YMB #5 Big Family Morning Time: A Conversation with Angela Boord

Angela Boord has eight (soon to be nine!) children, so she knows all about making life work in a large family. She joins us today on the podcast to talk about creating and sustaining a Morning Time routine that is meaningful and worthwhile for everyone, from teens to toddlers.

Angela shares some great advice for keeping little hands busy, accommodating teens and their packed schedules, and tackling important subjects in a way that meets the needs of big kids and little kids alike.

She also shares how Morning Time has helped build a shared culture and sense of belonging in her family. Angela’s wisdom is both practical and inspiring, making this an interview not to be missed.

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 5 of Your Morning Basket. I’m Pam Barnhill, your host, and this week we have a great show for you guys. I’m interviewing Angela Boord. She is a mom of eight with one on the way, so soon to be nine, and she has been homeschooling her children from the very beginning, their first just graduated from high school this past summer, and she has been doing Morning Time in her home for 10 years. Now, her children range in age (at the time of the interview) from 18 all the way down to 2. So Angela and I are going to be chatting a lot about how to do Morning Time with a very wide span of age ranges and we’re also going to be talking a lot about how to do Morning Time with a lot of little guys underfoot. And I know this is something that you guys have been wanting to hear, and I’m just super excited to bring you this interview, so hey, let’s get on with the program.

I often hear questions about how to do Morning Time when you have many kids spanning a wide range of ages or when there is a big age gap between your kids. Angela Boord is just the person to help us figure out some answers to those questions. Angela, who blogs at Three Plus Two Homeschooling is a mom of eight and they range in age from teens all the way down to little ones, a two year old, and she’s here today to share some of her insights about Morning Time with a large family. Angela, welcome to the program.

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Angela: Hi, Pam. I’m glad to be here.

Pam: I’m so happy to have you. I have been a fan of yours for a number of years now. You’re one of my mama heroes.

Angela: That’s kind of funny. Thank you.

Pam: Well, I’m happy you’re here to talk to us about Morning Time. I’ve loved watching your family through the years on your blog and seeing all of the wonderful things you do and, kind of, your relaxed classical style of homeschooling. Well, tell me a little bit about your kids and their ages and your family.

Angela: I have eight. We have one on the way, we’re expecting in early February [2016].

Pam: Congratulations.

Angela: Thank you. And my oldest is 18; we’re going to take him to college in about a week and a half, so he’s going to be out of the house. It’s kind of strange because we’ve homeschooled all the way through, and then next is my only girl (I have seven boys and one girl). My one girl is 16. Then there’s a gap and then the boys are a lot closer; I have a 12 year old, 9 year old twins, 8 year old, 5 year old, and a 2 year old.

Pam: Definitely got that wide age range covered.

Angela: Right, a big span there.

Pam: Lots of energetic and wiggly boys as well which is an added bonus to this conversation about doing Morning Time. How long have you been doing Morning Time and what inspired you to start doing it with your children?

Angela: I think about 10 years, at least, as a more formal time. But really, I think the seeds of it started a bit earlier. The first thing that started us on this time in the morning where you would get together when my oldest two were little and we just started homeschooling and at that time (I’m a cradle Catholic) I had left the church for awhile and at the time when we started homeschooling I started to come back into the church and I was concerned that our Bible reading which I wanted to do with the kids got squeezed out because at that time it was an accepted practice that you would start your day with math that was the accepted thing and then after that you would do handwriting; you would do your lessons in the morning and then maybe have your read alouds in the afternoon, but I found that by afternoon I was tired, the things that were not happening were things that were important to me. I wanted to read to the kids from the Story Bible but those things were getting pushed aside and so I thought if I did it first then I wouldn’t forget. So we would read from the Story Bible and over the years I started adding things and it really started as a four time when I was pregnant with twins and we had just moved from St. Louis to Upstate New York and we were in a rented house on a dairy farm which actually sounds very romantic but it wasn’t, it smelled like cows and it was an interesting experience, and I needed to spend a lot of time on the couch at that point. So what I would do is I would sit down on the couch and I would read our Bible, and at that time I only three; I had an 8 year old, a 6 year old, and a 2 year old, and I was pregnant with twins, so I would sit on the couch and I would read the Bible but they would often (my two oldest) would often get their notebooks or their coloring books and crayons/markers and they would just sit on the floor and start coloring, and they would be coloring and working and paying attention. They were ready for more, they wanted to hear more, so we would just start to add more. I read through that summer several of Laura Ingalls Wilder series and then we took a vacation in Rhode Island and we read about the seashore and read some picture books about the seashore and read the One Small Square books Seashore. We read Dr. Doolittle that year. And it stuck, because it was a good way to do things. At first I read over breakfast and that changed later on as they got older, and we just built on it until a few years ago when I really decided to get a little more serious with it and then it expanded.

Pam: So this was a very organic beginning to the practice that became Morning Time in your house?

Angela: Right, right. It just sort of grew up. It grew up from what we needed. And then when the twins were born and then I had twins, and twins are twins, you’re just busy ALL the time, but then right after the twins my next child is only 22 months apart, so he’s like the third twin is what we call him, and when you’re dealing with so many little people, you’re thinking, ‘OK, if the day goes totally wrong what should I have wanted to have done?’ I wanted to feel like some sort of accomplishment with the day and we would add things- we would say our prayers, we’re going to read from the Bible, we’re going to do a Catechism question. If we get that done then it all feels better because we would have done something and then there’s still more time because things aren’t totally self-destructing at that point; we’d read some read alouds, maybe some history. If we got 45 minutes (which 45 minutes was a long time at that point) it was good. We didn’t do any math or anything like that, but we got a good chunk of something done in our day.

Pam: It sounds like there were lots of wonderful subjects in that short period of time that you got done and it was a lifeline for you through all this time of little bitty kids.

Angela: It was. And you know what, it still is for the kids. They still need that time; it’s just that something we’ve done every day. In this summer we haven’t sat down because I’ve been feeling sick and people have been here and there, it’s summertime, and even when we’re not reading and we’re not doing all this stuff we usually say our prayers and we look at the liturgical calendar, who’s the saint [**inaudible** 8:33] of the day and it’s like a touch point, it’s an anchor in everybody’s day, and when it’s gone and everybody’s sort of adrift and it can’t be gone for too long or the kids will start asking about it, “When are we going to start again?” And even the teenagers they’ll just go automatically and sit down on the couch and wait. It becomes like an institution in your life.

Pam: You said a few years ago you got more intentional with it, so can you tell me a little bit how it’s changed from that point? I would say as your children have gotten older but you still have little ones as well so what do you mean by ‘started to get more intentional a few years ago’ what are the things you are doing now in Morning Time?

Angela: It got more intentional because I had to account for the teenagers and when we moved from New York to Mississippi it was a very stressful time. We did that five years ago. We’ve been in Mississippi for five years. My oldest at that time was 8th grade age. The Morning Time split that year and I didn’t read aloud. I didn’t read aloud in the morning, it got too much to handle with all the differences in age and I was having some health problems after a complicated recovery, I had a newborn. My husband’s father had a heart attack and he went through surgery and there was a lot of stuff that he was going through and then we had just moved and life just seemed like it was too much to handle and so we went for many months without doing a Morning Time and then the little kids because the twins when we moved were five, I had a 3 year old and a newborn, and they were just at each other like little boys, so again, I said, ‘This is too hard, I’m not going to do it right now.’ And it was kind of a miserable time and after a while I thought it is worth it, I’m going to put it back in. I think it was after that I started adding things back in what we would normally do, and I think other people started posting more on blogs. There was Jen Mackintosh’s Morning Basket post and I read Cindy Rollins’ Morning Time posts and then she did the 31 days of Morning Time, then I read Kendra Fletcher’s Circle Time e-books too. It felt like a lot of people were doing more than we were doing, it was more of a planned time. And as the kids got older (the older kids got older), I started looking at it as a time when I could have us all do something and all be exposed to something that I really wanted them to be exposed to or to talk about or to discuss as a family that they maybe would not as easily be willing to do independently, maybe it just didn’t run toward their interest. I started looking at it like I wanted it to be a good use of their time because in high school teenagers tend to get really busy and then they could say things like, “Well, I don’t have time for this, I have to … I have too much Latin homework … I have too much math homework … I have too much of [this] stuff to do so if I take this much time out then I’m not going to be able to put it into x y z.” So what I wanted it to do, I wanted it not to feel extra to them. It wasn’t extra, but I didn’t want it to feel extra to them. I wanted to use our time that we had to the fullest and so I started trying to think a little bit harder about the stuff that I did with everybody and plus with the age range it got a little harder to figure out because I used to gear just toward the older kids and the younger kids would wander in and out and they would take part and listen to some stuff and some stuff they’d listen to was surprising that they would actually sit and listen and then I started thinking. I was trying to aim this at more of the younger kids got older they’re officially being homeschooled too so I have to do things with them as well. It required a little more thought.

Pam: Let’s talk a little bit about some of those challenges, of planning and implementing a good Morning Time with a wide age range of kids, so how do you go about doing this, is there a certain age group you shoot for or how do you start making those plans?

Angela: I tend to shoot for the middle because most of the time shooting for that middle school age range then the younger kids can keep up (maybe not the youngest kids, they stay for prayers and we talk about saints and then they can have other things to do but they don’t have to pay attention, so the younger elementary kids can follow along, and then the older kids it will still be decent for them too. I find there are some things like classic literature just has a wide age range anyway, so that’s what we look at it. Actually, it surprised me, we read Julius Caesar and I had my eight year olds actually reading part of it, we read it aloud so everyone took different parts and my eight year olds did it and my 18 year old did it and it was fun, stuff like that. Then I also look at what my teenagers might need to fill in any gap they have in their high school plan. Last year I realized that they hadn’t done any logic, and my husband and I thought that Logic was an important part of the curriculum because we relaxed but we have also classical ideals and so we wanted them to get that before they got out of the house because we thought it would be helpful to them. Those things seem extra and they get pushed out and they’re not extra, they’re really necessary but because we’re not used to think of them that way they can already get pushed to the side. So I just decided to use, to fill that gap, I thought that I could use the Bluedom’s Fallacy Detective to fill that gap and we could do it and it would cover the age range because it’s meant to be used as a family, and so I sat down and that was really surprising because everybody loved it and we had some great conversation and kids who actually like it the most were my twins (they turned nine so they were eight but they would be roughly 3rd grade, and they would read ahead but it was good for the teenagers. Now we watched recently the Presidential Debate and the kids are yelling out stuff, “That’s a red herring!” so it was good, everybody got something out of that. And that’s what I aim for and hope for when I’m trying to pick through material.

Pam: That’s awesome because you took something, you used your Morning Time to fill in a gap that your older kids had so you’re definitely gearing it to a need that you see for your highschoolers but everybody in the family got something out of it, so that’s wonderful.
Let’s talk a little bit about some Morning Time subjects or practices that lend themselves best to a wide range of kids, what do you find? You’ve hinted at the fact that your Bible and saints works really well for a very wide range of kids but what other subjects work well for you guys?

Angela: We also do some memory work and most of our memory work tends to be Latin, when we’re using it, being Catholic we do learn more Latin so we learn a lot of prayers in Latin and that’s good for everybody. I’ve tried to introduce memorizing poetry and I have never been consistent about doing it, so we haven’t done it that much. Stuff like memory work that works well when we do that. We did some Shakespeare last year and that was good, everybody enjoyed that. And like I said for classic literature, I knew my older kids would enjoy Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that I knew they wouldn’t pick them up on their own to read them because the dialect in those books is hard and you can edit when you’re reading it, so I read it aloud and they became some of everybody’s favorite books, and it wasn’t just the older kids, it was the younger kids too. I have one dyslexic child, he’s my 12 year old, and he reads great now, but at the time, I think he was 9 or 10, he couldn’t read at all, so that was terrific because he loved those books and he would never have been able to read anything like that but it was good because I got to put them on a high school transcript as well. The literature works really well. We read, A Christmas Carol to the age range of the teenagers down and Shakespeare, I have boys so they don’t like the comedies as much because they’re all about romance so we have to read tragedies but everyone’s a great fan of Macbeth but Shakespeare works pretty well, and anything you want to learn as a family is good. When we did Logic, that was great, that worked really well. So if there is anything that anyone wants to do like art, we’ve done art as a family, we didn’t do it in Morning Time but easily we could work it in there. Our house is not set up right now to where it’s very easy to do a lot of art while I read and that was the mainstay of our Morning Time earlier, when the kids were younger. We had a table and couch so I could sit and read and the little guys could go all over me while I read and anybody who wanted to draw could be at the table drawing because supposing there was a problem that when you dry on the floor like they used to the little guys tend to come up and draw crayons everywhere so that’s not so great. So our house isn’t set up but art is good to do because it keeps their hands busy so they can pay attention more, and you can listen, so it’s like getting two things done at the same time. We had a block of clay once and the kids would just work with the clay and they made this giant world (it was a huge block of clay) and they would make mushrooms and frogs and little things sticking out of the clay while I read and I got a lot read, it was great.

Pam: So definitely this is not a situation where all of your children are sitting with their hands folded politely in their laps? They’re actually working and doing something as you’re reading during Morning Time.

Angela: Nobody ever sits politely with their hands folded in their lap. They’re sometimes standing on their heads and doing everything else...

Pam: But they’re still listening.

Angela: Yes, usually. Sometimes, I guess. Sometimes you end up having to separate people, you can’t sit next to [this person] because it’s like being in a classroom.

Pam: Right. Well, you mentioned earlier that your little guys, your youngest ones for stay for Bible reading and prayer and then they would wander off, but not too far. So how did you handle that? Did you corral everybody to a single room? Did you have toys there for them to play with? How do you do Morning Time (and I know you have a two year old now) when you have so many moving parts plus a four year old and a two year old who are present?

Angela: Usually when you’re all in a place the little ones want to stay close to you and especially if I sit down that’s a big draw for them, because if I sit down then they’re immediately on top of me, for at least part of the time. You have to learn how to read and how to talk over people crawling on your back and going over your head and three people on the rocking chair with you. They usually spend part of their time like that and then we read right now we have all the Duplos and the blocks are in our family room and that’s where we read and say our prayers, that’s where we do our Morning Time and so they’ll often just sit down and build while we’re reading. Sometimes I need to have a hand because they’re boys and they can’t just build anything quietly, it has to have explosion noises and it gets a little wild sometimes, but for the most part that’s OK. Or, just right around the corner, we don’t have a dining room but we have an eat-in kitchen with our big table in it and we have shelves beside the table that has everybody’s homeschool in them but I also have some shelves with art stuff that the little guys can use without making a giant mess. So there’s Playdo (although Playdo can make a giant mess, but usually it’s OK).

Pam: It’s an acceptable mess.

Angela: Yes. Then there’s crayons. My two year old right now he loves to color, he loves drawing and crayons and he’ll stay there for a surprisingly long time coloring but not all the boys were like that. That’s available to them, they can do that. And our house is such that their bedroom is not very far away, so if they go into their bedroom to play and there are some more toys in there, a little toy kitchen, etc. if they go into their bedroom I can still hear them and I know what they’re doing. Sometimes my five year old will go outside and that’s OK because I can see through the window. When we were in New York when they were younger we did most of our stuff (read etc.) in the front room and we had a lot of toys in that whole big front room and so they would mostly stay right there, sometimes they would run back to their room, but again, you can hear what they’re doing, or if they got really quiet …

Pam: Then you know there’s trouble.

Angela: Right, exactly. And then if we were reading, we did a lot of school work in our dining area too. And that had the few months that we could enjoy outside in Upstate New York, it had a door to the deck and we fenced in a small area, because we had 15 acres in New York, it was a 2-acre yard and 13-acre field and we had a busy road in front of us because logging trucks used to go back and forth on that road really fast and it was scary, so we fenced in an area around our deck and we called it “The Little Boy Yard” and they could go out on the deck and they could play outside and we could still see them through the big window and they were OK back there. They could dig in the dirt, they could dress up and run around with swords and that would keep them busy and you could get a little bit more time in.

Pam: It sounds like you’ve worked with the various layouts with your houses and used the fact that everybody’s together to encourage them to stay with you but then when they’ve needed to wander a little bit just being able to keep your ear or eye on them and letting them wander as they need to.

Angela: Right, because if they go too far and you don’t know what they’re doing then that could be bad because you can end up with some stuff that could be dangerous or even if your house is childproof you still end up with people dumping stuff out of cabinets.

Pam: You sound like you’re speaking from experience there.

Angela: Oh yeah.

Pam: Well, it sounds like for the most part all of your kids do Morning Time together other than the little guys who might wander away or wander in and out at times. Is there any time where you have your older kids excused from Morning Time and you carry on with the younger kids?

Angela: Yes, because we ran into that. It was a problem that I had to figure out how to deal with when a couple of years ago we signed the two older kids up for an outside co-op class and two days a week they would leave the house, they had to be there at 10:00am and my mother-in-law actually drove them there which was very helpful but they had to leave about 9:15/9:30am or something like that and sometimes our Morning Time does not happen very early. And I would try to get it going before that so we could at least pray together and then go and it didn’t work because we try to get our chores done first so that they’re out of the way and that’s just cleaning the kitchen, starting laundry (my daughter usually folds a basket and puts it away), picking everything up that’s been strewn around since the kids got up in the morning, go and get the dirty laundry, that sort of thing, and it just keeps the house moving a little better when we’d do it that way. It was too hard to get all that stuff done and breakfast and dealing with people who were “Oh, I forgot to do this before I went to my class so I have to sit down and do this immediately because I have to turn it in an hour” so we weren’t getting to Morning Time, I was still trying to do it with everybody and it was kind of a loss so finally I said, “OK that’s fine. I’ll have two different versions of Morning Time and on the days that you guys go to your co-op classes I’ll just focus on the younger boys and we’ll just do stuff geared toward them and on the other days we’ll have stuff geared toward everybody just weighted a little more to the older kids and that seemed to work out pretty well. We had to do that last year because they didn’t do any outside of the house classes but they had some online classes that started at 9:00am. My goal is to start what we’re doing at 9:00am but a lot of times that doesn’t exactly happen, but I like to sit down about then. Sitting down earlier is hard for us; we’re not really morning people.

Pam: So having the two versions of Morning Time really helped solve that problem for you?

Angela: Right, and sometimes too, they’ll be excused because they come to me and say, “I have a lot of work to do” and I’ll say, “That’s fine, just stay for prayers, and we’ll talk about what we’re going to do for the rest of the day, get organized, touch base, and you can go.” But what happens in that case all of them would go over to the table in the kitchen and I would be in the other room and I would be reading to the boys and they would interject things from the hallway across the way, because things would resonate with them, either they’ve read through the stuff I’m reading to the boys before or they’ve read stuff related to it. My oldest son who’s going to college now is a big history buff, he’s read an enormous amount of history, he would usually interject historical things like Delores’ Greek Myths and he would interject things while he was doing his Latin. He’s not exactly there but he’s not exactly gone either.

Pam: They can’t get away from it even if they want to.

Angela: Right. It’s kind of funny!

Pam: Speaking of that, what are some elements of Morning Time that you think are important for teens to continue to participate in even after maybe they’ve outgrown some of the other parts, what do you think are most important for teens, no matter what?

Angela: Since we are Christian homeschoolers, prayer is for us, the most important part, because we all need it to get through the day and it doesn’t matter how old you are, so definitely I think it’s important for everybody to participate in prayer, and then outside of that, I really do try to make the time worthwhile for them, so it’s not something that they think is just mom doing that’s extra, so I’m just sitting here to humor her, because she said I needed to. So I really try to do that, I’m not sure I always do that, but I really try to use their time well. And I think our conversations are probably one of the most important parts because when you have conversation with people ranging from 18 down to the five year old interjects things and the teenagers, if they know something, they get to explain it to someone younger than that. It helps solidify what they think and what they know because they know it, and the boys would go a little father in their thinking too because sometimes they’ll ask why or what about this, or I don’t understand, and the teenagers have to go [**inaudible** 30:57] younger boys will challenge things and so there’s not really arguing or bickering but it definitely some positive conversation sometimes but I think that’s good for everybody because it helps people to really feel what they think about various things, and we do have some meaty conversations dealing with theology or politics or history. The kids really think, and I think that’s something they would miss out on if I said, “OK, you can just go ahead and do your assigned work over here while we’re over here doing the other stuff” because I think that’s one of the most important parts, and it also helps to solidify your family culture. That’s the most important part.

Pam: You’ve told me one of the benefits there to having teens all the way down to little ones in the same Morning Time through those conversations and the little guys challenging the teens to cement why they believe what they believe. Are there other benefits to having a wide range of ages from teens to toddlers?

Angela: I think it benefits the little guys, too, because they’re hearing stuff that they normally would not. I do not read aloud to them, if you were just reading aloud to the eight year old it probably wouldn’t go and do something like The Fallacy Detective which I used last year with everybody and most recommendations, if you look for Logic for Convation they will recommend that (and the Well-Trained Mind they’re saying age 12 or 13), even the book the recommendation is for ages 11 and older but in my experience the younger kids really got into it, they enjoyed it quite a bit. I don’t know that every younger kid would, my kids did. And things like that would not happen if you had everybody separated. And they pick up a lot even if you don’t think that they’re listening, they really are, they’re listening more than you think they are. They just sort of soak all this up. It builds a culture too. You have this family culture of shared works and shared practices (I think Cindy Rollins talks a lot about that too) no other family has what you share and it makes everybody feel like they belong together. I would not give it up again, I think even though it is hard sometimes to keep everybody in their seat, gathered together, sometimes it feels really difficult because you’re trying to keep little guys occupied and big kids interested and everybody in the middle and you’re trying to referee conversations, it can go off the deep end at times and it does feel hard just to coordinate everything but I think it’s worth it.

Pam: Sounds like it is. Well, if there’s a mom out there who has a wide range of ages with her children and she’s never done Morning Time before and she’s maybe listening to us and doing a little reading about it and thinking ‘I think I would like to do this but I’m scared to death’ do you have any tips for her for starting out?

Angela: Well, the first thing I would tell her: don’t be scared. It doesn’t have to be perfect. None of this is perfect. It seems like when you write it on a blog or you talk about it and you talk about all the nice things that you do it makes it sound like things are going in a very orderly fashion, making all these transitions from one thing to the next, and everybody’s sitting around and listening to you and you’re all just having these great conversations and that’s not always the case. Our Morning Time’s very loud and sometimes I almost yell to be heard and then you have to reign that back in and then there’s ones that totally disintegrate when you have to go change a blow out diaper and you try to get the other kids to read, like if you have readers – if you have a wide range of ages you usually have somebody who could read – and they can keep up with that and sometimes it doesn’t happen, and sometimes you have arguments instead of conversations, things break down, you have to go to the doctor, people get sick. So it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just matters that you’re trying to do it, and then it builds up over time. When you’re starting out, I would just think most about the things that get squeezed out of the day that you want to make sure you’re doing and you’re sad to see squeezed out of the day, and I would just focus on those first. That’s sort of the key. There may not be a whole of things because you can see that some people have really long Morning Times, ours is not that long. Ours is an average of about 45 minutes, sometimes it’s shorter, sometimes if it’s really good it will go longer, but we don’t do too well with a Morning Time, we have short attention spans in some cases, so we just shoot for what we can get done before everybody totally dissolves. I think the important thing is to not think that you have to do things perfectly, that you have to get to everything that you planned out every day, that you have to read a certain number of pages every day, and if you don’t, you’re failing at it, because that’s not the case.

Pam: I think that’s some great advice. Embrace the messy imperfections of it all but just keep putting one foot in front of the other every day.

Angela: I think that’s the case. And I think more than anything, it’s just the consistency. It’s just the little things that build up over time that make the big difference. It’s not perfection, it’s not ticking off a certain number of things that you read, it’s not trying to jam poetry and music and Shakespeare into everything. It’s doing what you think is important in your family. The stuff that your family would enjoy and that you don’t want them to miss, and don’t worry about doing too much or too little.

Pam: Well, Angela, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your wisdom with us, this was wonderful to get a peek inside your Morning Time, the craziness of it all and to know that it is still works really well for you and it is something that you wouldn’t give up.

Angela: Well, thanks for having me. I enjoyed talking about it, it’s been one of the best things that we’ve ever done, so I would just encourage everybody who wanted to try it to give it a shot.

Pam: Thanks so much.
For your Basket Bonus this week we are calling out the big guns! We have asked some of our favorite homeschooling moms who do Morning Time, moms who either have large families or a wide range of ages for some of their best Morning Time tips, how do they get it all done. And they’ve shared them with us so we have a wonderful download for you to go and grab. You can head over to EDSnapshots.com/YMB5 to download your Basket Bonus of advice for this episode.
I hope you enjoyed today’s interview with Angela Boord, all about her Morning Time. And if you would like to get links to any of the resources that Angela and I chanted about on today’s show you can go to the Show Notes for today’s episode. There you can also find a link and instructions for how to leave a review on iTunes for the Your Morning Basket podcast, and for those of you who have already left a review we thank you so very much for taking the time to do that. We really appreciate it. The Show Notes for this episode are at EDSnapshots.com/YMB5. And hey, if you like this homeschool mom interview today, I want to let you know about my other podcast. You might not be aware that I do two podcasts; the other one is the Homeschools Snapshots Podcast. You can find that one on iTunes as well. And on every Homeschool Snapshots Podcast I interview a homeschooling mom about what her homeschooling day is like. They’re really short, they’re between 20-30 minutes and they’re a lot of fun, so go check it out. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another Your Morning Basket and until then we encourage you to keep seeking Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in your homeschool day.

Key Ideas about Morning Time for Big Families

Subjects and practices that are important to us sometimes get pushed out of our homeschool day. We struggle to find the time or energy for them, especially when also caring for very young children. Morning Time gives us a way to prioritize those items in our daily routine.

Morning Time nurtures a shared family culture. Everyone hears the same stories and ideas. Younger children are stretched by listening to material they might not otherwise be exposed to, and older children are challenged by having to explain and defend their ideas during discussions.

Morning Time can be used to fill in gaps in our children’s knowledge and to expose them to books, ideas, and topics that they might not choose to explore on their own.

Morning Time is a flexible practice. Young children may need to wander or play nearby. Older children may need to be excused because of outside activities, work, or increased academic workloads. Creative solutions allow us to accommodate big kids and little kids alike.

Find what you want to hear:

  • [3:22] how and why Angela started doing Morning Time
  • [11:25] how Angela’s Morning Time evolved to include discussions with teens about things they wouldn’t otherwise pick up on their own
  • [12:30] Angela talks about “shooting for the middle”
  • [14:47] how Angela did Logic during Morning Time with a wide range of kids
  • [16:33] subjects that are good for a wide age range
  • [18:30] doing Shakespeare with boys
  • [18:51] letting kids do art while mom reads
  • [20:57] some practical ideas for toddler-wrangling during Morning Time
  • [25:30] excusing older kids and having two versions of Morning Time
  • [29:17] Angela talks about the most important Morning Time elements for teens and how meaty conversations during Morning Time benefit teens and younger siblings alike

Leave a rating or review

Doing so helps me get the word out about the podcast. iTunes bases their search results on positive ratings, so it really is a blessing — and it’s easy!

  1. Click on this link to go to the podcast main page.
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  3. Once your iTunes has launched and you are on the podcast page, click on Ratings and Review under the podcast name. There you can leave either or both! 

Thanks for your reviews

  • 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.

  • <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!



  • Kelly says:

    I think I’m going to try this out. I’m not crazy about the two most popular names for it though. Who’s got some creative names for their time?

    Thanks for sharing so many resources!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Call it whatever you want. Jen Dunlap calls hers the Homeschool Power Hour. Sarah Mackenzie does Symposium. Mystie Winckler calls hers Convocation. Someone else calls it Together Time — does not matter one bit!

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks! I was drawing a blank with different names for it. I like Together Time.

        • We do Together Time!! I have a binder with my marker-drawn cover sheet all worn and used and then I found out it was a thing! 🙂

      • Aaren says:

        Has the basket bonus expired? I can’t seem to access it.

  • Heather Zell says:

    Pam, I enjoy listening to all your podcasts and you are such a great interviewer! You have such an authentic warmth about you and I have been blessed listening to these guests. I have been able to take a little bit of wisdom from all of them and make a plan that works for our family. Thank you for what we are doing!

    • Pam Barnhill says:

      Aww shucks. Thanks so much Heather. I appreciate the kind words. I love doing it so I am really glad you guys like listening!

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