet each player, his or her own level and encourages children to reason creatively about math.
What do you do with the mom who feels inadequate to meet their children in some of these games, you know, where the, the child is struggling. And maybe my only recourse is to open the book and look at the answer and I can tell them what the book said the answer was, but I can't really ask them any questions to help them figure it out for themselves. What bits of advice would you give for moms in that situation?
Let me give you a trip. This is a thinking tool and it's applicable not only in math, but, but in almost any topic that you might be studying, but it's really helpful when you face a math problem and you just, you have no idea what to do with it. Or you've got this topic that just has you totally stumped. What you want to do is you want to focus on making sense. You want, you don't, even if you know the rule, you don't want to just give it to your children. You want to help them draw out their own thoughts and teach them how to think the problem through how to use the things that they do know that they do remember to figure out this new concept. And the tool is called notice and wonder. And all you need is a piece of paper or a whiteboard and something to write with you, take a look at the problem or the concept or the idea that you're struggling with and you just start to make a list. What do you see? What do you notice? What is there right in front of you just like in, in learning about a new plant in nature, you take this nature, walk, you come across this plant. You just look at it and see what it is.
You don't immediately go to a book and field guide to look it up. But you, you focus on what are the shape of the leaves? What's the color? What's the plant like? You can do the same with a math problem. As you do this, you want to take turns with your children and in the process of making this list, you don't comment on anything they've said, it's, it's their thought that you're writing down. You just, just write everything down. Even if they go off the topic of math for a while, you just keep going.
So let me give you an example. Suppose we've come to the fraction problem four and a half plus two and three fifths. We don't know what to do. Okay. So let's stop and take time to take a deep breath and admit that we're feeling worried or tense or stressful, and then say, okay, what do we've see? Just what is there in front of us? Let's try it. I'll go first. I noticed that there's numbers. There's, there's big numbers.
And then there's fractions four and a half plus two and three fifths. What do you notice?
Well, I know that I can add big numbers together because there's a plus sign.
Okay. Yeah. And, and, and I noticed that plus means, like you said, bringing things together. So if we bring these things together, I noticed that it would be a whole lot easier without the fractions. If it was just a four plus two, I could do that four plus two is six. Was I allowed to say that? Oh yeah. What else?
Let's see. I noticed that my fractions are like different fractions. So one of them has the two on the bottom and one of them has the five on the bottom. Huh? Yeah. That makes it harder.
Doesn't it?
It does make it harder. Yes. I know that from math, I noticed that there's all the numbers from one to five in this one, two and three and four and five are all in our problem.
Oh my goodness. I did not notice that.
And you know, as you do this with your children, they'll notice things that you don't notice and you'll notice things that they don't notice. And then after you've got this list and you've noticed things for a while, start to think about what you wonder. Oh, I noticed that I could put the big numbers together and it was make six, but we've got these extra pieces, these fractions, I wonder how much more than six we're going to be.
Hmm. Or I know what half is but I'm not so sure about three-fifths. I wonder if that's bigger than one half or smaller than one half. Right? You know, I wonder how we could tell? Oh, here's something. If you'd cut five in half, you'd have two and a half. So two and a half fifths would be the same as one half. Oh, cool. So three is like half of a fifth, more than one half.
And you just, you just start noticing things about the problem. And as you go through it, and as you make this list, you'll start to get some insight into what's going on in the problem. And it will eventually give you a path forward. It will show you the path to work through it based on the things you notice and the things you already know.
Very interesting. And I can, I can see how kind of my preconceived notions about this problem actually kind of are a hindrance to me, noticing and wondering.
In a way they are, if you, if, think about math as a nature walk, sometimes you're going to find you get into a boggy area and it's sort of a slog and what we want to do for our children.
We want to build a bridge that goes right over that bogging area. It takes them from the questions straight to the answer without having to get dirty. But it's actually in that mess when you're in there and getting dirty. And that's where you come to understand what's really happening in the problem that that bridge is actually, it's fake. It's not real learning. It's the kids haven't come to grips with what the problem really means. We've just given them this crutch, this rule of, Oh, find a common to dominator and then add the problem, right. This mess of figuring it out, that they actually do the learning.
Oh that’s interesting. And we all know that kids love to get dirty.
Yeah. And, and this sort of getting dirty in math and, and it's fun. Like I said, thinking is fun. Following someone else's rules is boring.
Okay. So let's say you have a math student. Who's kind of like me and they're looking at this and they're, they're hindered by what they know. And they're also hindered by their previous frustrations with math and their previous feelings about math. And they're just like, mom, just give me the answer and let's move on. Or mom just helped me figure out the shortest way to get there. They're, they're predisposed by what we've done to them. Not to want to play with math. How are, how do we reach those?
Yeah. They're also, they, haven't learned to see some of the interesting parts and just getting the rule and applying it, there is some enjoyment in that for, for at least some children to, to learn a rule and be able to crank through a problem and get a lot of right answers. There's some enjoyment in that, but that's not really math. So we want to help them gradually to learn, to enjoy this process of getting muddy and messy and thinking things out.
One of the things that I think helps if you get to the point where math causes tears, mom's frustrated, kids are frustrated. Everybody's feeling pressure. We feel like we're, we're behind it becomes this emotional battle. Just stop. Just take a break and not just a short break. If you think about people who come from the public school to the home school, sometimes you need a time of deschooling. And I think this is true in math too. As you're beginning to see what math can be like, you need a bit of de schooling from that traditional math that you're used to. That's all about following directions. Take a break for at least a couple of weeks, no school math at all,
play some games, read some living books, go to the, the hashtag math art challenge page and try something. There's a hundred ways to do art with math on that page. It's what you want to do is to change your own mindset and break away from those school math myths and refresh yourself. And then you'll after awhile be ready to come back to the textbook with a new attitude.
Okay. So what I hear you saying is when you have children who are reluctant to participate in something like this is take a step back and really, truly drop the school math for a while and just play and explore. And that's how you're going to get past some of those frustrations. And maybe open up a little bit of willingness to begin, to look at things in a different way.
And I think also, well, at least if they're like my children, we did this several times in the course of our schooling, or we would just step away from the math or a month or so if we, we ran into a problem, we were hitting a wall. They just couldn't make sense of it. Okay. Just drop it. During that break, my kids are a little bit stubborn. And in the back of their mind, it's still kind of boiling over those topics. And I found when we came back after our break, they had often, made the breakthrough in their own mind without even realizing it. And they found it easy. Can't guarantee that will happen, but I've experienced it more than once.
Okay. So I want to touch on a couple more topics here before we talk about multi-age kids. And so what do we say to the mom and the person you're talking to, maybe this mom that was like, Oh my goodness, this sounds so great. And wonderful. I would love to at my, for my kids to have these insights into math, but you know, I have one who needs to take the ACT within a couple of years and she's already behind, or, you know, won't it make my kids behind in their math curriculum. Can I just, you know, we can't stop. We've got to keep moving. What do you say to moms who are like intrigued by the idea of playing a little bit, but very cautious about it? Because they feel like it's going to hinder the progress of checking the boxes.
Sometimes depending on the laws of your state, there are a lot of boxes you need to chat with this group. Okay. Let me give you a way to keep going with your regular textbook or curriculum, whatever program you're using, and yet bring a little bit of playfulness to it.
You know, Charlotte Mason talked a lot about the importance of short lesson, and this is really true in math. One of the things that's really important is to set a timer. And when that timer goes off, you are done. Even if you're in the middle of a problem, no matter what you are finished, the end is insight that helps the child to focus.
And it helps them to know I'm not going to be sitting here doing this for an hour for two hours until I reached the end of the page. I only have to think hard right now for a limited time, because thinking hard it's it's mental work, but it is work and it can be very tiring.
The second thing I would suggest is what I call buddy math. That is where you actually, you're sitting with your child doing the math lesson together. There's none of this, here's your assignment. Go sit in the corner and work on it. And then I'll tell you what you got wrong. That's, that's a very damaging way to view math, but buddy math goes through the lesson and we take terms. And usually I look up first, my, I asked my daughter, okay, which problem on the page looks the worst to you? Which one do you want me to do? And she would pick a problem that she did not want to do. And I said, okay, this is the way I think it out. We usually are sitting on the couch with a big whiteboard in our laps.
And I talked through the way I think about the problem. And then it's her turn. And she picks a problem and talks through how she thinks about it. Then it's my turn again. And we go back and forth. I'm not forcing her to do anything that I'm not willing to do. That sort of breaks some of the resentment that you can get when the child is sitting in the corner having to do this math and everybody else, except they're having fun.
Okay. You completely just blew my mind because you know, I have these kids I've been teaching for years and I still, my youngest is 11. I still sit next to him when he does math. And mostly because he's the baby and I, I just do, but I also sit with my boys at my older boy also has dyslexia. And so I sit with my boys when they're doing writing and we use IEW and Andrew Pudewa says, you know, you can never give too much help with writing. And so with writing, I'm always suggesting words and I'm always like, well, wouldn't like, you know, they're trying to come up with a, an adjective or a verb. And I throw him a suggestion or I'm like, what? In this sentence, you know, how does this sound? And I give them a suggestion. And then the same with when they were doing phonics and we had these sheets full of fluency sheets that we used with All About Reading, you know, especially for my middle child.
He would just kind of melt down when he looked at that sheet. And so we would read every other line, he would read a line and then I would read a line and it never occurred to me that that was something I shouldn't do, but it's also never occurred to me to do half the problems on my child's math page. And that they're going to get just as much out of watching me do it as they probably would doing it themselves.
They do, as long as you talk about the way that you're thinking, because I mean, a lot of times in math, we have this, this lesson at the beginning where the teacher tries to dump all the knowledge in, or, you know, we're reading the textbook with our child. We try and to, to, to throw a bunch of new information at them and then they're supposed to go practice it, but things don't stick in our brains that way. But as we are going together, through these problems, I talk about, Oh, here, I'm stuck. I wonder what I can do. Let me try this and see if it works. And then when it's her turn. And she can talk through how she's thinking, we sort of are learning together.
And it becomes more of that exploration and less of a struggle. The other thing that's always that's important is to always focus on making sense of the idea, not on learning the rule, remembering and following rules is hard, but making sense, making sense of the idea gives you something solid that you can later build on. And it also, it makes those endorphins fire in your grain when you, Oh, Oh, I see it. And it makes sense. It's fun to have that feeling.
Oh yeah. I love that. I love that because a lot of times my kids intuitively do that at my boys, especially where, where they will make sense of the idea of, of what they're trying to do in math. They don't follow the rules at all, but they get the right answer. And that's something as a rule follower and somebody who's struggled with math that I've, I've had a hard time. I'm like, when are they ever going to learn how to do this the other way, if they're constantly coming up with, with the answer this way. So it's, yeah. I love that advice.
Okay. And it's, it's so much fun when you can sit with them and you get to chance to see that happen. Yes. I learned so much from my daughter because she never ever thought through things the same way I did.
Yes. Yes. Oh. And my youngest, I really struggled with teaching him long division, not in the same way that I struggled with teaching the, my first one long division. With her it was like, she never understood it. And I always had to like, try to explain it in a different way. And I couldn't, you know. All I knew were the steps of how to explain it. And so she ended up with the math tutor whom we love, but my youngest, he was constantly doing the problems in his head.
And I'm like every single problem we came across, he could do in his head. For some reason, I'm like, we're never going to learn the steps of long division. Because by the time I sit down to try to teach him the step, he's shouted out the answer already. And it was fine. You know, I was totally fine with him, but I knew that he was going to come up against a problem at some point where he was going to need the algorithm. And eventually we did, and it all worked itself out, but he's just so funny. He can just, you know, figure it out on the go.
So well, I am loving this advice and I love the fact that you brought up truth, goodness, and beauty. And we've always said that one of the reasons why we like to talk about math and include math and morning time is because it does give us a place and an opportunity to do, to look at the truth, goodness and beauty in mathematics and not just what they're learning in their set math curriculum. So what are some tips for moms?
Is, is there a way to do this with multiple ages In morning time? I think there is, well for one thing, as long as you are focusing on something that is sort of playbook thinking, you can do that at a lot of different levels. So for instance, like I came that was just flashcard drilll would not be very interesting to multiple age group and may or may not be interesting to the student that needs the flashcard drill.
Some people, some children really liked that. And some don't, but it gave that involves strategy and figuring things out works really well with a multi-age group. And most of the games that I play with the kids, I, for one thing I don't want to game that’s boring to me. So it has to work with an adult. And if it worked with a child and with the adult, it can work with all the agents in between. So even some of my games for the youngest children, they're fun for anybody to play. And some of the games for the oldest children, there's a way into it for the younger ones to think about the ideas of their own level. A lot of math games only take a few minutes to play. Let me give you an example.
Okay. This is a wordplay. The title of it is called One One it's Haba phones. One, the number one, as in you win the game and to play one, one, the first player chooses that starting number. You might start with a number between 10 and 20. As you get used to the game, you might let the range expand a bit and pick a number less than a hundred.
The first player chooses the number. And then each of the other players in turn has a choice. You can either subtract one from the current number, or you can divide the current number in half and throw away the leftover and you go around and each person plays makes a new number. So I'd say you started with 20 somebody subtracts one, they get 19.
The next person maybe decides to cut it in half. They throw away the extra and they got nine. And you keep going whoever's player that manages to reach the number one wins the game.
Hm. Interesting. That's really kind of a fun game. And you're the great thing about it is the little kids can subtract one and older kids can divide
And both, you know, as the middle grades and up, they can be thinking about strategy. You know, how many players are left until it gets back to me. And what can I do to make sure that when it gets back to me, I still have a chance to get one. There's a lot of thinking that goes on at different levels. So as I said, the game meets everybody at their own level.
Right, right. Oh, I love that. I love that. And so easy to play in morning time with the family as well. And you mentioned something earlier that I just want to reiterate here. This is not kind of like a math worksheet that's masquerading as a game. It's a true game.
I think that's important. Kids can tell if you've got to, again, it's basically a worksheet in disguise, you can't hide it. The kids know now they may rather do that, then do the worksheet, but it's still it's school math, but a real game is fun to play. Even apart from the math
And would probably be something they would want to play on their own time, not just during school time.
And in addition to games, there are a lot of playful math activities that you can do with a mixed age of people. One of my favorite activities that would fit really well into morning time is Today Is…. And you pick whatever the day is say, if it's, if it's May 3rd, you say the day,
but you don't use the number today is May half of six, May two plus four. Today is May wait a minute. I changed my number didn't I.
I thought you were just giving us a different example,
two plus four divided by two. We'll do that. But yeah, you can do that with any day and you could go around the table. You'll always have one kid that says today is may one plus one, plus one, plus one plus one all the way up to 30 on the 30th, but what, there's a bit of creativity in it. Each child can think of their own way. You can have a white board, stick it to the refrigerator, let people add to it through the day, if you want to. And there's just so many ways to play with the ideas that they've been learning. Even the high schooler that's that's working on trig today is may co-sign of C row plus co-sign of two PI that's co-sign a four PI I think that's the third thing we were working on. Yes, yes. I have no idea if you're right or not.
So we can just go with it. Oh, that's awesome. Be done at any level. It works with multiple range of kids. It's fun. It's short. It's great for morning time.
I love it. Well, both of the examples you gave us were great for morning time. So I just happened to know that you have a wonderful math, you can play series a, that has more things like this in there. So tell us a little bit more about that.
Okay. My Math You Can Play series, it's a series of four books. They have games for playing with math concepts from preschool to high school. Each book includes at least 20 games, plus a lot of different variations on the games they're marked by the grade levels where these topics are most likely to be studied.
So counting and number bonds with a little kids, addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractitions pre-algebra and geometry for the older kids, but each one of these books contain games that can be enjoyed by your whole range of ages. The games don't depend on speed. You don't have to be a fast thinker. The focus is on creative reasoning about the math concepts and a little bit of strategic thinking about how to beat your brother to the game.
Oh, I love it. Even if you already have a math curriculum that you liked, these games will push your children to a deeper understanding, and force them to think about the topics they're also great for co-op classes or homeschool play dates, and they're available in ebook and paperback at all the regular online stores. You can even get them through many libraries.
Awesome. Well, Denise, let me ask you a question, my three kids are kind of in that pre-algebra geometry kind of stage right now, but if I wanted to go to kind of go back and kind of have them play with some of those other concepts around some multiplication or something like that, would the, the multiplication books still be appropriate for kids who were older
Oh yeah. Like I said, I don't use games unless I can enjoy playing them. Okay. So yeah, there's there's games in there that they can use. And you know, when they get to the harder concepts in math, sometimes they're thinking so hard about the new ideas that they're learning, that it's so easy for the older things to kind of slip away.
So a lot of the mistakes they make tend to be the multiplication or that fraction things that they sort of yeah, they knew it. And so they, their brain forgot it while it was focusing on this new idea, so practicing those games. It's a great idea.
Oh, I love it. I love it. Well, Denise, thank you so much for coming on today. This was a wonderful conversation, so many good ideas, and I'm going to be checking out those books. So I appreciate it.
Well, thank you for having me, Pat. It's great to be here and I've enjoyed our talk
And there you have it. Now, if you would like links to any of the books and resources that Denise and I chatted about today, you can find them on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. Also on the show notes is a very special treat. Denise has given us a handout with all kinds of additional resources. These are the handouts that she usually gives out when she goes to do a presentation on math to homeschooling parents. And so she's collected this little handout for us and we're going to put a link to it in the show notes.
So you can go and grab that. So thank you Denise, for doing that for all of us. You can find that pambarnhill.com/YMB94, we will have links to the books, the resources, the handout, everything for you there. And just thank Denise so much again for coming and really inspiring me to think about doing math a little bit differently with my kids.
And hopefully you too. Now we'll be back again in a couple of weeks with another great morning time interview and until then keep seeking truth, goodness and beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Math in Morning Time

Math is one of the few subjects in school where we can figure out the answers for ourselves instead of relying on what others have told us. In math, we can test the things that we are taught.

Math is not about being the fastest person to find the answer. Math is about thinking deeply about an idea. When we homeschool we have the opportunity to teach our children how to make sense of the math concepts that we are teaching and not just teach our children to follow the rules or directions of a math theory or formula.

Math is beautiful and we can teach our children to see that by playing with math instead of just using worksheets. Using puzzles, art, brain teasers and logic games can open our children up to the big ideas found in mathematics. We can do this in Morning Time by choosing games that allow children of all ages to play along and work with numbers.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [2:30] meet Denise Gaskins
  • [6:58] what math is really about
  • [12:19] great resources for exploring math
  • [16:55] thinking outside the box with math
  • [17:55] tips for the mom who feels inadequate
  • [24:52] tips for helping the kid who doesn’t want to play with math
  • [28:40] bringing playful math in without dropping your curriculum
  • [36:40] doing math with multiple ages
  • [42:24] math you can play in Morning Time

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Thanks for your reviews

  • Thank you
    by mrsbeliever from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Life Affirming
    by Logandinco66 from United States

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

  • Life giving!
    by lapatita5 from United States

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

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

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

  • Love the show!
    by Startup Travis from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Always insightful!!
    by method_money from Canada

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

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

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

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

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

  • Great!!!
    by Eloblah from United States

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

  • New home schooling mom
    by A prit from United States

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

  • Morning Time Magic!
    by DrewSteadman from United States

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

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

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

  • So excited for 2020!
    by JCrutchf from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Super Helpful!
    by Jennlee C from United States

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

  • Practical Inspiration
    by Mamato3activeboys from Australia

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

  • So many great ideas!
    by Parent 98765 from Malaysia

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

  • Joy
    by Ancon76 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Love it!
    by s chenvmv from United States

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

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

    Love this!

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

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

  • Wonderful resource!
    by honebubble from United States

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

  • A wonderful podcast!
    by NoName2018 from Canada

    Great ideas and interesting guests - thanks Pam!!

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

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

  • Such great choices of guests
    by andinic from United Kingdom

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

  • Great
    by WifeyKayla from United States

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

  • Interesting ideas
    by Lisa1932 from Canada

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

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

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

  • Excellent!
    by Jodylleigh from United States

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

  • Truly an inspiration!
    by Soaring2him from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Thanks Pam!
    by BraveMomma from United States

    So many great ideas every single week! Thanks!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hope for the weary
    by MomToTheMasses from United States

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

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

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

  • Mamma of Five
    by Mamma of Five from United States

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

  • Great Homeschool Resource
    by KS Becky R from United States

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

  • Really great!
    by BeeGerW from United States

    I love hearing all these ideas!

  • californiafamily
    by californiafamily from United States

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

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

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

  • First Things First
    by Lukenoah from United States

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

  • So helpful!
    by jofcrich from Australia

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

  • Great resource
    by Ejs0928 from United States

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

  • Amazing!
    by CDefnall from United States

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

  • Inspiring and enlightening
    by spycej from United States

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

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

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

  • One of my favorites
    by FaithAZ from United States

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

  • Great Ideas
    by Hiphooray from United States

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

  • TaraVos
    by TaraVos from United States

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

  • Lots of useful information
    by Kristizy from United States

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

  • by Momo35556 from United States

    I love this podcast! So helpful and encouraging.

  • Lovely & Inspiring
    by kashley75 from United States

    Thank you so much for this podcast!

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • So Helpful!
    by KGMom2Four from United States

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

  • A Lovely Show!
    by Webseitler from United States

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

  • Awesome homeschooling resource!
    by Liddleladie81 from United States

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

  • Great hosts!
    by Homeschool_chat from United States

    I always look forward to this podcast!

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

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

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

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

  • Awesome!
    by Apples20091 from United States

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

  • Encouraging and Motivating!
    by Cat11223 from United States

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

  • So many ideas!
    by Speterson781 from United States

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

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

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

  • Perfect for the Homeschool Mom
    by JoshJamie from United States

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

  • SongsofJubilee
    by SongsofJubilee from United States

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

  • Love it!
    by Ekrasovec7 from United States

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

  • So encouraging!
    by A Merry Heart from United States

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

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

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

  • Refreshing
    by Bless-Us-3 from Canada

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

  • So helpful and inspiring!
    by KSR1 from United States

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

  • Inspiring
    by Jaranda98 from United States

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

  • An inspiring and encouraging podcast
    by Kellibird1111 from United States

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

  • Honey for the Homeschooling Heart
    by SuperNOVAmom from United States

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

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

    These podcasts helped transform our homeschooling!

  • Great parenting resource
    by sullivanjessicak from United States

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

  • Thank you!
    by Nasiatel from United States

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

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

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

  • Top Notch
    by Wvshaddox from United States

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

  • Great Morning Time tips!
    by redhedcatie from United States

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

  • So Inspiring!
    by Frau Linds from United States

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

  • Wonderful!
    by Kellybireta from United States

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

  • Excellent practical advise!
    by Foxycook from United States

    Really enjoying this so far!

  • Very encouraging!
    by WMGardener from United States

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

  • A great resource!
    by gejake from United States

    Very inspiring and informative as I begin my homeschooling journey

  • Love This Podcast
    by Earthmuffins from United States

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

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

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

  • Great Podcast!
    by Greggtrisha from United States

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

  • Treasure
    by TasmanianBec from Australia

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

  • Jeannie in Ohio
    by Jeannie in Ohio from United States

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

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

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

  • Excellent Host
    by meghanlou from United States

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

  • Helpful and fun!
    by HornGal88 from United States

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

  • LOVE IT!
    by sassercj from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • What’s important
    by sncstraub from United States

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

  • New listener and hooked!
    by Bytesofmemory from United States

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

  • Great!
    by Wvshaddox from United States

    Encouragement for homeschool.

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

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

  • Encouraging and informative!
    by sarahdempsen from United States

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

  • A great resource!
    by Bookgirl630 from United States

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

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

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

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

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

  • Timely
    by AggieRudy3 from United States

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

  • Thanks!
    by heyh2 from United States

    Thanks for the new podcast. Loving it!

  • Wonderful podcast with practical advice
    by Victorzvaliant from United States

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

  • Changed our Homeschool Morning routine
    by HeatherinSC from United States

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

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

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

  • Inspiring and Uplifting
    by vabjohnson from United States

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

  • Bringing Joy
    by Louisiana Mommy T from United States

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

  • Great podcast!
    by corew50 from United States

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

  • Inspiring, yet practical
    by mamato3cs from United States

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

  • Super Helpful & Encouraging
    by Sanibel4ever from United States

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

  • Great Poscast
    by Sarah B R from United States

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Inspiring and refreshing!
    by BugTurner from United States

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

  • Brilliant
    by SHTirm from United Kingdom

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

  • Excellent!
    by RC5476 from United States

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

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

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

  • Inspiring!
    by Mamato8 from United States

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

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

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

  • Wonderful
    by BGTwinsMom from United States

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

  • So Inspiring!
    by bethenyn from United States

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

  • Inspiring and thought provoking!
    by Pascualamb from United States

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

  • Affirming & helpful
    by BOLDturquoise from United States

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

  • Inspiring
    by Amongst Lovely Things from United States

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

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

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

  • Your Morning Basket
    by inakamama from Australia

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

  • Helpful & inspiring!
    by starlingsfive from United States

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



  • Juana V says:

    Needed to hear this working on math with my children.

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