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If your Morning Time has ever fizzled or you have felt daunted by the idea of starting back in a new semester, this is the episode for you. Dawn Garrett and I chat about getting over the hump of the semester break, how to prepare for the February blues, plus we introduce our brand new Morning Time Journal and planner that we are so excited to share with you.

Dawn: One thing that I do to start fresh is I don’t start with all new stuff. We do a lot of review. We sing old hymns that are like comfort and old friends. We review old memory work. We review things that we already know so that we have that foot up. Oh yeah, we can do these things. We know these things. It will be good to learn more new things.
Pam: This is Your Morning Basket where we help you bring truth, goodness, and beauty to your homeschool day. Hi everyone. And welcome to a brand new season of the Your Morning Basket podcast and episode 107. I’m so happy that you are joining us here today for this episode of the podcast. Well, my guest today is the community manager at Your Morning Basket, Ms. Dawn Garrett, she’s been on the podcast a number of times before in what we’re talking about on today’s episode are some different ways that you can restart your Morning Time, whether you fizzled in the fall or not. Hey, sometimes it happens to the best of us. We fizzle a little bit with our Morning Time, and maybe you limped into the holiday, not doing Morning Time as often, or as consistently as you wanted to.[spp-transcript]

So what are some things that you can do to get yourself jump-started again? How do you add new things to your Morning Time and how do you just kick off a really great year of Morning Time? So we’re going to be giving you some of our best tips for that.
And then also we’re going to be talking all about our brand new Morning Time journal and planner. Now this little beauty is doing double duty. It is a journal so you can journal all the things that you’ve done in your Morning Time and keep wonderful memories through the years. But it’s also a planner and you can kind of use it both ways, or one way only, we give you all the tips and a tour of the planner during this episode of the podcast. So do check that out. And if you’re looking for that planner come on over to, click on the shop button and we have the black and white and the color version of the planner, you can get them in digital or print, and we’d love for you to check them out. That’s at Now on with the podcast.
Hello Hello! Good morning, Dawn. Garrett, how are you doing today?
Good morning. I’m really well. We just finished our last Christmas celebration as we’re recording this yesterday and I’m ready for a really quiet week.
Oh, I love it. I love it. So I’m assuming you are not doing school the week between Christmas and new year.
No, I believe nobody should do school. I mean, if you have to, I understand. I don’t, I don’t want to put guilt on, but no, we don’t do school in December.
We do school in December, but I’m a firm believer in not doing school week between Christmas and new year. And I always feel so guilty because Christmas is just started. I’m supposed to be still celebrating Christmas and I’m like, Oh, my kids just got all this cool stuff for Christmas. They just opened their presents. And now I can get a bunch of stuff done because they’re distracted and we’re not doing school.
So it usually ends up being one of my more productive weeks, whether I meant it to be or not. That is true. We do have a plan. My kids are having a sleepover for New Years. My girls are having friends over for new years and my husband got a new TV for Christmas. And so the old TV is going to the basement.
Oh, nice.
And, they need to do some cleaning up and restructuring and the basement. They want to make it a teen area. We’ve got our old masking tape to table down there for games and, and an old couches down there that probably needs to toss, but it’ll work for this week. And they’re thinking they’ll, they’re going to move the X-Box down there, which will make me thrilled. And then they can use it for DVD. So they’ve got a plan. They have a couple of days to accomplish it. We’ll see.
Oh, that’s Awesome though, that they have a deadline. And I did not realize, so if you’re not familiar with Dawn Garrett masking tape table, we will have to find a picture and put it on the show notes for this episode of the podcast. But she had it for years and years in her homeschool space. And that was where they did Morning Time. And at that point, her children were much younger. And so what was going on with this?
They complained he’s on my space. He’s on my, she’s on my space. Her stuff is in my way. So I just put a big X on the table, divided it in four. Cause it was a round table. And I actually don’t recommend doing this solution because it doesn’t actually one work. Cause then they complain that the stuff is on the tape between their sections. And second, the, if you’re going to do it,
try like painters tape or something that won’t ruin the finish of your table. If you try to pull it off. Cause the masking tape it’s been on there so long that you can’t pull it off at this point.
So I have to know cause we have Lynna Sutherland coming up a little bit later this season to talk about doing Morning Time when your kids fight, is it even worth it to try to do Morning Time when your kids argue and bicker constantly because believe it or not dearly, if you’re thinking you’re the only person who’s ever had this problem, the answer is no, we all have it. So did your kids outgrow this? Or why is the table in the basement now? And you don’t need it anymore.
We got a bigger rectangular table, which helps
Does it help?
It helps is it’s not perfect. There are still some, my area goes to here, but it has helped. And matured children have that has helped as well. So it does get better as kids get older. I keep saying #bigkidsrock. And I do believe that. And it’s better.
No, that’s fun. That’s fun. But that table, surely has to bring back a lot of memories, which is what we’re talking about on today’s episode of the podcast are all of those wonderful Morning Time memories that we have from years and years of doing Morning Time. And we’re actually going to be talking quite a bit today about our new Morning Time journal and planner that we have available. And I’m going to be honest. This is… I’m really sad. I mean…
You’re really sad?
I’m really sad because I wish I had this 10 years ago when I started Morning Time.
That is true. There’s the ability to like, keep those good memories and put pictures there and to remember what we prayed for and how the Lord responded to those prayers and took action.
I mean, those would all be wonderful memories to have access to.
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I agree so that it does make me a little sad though. I am going to start using my new journal and planner this year to start keeping a record. Even if my youngest is now 12, I’ve got a good, a few more years of Morning Time left.
And I am going to keep a record of what we’re doing from here on out. But I am a little sad, but that’s okay. There are young moms out there with young kids and you are going to be the one to get to keep the record of your Morning Time.
I remember reading an Instagram post that Lynn Bruce made about how she continues morning, time as an adult, and does Morning Time for her own study for her own reading. And, and it could be a record for moms too, who are retired homeschoolers.
Oh, that’s awesome. Yeah. I know Cindy does hers as well. So that, that is awesome. Okay. But before we jump in and talk a little more about the planner, let’s talk about a few things that are going on right now. So a lot of you guys are getting back to school. I, like Dawn and like me, you take at least part of December off if not the whole month. And so now you’re getting back into a new school year and quite frankly, you might’ve been hanging on by the skin of your teeth before the last year ended.
So Dawn, what advice do you have for moms who are getting a fresh start? Maybe we’re feeling a little burnt out. How can we start fresh?
One thing that I do to start fresh is I don’t start with all new stuff. We do a lot of review. We sing old hymns that are like comfort and friends, old friends. We review old memory work.
We review things that we already know so that we just, we have that foot up. Oh yeah, we can do these things. We know these things. It will be good to learn more new things. Just a reminder, a refresher. And it’s not an overwhelming way to restart. So for January we don’t do any new material. We do pretty much all review material.
Oh, I love that. And yeah, I’m thinking about it. I am not intending to introduce anything new in January either. We had books that we were still finishing and maybe just an extra couple of minutes for review before we start reading, like normally I’ll look back and make a comment about what happened the day before in the chapter. And so this time I may go back a couple of chapters and spend a minute or two as opposed to 15 seconds.
Right. Which is what it usually takes to say, Hey, remember this happened? And this happened now, fortunately we’re in the middle of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And my kids have all seen the movie and most of them have read it. So that’ll be easy to pick up, but maybe, yeah, just a few extra minutes of review if you’re in the middle of a book or something like that.
But that review is good and I think the biggest piece of advice I would have would be. If you’re going to do a bunch of new stuff, pretend like it’s the beginning of a school year, or the first time you did Morning Time and don’t bring in 10 new resources on the first day. But instead start small, build slow, and stagger them in.
Even if you, even if your Morning Time is short for a week or eight, nine days, that’s okay. It’s okay to stagger everything back in to build up those good feelings and to leave them wanting more of Morning Time.
Yeah. I was thinking that my Morning Times like an hour and a half long, and if we could start with just the Bible portion and then for a week, and then the next week we could add in the poetry section, we have divided up by sections. So we could slowly stagger everything in and get back to full speed. It’s not a race. You aren’t trying to get through a specific set of content. Your kids are going to have gaps in their education. And that’s a good thing. And okay thing, what you’re trying to do is build the relationship with your kids and with the ideas that you’re presenting and that’s going to bear fruit in the long run so that they aren’t fighting over the masking tape line on the table, right?
Yeah. Yeah. And I think one of the biggest things is to remember the main purpose behind Morning Time and for so many homeschooling families for so many homeschooling moms,
I think the main purpose behind Morning Time is to get that win in the day or Morning Time gives you that big homeschool win. It makes you feel like I can do this. And so if we’re thinking about that, if you know the reason I’m doing this is to get that big homeschool win. If I accomplish nothing else today, look at how much we’ve learned together.
Then you can get that win, starting a little bit smaller and then building into the bigger experience that, that you eventually want.
With all High-schoolers. Now they’re pretty independent with most of their work. I keep joking with high schoolers. What I seem to do is drive and pay and do Morning Time. Yeah, that, that is the connection point that I have with my kids.
I mean, they come and narrate to me and we fix math problems, but that is the connection point that I have with my kids. That is the active teaching portion of my day is Morning Time. And so having that as a win before I drive and pay for things is really, it’s really wonderful.
Oh, I love that. Drive pay and Morning Times, that’s what homeschooling high school is all about love. So are you going to bring in anything new eventually into our, are you changing things up for the new semester at all?
We, finally, after four years, three years finished Signs and Seasons by J Ryan.
Which is an astronomy, a classical astronomy book
An astronomy book. And it was, I’m not sure I would do that one in Morning Time again. I think I would assign kids to read that one on their own or to read it with me because I think that is a better book too, to see the pictures better. He has a lot of, he has a lot of detailed graphics that help to explain the material better, but we finished it and everybody is thrilled that we’ve learned those things. So I probably will put something in, in place of that. I don’t think there’s anything else that’s going to be super new. We talked about maybe some new Bible memory work, but that’ll start in February, but I don’t remember right now. Oh, he had talked to, well, we have been off, we’ve been off school since before Thanksgiving. I, I probably have notes in my journal and planner.
Awesome. And for those of you who are just like drawing a deep gasp, but the fact that Dawn has been off school for that long as she schools with the calendar year. So actually coming up in January will be her official first day of school for the year. Because when we all started, when most of us started back in August, she was in the middle of her school year.
And I do think we’ve got a blog post on that, that we can link to either on Dawn’s blog or my blog or on both or whatever. So where you can see where she talks about why she homeschools with the calendar year and how that set up and how that works for her family And some of the cons of it. And those cons become more into play with high school when I’m not teaching all the classes.
So we are going to introduce something into Morning Time. It’s actually a re-introduction. And so I’ll give us a couple of weeks to get our feet under us first. And then Olivia actually requested that we bring that, oh, I’m going to mess up the name of it. It, I think it’s Masterpiece Makers, which is Alicia Greathouse, Alicia and Olivia Greathouses podcast, which we were listening to last year. And just for whatever reason this year, I didn’t add it to the Morning Time plan yet. It’s Masterpiece Makers and Olivia’s mom. I really miss that. Could you bring that back? And yeah, you love it when somebody says, I really miss something, can you bring it back? And we are, we’re going to, we’re going to bring that one back and pick up where we left off and listen to probably yeah. One to two episodes a week of that particular podcast. So they’re up to episode 25 now. And I think we stopped about eight or nine and yeah, that’ll take out the rest of our year and we have been doing art appreciation, but I think Olivia just really liked the rapport that Alicia and Olivia have.
And she loves the way that Alicia walks you through the different pieces of artwork. She’ll choose one piece of artwork from each artist and talk about the technique and the style and all of that different stuff. And I think that’s something Olivia really loves. And so we’ll be bringing that in after a couple of weeks of Morning Time. Yeah.
As we air this about halfway through January, I know that February is coming too. And February is always been a historically a tough month for homeschoolers. I personally think it has to do with the end of winter. We’ve been stuck inside for months and months, the lack of sunshine, but even where I live, where February is usually a pretty mild month and we actually get out quite a bit. I don’t know. There’s just something about past the midpoint of the year of the homeschool year. And so any tips for February Dawn for your Morning Time?
I have heard, I’ve heard some suggestions for February. I love February. My birthday’s in February and it’s like our second month. And that’s when we are adding new things back into our Morning Time.
But I know a lot of people have these, the seasonal February. So take a day off and, and make it just a fun day. Do a field trip every Friday or do, if your weather is okay, do a nature walk. And Charlotte Mason says that “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”, or so make sure that you have the proper attire and such to do a nature walk because you will be shocked at the things that you find is even if there’s a foot of snow on the ground, you can our art museum until February 6th. So the, for one Friday in February, in Columbus, Ohio, they have a van Gogh exhibit with 17 van Gogh paintings and Renoir and Monet and Manet. And all of these people that influenced him. They even have a Rembrandt. I was so excited. So it’s a great exhibit. If you get a chance and you’re within driving distance of Columbus, Ohio highly recommend that.
But any art museum, this is the opportunity to look around on take that time. Now in January, prove it. This is going to hit are likely going to hit
Schedule some fun outings.
This is your reminder to go ahead and go to the websites of the museums that are within driving distance of you, check out what their policies are.
Look up, look up what’s available. And maybe go ahead and plan because you might even have to schedule some of this at this point, schedule an entry time, but go ahead and plan it and have it. I think having it ready is huge for February. Not just waiting until it hits you in spinning and not knowing what to do, but like making the plan now, like here’s my list of things we can do.
Our February bucket list. Yeah. Yeah. Our conservatory, we have a plant conservatory locally. That’s a wonderful place to go. Lots of there are conservatories, lots of places. So those kinds of outings, you could plan a movie day and plan popcorn and movies. And I don’t know, Fridays when I was in elementary school, we watched Laurel and Hardy and Our Gang shows and cartoons and stuff. And that was cultural appreciation. So you could easily have a fun movie day when you’re on a Friday in February, you could change up your Morning Time. So that one day a week is the fun day. And we do that on Fridays. We do the Friday is the only day of the week that we do Mad Libs and we do a different kind of art study on Friday.
Like maybe we’ll do an art project instead of just looking at an artist because I only want to deal with the mess once a week. Now that was when my kids were little, especially, but they can because they can deal with the mess now, but change up your Morning Time. So that Friday is just special or Monday is just special to give it a little bit of a jolt.
Yeah. But you, and that’s the thing too, is you don’t have to change it up every single day of the week. Just changing up one day a week is going to have an impact on your kids. And yeah. And we say it, Dawn says it a change as good as a rest. Unfortunately we can’t stop homeschooling in February and just hibernate and maybe doing some purposeful small changes.
Yeah. Homeschool built a blanket Fort and homeschool and the blanket Fort for a day. I mean, it doesn’t have to even be a huge thing. Just a little thing.
Yeah. Kids love that kind of stuff they really do are just bring hot chocolate and popcorn to the Morning Time table. But yeah, and I think I just can’t stress enough that planning that stuff in advance actually Dawn made me think of mad libs and I don’t have to do Mad Libs anymore and Morning Time, but it might be fun to find some love Mad Libs or something for February and just do one every single day or almost every day or most days or whatever, and enjoy that together with the kids. It hearkens back to some of those memories that we have of doing Mad Libs day after day, year after year.
I have to say we did Mad Libs when my kids were little and we had all of the juvenile joking and you know what I’m talking about?
Potty, Potty words, Dawn. Let’s just say it.
Yeah. And every adjective was a color. Right? So Mad Libs to this height with well-read high schoolers is a new bar ball game. They’re pulling out words and I’m like, oh yeah, that is an adjective. They’re not words that I would ever pull out and they’re Nebula for a noun and a place.
And then some of them are so funny because the vocabulary is just that much. So Mad Libs with high schoolers, definitely on Fridays, A lot of fun, lot of fun. Okay. Let’s talk about some of those memories cause you and I both have those wonderful and not so wonderful memories of doing Mad Libs through the years with our kid. Let’s talk about the journal implanter and what we’ve put together for families to help in a couple of different ways, quite frankly, because it is, we decided to make something that could be a journal, but also has some planning aspects in here. And let’s just give a rundown of what’s in here, Dawn. And then we can talk about maybe how each of us is going to use it because it’s probably going to be different, but there is a black and white copy.
So there is a, it’s got a blue cover and it’s the interior of this as black and white. There’s some gray scale in there. It’s got a soft floral design. And one of there, there are a couple of benefits to this. It’s less expensive than the full color version. If you’re looking for a more economical offer, but also somebody mentioned she can write in it with her colored pins and not have to worry that it’s going to clash with the colors that are in there, which I hadn’t even thought of that.
Yeah, I, that I prefer the black and white for that because then whatever I put in there, it is like, it’s, for me, it’s more personalized because I can use my colored pens, then photographs and whatever I’m going to use. My daughter has one of those little Kodak printers where you can just print a two by three picture and they’re mostly sticky back. So you can print those and just slap them right in there.
And if you’re a sticky if you’re a sticker or washi tape kind of person, and you want to put that in there, you could totally do do that kind of stuff in there as well. Oh, that made me think maybe we need some Morning Time stickers, but that’s a different project. Slow me down, hold me back. But then we also have for the people who are like, I just want to open it up and have it be pretty and use my black pen. We also have the full color version as well. And then we’d have these they’re digital and we have printed copies available. And so all of the pricing and everything is on the website. And of course we will link to that.
Also they’re spiral bound. Yes. Let’s talk about the binding because that’s really important. We went back and forth and talked about the binding a lot. How would people prefer to have this, but they’re spiral bound so that they’ll open and lay flat and be very accessible for when you’re working on them. And for when you’re doing morning, time out of them, everything will just stay in place and you won’t be like, oh, I got to flip pages and I can’t find where I was.
Yes. Yeah. And it’s also a lovely silver metal spiral binding, which our printer sourced for us specifically, because I did not want plastic and I didn’t want black. And so we were able to get a lovely silver spiral binding on there. So I was really happy that the printer went above and beyond. We have a fabulous printer that we work with who found that for us. So with the journal and planner is undated in, there are, you can start using it at any time that you want to. But there are two calendars in the front. So we’ve put a 20/22 calendar and a 20/23 calendar in there for reference. Now, if for some reason, the intention at this point is to later print and update the calendar. So they kind of roll going forward. But we decided if we have a bunch of these left at the end of the year, we actually made it where the calendars print on back pages so that it could be torn out. We know that that’s Awesome. Yeah. We hope we have to order more and we don’t have any left, but just in case, but they are there
As a journal. I would love to be able to circle. These are the days that we did our Morning Time, or these are the ones that we did, or these are, I mean, this is when I’m planning breaks, but I can use pencil. And it cause my breaks always change having the calendar there. And it’s a single page for the year. I love that single page calendar for the year.
And, you can totally, I mean, you can use it for anything just for reference, for tracking attendance. I use a plan, your year attendance tracker that I keep in the front of my Morning Time binder. I don’t know that I’m going to change my ways after all of these years. I’ve been doing that for what nine or 10 years now. But, you totally could keep attendance on here or just circle the days that you did Morning Time or make plans for what they do intend to do school.
And then after that we have six term schedule planning pages. Now we put six in here because a lot of our podcasts listeners and community members do plan in six week terms, six week terms. Pam Barnhill does not. So I would imagine that I would use one, maybe two of these a year and just leave the rest of them blank. I use Six, six week terms, but I don’t really plan my Morning Time by term at all. I have a structure that I use. And then I just, when we finished something, we plopped the next thing in and there aren’t necessarily lined up at all. So I may, I’m, I’m trying to think about some ways where I might use these pages. I might use them as that journal idea even of these were the things we were really focused on during our, during this six weeks of our Morning Time.
Yeah. Yeah. But hopefully we’ve given you guys enough in order and I’m going to be honest. I probably wouldn’t use the grid part of the page either. I just would subjects on the loop at the top. And then we get into what we call the weekly spreads.
And so each weekly spread has two pages. hence , the spread and on each one, this is where we have some of the planning materials in here. So we have a box for you to write a prayer requests. So these are the things that you’re praying over this week. Things that you would like to remember to pray for the things that your children to bring up, that you would like to write down. So anything you’re praying for, we have a section for, to do which you could even flip three or four months in advance and say, oh, before we get to this week, I need to do this over three weeks bfore that I need to, you could make to-do notes. Well in advance, if you want to.
This is, this would be great place to put going to the conservatory this week or go, or let’s make a blanket tent blanket for it sometime this week, just so that you remember that these are ideas that you want to do.
Yeah. To go ahead and put some of those in there. I love that. And then I would also put things in there. Make sure you have these copies made. So if we’re doing some kind of notebooking page or if we’re, if I need to buy some chalk pastels for us to do a chalk pastel project or whatever the case may be, anything that I want to remember to do either this week or a few weeks in advance, then I would put it in this to do box.
And then the library notes box is very similar and somebody made the comment. Well, I don’t really go to the library. I get books from Amazon and I’m like, it still works.
Yeah. Or even if you’re pulling them off your shelf, I want to make sure that I have this find this picture book two weeks ahead or something like that. So yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. And then underneath those, we’ve got this kind of large blank space with a dot grid and you can use that space for any kind of planning or note taking that you want. On the opposite side of the weekly spread, we have what we call our lesson plan list. And this is a style of planning that we teach and plan your year. But it’s really easy in, in basically you’re just making a list of the activities that you want to get to this week. You’re not necessarily assigning them to a day, but you’re just saying, these are the things that, that we want to do this week. And it has a space for what the activity is. So maybe it’s listened to the Masterpiece Makers podcast. Any resources that you would need to do that maybe I would print out the coloring pages so that they could all color a picture of the artwork and then any notes that you want to make over there. So we have a number of slots.
I think that the big thing I want to point out about this Dawn is you don’t have to fill this out ahead of time. If you don’t want to, this is a place where planning from behind is actually appropriate. If you’re just wanting to keep a record of what you did.
Sure. A lot of our people pull ideas from a number of places though. And so they, this is a place where they can like, yeah, like you said, have that plan to pull ahead, but I don’t really do my Morning Time that way. So this would be a place where I might put the funny words that keep going back to the Mad Libs. The funny words that I thought that my kids came up with for the Mad Lib that week, or some comment that they made about our constitution book reading, we’re reading a textbook on the constitution together and talking through that.
And sometimes they make really good or, and, or funny observations about something. And in that book or a poem, I don’t always remember the times when we bust out laughing for five minutes and this might be a good place to put those kinds of things.
Yeah. Yeah. So this is totally while we’ve made it in such a way that people can plan using it, especially those, those people who do pull their Morning Time from a number of different resources. We have quite a few Your Morning Basket plus subscribers, who we have a lot of different options available for them in there. And they really surprised us in that. They decided I want to use a lot of the different things and I just want to pick and choose and pull from the different resources.
And so this gives them a place to put all of that in one spot for the week. But it also, even if you don’t do Morning Time that way it gives you a place to write a record of these are the pages we read for Narnia this week are this is, these are the art prints that we studied. These are the pieces of music that we listened to, whether you’re following like the Ambleside riches schedule or you’re pulling from your Sunlight curriculum resources, any of those places, you can, you can record all of that information there for your Morning Time.
So you get five of those spreads, the spreads that Dawn and I just described, you get five of those for each month because some months have five weeks in them.
And then after five of those, you get what we call our monthly spread. And so there are 12 of these in the book. And so one for each month in a year, and this is where you’re really going to dig in and keep that record. So what were the things that we read? What were the pieces of memory work that we memorize?
Which things were our favorites, which things did we really enjoy? What were some of the fun things that we discovered? So this gives you a place to keep notes about anything that just really strikes your fancy. And the way I would really recommend using this particular page is to pull it out at the end of the month, during Morning Time, and talk with your kids about it and say, Hey, what were some of the best things that we read this month? What did you really enjoy? Even if it’s a chapter from a book or the place in the book where it talked about this, you could even get down to that specific instead of just listing a book title and ask them what their favorites were and ask them what they learned this month and write their notes there.
And then on the facing page, we have another dot grid page, and you could just simply put more handwritten notes over the year or Dawn Garrett. What could you do with that page?
You could scrapbook that page. And scrapbooking was a big thing. A number of years ago, some people are very talented at dealing with their graphics and their pictures. And some of us will, we might like make a Xerox copy of the sketch that our kid did of the, so my kids, we study a painting one week and the next week, sometimes I have them sketch what they can remember. So I might shrink down a copy of that and put that in there. But I was thinking the same thing as you about bringing it out, like on the last day of the month that we’re doing Morning Time and talking through it because not only does that, like foster that relationship, you and your kids have together with learning, but even just that recall of things that they had learned earlier in the month. I mean, you might have to remind them where you were, but every time you recall, you’re strengthening that neuro pathway to that idea. And it’s, and it’s strengthening your child’s learning and science relations with those ideas. So I love the end of the month spread and I love the idea of filling it out together during a Morning Time.
Yeah. Yeah. And yeah. And don’t be intimidated by this blank page. I mean, if all you want to do is write on it. If you want to hand it to your kid and have them draw a picture of something that they learned this month, take turns and have each child like draw on the page. But also I think even just the printing out some pictures from your computer and pasting them on there. I mean, this is not a real scrapbook. You don’t have to be intimidated by the page, use it however you want. But I love the idea of printing out a few pictures or something. One time, one time in all the years that we’ve been doing Morning Time, a long time ago, we wrote a poem together on our whiteboard. And I would copy that in, into this kind of a page or like we diagrammed a really complex sentence.
Maybe that goes on a page like this, or for a while we worked on the draw, the USA maps book. So have the draw, the USA somebody draw the USA map in here. It’s copy Ooey Gooey in there. If you’re doing IEWs poetry, memorization, this is a fun poem that we learned. There’s a million ways that you could use this.
And, and it’s good for your kids to see you being creative about how you do this kind of thing too. And I’m sure that our members will come up with we’ll get together now and see what all they’ve done with it. So then towards the end of the book, we have more goodies. So after you have your planning pages and your memory pages and all of that, we get to what I call the anti sticky note pages and have about, goodness, about four or five different list pages in the back. And they are titled very loosely with like books to read activities, to do things, to memory rise, resources, to try, and then just ideas. This is where I would have put our next memory work that I don’t remember right now, because I didn’t have to remember it.
That’s right. That’s right. And so this is what this is for is when you have that really great idea when you’re in that group online, when you’re in some kind of community, when you’re scrolling Instagram, when you’re listening to a podcast and somebody mentions a great idea, and you’re like, we should do that Morning Time.
This is where you write it to, this is a place to keep all of that all through the years of collecting that idea. And then when you sit down to plan your next Morning Time, or when you’re looking for your next great activity or idea, your next great read aloud, you can flip to this section, you know, exactly. I mean, I might even like washi tape the edge of these pages. So they stick out to me and that way I can just easily flip to them. Cause I’m constantly coming up. You told me not too long ago about the statistics book.
Oh, How to Lie with Statistics? What a great book, what a great, It just popped in my head.
But have I been thinking about it since you mentioned it? No. Have I written it down anywhere? No, but it’s something that I do want to read with my kids in Morning Time. And so this is the perfect place to put that I’m not going to lose that idea. And when I’m ready for it, it’s going to be there. I think these may be some of the most valuable pages in the whole book.
Yeah. Probably because I know there are things that I was like, oh, that’s a great idea that I have never done because I just in the moment, oh, that’s a great idea. And then
Or you writing on a sticky note and it gets stuck somewhere, eventually gets thrown away. Never the idea never comes to fruition. And when you get to the end of your planner,
you can copy the ideas into the next planner, if you want to. I mean, obviously since these are a memory keepsake, you’ll be keeping them. So anytime you sit down to plan, you can pull out a couple years worth and flip back through them and say, oh yeah, there was that idea. So however you want to do it, but it does give you a place to capture those ideas. And then the next section is called a poem for every month for our friends who might be a little intimidated by the idea of poetry.
We’ve selected one for you for every month, you can memorize them if you would like, or you can simply read them and share them with your kids. They are all of a links except for maybe October, which you just love, which yeah. And in the community loved it. The community loves it. Yes. So that was why we did it. It’s when The Frost is on the Pumpkin, our Punkin and it’s a little bit longer, but I think even that one with eager children could be memorized in a month for sure. So most of these could even be memorized within the month.
And then we just have some resource pages. We have a list of Morning Time subjects in case there’s maybe one you haven’t thought of before a list of things kids can do with their hands and Morning Time, and a list of things that you can use to keep your toddlers busy. Number one, snacks. Yeah. Number one is snacks. That’s always our favorite.
And when we say snacks, we’re talking about little tiny bits of food, Cheerios That take a very long time to eat. And then we have a page for each month of the year where we really try to bring out some fun celebrations for each and every month. So we have National Spaghetti Day, National Handwriting Day, Winnie the Pooh day.
These would be great too, as you’re doing your planning pull onto the to-do list on your weekly pages.
Very much PI day PEI, PI day, Robert Frost’s birthday. So these are just some fun things that you could do with your kids. And I’m going to tell you most of them, we’ve given you a picture book for almost every one of these. And while my kids wouldn’t necessarily,
they wouldn’t turn down the picture book. I don’t think, but while they wouldn’t choose the picture book, most of the activities that we’ve given you in here are things that they would have fun doing. They would just enjoy the novelty of it. But we also want to give you the freedom to pick and choose. You don’t have to try to do every single one of these choose one or two each month and toss in something fun. And maybe February you do one every week, that kind of thing, but pick and choose. And don’t freak out if your library doesn’t have the book find a substitute. And Jessica and Pam have talked about that before. How just go to library and find a substitute. They may not have the specific dummy book that you want. And that’s okay.
Yeah. Yeah. Actually, I’m looking at September right now on September 3rd is skyscraper day and the activity is research. Some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, which my kids would love to look at that like comparing the heights and everything. And there is a great picture book listed, but we would probably find a YouTube video or something on building skyscrapers. And my kids being teenagers with just really…
Maybe find that, that classic photo of the guys eating their lunch out on the crane, way up high and talk about OSHA and why we don’t do things like that anymore. But the history that there’s a great amount of history and those buildings of the empire state building and such.
So yeah. So just some fun days that, that you could have fun with and you don’t have to do all of them because you can get another planner next year because you’ll want to continue keeping memories.
And then you can do a few different ones for the following year. Yeah. But yeah, so that’s, that’s the planner. We hope that this little infomercial has been helpful to you in more ways than one, but do come and check it out because I think it’s something that will be a treasure years and years in the future. It could be something that’s helpful to you now.
It has a certain amount of helpfulness, but also treasure in the future. Looking back on all of the wonderful things that you did and our graphic designer, Katie Wallace did a fabulous job. It’s so Beautiful. It really is Both designs. Yeah. If you are interested the print planners, we do plan to ship those at the end of February, as long as you pre-order a planner and we will have pre-orders on until the print planners come in.
As long as you, pre-order a planner, you will get a digital copy emailed to you when you place your order so that you can go ahead and print out a few pages and start right now. But if you want the digital copy, that’s available on the website as well. Dawn, thanks for coming on today and giving us some fabulous tips about how to get rebooted for a new year of mourning time and also how to beat those February blues and for sharing with me about how you’re going to use your planner.
So always so glad to be here and to talk with you and I spring ideas. I need to go find my planner and write some ideas in it now.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s going to be a great tool to have when you listen to the podcast. So you can jot all of that stuff down for sure. Thank you so much. And we’ll see you soon
And there you have it. Now we will have links to all of the great resources that Dawn and I talked about today, including those fun books and Mad Libs and all of the things on the show notes for this episode of the podcast that is And we will also have links to the wonderful new Morning Time journal and planner in the color and the black and white version.
So you can take a peek at those as well. I also have a video tour of the planner that I’ll include in the show notes. So you can see that and kind of see what’s inside. We’ll be back again in a couple of weeks, we’re going to be doing some brand new Morning Time mom interviews, where we interview moms who’ve been doing Morning Time for quite a while, and look at what they’re doing in their Morning Time now, what they used to do in their Morning Time, how things have changed over the years and why some of those changes were made. And so our first one of these interviews will be next week. We have Laney Homan joining us, and she’ll be talking all about her Morning Time then.
If you have left a rating or review of the Your Morning Basket podcast in your favorite podcast app, we thank you so very much for doing so. And if you haven’t, we would love it. If you would take the time to leave a rating or review hit the subscribe button, all of those wonderful things that let the podcast, people know that this is a good one to send out to more people.
And we really do appreciate it. I’ll be back again in a couple of weeks until then keep seeking truth, goodness, and beauty and your homeschool day.

Links and Resources from Today’s Show

The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeSigns and SeasonsSigns and SeasonsHow to Lie with StatisticsPinHow to Lie with StatisticsWhen The Frost Is On The PunkinWhen The Frost Is On The Punkin


Key Ideas about Morning Time Beginnings and Memories

Pam and Dawn share some great tips for coming back to Morning Time after a break for the holidays.

  • Don’t add anything new for a few weeks. Start with reviewing old Morning Time material.
  • Add new resources one at a time. Start small and build slowly, just like you would at the beginning of a new school year or if you were starting Morning Time for the first time with your kids.

Many families also experience a February slump. In order to get ahead of that, you can plan more fun activities in your Morning Time or plan some field trips or nature walks during February.

Find What you Want to Hear

  • [2:34] catch up with Dawn and Pam
  • [7:48] tips for getting a fresh start with Morning Time in the New Year
  • [15:44] working through the February Slump
  • [21:09] Introducing the Morning Time Journal and Planner
  • [31:44] monthly memory keeping of your Morning Time

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